Chuwi MiniBook

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First Look At Chuwi’s MiniBook UMPC (Updated 26th)

First Look At Chuwi’s MiniBook UMPC (Updated 26th)

Update#3: Chuwi has now added an upgrade to the 16GB option for the Core M3-8100Y model only. It’s limited to now $20 the upgrade for 100 units and then $30 finally 200 piece limit. This is only for the 8GB to 16GB RAM upgrade offer. Either way, the upgrade from 8GB to 16GB for $20 or $30 is definitely worth it for 8100Y buyers. My full review of the MiniBook is also now online after 1 week of testing and using it.

I highly recommend you watch my review before you commit to buying one so you know the full ins and outs. This way you shouldn’t have any surprises with battery life, fan noise or power delivery support. Which it will support the final version and Linux I’m told.

Update#2: It’s now live on Indiegogo so you can order and the pricing $499 for the Core M3-8100Y version with PCIe slot or $399 for the N4100 version with SATA3 slot this pricing is for early birds that order first. After that, it will increase. All models have the 128GB eMMC 5.1 with Windows 10 installed on it. The only difference is chipset and the M.2 spare slot will be slow SATA3 or fast PCIe.

For everyone asking about thermals, its fan does the job even at 12W TDP double the default power limit. But the fan is loud when gaming when doing light tasks it’s always on and you’ll hear it. But demanding tasks it ramps up and is loud. I will have a sample in the review. The thermals seem to max out at 76 degrees C. But the bottom as expect for the tiny laptop does get hot.

Update: Chuwi has informed me that the final versions will support power delivery on the Type-C port so that’s good to know. One con off the list!

Today I received the MiniBook directly from Chuwi, it’s a loan unit and pre-release model but will give us a very good idea of what to expect with the MiniBook before it goes live on Indiegogos crowdfunding platform in 2 days. Unfortunately, the more powerful Core M3-8100Y model wasn’t ready in time so I’m reviewing this Celeron N4100 model which apart from the chipset is really the same machine.

The look and build is a lot like the One Mix 2S UMPC I reviewed some time ago. Only unlike that model, this has a webcam and microphone plus the screen is 1-inch bigger also giving us a slightly better wider keyboard. Below is my first look with a lot to like about this tiny laptop if it’s your thing. I always find the smaller keyboards a bit of a struggle to adapt to.

The build overall is decent, a solid little machine. The hinge works well and the lid, frame, and underside are all metal. The screen is a bright 500+ lux and touch seems fine. No stylus support on this one however unlike other 2019 UMPC’s. Performance is good for the spec of it, 8GB of DDR4 2133Mhz dual channel RAM according to HWinfo and the bios.

Double the power limit and fan cooled.

Chuwi has set a 12W TDP (Power limit) so it performs well and has active cooling allowing double the default power limits. The little fan inside is always on. You can hear a slight whine that’s so far not annoying at idle but it’s definitely there and loud under load. I wish there was a way to turn it off like models from GPD if you were just doing light tasks.

So far the only real disappointment for me so far is the lack of Type-C PD support. My power delivery battery bank and power adaptor both power the laptop for a second or so and then it stops charging. So it would see either this pre-release unit doesn’t have it or its working as it should. Other than that so far it’s looking more or less what I would have expected. The speakers are average, a bit louder would have been ideal. But much better than the Teclast X4 and X6 Pro tablets I’ve just reviewed.

The battery life looks to be around 5-6 hours of web use on low brightness. Nothing amazing and this is just an estimate based on 3 hours use. Full stats in the final review in a week or so along with thermals, charge time, general performance and gaming.

Chuwi MiniBook First impressions:

  • It’s tiny (as expected) Weight is better than I thought
  • Overall a good build and finish.
  • The keyboard has good key capsize and travel. Backlit and okay spacing
  • Typing on the keyboard is a bit learning curve with the layout and spacing.
  • The optical track point works in a pinch but I mouse or using touch is better
  • The power button has more resistance than the other keys and within it is a fingerprint reader
  • The screen touch accuracy for the size is fine and working as expected
  • Max brightness (Whites) of 510 lux
  • Runs Windows 10 home activated with a legit license
  • The easy access SSD hatch is great to have
  • 128GB eMMC is of an unknown brand. Speeds are okay. I would have preferred an SSD
  • The speakers have a little tiny bit of bass to them, they could be louder
  • The web camera quality is average, but good to at least have one!
  • The inbuilt microphone picks up a lot of noise from the little fan inside
  • Fan noise is there and constant but not very loud at least at idle. But under gaming load is loud!

 

 

 

Video tech reviewer and tech blogger. I have a huge interest in the latest tech, tablets, laptops, mobiles, drones, and even e-scooters. Active in the tech community since 2008 days of the Omnia i900 Windows phone. Samsungi8910omnia.com, Samsunggalaxysforums.com founder from way back.

7 Comments

  1. I guess so, like a flattened NUC with a small screen and keyboard, and a battery/UPS built in!

  2. Sure

  3. Update: Chuwi has informed me that the final versions will support power delivery on the Type-C port so that’s good to know. One con off the list!

  4. I really want one. I’m not entirely sure how much I’d use it, I don’t use my Planet Gemini as much as I thought/hoped I would.

    • I would use it more plugged into a monitor than out and about. So I see it as more of a mini PC with a screen and keyboard as a bonus.

  5. Okay I’ll test it out. The fan is loud in this when gaming or pushed hard.

  6. Since it has a fan and 12W can you test if it will run Skyrim at 720p okay? And Is that fan loud?

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