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BMAX Y13 – The Best Gemini Lake Touchscreen Laptop Reviewed

BMAX Y13 – The Best Gemini Lake Touchscreen Laptop Reviewed

A lot of people ask me what’s the best Chinese laptop I’ve reviewed in the cheaper sub $400 models and well I think I found it. The BMAX Y13, it’s a new brand using an old ODM so the design we might see under another brand but BMAX is doing things right, using not only 8GB of DDR4 RAM where others used only 4GB. But dual-channel RAM, fully laminated quality IPS screens, full spec Type-C ports and overall a very good offering for the $359 price.

The BMAX Y13 has been now my main laptop since getting it and apart from a few of your typical shortcomings like weak speakers, it is one of if not the best I’ve reviewed. My video review is below and I’ve just posted my overall rating out of 10 with review Pros & Cons. It comes to 8.6 out of 10. Mostly due to the full spec Type-C with power delivery support, battery life is also great up to 7-8 hours web use and even 10 hours just video on the lowest brightness (Which is a bit too bright)

I’m currently testing the BMAX Y11, a smaller 11.6″ version which is basically the Teclast F5. Another 8GB Gemini Lake laptop, but due to the size has a smaller battery only good for 4-5 hours of web use or 5 1/2 of video. Look for my review of that soon and I also just recently ordered the BMAX X14 their 14″ laptop with another full spec Type-C port, unlike Chuwi’s laptop Pro. The BMAX X14 looks very promising.

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.

57 Comments

  1. Hi all, I’ve got the Y11 and I must say I’m quite pleased with it but I have a quick question about charging. The Y11 is charged through the USB-C port (only) and it needs 12V @ 2A to charge… Now, I have chargers (Baseus 60W) that are capable of that (and more) but they fail to charge the Y11.
    I am assuming the reason is that there is no power management intelligence in the Y11 and as such the Y11 does not communicate to the charger that it needs 12V and as such, the charger (Baseus) simply goes to its safe 5V output which is of course not enough…

    The charger that came with Y11 is a simple “Permanent” 12V / 2A charger and does not offer any charging protocols, so I am assuming one needs to be careful not to plug that USB-C plug into something that needs 5V only…

    So does this mean that in order to get a replacement charger for Y11 I need to get a simple 12V (<2A) charger or is there something in the BIOS to enable different charging protocols to get "intelligent" chargers to work with Y11?

  2. @methanoid well it’s not really $1, even if you buy in bulk. The copper pad costs $1, Kryonaut is about $8 per tube as you can’t buy just for single application (this smallest tube by my calculation can be used for 4-5 applications), the thermal pad is also $1 but you get quite a big one (5-10cm) as you can’t buy just for 1cm x 1cm. So probably it’s about $3-4 to add per device. But looking at even big brands don’t do this, I guess it’s normal for relatively unknown ones to do the same. Perhaps it adds complexity they can’t afford to the assembly line, which very likely is done by human.

    @chris it looks like I have trouble replying comments, so I have to make a new one like this. Could you please check?

  3. @Mario – good job. Have to wonder why at $1 cost they couldnt do in factory and make the product better quality and sell more of it….

  4. Finally got mine yesterday. After a little setup and Geekbench test, despite “safe” temps (maxed out at around 92°C), I still decide to do copper heatsink mod + thermal grizzly kryonaut. Turns out the original cooling system only uses extra thin thermal pad for the CPU and probably GPU (I don’t know what’s north of the CPU). After applying the mod and also using better pads, I rerun Geekbench again to find out that it doesn’t even touch 60°C for the same max power consumption of around 12W. Not to mention that idle temps also go down by 8-10°C (without the mod it was around 48-50°C, now it is 40-41°C). I think it’s really a worthy mod to do.

  5. @Facundo
    I did a test with another program and I noticed that slightly better values with the CPU limit set to AUTO.

  6. In my y13 n4120 i’m not able to change limit CPU.
    Even if I set 9w and 28 seconds the limit remains unchanged on 6w and 5 seconds (infoHw)

  7. Can anyone confirm if the new model with the N4120 has an unlocked BIOS to increase the TDP?

  8. Did you change it in the bios?

  9. Hi just to inform you that laptop arrives (from china even if ordered from eu warehouse) with n4120. I tried to change cpu limit but it remains on 6w and 5 seconds. 🙁

  10. Hi, could you please show me how to change the TDP in the bios/application with printsceens, I am not able to find it.

    Much appreciated,
    Thanks!

  11. Hi, could someone please show me how to change the TDP in the bios/application with printsceens, I am not able to find it.

    Much appreciated,
    Thanks!

  12. Hi, Love me Bmax Y13 but it struggles with Powerpoint slides when connected to another monitor. It has about a 10 secs delay when I click next. Is there a way to improve performance? Later slides from 6 onwards performance improves. Any ideas?

  13. Hi all, just joined. Interested in a travel laptop and the Y13 checks all the boxes. I have read about a few issues but wondering how common the (on the side) power button failure is. It’s making me think real hard about whether to purchase this one or not. Thanks

  14. That’s weird, received mine recently after a loooooooong short of stock from Gearbest, no red bmax key but sadly I have the N4100 :/

    BatteryBar tells me I have a 39 116 mWh battery, so good news here, and 7/8 hours of battery here

  15. Hello Chris, I’d like to ask you to test something if you have the time.
    1. Can it boot through an SD card? (essentially through the card reader)
    2. Does it have touch support on Android x8, Bliss OS, Phoenix OS , Remix OS or any kind of PC compatible ROM? (if you happen to have the time)
    I actually just want to make a dual boot system… I miss them xD I have tested Android x86 on a teclast F5 and it worked. Only issue, not from the SD slot, so it’s not practical… I know you are busy, so just testing if it can boot from the SD card is fine too.

    • No couldn’t boot from the MicroSD. Sorry I haven’t tested out BlissOS or Remix OS etc but I think I read other that tried it and no touch support. (As with Linux)

  16. Forgot to mention that I got that 5 hours using only Nitro pdf reader opened and (35 520 mW battery) with brightness lowest and power saving plan. + (Intel command center graphics power saving).

  17. When I hit reply it seems I can’t reply to the specific message.
    You are right the battery capacity (according to cpuid) is 35520mWh. I don’t have an opinion about battery life as it is too soon and I don’t have made a full charge discharge and I don’t trust the windows battery info….! Do you suggest any app for battery life measurements?

    • Yes, try battery bar pro. So the battery capacity is lower.

  18. Who actually does stick the N4120. I’ve asked and nobody seems to admit they have it

  19. I just received my y13!
    I happily saw that it is with the n4120 cpu(very small upgrade but better than nothing)

    There is one more little change, the red “bmax” useless key, has gone and there is a “break” key added.

    • That’s good to hear, can you confirm the battery is 35Wh? Not 37Wh. Others said it still lasts for 7+ hours.

      • Hello,
        I am new to this forum and got here after watching your video about BMAX Y13.
        I ordered 19.1.2020 BMAX Y13 from Banggood and it does have N4120. Downside is the battery which is 35 520 mWh (Batterybar v. 3.6.6). I dont know how long other people battery has lasted but I got around 5 hours with full charge. Discharge rate around 6000-7000 mW on very light use and with multiple Edge tabs (no video) 8000-9000mW. I can also confirm that the bottom does not seem to be metal anymore just the lid.

  20. ANyone had issues with screen flickering i had it the first day i bought it? on bmax y13.

    • Should be no flickering at all. But check your Intel graphics power saving. Disable the screen refresh rate and other power saving options if you see flicker it’s because of the self-refresh setting is on.

  21. About to receive my machine……What are current owners setting maximum TDP in BIOS to ?

    • 6W TDP. But you can use 10W fine. If you do my copper heatsink mod then you can run higher.

  22. hi,
    can any of those type c charging laptops , be charged with 12v 1.5amps ? Chris somewhere said that it needs 12v 2amps. With 1.5amps is it going to charge slower or not at all? I have a 12v/1.5amp blitzwolf powerbank and trying to decide what laptop/tablet to buy. Any help will be appreciated!

    • Hi, the light will come one like it is charging at 1.5A but it will not gain battery %. Needs at least 2A or more. I’ll be reviewing in the channel a few batteries for charging Type-C tech.

  23. Hi Chris,

    do you know if Chrome OS System can work with it?
    Thanks

  24. To current users of Bmax Y13,
    I need your assistance.
    Is the bottom frame of your screen near the hinge totally closed ? Mine is cracked opened as shown here https://tinyurl.com/vjm4kwm .
    Thanks for your input.

  25. Hello,
    Does Y13 support stylus input? For the Y11 there is a hint on the specs but on Y13 I don’t see anything.

  26. No upcoming discount for Black Friday for this tablet?

  27. Just saw it in the comments that has to be 30w charger…

    • No it’s a 24W on (12v 2A) It has to be this or it will not charge. Or 12V 2A+ 12V 1.5A will not work.

  28. Great review Chris! Looking forward to BMAX X14!
    What is a full function USB C? Does that mean we could charge laptop BMAX Y13 via dc charging port AND ALSO via USB C? If so, we could charge it with one simple powerbank (like XIAOMI 10000mAH) connected into USB C on Y13? This would be great! Not need to carry charger anywhere…if that is correct…please advise…

  29. The speakers’ quality is a decisive factor for me to buy this kind of device. Are they as bad as Ezbook 3 pro ones for example? I had that laptop and the sound was so choppy. Then, I bought the 3L pro version and the difference between 3 pro was notable (dual speakers, good quality sound for films and series… like the Teclast F7 more or less).

    The sound of this BMax 13 is more like ezbook 3 pro or more like 3L?

    Another question: the webcam and microphones are enough for Skype? Are the microphones as bad as Y11? You say in the video that the webcam at 720p is not fluid, but for skype you can reduce the resolution and I would like to know if it’s at least the minimum required quality to “amateur” videoconferences.

    Thanks for the review!!

  30. @Vernal Scott – did you get stung for import duty/VAT from Gearbest?

  31. Speaking of a good powersupply for travel… can anybody recommend something good that would be able to charge the BMAX (12v) but would also be able to reduce to 5v to charge legacy USB devices, is there a psu like that available?

  32. I’m thoroughly enjoying my Bmax Y13. Thanks to Chris for the alert. I also have the 8/256GB Lapbook Pro, which is also excellent but has no touch screen, sadly.

    • I just had the first batch 4GB/64GB. My keyboard was a bit funny the space key with missed keystrokes from time to time. But I heard it was corrected. You have no issues? I find the Y13 keyboard for typing is very good also, just like the Chuwi Aerobook. You just can’t read the letters on the keycaps so well on the Y13. I’m even watching some TV series episodes on the Y13 I like it so much, the 3.5mm audio is great no static and very clean.

  33. Better than the Chuwi Lapbook Pro 8Gb model? I think you found the Chuwi keyboard better and I don’t see what is better on this than the Chuwi…. Have to decide which to buy….

    • I’ve got both machines; Bmax Y13 and Chuwi Lapbook Pro 8/256GB. The Y13 is my go-to device, but you’re right about the typing experience being more satisfying on the Lapbook Pro. That said, I’ll be keeping the Y13.

  34. Can anyone recommend or is using USB-C charger for the bmax?

    • 12w and above. Anything less won’t work in my experience. Perhaps Chris can confirm?

      • HAs to be 12v 2A or over and power delivery support is best. There are now so many on eBay and Amazon Prime that work fine.

    • Any power delivery one over 30W should be fine. Or type-C 12V 2A charger. My Amazon cheap 65W one works just fine and will charge at 11W only according to Battery Bar Pro but I think it’s reporting it wrong should be 24W. Main thing is it works well and charges all my other Type-C tech including my P30 Pro quickly. One charger for all is what I love, a power supply less to travel with.

  35. I’m just about to buy the Y13, but then you mentioned X14, it looks more interesting. I guess I’ll have to wait even longer hahaha. Your review will be my decision.

    • X14 does look good. Full spec Type-C and still has a USB 3.0 Type A port.

  36. Hey Chris, Thanks again for your review!
    As i am waiting for a long time for a cheap Laptop that provides [email protected] fps out (preferable through USB-C, but DP 1.2+ or HDMI 2.0+ would work too ofc), and if possible with USB-C power delivery:
    Could you provide an update, when or if you found a solution for this Laptop that gives 4K at 60 fps instead of the 30 fps?

    I have followed your reviews for years, but AFAIK i have not seen such a Laptop here that provides 4K 60 fps (and USB-C Power delivery if possible). Do i recall correct, or is there some cheap Chinese Laptop that fits this bill?

    Thanks again, and best wishes from Germany!

    • Sadly nothing works that I have tried. All my Type-C to HDMI and hubs only want to do 4k30 with the Y13 which is a pain as I want 4k60! So definitely no 4k60 only my high-end Core i5 machines have done it with the hub I have. But the Y11 I’m reviewing has HDMI 2.0 4k60 like many Gemini Lakes do (Most with HMDI will use HDMI 2.0) And the Y11 has power delivery. My review of that one will be only maybe tomorrow.

  37. Looking forward to the Y11 review… I bought one and got it last week… so far all good, the shiny font on the keys is a bit annoying as its hard to read but that is a minor issue

    • Nice. A Good purchase. It’s a great little light and portable laptop. Just the same as the Teclast F5 really, the only real con is short battery life and no full-sized USB ports. Otherwise, it will be an overall positive review like the Y13. Yes shame bout the font, I think black keys wit ha white font like always would have been better.

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