Chuwi’s latest 2-in-1 tablet the Hi10 is an upgrade over the popular Chuwi Vi10, it retains the two full-size USB ports that made the Vi10 so popular and adds a few improvements as well as the new Atom X5 Z8300 Cherry Trail CPU. Let’s find out if the new Hi10 is a worthy upgrade.
Note: The model reviewed is from the second batch (one blue USB 3.0 Port) and 64bit Windows 10.
What’s in the Box:
- Chuwi Hi10
- MicroUSB cable for charging
- USB Charger 5 volts. 2A
- Instructions and paperwork in Chinese
Hardware & build quality:
The Hi10 is powered by Intel’s latest Atom X5 Z8300, it’s a 2-watt quad-core CPU that is able to boost up to 1.84Ghz. The GPU is a 12 EU Intel Gen8 unit. The Z8300 is the lowest of Cherry Trail chips, around similar speeds to the older Bay Trail Z3735F, but it has a bump up in graphics performance over the Bay Trail Atom and supports things like upto 4k @ 30fps HDMI out and, USB 3.0 and high-speed MicroSD card slots.
The Ram is 4GB of single channel LPDDR3 Ram with 11-11-11-28 timings. As a result it’s much slower than the dual channel X5 Z8500 Atom’s as seen in the Teclast X98 Pro or Teclast X16 Pro.
The build of the Hi10 is 100% plastic apart from the from glass touch panel, a change from the Vi10’s tempered glass front and rear panels. This makes the tablet lighter at 528 grams vs 647 grams of the Vi10. The downside is the tablet doesn’t feel as solid in hand, the rear is a textured plastic that is prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Keyboard dock: (Optional)
The Chuwi Hi10 Keyboard docks in a very similar way to the ASUS Transformer Book T100. The finish of the dock is a matte soft touch coating. The dock is complete plastic and feels solid. To stop the tablet from tipping over when docked there is a weight within the keyboard. There is a USB 2.0 port on the right side and the maximum angle it can tilt back is limited, the reason of course is simple, if it were to tilt too far back and it would tip over or require a heavier counter weight. Overall I find the typing experience takes a little to adjust to due to the smaller 10.1 size and the trackpad is quite small but nevertheless useful. I think it’s well worth the investment getting the keyboard.
Screen and touch response:
The Hi10 sports a 10.1 inch 1920 x 1200 pixel 16:10 ratio screen. The model info is N080JCE-G41 from an unknown brand. It could be made by INNOLUX. The screen is a change from the 16:9 ration screen in the Vi10. This ratio offers slight more square screen compared to the 10.6″ Vi10 panel and the resolution increase is very noticeable. The screen is sharp and bright, one of the key features of the tablet is its screen and it’s good to see Chuwi choose a great panel. With a nice PPI of 224 it’s hard to see individual pixels, but it’s shy of being a “retina” screen. Anything 264 PPI or over Apple calls a Retina screen.
With a maximum screen brightness of 322 cd/m² the screen is brighter than most and at 0% dulls down to a low 12 cd/m² making it okay for night time use without hurting your eyes.
Blacks are very deep black and viewing angles are excellent on this IPS panel. Its also not fully laminated, so there is a gap between the IPS panel and the glass above it. The screen comes with a spare screen protector and one already applied from the factory. And It’s not scratch resistant glass, having these screen protectors included only backs up the need for a screen protector. No fixed or dead pixels to be seen and everyone I showed this tablet too commented on how the screen was bright and very clear.
The default display scaling set in Windows is 150% and I had no problems with touch response or accuracy.
Storage on the Hi10 is handled by a Hynix HCG8e 64GB eMMC. It’s a decent brand of eMMC and it’s good to see Chuwi for this model at least, have stayed away from slow cheap brands such as BWIN and FORSEE eMMC.
Speeds are good for an eMMC flash drive and particularly the sequential writes.
Ports & Connectivity:
Not one but two full-sized USB ports is what sets the Vi10 and Hi10 apart from others. If you count the USB 2.0 port on the dock and the MicroUSB port, it’s really 4 USB ports in total.
One in blue is of course, the USB 3.0 spec port, like the USB 2.0 port support 1TB external hard drives without requiring a powered hub. Something many another tablets have problems with. The USB 3.0 runs at full USB 3 speeds too, maxing out read and write speeds of my Sandisk Extreme 64GB USB 3 pen drive.
Wireless performance was great, my desktop wired via a network cable gets 50mbps download and 25mbps upload over my LTE connection. The Hi10 wasn’t far off this with it’s Realtek RTL8723BS Wireless N 150mbps card. Still sadly, no dual band wireless support. But with a free USB port it’s possible to add a mini dual band wireless adapter, at least, it’s an option. But it’s about time manufacturers start to use dual band AC, if the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 can do it so can other tablets.
Windows & Performance:
Windows 10 Home 64bit is the OS that ships out on the Hi10, on first boot you get 44.1GB of free space on that 64GB eMMC. The Windows 10 build is the latest image as it now includes the big November update within it, so no need to download and update that via Windows updates.
The performance of Windows is as expected for an Atom X5 Z8300, it runs quick, opening folders and moving the OS is fast. It’s only when you start to push the tablet multitasking opening up various applications at the same time is when you notice it starts to slow down. Having 4GB of RAM versus the standard two on most other Z8300 tablets doesn’t make it feel any faster. What it does do is allows you to multitask more before the system starts to use virtual ram writing to the internal storage, that’s when things start to slow down.
Edge runs fast and fluid, Chrome on the other hand isn’t so fluid. Sure it works fine, but the scrolling is no way near as smooth as Edge. Chrome tends to be much more demanding. For example, a 4k Youtube clip steamed in Chrome will lag and skip frames. But in Edge, it will stream 4k just fine as long as your internet connection can keep up with it.
I also had no problems using the Hi10 as a desktop, using a wireless mouse, keyboard and plugging it my monitor I was able to output 2560 x 1440p at 60hz without any problems. It’s was good enough for a low power desktop for basic tasks.
The Hi10’s Atom X5 Z8300 benchmarked more or less the same as other Atom X5 Z8300 devices.
I tested out a few popular titles like Counter Strike Global Offensive and League of Legends. Gaming performance of the single channel Atom X5 Z8300 isn’t stellar, the low Atom chipset struggles which most titles. But League of Legends being a rather light game is playable on low settings. Store games like Modern Combat 5 struggled at 1200p, you really need to lower the screen resolution to make it playable. You can see some of my gaming tests below:
The Hi10 has a 8000 mAh battery, the same as the Vi10. Setting the tablet to 50% brightness, Wireless on and surfing the net, watching a few clips of Mr Robot, I managed to get 6 hours and 55 minutes before it shut down on me. This isn’t a bad total at all and around the same as the Chuwi Vi10 which isn’t bad considering this has a 1920 x 1200 screen and the Vi10 has only a 1366 x 768 screen. I think running the screen brightness right down low and on airplane mode it should be able to loop an HD movie for a good 8-9 hours.
It still doesn’t be the current Atom X5 Z8300 winner the X98 Plus which gets just over 8 hours.
Heat and throttling:
Unfortunately, like almost every Atom Cherry Trail I’ve tested the Atom X5 Z8300 in the Hi10 gets quite hot internally, gaming and charging the tablet at the same time for long periods of time saw the CPU’s peak at 85 degrees. While it didn’t throttle at this temperature according to HWinfo, it was only a few degrees away from doing so. At least the tablet didn’t exceed this temperature and the surface temperature fo the tablet never went over 39 degrees. It was warm to the touch, but never anything alarming.
Hopefully, the new Atom Cherry Trail Z8350 series refresh due in a few months time addresses the Cherry Trails heat.
The tablets 8000mah battery cells took approximately 3 1/2 hours to fully charge with the tablet powered off. There was an issue with the stock charger not being able to charge the tablet when on and in use. I found this to be a fault of the included charger, it would only cahrge the tablet when in sleep or powered off. Not good. But, once I used my Blitzwolf 24W or Surface 3 24W USB chargers the tablet didn’t have any issues charging slowly when in use.
The Chuwi Hi10 has two speakers on the right side of the tablet, sound out of them is quite poor and they lack any decent midrange or bass. It’s common on these tablets. Disabling the equalizer in the sound properties did improve the mid range a little but still the end result is disappointing. So far the Mi Pad 2 seems to have the best speakers for a Chinese tablet.
3.5mm headphone output is much better, providing loud and clear sound output with minimum noise from the port.
The microphone quality is was good, using Skype as and making a test call with it the receiver was able to hear me just fine. It might even be sensitive enough to record a lecture.
With only two 2MP camera sensors front and back you can imagine they don’t take a very good image. The images looked washed out with poor colors, overall not good at all. The rear camera isn’t out focusing so not even useful for taking images of text or other documents. For video chat applications like Skype I found the camera to be okay, it suffers somewhat in low light with some pixelization, as long as the light is okay you get a decent enough HD image in Skype. I’ve included a few samples below so you can see what I mean, leave the picture taking up to your mobile phone or dedicated camera.
The Chuwi Hi10 might not be a step up in terms of CPU power over the Vi10 model, but it certainly makes up for it with a full sized USB 3.0 port, faster MicroSD card slot, HDMI upto 4k and a much-improved screen. Overall I can definitely recommend the Hi10 for someone that is after a cheap Windows 10 tablet with practical full sized USB ports and a transformer book style keyboard dock.
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