Recommended Chinese Notebooks 2019

Recommended Chinese Notebooks 2019

Just like my recommended tablet list, these are laptops I have owned, tested and reviewed that come recommended by me. Since it’s 2019 I don’t recommend anyone buy laptops powered by the older Apollo Lake chipset’s they are around 15-20% slower than the newer Gemini Lake don’t have DDR4 support or HDMI 2.0. The latest generation of laptops are not only better built (Some with full metal designs) But with options such as 2280 M.2 SSD slots, they have the faster Gemini Lake series of chips powering with better GPU’s, faster turbo clock speeds, native VP9, and HEVC decoding (since the Apollo Lake) and all support Intel Wireless AC with BT 5.0.

The Gemini Lake Celeron N4100 chipset is good for light tasks, such as editing docs, multi-tabs in Chrome, and Edge with many tabs open. Some light multitasking and older or light games such as Counter-Strike at 720p and League of Legends on low visual settings 1080p run okay. They are not good for video editing, heavy gaming, and any demanding 3D work. One of the best features of the Gemini Lake & is the great battery life of up to 8 hours and in some cases even more and of course their price. Most Gemini Lake laptops have HDMI 2.0A 4k 60hz support and are completely fanless.

And they make ideal for first notebooks, great for students, light school work and secondary cheaper travel notebooks where someone already has a powerful PC for heavy tasks like gaming and video editing.

Recommended Gemini Lake Powered Laptops:

#1 BMAX Y13:

The BMAX Y13 is currently my favorite for the build, a good backlit keyboard but harder to see keycaps due to the colour. However, the fully laminated IPS screen (74% Adobe RGB) supports touch with great touch response and touch accuracy. The screen also flips around 360-degrees converting it into a large WIndows 10 tablet. Unlike some of the Celeron N4100 laptops, this one has dual-channel DDR4 RAM, 8GB of it at 2133Mhz. The bios is fully unlocked and it supports SSD upgrades via an easy-access hatch. It comes with 256GB and a full spec Type-C USB 3.1 on the left that also supports power delivery.

This laptop can be found on Banggood for $339 with coupon BGLAPBX1102 here.

#2 Jumper EZBook X3 Pro – Best Price. 8GB of RAM and Full spec Type-C port.

This late 2019 entrance comes with dual-channel 8GB of RAM most want and should get instead of the 4GB laptops. It has a backlit full-sized keyboard, full spec Type-C port on the left with power delivery support and a full-sized USB 3.0 on the right side. It has a full metal build. The screen is another 74% Adobe RGB IPS. But not as bright as the BMAX Y13 and isn’t fully laminated but the gap is only 1mm so not so distracting. Overall a great laptop for the $299 price but not suited to outdoor use or in very bright environments due to the 200nits screen. It comes with a faster Intel 180GB SATA3 SSD faster than the other laptops but less storage space. It can be upgraded via the easy access hatch. See my full review below for the complete story.

This laptop sells for $299 here on Gearbest making it one of the cheapest with 8GB and a proper type-C port.

#3: Teclast F15 – 15.6″ larger 8GB RAM laptop with a great keyboard & huge touchpad

The F15 from Teclast is the only Gemini Lake 15.6″ laptop around I know of, the screen is 1080p fully laminated and it has 8GB of RAM. It has a full-sized HDMI port on the rear, USB 3.0 x 2 and the keyboard is backlit with an enormous touchpad. The largest seen on these Gemini Lake Chinese laptops.

This laptop sells for $379 here on Gearbest.

#4: BMAX Y11 – Portable, Touchscreen & 360-degree hinge

The BMAX Y11 is another great Gemini Lake powered laptop that has 8GB of RAM. The Y11 is a 2-in-1 it has a great 1080p fully laminated touchscreen that can flip around 360 degrees. And the laptop is super light just over 1 kilos and very thin. It’s portable and it also supports a stylus. The main weakness of this machine is the battery life, you’ll struggle to get 5 hours out of it.

It sells for $289 with coupon BGBYL31 here: http://bit.ly/36eWRne

Recommended Core i5/i7 powered notebooks:

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro:
The largest of the Mi Notebook’s from Xiaomi.  The 15.6″ Pro model has either 8th gen Intel Core i5 8250U or i7 8550U CPU’s which are quad-core. 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 2400Mhz RAM, super quick NVMe Samsung PM961 SSD’s and fast Intel Wireless AC 8265. Like the 13.3″ and 12″ models it also has a spare SSD slot inside for adding another SSD.

Recommended Core M3 powered notebooks:

The Core M3’s pack a lot more power than the Gemini Lake laptops and normally offer a more premium build and more RAM options. The only downside is the more powerful chip consumes more power so battery life isn’t as good as the Gemini Lake or Apollo Lake chipsets.

#1 Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12:


Now updated with the latest Core M3-8100Y or the Kaby Lake 7Y30, Xiaomi’s Mi Notebook Air 12, comes with 4GB 128GB SATA3, 256GB NVMe and 8GB 256GB NVMe options. The build quality, backlit keyboard, and touchpad are excellent. The 1080p screen is bright and vivid covered with Gorilla Glass for notebooks. Depending on what model you buy there is either a spare SATA3 or NVMe bay for adding your own 2280 drive. It has Wireless AC, USB 3.1 Type-C port and quick charging.

#2 AllDoCube Thinker i35

The Cube Thinker i35, is a premium laptop from Cube. Powered by a Core M3-7Y30, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SATA3 SSD. Its standout feature is a brilliant fully laminated Surface Book screen. It also supports an N-Trig stylus, the same as the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. It has Wireless AC, a large touchpad and its screen folder back almost completely flat.

#3 Chuwi Aerobook

Chuwi’s Aerobook is a Core M3-6Y30 laptop with 8GB of RAM. A very good build, decent backlit keyboard, and touchpad. It has USB 3.1 Type-C, 128GB to 1TB storage options and comes in this great looking dark grey paint job. The laptop is mostly made out of metal, weighs 1.27 kilos. The IPS screen is better than the Mi Notebook Air 12’s. Fully laminated but with a much better color gamut. sRGB 96%, Adobe RGB 74%. This laptops downside is the older Core M3-6Y30.

The Aerobook can be bought from Chuwi’s official Aliexpress store here.

 

 

37 Comments

  1. Hey Chris, great reviews, really helpful! I am considering to buy Teclast F7 Plus or Chuwi AeroBook right now. Or maybe something else in the similar range? What do you reckon? Thanks for the help.

    • Aerobook is still great. I have mine with a little undervolt runs great. There is also a lapbook Pro 8GB/256GB model coming soon.

  2. Hi Chris,

    I wonder wat, as of mid August, are your current recomendations.
    Looking forward an update!

    Thanks,
    Ben

    • Soon! There hasn’t really been anything. It’s a big slow at the moment.

  3. Hi Chris,

    I have been following your reviews closely for almost a year now. I am looking to buy a thin and light notebook with the following features:

    Processor: N4100 or N4200 (means fanless)
    RAM: DDR4 with at least 8GB
    Screen: Must be fully laminated
    Ports: Must have at least one full size USB 3.0
    & Type-C port that supports charging, data & video
    Weight: Must be less than 1.4kg

    Do you think you can recommend a notebook that matches the above? I am keen on the Chuwi Lapbook SE, but it comes only with 4GB DDR4, which is a deal breaker for me. Do you know of anyone who is able to replaced the on-board memory module with a 8GB one?

    Would greatly appreciate your comment.

    Regards,
    Sean

    • You have the Teclast F7 Plus which is very similar with 8GB of RAM but not a fully laminated screen. The RAM is soldered on so not replaceable in all of these notebooks.

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  5. This was a wonderful list! Was confused with so many options and definitely helped me narrow down on good brands.

    Is this still up-to-date as of March 2019?
    Is there any 2 in 1 Laptop under $200-$240ish range with great display w/ low eye strain?

    My main purpose is for reading and Anki (a type of Flashcard app)- was thinking of a kindle- but it doesn’t have Anki and I’d like to occasionally watch media as well. So I’m looking for a 2 in 1 which has a decent display- I don’t need all the extra horsepower

    Would greatly appreciate any help!

  6. Finally cancelled my Lapbook SE order with Gearbest after 2(!) months wait. Do not trust their stock indicator as they cannot fulfil the orders and they will try the good old switch n bait and get you to exchange to another product.

    Their reps kept lying regarding shipment date on numerous occasions. and suffice to say I would not be buying from those crooks again.

    Spend a bit more money and buy from Chuwi etc directly through Aliexpress.

  7. Hello,

    Should I buy the Chuwi lapbook AIR or wait for the Chuwi lapbook SE with 8gb ram?

    Thx!

  8. hi Chris,

    Thanks for all the wonderful reviews!!

    In your opinion, which would be a better option to get? Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro 15.6″ or the Huawei MateBook D 2018 – both appears to be similar in specs. Maybe you could do a comparison, if you get a chance .. 😉

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    ChrisH

    • My bet is on the Mi Notebook Pro had mine since last year and battery life is top, the speakers and sound is awesome for what it is. And cost me $799. The problem with the Matebook D is it has one cooling fan only for GPU/CPU I never liked the sound of that as I push my Mi Notebook Pro really hard with a 35W TDP power limit so it holds all turbos at 3.4Ghz instead of throttling. But I like the fact the matebook D has a 2.5″ drive and a replaceable Wifi card.

  9. Just wait a bit for the ultrabook AMD Rizen to hit the market and come down in price, I think that will quite be an Intel bloodbath with their overpriced i5 and i7

    • Oh yes, i’d love both the ryzen 2500u and the 1000v to make an appearance

    • Too bad, AMD’s very bad driver management leads Ryzen mobile almost dead. I have Acer Swift 3 R5-2500U & it’s still using old 18.2.1 driver (February 2018 update), that i forced to install using “Have a disk” way. Current “Official” ryzen apu mobile driver is still old 17.7 that released last year!

    • There is already a Huawei laptop with Ryzen 2500U, it’s more aimed at i3-i5 market though, I wish there is some competition in Gemini Lake segment.

  10. How come the Teclast F6 Pro isn’t here. It seems the 2-in-1 aspect could be something not done by many of the other notebooks. Also looking at the user ratings it seems to be doing quite well.

  11. Is there any way to be sure I would be getting the Jumper EZbook 3 Pro V4 version if I buy it from Gearbest?

    They do not specify which is the version they are selling, and I found the upgrades to be very practical, both external an internal.

  12. Very nice list, could you maybe say which 14 inch notebook you like best?
    Altough i have a feeling that there may be no compatitive 14 inch notebook there yet (that you’ve reviewed)?

      • Thanks a lot i’m strongly considering it but could you maybe give me one more information?
        The Ezbook Pro 3 (V5) Touchepad annoys me a bit, also the key repeats press+hold really slow, but espacially the touchepad makes it hard to navigate precisely…
        Could you maybe rate touchepad (and maybe keyboard) in relation from the
        Ezbook pro 3 + Chuwi Lapbook 12,3 + Chuwi Lapbook Air + Cube Thinker i35?

        It’s a lot to ask really but it would make a better picture if set in relation. Thanks a lot so far!!!

        • i mean espacially regarding those small precise movements (when you have to hit exit window for example :P)

        • EZbook 3L Pro touchpad is one of the largest and a very decent precision one. But that laptop sadly comes with a TN panel. The EZbook 3 Pro V4 has a good touchpad, the Cube iWork5X also good, Chuwi Lapbook Air again good and the Cube Thinker i35’s. They are all precision touchpads and I have no issues with them. The Chuwi Lapbook 12.3’s isn’t the greatest. Not a precision one and harder to use with those finer movements.

          • Thanks a lot for you quick reply. I’m having the worst experience with it but maybe i just need to tinker more and look into driver update possibilities & settings more. I will look for it in the forum and hope it will change my experience 🙂 Thanks

      • Don’t drop this, my wife did and the the screen is cracked in the corner so the hinge is exposed. Actually the hinge is poorest thing about this even before it was dropped the hinge become loose and make a sharp crack noise when you closed the lid. that was after about 2 to 3 months.

  13. Hi, I am on a dilemma; I need a tablet with pen support mostly but have serious doubts about quality of Cube Mix Plus. It seems Xiaomi air 12 has better quality. The most important factor for me is “quality”. What do you suggest, Chris?

    • If quality it is, the Xiaomi Air 12 is much, much better in terms of finish and overall quality inside and out.

  14. Gearbest Ezbook 3 Pro BOOKPRO coupon expired, but there is new: JEZB3PIT

  15. The EZbook 3 Pro is not avaible right now, is the EZbook 3L Pro a good alternative? Thanks.

    • Yes, it’s available. I bought one on LightInThebox. Works perfectly so far.

      • The 128GB version they sent me has 64GB Samsung eMMC and 64GB Forsee M.2 SSD

  16. http://www.gearbest.com/laptops/pp_632454.html?wid=4

    Silver, Hong Kong, 256Gb, $559.99/€476.

  17. Thank you Chris, this is a great list, as for your tablet list.

    I like the way you segregated the various notebooks based on their architecture. If I may, I would add a more “full fledged laptop” section, containing the likes of the Xiaomi Air 13. I mean laptops with regular core iX processors. I know that this is maybe going a bit above the other categories, and that not that many Chinese makers are going into this market, but if it becomes more current to see those kinds of laptops, this might be a nice idea.

    Anyway, keep up the good work to enlighten us about Chinese tablets. 🙂

    • I was thinking of adding the Core i5/i7 models but I have only tested two, well three of them. Xiaomi Mi Air 13 2016 and 2017 models. And the disaster that is the Voyo Vbook V3 i5 6200U. Really need more to make a list. I’ll update this as required with version such as the yoga hinge style ones (Cube iwork 5X)

      • That is good to hear. Indeed Chinese manufacturers need to provide new laptops with those powerful chips. We can see on Aliexpress some desktop computers (even gaming ones, with fancy GeForce 1070 and the like), so maybe after some time they’ll hop into the laptop market, but will it be with the quality of a Xiaomi product, this I am not sure.
        But I will gladly read any review you have with a “powerful” portable machine.

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