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. Not only that 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).
The Gemini Lake 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 7020p 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 Chuwi Lapbook SE and still in 2019!:
By far the best seen in 2018, the Lapbook SE has a great backlit keyboard, bettering even laptops that cost twice as much. It has decent 1080p IPS that’s fully laminated and with very good colors considering the price. The battery can last up to 8-9 hours and it has a 22mm x 80 mm SATA3 SSD. The old real weakness of the Lapbook SE is it has just 4GB of DDR4 RAM. Which is fine for light work & general tasks, like spreadsheets and docs. It will handle 10 tabs of Chrome fine, but for more demanding needs 8GB is really required. Make sure you check the Chuwi Lapbook SE Review to see what this laptop can handle.
This laptop can be found on Aliexpress from under $300 USD here.
#2 Teclast F7 Plus – 8GB of RAM
Like the Chuwi Lapbook SE above the Teclast F7 Plus has a very similar build, however, it comes with 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and the same Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake. Double the RAM of the Lapbook SE so it’s better at multitasking. The screen is slightly larger at 14-inches however it’s not fully laminated the glass it has a small gap but it’s not too distracting. And like the Lapbook SE it has a very good backlit keyboard and touchpad.
This laptop sells for around $350 on Aliexpress.
#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 $399 here on Gearbest.
#4: Teclast F5 – Portable, Touchscreen & 360-degree hinge
The Teclast F5 is another great Gemini Lake powered laptop that has 8GB of RAM. The F5 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.
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.
- You can find it selling for around $590-$700 here.
- Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 Review
- Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 Hub
#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.