Recommended Chinese Notebooks

Recommended Chinese Notebooks

Just like my recommended tablet list, these are laptops I have owned, tested and reviewed that come recommended by me. Since it’s late 2018 I don’t recommend anyone buy laptops powered by the older Atom x5 or x7 Cherry Trail tech. The latest generation of laptops are not only better built (Some with full metal designs) But with options such as 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 (like the Apollo Lake).

The Gemini Lake & Apollo Lake chips are 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 and League of Legends on low resolutions and visual settings. They are not good for video editing, heavy gaming, and any demanding 3D work. One of the best features of the Gemini Lake & Apollo Lake laptops is the great battery life of up to 8 hours and in some cases even more and of course their price.

These are ideal for first notebooks, light school work and secondary 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:

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.

Coupon: GBNBCWSE249 lowers the price to $249 + postage, you also get a free mini HDMI to HDMI cable. The deal can be found here.

#2: Teclast F5

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 Apollo Lake powered notebooks for light tasks:


#1 Teclast F7:

The Teclast F7 is very similar to the EZBook 3L Pro, 14.1″ 1080p IPS that is either glossy or matte, a with full metal design, M.2 2242 SATA3 SSD support, 6GB of RAM, Intel wireless AC,  Sandisk64GB eMMC 5.1 and battery life good for 7-8 hours of web browsing depending on the power limit set. Its bios is fully unlocked and over all the speakers, webcam and mics are better than the EZBook 3 Pro’s.



#2 Jumper EZBook 3L Pro:

Almost identical to the Tecalst F7 as they come from the same ODM in south korea, the EZbook 3L Pro has a power limit of 6W and no setting in the bios. It has either a matte TN panel or matte IPS it’s down to luck, and the same exact full metal design, M.2 2242 SATA3 SSD support, 6GB of RAM, Intel wireless AC,  Sandisk64GB eMMC 5.1 and battery life good for 7-8 hours of web browsing. See the EZBook 3L Pro Vs Tecalst F7 comparison for more info.



3# Jumper EZbook 3 Pro:

After the release of the Teclast F7, the EZBook 3 Pro is the second best and still one of the cheapest and best allrounder. The Jumper EZbook 3 Pro has full metal design, M.2 2242 SATA3 SSD support, 6GB of RAM, Intel wireless AC, 64GB eMMC 5a matte 1080p display and battery life good for 7-8 hours of web browsing.




#4 Chuwi Lapbook Air:

Chuwi is the first to have a backlit keyboard, 8GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC 5.1 spec drive Apollo Lake laptop. The build is similar to other models. Full metal. Mini HDMI out, 2 x USB 3.0 ports and MicroSD reader and it also has the usual offerings, 37Wh battery good for up to 8 hours. Intel Wireless AC 3165 chipset with BT 4.1. The screen is the second best I’ve reviewed. A bright glossy glass-covered fully laminated display with a maximum of 560 lux. Due to the fully laminated process, blacks are deep and colors vibrant. Overall a Celeron N3450 great laptop, but the most expensive by far!


#5 Chuwi Lapbook 12.3

The best screen in a budget notebook and best keyboard. Chuwi’s lapbook 12.3 has the same panel used in the 2017 Surface Pro and Surface Pro 4. As a result, the screen has 99% RGB coverage & 267 PPI. The keyboard is also the best I’ve used in an Apollo Lake to date. It’s powered by a Celeron N3450, 6GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64GB eMMC 5, Wireless AC and easy access M.2 2242 SSD slot. 


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 Apollo Lakes 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 Apollo Lakes.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12:

Now updated with the latest Core M3 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.



Cube 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.




  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Hello,

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


  4. 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 .. 😉



    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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


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

  13. 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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lost Password