Chuwi Hi13 Review – Surface Book 3K Screen

Here is my Full Review of the Chuwi Hi13, the Surface Book Clone that offers a huge high Quality 13.5 inch 3K Display. It also features a 1024 High Sensitivity Pressure Stylus and a Premium All Aluminum Build. It is a hefty tablet that also comes equipped with Dual Band Wireless support.

Surface Book 3K Screen

 

Premium Build Quality but those bezels though

The Chuwi Hi13 with a $300 plus price tag, we expected all aluminum build and some solid design, and we do have it. The build quality is all aluminum, although it is a bit heavy, probably similar to the Cube i9. It still offers a premium feel to it. Nothing cheapo about this tablet. Probably my gripe about the design is the bezels. They are huge, in particular on the sides, where you can see them very clearly. But it still doesn’t distract to the gorgeous 3K display.

The corners tapered on rounded corners making it easier and more comfortable to hold. Anyway, the build quality was overall great and noteworthy of the high price tag.

Lack of Standard USB 3.0 Slots

In terms of IO, the only problem I see with this, at least for the tablet itself is the lack of Standard USB 3.0 Ports. Also there is no adapters included in the package, which means, if you lack any of these accessories, it is quite difficult transfer or copy files. I don’t have a USB Type C Adapter, so I just resort to the MicroUSB to USB 2.0 Adapter for Data Transfer, which can be a pain because it is slower compared to USB Type C.

That gorgeous 3K Display

Probably one of the tablets best feature is the 3K Display, which frankly on my first use, is one of the best Screen that I have tested. It is legit high quality screen, no tinting, and even when seen on extreme angles, the color saturation still is constant. The deep contrasts and high pixel rate make it even more enjoyable. The brightness levels are also good, and even with just 25%, brightness level, it is still enough for most users. Sunlight Legibility is also good, and better than most screens in fact. On my video review, I did magnify the pixels a bit, and there you can see, how deep and rich the colors are.

Surprisingly Good Performance but not the same I can say for the GPU

On my video review, the CPU actually holds out quite well on my Adobe Premier Pro CC. I did an encoding test, the same test that I did with the Xiaomi Mi Air 12 and the Cube Mix Plus. The results will surprise you. The test involves segmented videos 1080p with a duration of 4 mins and 14 seconds. Here are the results below.

  • Chuwi Hi13 – 9 minutes and 2 seconds
  • Cube Mix Plus – 8 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Cube i7 Book – 8 minutes and 49 seconds
  • Cube i9 – 9 minutes and 38 seconds
  • Xiaomi Mi Air 12 – 11 minutes and 27 seconds

From the results above, it was able to compete with the much faster Core M3 lineup, and even beating the Cube i9 and the Xiaomi Mi Air 12. It is worthy to note that, Throughout the test, the CPU clocked stayed at 2.1GHz constantly and the Temps maxes at around 80C, which is hot but still acceptable.

Is 4GB Enough? And really, no SSD?

The Chuwi Hi13 comes with only 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM and a meager 64 GB Samsung eMMC Drive. Yes, not what you expect from a $300 plus tablet, especially that is also more pricey than the Cube Mix Plus, which is faster and has SSD Drives to boot. The performance on Crystaldisk Benchmarks shows you typical eMMC numbers, nothing impressive, and clearly slower. I would have expected a lot better from this price point.

Benchmarks by the numbers…

Cinebench performance shows that it is indeed faster than most Atom Chipsets available but, it is also slower than Skylake and Kabylake

Cinebench numbers: GPU: 16 fps CPU: 153-160 cb

The results show where you would likely place it on the rankings. But on my discussion above, it did surprisingly well on CPU intensive task (Adobe Premier Pro CC Video Encoding). On 100% CPU use, the clock speed maintained 2.1GHz throughout without a hint of Thermal Throttling.

GPU Performance, not what I expected

If CPU throttling wasn’t an issue, then GPU Throttling is. On my test, Dota 2, at the early parts of the game, It did record 30fps plus, but after a short time, the fps dropped to 15fps or below making it very unplayable. It seems that GPU Throttling is the case in here. Although I am not entirely sure. I will have to make another video solely for gaming purposes. So mainstream games, isn’t really the best for this Chipset, Kaby Lake and Skylake CPU’s still offer better performance in terms of gaming.

AC Dual Band Wireless

The Chuwi Hi13 comes equipped with an Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 3165, which is the same WiFi chipset on the Cube Mix Plus and the Cube i7 Book. Very dependable Wireless Chipsets, that offers good speed and reliable connection. I did not have any problems with it. The range is also good.

Typical Tablet Camera

The 5.0 MP Camera at the back is nothing to get excited about. The Camera Performance is quite average, you also have touch focus feature available. The front facing 2.0 MP camera is also good for Skype, although low light quality is not great.

Temps and Thermal Throttling?

I have to say that Idle temps were a bit high for me. Here are the temps below

  • Idle: 46-50°C with Ambient temps of 30°C+
  • Cinebench Benchmark (100%CPU used) – up to 77-81°C
  • Aida64 Benchmarks: 100% on all cores (highest temps possible) – 81°C
  • After Benchmarks or testing, the temps quickly return to its normal temp between 46-52°C

Is there really thermal throttling?

But is there thermal throttling? No, I have tested and observed the CPU clock frequencies and it maintained a steady 2.1GHz throughout the test, no drops on performance. For comparison

  • The Xiaomi Mi Air 12 is the coolest, at 32°C Idle temps and 51°C Load Temps, but it heavily underclocked to maintain this, the underclocking also diminishes the performance especially seen on the Adobe Premier Pro CC, which it is the slowest to finish in encoding.
  • The Cube Mix Plus idles close 55°C, and loads up to 94°C. Yes, that is true, it gets scarily hot at load, although you are guaranteed fast performance, the temps are a bit troubling. Also the same issue with the Cube i7 Book.

Anyway, going back to the Chuwi Hi13, the bulk of the temps are on the right hand side of the tablet, if you are facing the rear panel. It gets warm, but nothing to make it problematic. I think the temps are quite similar to the Xiaomi MI Pad 2, especially on Load temps.

Surprisingly average Loudspeakers

The Chuwi Hi13 has 4 Loudspeakers, 2 on each side, but the quality is nothing to be excited about. Average Audio Quality and basically no bass. Also the volume levels are not that great, you might as well plug in the 3.5mm Audio Jack. Which offers a lot better Audio Quality.

Battery Life?

Quite good actually, the 10,000mAh from my test was able to last about 4-5 hours on Video Playback. Although this may vary with each use. On gaming, it will probably give you around 2 hours of constant use. I did test the battery on a crude method, on 50% brightness and 1080p video Playback, It was able to achieve close to 4.5 hours of use, which is still good.

Fast Charger, Is 2 hours charging enough for you?

Just like the Xiaomi Mi Air 12, you can charge the Chuwi Hi13 via USB Type C. It came with a 12V 2A Fast Charger, which can charge the tablet in 2 hours, more or less. Which is quite good, especially that it has a 10,000mAh underneath.

HiPen H3 Stylus and how good is it

The Stylus came on a later part on my review, and it does does work great. I have a video above for your reference. Palmar rejection works 100% and the whole stylus experience has been great. But it is fairly limited to apps you can use. For example, the Stylus works great on Sketch, Paint etc… but struggles on Photoshop, which terrible delayed response time. Probably dude to the app itself not well optimized or it maybe the hardware isn’t so good.

Detachable Keyboard Performance

The keyboard is all aluminum, has good tactile feedback but is heavy, almost the same weight as the tablet. The tablet plus the keyboard weighs a whopping 2kg. Which isn’t really light weight to be called an Ultrabook. It also isn’t backlit and comes with 2 USB Standard Ports.

SpecsChuwi Hi13
ChipsetIntel Apollo Lake N3450 1.1-2.2GHz Quad Core
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 505, 700MHz
MemoryRAM: 4 GB LPDDR3
ROM: 64 GB eMMC Samsung
Expansion: MicroSD support up to 128 GB
OS64 bit Windows 10 Home Edition
Display13.5" IPS Surface Book Retina
3000 x 2000 pixels, 3:2 Aspect Ratio
480 nits Brightness, 100% sRGB
StylusActive Stylus (HiPen H3)
1024 levels pressure sensitivity
CamerasRear: 5 MP
Front: 2 MP
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0
Intel Dual Band WiFi AC 3165
USB Type C (Audio/Video Transmission)
Audio4 AAC Speakers (side facing speakers)
Special FeaturesUSB Host OTG
IO1x USB Type C
1x Micro USB 2.0
1x Mini HDMI Port
1x 3.5mm Audio Port
1x Magnetic Pogo Pin Keyboard
Dimensions346.5 x 229.5 x 17.6 mm
Weight: 1.1kg
Battery7.4V 10,000mAh Battery
24W Fast Charging
Adapter: 100-240V 12V 2 A

Surface Book Screen is amazing

The Chuwi Hi13 is a Surface book clone, and it comes with a whopping 13.5 inch IPS 3K screen, not really fully laminated though. And it also supports HiPen H3 stylus, with good palmar and stylus performance. But other than the screen, the tablet is pretty much what you see on most tablets. Performance is limited with the Intel Apollo Lake N3450 chipset and not really meant for heavy tasks or video encoding. If you want good stylus support, then this tablet might be your choice. It works great on built in apps from windows. However, if you want performance, then this tablet is limited in that category.

Pros

  • Premium All Aluminum Build and Design
  • Gorgeous 13.5 IPS Fully Laminated 3K Display
  • Good Connectivity, Wireless AC Support, fast and stable
  • Fast Charger, charges in just 2 hours (10,000mAh battery)
  • Casual Use, 4-5 hours at most
  • Video Editing (Adobe Premier Pro CC) performance close to the Cube i7 Book
  • Good Overall Performance
  • Best Browsing Experience on Microsoft Edge
  • HiPen H3 Stylus works wonders on most built in Apps from Windows

Cons:

  • 4 GB RAM and 64 GB eMMC Storage is not enough for most users, especially for multitasks
  • Runs Warm, 46-50C on Idle and up to 80C plus on Load
  • Not for Mainstream Games (GPU Throttling), Dota 2 unplayable at just 15fps
  • limited ports on the Tablet (no standard USB ports)
  • Heavy, 1kg for the tablet itself and 1kg for the keyboard (2kg overall)
  • Not fully laminated screen
  • No SSD, just eMMC Storage
  • Average Loudspeaker Audio Quality
Chuwi Hi13$339

Chuwi Hi13

Intel N3450 / HiPen H3 Stylus /13.3 inch 3K Screen
Valid until June 10, 2018
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