What is a laptop for the average user? This is reading the news over a morning cup of coffee, this is the video on YouTube at lunchtime, this is your favorite series on a trip to work or on vacation. These are cartoons for the child, so that parents have at least a little rest. It is also an educational assistant for a student and a working tool for an office employee. For everyone, this “this” is his own. But they all have one thing in common – to accomplish most everyday tasks, you do not need a mega powerful processor or game video card, which at times increases the cost of the device. All you need is fast work in the system and applications, a good quality screen, a comfortable backlit keyboard and a long battery life. All this is here and even more… For all its advantages, the CHUWI LapBook Pro ultrabook is quite attractive, light and thin.
Technical specifications CHUWI LapBook Pro 14.1
- Display: 14.1 “IPS Full Laminated with a resolution of FullHD 1920×1080, thin frames (screen-to-body ratio of about 90%)
- Processor: Intel Celeron N4100 (Gemini Lake) 14 nm, 4 cores / 4 threads up to 2.4 Ghz
- Graphics: 9th Gen Intel UHD 600
- RAM: 8 Gb LPDDR4 Dual chanel
- Storage: 256 Gb SSD with the possibility of self-replacement with a larger drive
- Communications: WiFi 802.11 AC, Dual Band 2.4Ghz / 5Ghz, Bluetooth 4.2, micro HDMI, WiFi Display
- Battery: 37.24 Wh
- Other features: Magnesium alloy housing, two-level keyboard backlight, type C connector for charging and data transfer
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home Edition
- Dimensions: 324.2 mm x 209 mm x 13.4 mm
- Weight: 1,43 kg
Packaging and equipment
The box, as before, is devoid of any unique design; Chuwi does not want to spend money on this. They are more concerned about the safety of the contents during forwarding, and for this the laptop was placed inside the box made of foam. As a person who constantly deals with mail, I will say that this decision is correct. You will receive your laptop intact, and the seller will not have losses.
In addition to the laptop inside, you can also find a power supply unit for 12V / 2A, which is connected via a type C connector.
There is also an envelope with documentation and a small bag, inside of which there is a tiny jumper and a screw for installing an SSD disk of size 2242 (an SSD disk of size 2280 by 256 Gb is installed from the factory).
Appearance and Interfaces
Ultrabook looks cool and modern. The case is made of durable magnesium alloy, which can usually be found only in the premium segment. When you turn on, you immediately pay attention to the large 14.1 “screen with small frames.
The side frame is only 6 mm and the top is 8 mm. Not bad, as for the model with the cost of an average android smartphone.
There are no logos, images or inscriptions on the cover, which in my opinion is very cool for the Chinese device. The case is absolutely not easily soiled and not slippery. Minimalism, asceticism and practicality are 3 components of the novelty design.
Weight is only 1.4 kg. Throwing it in a bag or backpack you can carry it with you all day.
Thickness allows it to occupy a minimum of space, which users who value mobility in devices will appreciate it. We can safely state the fact that Chuwi managed to create a real ultrabook that looks and feels much more expensive than it actually costs …
A convenient keyboard and a large touchpad make the ultrabook an excellent typewriter. As an author, I’m typing a lot of texts, so for me this moment is very important.
The keyboard has 2 backlight levels, which allows you to work comfortably in the dark or in low light. The first level includes half the brightness of the backlight.
The second level includes the maximum brightness of the backlight. Also, to save battery when working in the daytime, the backlight can be completely turned off. By the way, if you make laser engraving with Russian letters (Cyrillic), then they will get a backlight.
The touchpad supports multi-touch and standard gestures, it’s convenient to work with it.
On the left side above the keyboard unit there are 3 small indicators. The first shows the status of the work, the second – Caps Lock, the third – Num Lock.
Now let’s look at the interfaces. On the left side you can find the type C connector, which is used to connect the power supply and charge the battery. The same connector can also be used for data transfer. I connected a 4 port USB hub with type C interface to it and it worked fine. On the same side, you can find a micro HDMI connector for connecting to a TV, monitor or projector to watch video on a large screen or hold a presentation. A cable with micro HDMI can be bought for $1 – $5 (depending on length).
On the opposite side, you can find a USB 3.0 connector and headphone output.
A pair of speakers, each rated at 1W, was placed at the bottom of the base. The volume is sufficient to watch the video, the sound is pleasant and feels surround.
The SSD compartment is covered by a cover. To access the drive you need to unscrew 2 screws. It supports M2 format drives with a length of 42 mm and 80 mm with a SATA interface.
The hinges are sturdy with a smooth ride, precise locking at the right angle. The maximum opening angle is about 130 degrees. Open the ultrabook with one hand will not work, because unnecessarily powerful magnets are installed in the case that hold the lid tightly, you have to help with the second hand.
According to the HW Info 64 utility, a 14 “IPO matrix BOE NV140FHM-N61 with a resolution of 1920×1080 is installed here. The contrast ratio is 800:1, the maximum brightness is 300 nits. The color reproduction is excellent, the image is bright and saturated. The screen is glossy, which makes the image deep and contrast.
The viewing angles are excellent, there is no distortion.
The uniformity of the white field fill is ideal, the uniformity of the black is also excellent (there are barely noticeable backlight leaks in the upper corners).
For use in a room with bright lighting, 50% – 70% brightness is sufficient. Outside the room, the brightness will have to be unscrewed to the maximum, but due to the reflections on the gloss, using a laptop will still not be very pleasant.
To evaluate the cooling system and identification of components, we will analyze a laptop. It is very simple to do, which facilitates product maintenance. Unscrew the 11 screws and remove the cover. On the left side is the motherboard with the main components that are covered with a copper plate for heat dissipation. The battery occupies a significant area of space. All components are screwed to a metal “skeleton” and can be replaced without the use of a soldering iron, the cables are additionally fixed with adhesive tape. Everything is logical and thoughtful.
The contact of the processor with a copper plate is carried out using thermal paste. It was applied in excess here, and besides, it is quite thick. In principle, the cooling does an excellent job with it, as the stress tests showed (they will be later), but I decided to replace the thermal grease with a better Arctic MX-4. I think this paste does not need a special introduction, because it has established itself well and has been the best choice for improving heat dissipation for more than a year.
We can take a closer look at the board.
Gemini Lake n4100 chipset
2 chips LPDDR4 RAM K3RG2G2 made by Samsung at 4Gb, in total 8 Gb
Audio Codec Realtek ALC269
Multicontroller ITE IT8987E
Intel 3165D2W WiFi module supporting 802.11ac Dual Band and Bluetooth 4.2
IC chip ROHM BD2671MWV
Let’s look at other components.
The audio speakers are modular and are connected via a loop.
The same goes for the battery. In a few years, when its resource is exhausted, replacing it with a new one will not be difficult. Unscrewed a few screws, disconnected the cable and can remove.
4-point metal hinges look reliable.
Also let’s look at the SSD drive.
To remove it, you do not need to disassemble the laptop, just open the hatch at the base of the device. There is a sticker on the drive that shows how to properly install the drive. The fact is that due to the peculiarities of the motherboard it needs to be installed upside down, i.e. chips inside. There is also a note that only M2 SATA SSDs are supported.
We take it out and see that it is a Netac N535N256G solid state drive. Pretty fresh, released in May 2019.
Under the sticker we see 2 memory chips from an unknown manufacturer SDYNBICMM of 128 Gb (256 Gb in total) and a four-channel controller Silicon Motion SM2258XT.
The BIOS entry is standard – after turning on the device, click the del button and enter the American Megatrends Aptio Setup Utility. By default, administrator rights are given and all settings are unlocked. On the main page you can see the basic information.
Advanced and Chipset tabs are active, each section contains a lot of settings and information. I don’t see the point of showing all the pages, if you are interested in any particular item or setting, you can ask in the comments – I will look and answer.
An ordinary user may need only the Boot tabs (if you want to reinstall the system) and possibly Security (if you install Linux). In general, everything is standard here – you can choose the boot order of the drives or run the installer from a USB flash drive.
Work in the system and basic tests
For those who like everything to work with the box, there is good news. The ultrabook has a licensed operating system Windows 10 Home. After loading, in the settings, select the Russian language of the system (initially set to English), after which Windows will download and install the language pack. I also recommend checking for updates, because the system will still begin to update to the current version and when installing updates you may think that the device is working slowly. Updates are quite voluminous and it may take some time to download and install.
After the update, I installed the usual set of utilities for testing and diagnostics. But first of all I want to describe the impressions of using the device. The system works quickly, instantly responding to your actions: opening files, working in a browser, installing applications – no worse than with more powerful computers. Reseeding from my desktop on Core i7 I did not feel any discomfort, everything also works smartly. I did the usual things: I read web pages, opening a couple of dozen tabs in the browser at the same time, watching videos on YouTube, working in a text editor and with online services. Chuwi coped with all the tasks without any problems.
All possible video resolutions are available on Youtube and the processor can handle even 4K/60 FPS. Naturally, this is of little use on the Full HD screen, but you can connect the ultrabook to a TV with a large diagonal and there it will be very useful.
When playing videos from YouTube in 4K/60 resolution, just a couple of first seconds go frame skipping (while the video is buffered), after which it plays perfectly smoothly. With Full HD resolution there are no problems. The same goes for offline playback, in case you want to watch a movie. The GPU supports hardware decoding of all modern codecs, such as H264/HEVC/VP9 in resolutions up to 4K. The processor actually rests and the load on it does not exceed 15% – 20%. If you have already thought about using it as a media player, that is, a fly in the ointment, the processor does not support playing HDR video, programmatically converting it to SDR. Therefore, owners of cool TVs will not be able to enjoy the most spectacular picture. But this is not a professional media player, but an ordinary laptop, so it’s excusable for him.
RAM LPDDR4 standard works in dual channel mode, and the volume of 8 GB is more than enough for everyday devices. Read speeds of more than 12 GB / s, write speeds of 10 GB/s, and copy speeds of 15 GB/s.
Let’s look at other components. The 4-core N4100 processor with a maximum frequency of 2.4 GHz is manufactured using the modern process technology of 14 nm, its TDP is only 6W, which allows the use of a fully passive cooling system. No fans and therefore noise. The processor can boost power consumption up to 12W for maximum performance and performance under short-term loads.
Integrated graphics UHD 600. The main advantages of hardware video decoding and low power consumption.
Let’s see how this bunch shows itself in popular tests. Cinebench R15: processor test – 252 points, graphic test – 19.04 fps. It is noteworthy, but the system significantly bypasses the reference result of this processor (212 points). The reason is a less stringent TDP limitation, which allows the processor to work longer at maximum frequencies.
In the newer Cinebench R20, the processor scored 283 points.
Geekbench 4: single-core mode – 1796 points, multi-core mode – 5363 points. The results are consistent with other devices on the N4100 processor.
Recently, a new version of Geekbench 5 was released, here the results are as follows: one core – 411 points, multi-core mode – 1413 points. I do not have statistics on this benchmark, but you can conduct a test on your laptop and compare the indicators.
In the PC Mark benchmark, I tested the ultrabook in the Express test, which focuses on simple office tasks: browsing the web, launching applications, video conference, editing documents and spreadsheets. The result is 2275 points.
During the test, the processor temperature was in the range of 50 – 55 degrees.
I also conducted a more complex version of the test, which, in addition to the tests included in the express package, includes photo editing, video editing and rendering, and visualization. The result is 1801 points.
During rendering and rendering, when the load on the processor and graphics reached its maximum, the temperature of the processor rose above 70 degrees. But considering that the maximum limit for this processor is 105 degrees, I think the result is excellent. The processor did not even begin to lower frequencies.
A few words about the games.
Yes, I wrote that the integrated graphics do not pull something serious, but of course you can still play something. For example, WOT Blitz works well at maximum graphics settings.
The next important point is WiFi.
Often in such laptops they put weak antennas and the speed drops significantly when moving away from the router. There is no such problem here and in any of the rooms the signal is strong enough, on average WiFi Scanner shows a connection speed of 260 Mbps when connected in the ac standard.
Actual speed will depend on many factors: your router, operator and tariff plan, distance and number of obstacles. My download speed is limited by the tariff plan of 100 Mbps for downloading and 50 Mbps for upload. Speedtest showed 70 Mbps for downloading and 60 Mbps for return. But for some reason he always underestimates the speed.
In real conditions of use, for example, when downloading a torrent, the speed reaches 12 MB / s, which is equal to 96 Mbps, that is, in fact, I run into my tariff plan. Yes, and iperf when testing from a public server showed 100 Mbps.
Autonomy and charging time
According to the specifications on the case, a 12V charger is capable of delivering up to 2A.
Charging is carried out by a current of 1.3A. Why not the maximum 2A? The rest of the supply is needed for the laptop to work if you want to charge it and use it at the same time. When turned on, the current increases to 1.85A. From 0% to 100% it charges in 3 hours 37 minutes. A little frustrating is the fact that despite the type C connector, the laptop refuses to charge from Powerbank. This has been tested on 2 PD powered external batteries.
The good news was that the laptop allows for a long time without a power outlet. For testing, the screen brightness level was set to 50% and the main scenarios were checked. In office mode (editing documents, browsing the web, video communication), the laptop worked for 5 hours 33 minutes. The test stopped when the battery was discharged up to 20%, that is, it will work for some more time until it is completely disconnected.
In video playback mode, the laptop lasted 6 hours 6 minutes, the residual charge level of 20%. Not bad, from a full charge you can watch at least 3 to 4 full-length films.
Chuwi company is young and sometimes produce controversial products, but there are real hits. In my opinion, the LapBook Pro turned out just that. The device is quite balanced: good hardware, a screen and a low price.
The benefits include:
- Great look
- Light weight and thickness,
- Metal case,
- 14.1 “IPS screen with optimal FullHD resolution,
- Small frames
- Comfortable backlit keyboard
- 8 Gb of RAM for comfortable use,
- A good 256 GB SSD as a system drive and the ability to install more capacious if necessary,
- WiFi with support for AC standard,
- Licensed operating system Windows 10,
- The ability to install Linux Mint, Ubuntu or Chrome OS with full support for all functions,
- Good battery life
- Adequate price
Of course, I’ll also name what I didn’t like:
- Strong magnet on the lid (cannot be opened with one hand),
- Only one full USB connector and one universal type C,
- It does not charge from external batteries.
In general, the disadvantages are not significant, but there are much more advantages. Therefore, if you are looking for a strong and at the same time lightweight “workhorse” for every day or you just need a modern, inexpensive laptop for everyday tasks – you should pay your attention to the model.
Original by www.ixbt.com
Read also Headphones HONOR Sport Pro Review