It’s a challenge finding the perfect combination of power, portability, and price in a mobile work machine. The majority of tablets run Android; with these we are often stuck without critical apps needed to complete specific tasks. Many of the machines that run Windows, such as the Microsoft Surface, while very capable, are expensive.
Just within the last year or so, the fabrication process has gotten small enough to create powerful SoCs that stay cool, are battery friendly, inexpensive, and have enough oomph to push modern Windows.
Last year we reviewed the Pipo W3f. We really liked that machine, and if it weren’t for the release of the Chuwi Hi10, we’d still be rockin’ it.
There seems to be a super high resolution craze that’s hit many brands, with 10″ display tablets coming with 2560×1600 resolution. This kills performance and battery life, and offers very little benefit.
The Chuwi Hi10 specwise meets the perfect blend of power, performance, battery life, and cost.
Chuwi Hi10 spec highlights:
|SoC||4-core 64-bit Intel Cherry Trail [email protected],44GHz
|TF SD expandable||Yes|
|OTG host mode||Yes|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Display||IPS 10.1"@1900x1200 (224PPI)|
|Price bracket||<$200 (w/o dockable keyboard)|
|Ports||1 USB 3.1
1 USB standard
1 Micro-USB (doubles as charging port)
1 HDMI out
*1 extra USB standard port on dockable keyboard
|Dockable keyboard available||Yes|
Chuwi Hi10 style and build
The style of the Hi10 is decidedly utilitarian. No fancy aluminum back plate as with the Pipo W3f, which means it doesn’t look as slick, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The back is very durable plastic and they’ve made some effort to give it at least a bit of style with a 3D-printed look, but probably is mass produced using standard manufacturing processes.
Build is very solid with no creaks or loose spots.
Chuwi Hi10 display
This is one area where laptops are lagging behind, still providing low-resolution TN-Panel displays in $800 machines. The Chuwi Hi10 is far less expensive and manages a very good looking 1920×1200 IPS display.
One of the most important parts of a portable work machine is the display. It needs to be bright enough to be seen in bright lighting and with enough resolution to show our apps crisply.
In this, the Chuwi Hi10 does not disappoint. While not OGS laminated, the display is IPS, so viewing angles are great, with color and contrast remaining true from common viewing angles. Even extreme angles have the color and contrast remaining true.
Brightness is very good, hitting 305 lux on a white background. At 0% the brightness is 15 lux and just viewable outdoors on overcast days, in the evening, or indoors. Bumping it up to 25% makes it comfortably usable. 50% is great and there’s no need to go beyond this level in typical bright indoor lightning unless in a situation having lots of reflections, or outside on a bright day.
In these shots below, we have the exposure set to as close as possible to what our eyes were seeing when taking in the whole scene. The camera was set to manual mode so the exposure wouldn’t change when screen brightness changed.
Chuwi Hi10 touch
Not being OGS laminated, the touch portion of the display is a couple of mm away from the actual LCD. In practice this is no issue.
Touch is capacitive, so there’s no need to press. Sensitivity is excellent, and we find ourselves using the touch display about 90% of the time as opposed to the mouse; it’s a tough habit to break when going back to a display that isn’t touch sensitive.
The touch is 10-point multitouch capable. It’s hard to figure a situation where we’d need to touch 10-points at once, but the Hi10 provides this capability if needed.
Chuwi Hi10 video boot, Photoshop, browsing, multitask
Chuwi Hi10 external speakers
The stereo speakers on the Hi10 are on the same side as the Windows button (see pics). If you generally hold the tablet in portrait mode, this is not an issue, but if you hold the tablet in landscape, or often have the tablet docked, this is unfortunate placement.
We would have appreciated the speakers opposite the docking port so they’d be up top when in landscape mode while working or viewing videos full screen; but, this really is a no-win situation for the manufacturer, as not all owners use their tablets in the same way.
Speaker loudness when first receiving the tablet is disappointing; however, the situation is easily rectified by following this guide. After implementing this solution, speaker clarity and loudness is hugely improved and well beyond adequate for video chat and media consumption.
Note that this fix isn’t only for the Chuwi Hi10, it should benefit all Windows laptops, netbooks, and tablets. We used this on our Asus laptop and same as with the Chuwi Hi10, it made a huge improvement in sound loudness, without sacrificing clarity.
Chuwi Hi10 general performance
Working with big 20mp images is quick and without frustration
We assume if you’re considering the Hi10, this will be a work related or productivity related purchase. The new Intel Z8300 provides plenty of juice for pushing demanding applications.
This isn’t a machine you’re going to want to use Sony Vegas 13 Pro and render videos with, but for office productivity and typical demanding applications, the Chuwi Hi10 performs great.
We took Photoshop CS6 for a run, and while the first load takes a bit of time, once it’s loaded into memory, operation is smooth and quick. Working with big 20mp images is quick and without frustration.
Even with ten 20MP images loaded, 8 tabs loaded in Chrome, 8 tabs loaded in Edge, several Windows File Explorer windows opened, and Skype video chat running in the corner, switching between apps is nearly instantaneous thanks to the big 4GB RAM and Intel Z8300.
Chuwi Hi10 video playback
We tested several methods of playback with the Chuwi Hi10: 1080P YouTube, NetFlix, and 1080P playback with BSPlayer. All of these scenerios were smooth and stutter free.
Chuwi Hi10 cameras
The Chuwi Hi10 has a front and rear camera. These are we would use for important events, but we’ve seen much worse.
In good light, images SOOC (straight out of camera) are probably good enough for social sharing, and indeed are better than a lot of images we see in our Facebook streams.
We took the liberty of making a couple of minor edits (auto curve, unsharp mask, saturation) and the end result wasn’t too bad. The first image in each set is the original, and the 2nd is after the edits which took about 20 seconds.
Chuwi Hi10 gaming
The Chuwi Hi10 isn’t going to be a machine we run the latest 3D games at high settings with, but the SoC does provide enough juice to power many fairly recent releases on low settings, including games such as Skyrim.
Reports from Chuwi Hi10 owners:
- Minecraft low settings (Optifine Mod): 1920×1200 smooth 35fps average
- Roblox Phantom Forces lowest settings: 1920×1200 15-41fps
- Roblox Natural Disaster Survival lowest settings: 1920×1200 44-58fps
- Roblox Natural Disaster Survival lowest settings: 1920×1200 44-58fps
- Halo Spartan Assault low settings: 1920×1200 36-50fps
- Halo Spartan Strike low settings: 1920×1200 15-60fps
- Tomb Raider low settings: 800×600 5-20fps
Chuwi Hi10 browser performance
Switching between tabs in both Chrome and Edge is very smooth and quick, with virtually zero lag
There have been reports of Edge browser providing significantly better battery life than Chrome on tablets. In practice we found Edge to also be the smoother browser.
Edge hasn’t been perfect on the Chuwi 10 Hi10, with WordPress editing being frustratingly slow.
At first, we thought this was due to Chrome taking more memory to hold the page, but upon viewing task manager saw that Edge was actually taking up significantly more memory (180MB vs 120MB). Whatever the case, WordPress in-browser editing on Chrome is smooth and frustration free with Chuwi Hi10.
Switching between tabs in both Chrome and Edge is very smooth and quick, with virtually zero lag.
In our browsing test, we loaded several image-heavy render-heavy pages with Edge and Chrome. Edge simply smoked Chrome, providing extremely smooth scrolling both prior to the page being fully rendered and after the page had been completely loaded.
This seems a paradox, but based on our testing we recommend Chrome for WordPress and Edge for general browsing.
Chuwi Hi10 docking keyboard
If you’ve got the budget, we highly recommend the Chuwi Hi10 docking keyboard
There are two different keyboards being sold as official for the Chuwi Hi10. One of then is a Bluetooth keyboard, and the other is a docking keyboard.
Using the docking keyboard keeps your Bluetooth connection free and provides an extra built-in USB port. It’s extremely well built, being mostly constructed of rubber textured plastic and a heavy duty hinge that folds up like a netbook or laptop.
If you’ve got the budget, we highly recommend the Chuwi Hi10 docking keyboard. It’s currently running $35-45 and is well worth the extra dough if you’ll be using the Hi10 for mobile productivity.
If you’ll be using the Hi10 mostly for media consumption and won’t be using won’t be using a keyboard often, consider saving a few bucks and going with the Bluetooth keyboard.
Chuwi Hi10 SOT screen-on time
The battery in the Hi10 has a maximum capacity of 8000mAh, and is rated at 6600mAh. Battery life on the Chuwi Hi10 is great, generally providing us 6 hours of SOT (screen-on time). Typically we have Chuwi Hi10 brightness at 25%-50%, with use being browsing the net, Facebook, light video playing, some Skype video chat, and Line app chat.
Chuwi Hi10 charging
With the Hi10 off, the tablet charged from dead to full in 3 hours 45 minutes. A great result which matches the 2A spec touted by Chuwi.
An excellent bonus is that the charging port is standard micro-USB, which makes it compatible with the 7majority of phone chargers, powerbanks, and camera chargers.
Chuwi Hi10 summary conclusion
It’s solidly constructed, has an excellent dockable keyboard available, and is half the price of the cheapest Microsoft Surface 3 which has only 2GB of RAM.
It’s powerful enough to play many 3D games on low settings. Demanding apps such as Photoshop CS6 run smoothly and without issue. Multitask switching between apps and tabs is quick and fluid.
The Chuwi Hi10 is the perfect blend of affordability, power, and battery life. Add the very good looking FHD IPS display and you’ve got a winner. The Chuwi Hi10 comes recommended by GizBeat.