At a Glance
Chuwi’s tablets are not the fastest Windows machines you can buy, but they make excellent portable computers if you’re on a budget. With its Quad-HD screen and fast USB-C charging, the HiBook Pro is a very good cheap option. We recommend you also buy the optional keyboard that turns this Windows/Android tablet into a laptop.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Chuwi HiBook Pro
Chuwi has a range of Windows
tablets under £200 that can be docked to a magnetic keyboard to turn them into budget laptops. There are some subtle differences across the range, so which Chuwi is best for you? We outline your options in our Chuwi HiBook Pro review. Also see:
Best budget tablets and
Best budget laptops
This Chuwi HiBook Pro is very similar to the
Hi10 Pro we recently reviewed. It’s around £30 more expensive, but comes with a higher-capacity battery, a Quad-HD screen and a 5- rather than 2Mp rear camera. The two are very similar in size and weight. A key difference is that the Hi10 Pro supports an active electronic stylus (sold separately).
You’d also struggle to tell the difference between this HiBook Pro and the standard
HiBook, with the only real difference being the larger-capacity battery (8000mAh versus 6000mAh) and higher-resolution screen (the standard HiBook has a 1920×1200 display).
All three feature the Intel Atom X5 Z8300 quad-core 64-bit processor, 4GB of DDR3L RAM and 64GB of storage, with microSD support for expansion. In terms of performance there is very little to separate these Chuwi laptops, so your choice will likely come down to whether you want the higher-resolution screen and whether you need a stylus.
All three tablets also dual-boot Android, opening up a world of software you can’t get on Windows, though the two HiBooks run standard Android 5.1 Lollipop and the Hi10 Pro runs a custom version with the Remix 2.0 UI. We prefer vanilla Android, given the option – and we’d also like to see a newer version of Android given that we’re now up to Android 7.0 Nougat. Still, some Android is better than no Android, and you’re probably more likely to use the Chuwi as a Windows 10 device in any case. Also read our
Windows 10 review and
Android Lollipop review
Chuwi HiBook Pro review: UK price and availability
Chuwi tablets are sold in the UK via grey-market importers such as GearBest. You can buy this
Chuwi HiBook Pro for £172.69, the
Chuwi Hi10 Pro for £146.89, and the standard
Chuwi HiBook for £154.30. The optional
keyboard dock, which we thoroughly recommend, costs an additional £29.61.
If you are buying from China, note that you may be asked to pay import duty (around £30) upon its arrival to the UK, though GearBest offers free shipping if you’re prepared to wait a couple of weeks for your tablet to arrive.
Buying from China has different risks than does buying from Europe, so read up on our
grey-market tech buying advice before you take the plunge.
Chuwi HiBook Pro review: Design and build
You might be paying under £200 for this tablet, but you wouldn’t know it to look at it. With a slim grey metal build and chamfered edges, the HiBook Pro certainly looks more expensive than it is, and it feels well made with no rough edges or creaking parts. The only giveaways to its budget price are flaws of all Chuwi tablets: chunky screen bezels, a magnetism for fingerprints and legends on the rear for the various ports and core specifications.
We’ll start with the screen, since this is the key difference between the HiBook and HiBook Pro. It’s a 10.1in, 2560×1600 panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio that is well-suited to watching video. The standard HiBook has the same size screen, but a lower resolution of 1920×1200 pixels.
The HiBook Pro’s screen is much sharper than that of the HiBook, but with more pixels crammed in to the same area you’ll find text and icons are significantly smaller. You’ll more than likely want to increase their size in Windows’ settings.
Chuwi uses IPS technology, which offers bright, realistic colours and strong viewing angles. The latter is aided by the use of a fully laminated OGS screen, which puts very close together the touch panel and screen glass.
The display isn’t the brightest we’ve seen, and you may struggle to use it in direct sunlight – especially with greasy finger smears all over its surface. For most usage scenarios, though, it is bright enough.
The HiBook Pro is a little larger and heavier than the HiBook thanks to its higher-capacity 8000mAh battery, but it’s actually thinner at 8.5mm rather than 8.8mm. When used as a tablet the HiBook Pro weighs 550g, but docked to the keyboard the weight doubles to just over a (still easily portable) kilo.
We thoroughly recommend purchasing the keyboard if you will be using the HiBook Pro for productivity tasks. It docks to the tablet with a sturdy magnetic hinge that can prop up the Chuwi at a comfortable angle, and we like the fact it doesn’t need to be separately charged. See all
It’s a US keyboard, but it has reasonably large, well-spaced keys and is comfortable to type on, given its size. It’s fairly quiet in use, and makes typing on a tablet much quicker and easier.
Usefully, the keyboard adds two full-size USB ports to the tablet. The Chuwi HiBook Pro has a good complement of ports, but none of which are full-size USB, which means you will otherwise need an adaptor to plug in a USB mouse or hard drive.
Connections are found on the Chuwi’s left edge. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack that sits just above a Micro-HDMI port and a mic, then Micro-USB, USB-C and a microSD card slot. The HiBook and HiBook Pro can support up to 64GB via microSD, while the Hi10 Pro can accommodate 128GB. Both also support 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. There’s no GPS, NFC or a cellular connection.
You’ll need to use the USB-C rather than Micro-USB connection for charging the Chuwi’s battery, which supports a fast 3A charge. This means you can fill the Chuwi in three- to four hours when using a compatible fast charger. Although it has a larger battery than the Hi10 Pro and HiBook, the HiBook Pro also has a more power-hungry screen. Expect between six- and eight hours use from all three of these tablets, give and take a little depending on your usage.
As with the other models in the range, stereo speakers are found low down on the left- and right edges of the Chuwi, which means they are poorly placed when used in tablet mode and can easily be muffled by your hands. That’s not great, given that they aren’t especially loud and can be rather tinny to begin with. Still it’s a minor criticism of a tablet that has a lot to offer. See all
In common with the standard HiBook there is a 5Mp camera at the rear and 2Mp at the front (the Hi10 Pro has a 2Mp camera front and rear). It will suffice for video calls, but we can’t imagine you having much use for the rear camera even given its higher Megapixel rating.
Chuwi HiBook Pro review: Core hardware and performance
Every tablet in Chuwi’s range has the same core hardware setup, and it matches that of other cheap Windows laptops such as the
Jumper EZBook Air.
You get an Intel Atom X5 Cherry Trail chip – the Z8300 – a quad-core processor clocked at 1.44GHz but able to boost to 1.84GHz when required. This is paired with 4GB of DDR3L RAM and 64GB of flash (eMMC) storage.
You’d therefore expect very similar performance between models, and that is largely what you get. This HiBook Pro didn’t perform as well as its brothers in our graphics tests merely because we use the onscreen versions of GFXBench and it has a much higher-resolution screen. This may well have been behind its slightly lower performance in our other tests, too.
We run PCMark8 Home, Geekbench 4 and GFXBench to get an idea on performance. The Chuwi HiBook Pro reported 940 points in PCMark8, which is around 100 points lower than the HiBook and Hi10 Pro. Also see:
Best Android tablets
A proper budget laptop might record double this score, such as the £300
Asus X55LA which recorded 2028 points. Tablets typically don’t score as highly as laptops, of course, and the more expensive
Asus Transformer T100HA scored only 1338 points in this test.
The HiBook Pro also gave a lower performance in Geekbench 4, scoring 2076 points against the 2144 of the Hi10 Pro. (We benchmarked the HiBook using Geekbench 3, which is not comparable with Geekbench 4.) As a guide, Geekbench 4 uses a baseline score of 4000 points set by the Intel Core i7-6600U, meaning the Atom chip inside the Chuwi tablets is roughly half as fast.
That might sound disappointing, but it’s in real-world situations where performance can be more accurately assessed. The HiBook Pro is more than capable for productivity tasks such as working in Word and Excel, for browsing the web, for typing up emails, for browsing social media and for watching video. You wouldn’t expect to be able to do much in the way of multitasking on this tablet, but lag was never an issue in our tests.
One thing you probably won’t want to use the Chuwi HiBook Pro for is gaming, or at least not intensive gaming. Its Quad-HD screen slowed it down significantly in our graphics tests, meaning that it scored just 10fps in T-Rex and 4fps in Manhattan. We’ve seen sub-£100 phones do a better job of those tests.
To be fair, when running GFXBench’s offscreen tests (recommended by GFXBench) the Chuwi HiBook Pro fared much better, and we recorded 22fps in T-Rex and 9fps in Manhattan.
Chuwi HiBook Pro review: Software
It might be called the HiBook Pro, but this Chuwi runs Windows 10 Home 64-bit, which it dual-boots with Android. Unfortunately it’s old Android Lollipop (version 5.1 – we’re now up to 7.0 Nougat), which reinforces the feeling that it’s there as something of an afterthought.
You’ll more than likely use the Chuwi HiBook Pro running Windows 10, which is much more up to date and better suited to productivity tasks. However, we like the fact that you can also use Android if you wish to, since there are a great many more apps available in Google Play then there are in the Windows Store.
Switching between Windows and Android couldn’t be easier. When you boot up the tablet you are asked whether you want to boot into Android or Windows, and you can use either the volume button on the tablet or arrow keys on the keyboard to make your choice, then press the power button or Enter key to select. If you don’t make a choice the tablet will simply boot into the last OS you used.
If you have already booted the HiBook Pro you can switch from Android to Windows by pulling down the notification bar and tapping Switch to Windows, or from Windows to Android by double-clicking the desktop shortcut. Do note that it must reboot to enter the other operating system, so it isn’t a two-second affair and you should save any work in progress before doing so.
The tablet’s 64GB of storage is split between the two operating systems, with the Chuwi reporting 44.1GB available to Windows and 9.72GB to Android. The maths doesn’t quite add up there, but the Android partition doesn’t appear to account for the OS itself, so we suspect the split is actually 50GB to Windows and 16GB to Android.
Of the 44.1GB assigned to Windows only around 18GB was free after installing our benchmarks, and around 9.7GB to Android. At least when using Windows you will likely want to make use of the microSD slot, attach a USB hard drive or use cloud storage before too long.
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Chuwi HiBook Pro: Specs
- 10.1in 2560×1600 (298ppi) 16:10 IPS display
- dual-boots Windows 10 Home 64-bit and Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 1.44-1.84GHz Intel Atom X5 (Cherry Trail) Z8300 quad-core 64-bit processor
- Intel HD graphics
- 4GB DDR3L RAM
- 64GB storage
- microSD support up to 64GB
- 2Mp front camera
- 5Mp rear camera
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- dual speakers
- 8000mAh battery with 3A quick-charging technology over USB-C