If the device stands out with something special from the competition, it automatically makes it more expensive. This principle applies to the most compact laptops. Want to ignore his weight in a backpack and effortlessly hold with one hand? Get ready to fork out! No desire to lay out a tidy sum? To the rescue comes the company Chuwi and its offspring LapBook SE.
If you do not know in advance the price category of the new product, guessing it without prompts will most likely fail – the LapBook SE feels like a much more expensive gadget. It meets a noble metal surface with a pleasant matte texture. Material practical, fingerprints on it are almost invisible. True, if you open the laptop, it turns out that the inner panels are made of plastic. However, the color was chosen well – visually the transition from metal parts to polycarbonate is imperceptible.
As befits a serious tool, the new Chuwi is designed in a strict and concise design. The only thing that stands out on a monolithic aluminum cover is the company logo. It is small, and when the model is turned off, it is almost imperceptible. But in working condition the logo is highlighted – the idea is not new, but it attracts attention to the device.
The compactness of the laptop is obvious: if you do not pry into the list of characteristics, then you can decide that the screen is 12 inches. However, in fact, it is more: in a case comparable in area to A4 sheet, the engineers were able to place the display 13.3 inches. The small size makes the LapBook SE a convenient device for everyday activities. You can at any time take a laptop and roll up with him on the sofa or throw it into a backpack and go to the other end of the city. And if you decide to show someone something on the screen, holding the device on weight, its small weight will allow you to do it without difficulty.
Separate praise deserves the fact that Chuwi did not sacrifice compactness connectors for connecting peripherals. The range includes a pair of full-sized USB 3.0, micro-HDMI and even a slot for microSD memory cards. Do not forget about the universal 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
Screen and sound
The display is large enough to not have to squint and twist the scaling option by 200%. The resolution of Full HD is also well chosen: from the working distance, the image looks good, individual pixels are not visible. At the same time, the load on the iron and the battery is low when compared with 4K panels. Thanks to the high-quality IPS-matrix, the laptop flaunts natural color reproduction and wide viewing angles. Even if you have to look at the screen at an angle, the picture does not turn into an incomprehensible mess. I was pleasantly surprised by the backlight: the brightness is the same over the entire surface, without glare.
The model is equipped with four speakers. They provide a good volume, but the quality in some conditions, there are questions. Low frequencies from a compact laptop should not wait at all, but at maximum volume characteristic distortions from overloads appear. However, for the evening watching YouTube or background music while the available opportunities are enough.
The hardware stuffing in the LapBook SE, though it gives an entry-level laptop, but it allows you to count on an adequate level of performance in most usage scenarios typical of such gadgets. Processor – Intel Celeron N4100, announced at the end of last year. It favorably differs from its predecessors by the presence of four physical nuclei.
Considering that more and more applications are optimized for multithreading, this will come in handy. The level of TDP model does not exceed 6 watts. It was possible to achieve this result due to the spent and economical 14-nanometer process technology and low base frequency (it is only 1100 MHz). Thanks to the auto overclocking technology, individual cores under load can be accelerated to more impressive 2400 MHz. The integrated video core Intel UHD Graphics 600 with 12 unified shader units and the frequency range of 200-700 MHz is responsible for the graphics.
The processor is paired with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM with a frequency of 2333 MHz. No expansion options. But the disk space in the LapBook SE is organized unusually – the operating system is installed on a separate eMMC-drive with a capacity of 32 GB.
Frankly, the decision is ambiguous. The access speed is not bad, but the volume, as they say, is on the verge. Any major Windows update may not have enough free space. So the user should pay attention to this and periodically carry out preventive cleaning.
For storage of files provided by the SSD-disk format NVMe 128 GB. The compartment under it allows a simple replacement – just unscrew the two small screws to install a larger model.
To evaluate the potential of the laptop, it was tested in several popular benchmarks. The results confirmed our assumptions: the four physical cores have a beneficial effect on the overall performance and physics calculations, but the power of the integrated graphics core is clearly not enough, if we talk about the gaming potential of the system. But to put a cross on a laptop is not worth it. He is quite capable of dealing with undemanding titles or hits from the past. For example, World of Tanks: Blitz worked fine at high settings.
With everyday tasks, too, there were no difficulties. Office applications, surfing in the browser, editing simple images, video playback are areas in which Chuwi LapBook SE feels like a fish in water. Videos can generally run in resolution up to 4K. If you have an appropriate monitor or TV, you just need to connect it to your laptop via micro-HDMI to enjoy ultra-high definition content.
In addition to the video core, some concerns were caused by 4 GB of RAM. As it turned out, Windows 10 works with such a margin quite adequately. The lack of RAM began to show up only when opening more than ten active tabs in Mozilla Firefox.
Keyboard and touchpad
The width of the keyboard takes up almost all the space of the case, the frame around the edges of it is minimal. Due to this, the keys came out large, it is easy to hit them, even when blindly typing. Of course, I had to sacrifice something: “under the knife,” the digital unit went, and the area of some buttons was reduced. However, this solution is typical for laptops with a screen of 11-13 inches, and the new Chuwi here is no different from analogs.
The keyboard is equipped with a white backlight with adjustable intensity – a nice feature for an inexpensive device.
The touchpad pleases a large area. If you compare with Windows laptops of similar dimensions, LapBook SE will be in the top. Not without minor roughness. The test sample did not always clearly recognize tapas on the sensor surface, at such moments it was necessary to press it in order for the analog mechanism to work. But there were no other complaints. The touchpad has a good sensitivity, perhaps you can even work in a graphic editor if you need to make some small changes. All standard Windows gestures are supported and recognized by the device correctly.
Promotional materials promise up to eight hours of operation from a single battery charge. This reserve is enough to not worry about the need to look for a power outlet during the day. Of course, marketers often wishful thinking, but not this time. When playing Full HD video at half the screen brightness and with disabled network activity, the laptop lasted 9 hours and 13 minutes – even longer than the stated time. When working with the browser, the LapBook SE lost 12% of the charge in an hour.
- CPU -Intel Celeron N4100 (4 cores, 4 threads, 1.1 – 2.4 GHz, 4 MB L3 Cache, 6 W, Gemini Lake)
- VIDEO CARD -Intel UHD Graphics 600, 200 – 700 MHz
- RAM -4 GB, LPDDR4 2333 MHz
- SSD -128 GB
- INTERFACES -2x USB Type-A (3.0), micro-HDMI, 3.5 mm combined audio jack, microSD, card reader
- BATTERY -33.7 Wh
- PCMARK 10 -1498
- CINEBENCH R15 CPU – 178 points
OpenGL – 13.63 points
FireStrike – 323 points
TimeSpy – 95 points
Chuwi LapBook SE leaves a pleasant impression. Yes, he will not be able to replace a gaming laptop or a workstation for demanding projects. But with its direct tasks cope in such a way that casts doubt on the claims of many more expensive competitors. Chuwi correctly set priorities and issued a compact and balanced laptop, which is useful in work and study, and will also be an excellent companion on a journey or business trip.