Over the last few months, we have seen quite a few new laptop releases on the market which seem to have inspired their design from Apples MacBook series. Laptops such as The Jumper EZBook 2 which looks like a 13-inch MacBook Air while the Xiaomi Air 12 is heavily inspired by the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro in terms of design. Chinese manufacturer Chuwi is also keeping with this trend with the launch of its Chuwi LapBook SE, a notebook which isn’t all that different from the aforementioned rivals in terms of design. If you ever wanted to run Windows on a MacBook Air, this is probably the closest you will get.
To get a clear idea of what this device has to offer, we at XiaomiToday decided to review the Chuwi Lapbook SE. So without further ado, here is our honest review of the device.
Design and Appearance:
The Chuwi LapBook SE comes in a square cardboard box. Inside the box, you get the laptop itself a charger and a user manual for instructions. We personally think that the packaging could have been a bit fancier. The current packaging is very cheap and not flattering to look at.
In terms of appearance, there is no denying that the Chuwi Lapbook SE is a beautiful machine. Made with aluminum alloy and magnesium and only slightly thicker than the MacBook Air, the Chuwi SE LapBook has a very sleek and elegant design; this is keeping in trend with all the latest laptops and ultrabooks on the market. This is clearly Ultrabook territory especially as Chuwi chose a magnesium-aluminum alloy for its chassis to give the machine an even more luxurious look. Chuwi has essentially produced a classier version of the LapBook 14.1 which was released earlier this year. It comes in a deep gray color chrome cut edges which only serve to make the notebook look more high-end and premium. A few more color options should be available for the customers.
We didn’t detect any flex with the screen or keyboard which to show how sturdy the Chuwi LapBook SE is and very impressively so! The dimly lit Chuwi logo on the lid is yet another thing inspired by Apple’s MacBooks and we think the company should have added some more originality rather than just making the logo on the outside with a backlight.
This is a device, weighing 1.44kg with dimensions of12.48 x 8.46 x 0.63 inches. It is very lightweight and easy to hold and during the period we tried it out, we had no trouble fitting it into any bag or purse. So its perfect for carrying around.
When you open up the Chuwi SE Lapbook, you’ll find a 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Right below the screen is a decent size keyboard and an average-sized touchpad, and both of them perform smoothly. The screen is very impressive to look at. The power button is tucked away on the top right-hand side which we thought wasn’t necessarily a good decision because one, most laptops have their power button on the left-hand side, and tow because it is located next to the delete button – and because of that during the trial run I pressed the power button accidentally many times. So that I think is a design flaw which should be paid attention to in the future.
Don’t worry, there’s good news on the display front. The IPS screen is more than adequate in terms of size and has uniform brightness across the board with no significant color or brightness bleed. It is covered with glass and is edge-to-edge which means the bezel is almost nonexistent, which made us think, mistakenly, that the display was a touchscreen model. But sadly, that is not the case, but hey, at least it comes with thin bezels. Watching movies on the screen is a fun experience. One issue we experienced was that in bright sunlight outdoors, the viewing experience is not so great. It is hard to see the display on the screen.
There are two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card reader, an HDMI port, an audio jack, a TF card slot and a proprietary power connector. You also get 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, four speakers at the bottom of the keyboard, two microphones and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. For a laptop that costs $300 having so many ports is amazing and we were genuinely impressed. The USB 3.0 ports perform at a good speed and make data transfer easy.
Inside the Chuwi SE LapBook, the hardware consists of the usual things, a triumvirate of components – Intel Celeron processor Gemini Lake N4100 with four cores, 128GB SSD memory and 32GB eMMC storage. The lapbook runs Microsoft Windows 10Home. Pretty much all those things that have become part and parcel of all the entry-level Windows-based systems we’ve reviewed over the past year. Nothing new.
The Chuwi SE LapBook is built around a passively cooled Intel Celeron Gemini Lake N4100 processor which is a quad-core CPU. It is accompanied by 4GB of low power DDR3 memory (in dual channel mode) and 32GB of eMMC storage.
As for performance, just make sure you adjust your expectations given the hardware inside. Although the Chuwi SE LapBook is not half bad, it’s no Xiaomi or Apple laptop. This laptop is great for light everyday tasks that do not need a lot of processing power, but it will struggle when having to deal with more than a few tabs open in Microsoft’s Edge browser, for example. We found out during the trial that this laptop is only good for day to day office tasks. Gaming on this laptop is big no because the processor is not powerful enough. We tried playing Battlefield 1 on the laptop and let’s just say we will not be doing it again. Let’s just leave it at that.
Battery life was better than we expected it to be, at five and a half hours of constant usage. Granted, we were testing using a simple YouTube count-up video of a clock with brightness on 100%, but this certainly counts as an impressive result in our books, especially considering the size of the battery.
The keys on the backlit keyboard have a good amount of travel and have a quick response time, which isn’t surprising given the thickness of the device. Visually, the keys appear to be higher than they actually are – in other words, going by looking at them, the user may be tempted to press harder than necessary to make sure a key-press is registered.
The touchpad of the Chuwi LapBook SE has a decent size just as we had expected, and it also has a smooth surface – it works great with single and multi-finger gestures and like the keyboard has a very quick response as well.
The speakers were unfortunately underwhelming, to say the least. The sound coming out of the speaker was devoid of any character and greatly lacked depth and oomph. But that’s pretty much expected of a device with a price tag of $300.
All in all the performance of the Chuwi LapBook SE is noteworthy. We have no complaints
The Chuwi LapBook SE has a powerful battery of 10000mAh. During the time we tested out this product, the battery lasted for about five and half hours of consistent use on full brightness. We are pretty impressed by the battery’s performance especially considering the fact that budget laptops normally have a very average run time of almost 2 to 3 hours but the Chuwi LapBook SE is definitely an exception. But when one normally sits down to work in an office, the brightness of their laptop is rarely at 100% unless you are watching something. So if you lower the brightness a little bit, you might be able to get some more run time out of the laptop.
Chuwi LapBook SE Final Verdict:
- The Chuwi SE LapBook is very affordable.
- It has a great design and build quality.
- The Chuwi LapBook SE has a great battery life.
- It has a lot of amazing specs and features.
- There is room improvement on the performance side of things.
- The proprietary power port is a bit of a letdown
Sporting a name and design that will attract all sorts of comments, the Chuwi SE LapBook has left a positive impression on us. A relatively affordable price – remember it costs about around $300– coupled with a very likable and distinctive design, a large 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display, and a small power supply makes it a winner for those on a budget.
We just wish it didn’t have that proprietary power connector, and that it offered a real SSD rather than eMMC storage. The dual-channel memory architecture is a step in the right direction but it has limited impact on performance – whereas adding an SSD would make a much bigger impact. All in all, the Chuwi LapBook SE is a great budget laptop and is definitely worth the hype and has our vote of approval.
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