Chuwi Hi10 Plus Review: The affordable beast with Windows 10

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Microsoft’s Surface 2-in-1 devices offer amazing performance with Windows 10. From being a productivity device to an entertainment hub, the Surface range is indeed company’s pride. Other PC hardware companies come up with their own Surface clones but with an affordable price and downgraded performance. The well-known Chinese tablet manufacturer, Chuwi did the same. The company has recently launched a new 2-in-1 device, the Hi10 Plus. Chuwi tablets are unique to any other Surface clone as the tablets run both Windows and Android, it has a dual-boot of the two operating systems on the same device but they don’t run at the same time. Today we are going to review Chuwi Hi10 Plus 2-in-1 device, which runs a full version of Windows 10 along with Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop.

 

Chuwi Hi10 Plus is a Surface 3 Killer as it is three times cheaper than the Surface 3 but it has downgraded hardware. The Hi10 Plus comes with 3:2 aspect ratio screen and Surface 3 has a similar screen.

Let’s move further to the unboxing of the Chuwi Hi10 Plus:

The device comes in a solid brown box; in the box, you will find:

  • Chuwi Hi10 Device
  • Charger
  • Micro USB C-Type Cable
  • Guide Books

After you remove the shell of the box you will see the device wrapped in a plastic cover. On the second layer of the box, you will find a Charger and a Micro USB cable assembled at the side of the box.

Overview

The 2-in-1 device is powered by Windows 10, the Chuwi Hi10 Plus packs powerful hardware specifications. Chuwi Hi10 Plus is an affordable Windows 10 Device, you can use it as a tablet or as a full-fledged laptop thanks to the detectable keyboard. The tablet is basically designed for Windows 10 but it can dual-boot Android 5.1/Remix OS 2.0. The Hi10 Plus features a 10.8-inch IPS display (WUXGA) with a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels. The 2-in-1 Windows 10 Device comes with 4 gigs of RAM and it is powered by Intel’s Z8350 processor with a 1.44 GHz clock speed. The company has also included 64GB of internal storage in Hi10 Plus however, it lacks hard disk support but it supports memory cards of up to 128GB.

The Chuwi Hi10 Plus is one of the best devices from the company if we compare it with the Vi10 series. The device has the potential but there are few drawbacks, the internal storage on Chuwi Hi10 Plus is just 64GB and around 20+ GB of storage is occupied by Windows 10 meaning only around 40GB of storage is available for users.

On a positive side the Chuwi Hi10 Plus packs a powerful 8400 mAh battery, unfortunately, it is a non-removable battery. The device offers up to 5 hours video playback time and as it has a full version of Windows 10, the 8400 mAh battery is not particularly big.

The build quality of the device is pretty nice and it’s display offers a rich experience. The device display supports 10 Point multi-touch and it works pretty nice, however sometimes the touch lags a bit.

The device runs on a full version of Windows 10 and it offers powerful performance thanks to the Intel Atom Z8350 processor and 4 GB of RAM. However, sometimes you will notice lag when using Google Chrome. If you open too many apps together, the apps will start lagging and it will result in a crash.

On paper, the specifications of the Chuwi Hi10 Plus looks promising but the flaws are usually not mentioned by the company. However, our review will clear most of your doubts.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Design

Chuwi has gone familiar for Chuwi Hi10 Plus design. It has a similar design to  the company’s aging Vi10 Plus. However, it has been improved a bit and the aluminium frame makes the tablet look premium. The aluminium finish gives some serious sturdiness to the tablet and makes it easier to hold. However, the Hi10 Plus weighs 0.686 kg which is really heavy considering it is a 10.8” 3:2 tablet. If you hold the tablet for several minutes while lying in bed your arm will get tired very quickly because of the awkward ratio. However, the weight is not at all a problem as the tablet is forged from an aluminum frame, hence it weighs more.

The tablet has been well constructed and the company has given a premium finish to the device.

On the left side of the tablet, you will find the ports. There is a USB-C Type port installed and it is indeed a good move by the company. However, when it comes to the traditional USB connectivity, Chuwi Hi10 Plus lacks support. The possible reason behind removing the ports would be for making the device thin and premium.

A 3.5mm Headphone Jack is situated at the top left side. Below there is a Micro HDMI Slot and a microphone hole is right below the HDMI USB slot. At the center left side of the tablet, you will find a Micro USB Slot. The USB Type-C is installed below the Micro USB Slot. USB Type-C allows you to transfer files faster and increases the charging speed as well.

At the bottom of the left side and right side, the speaker grill has been installed. The docking ports for the keyboard can be found at the bottom of the tablet.

Moving to the top, there is a power button to turn on the device and volume rockers. Chuwi has included two speakers on the left and right side of the device unlike their other devices which have speakers just on the back. At the center bottom position, the “Chuwi” logo is located. Above the logo, a 2MP rear camera sits.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Display

Chuwi Hi10 Plus has a bold 10.8-inch display and it looks incredible. It comes with full HD (1920×1080) resolution which offers good results in any lighting condition including natural and artificial lighting. It fills the screen from edge to edge and makes it fairly difficult to see any pixels on the tablet from any angle. If you put the tablet on a table and use it with a keyboard as a laptop, the screen quality remains as it is and in fact, the Macbook has a lower pixel density than the Hi10 Plus.

The bezels are pretty large on the tablet. It supports viewing angles of 180 degrees.

As mentioned before, the screen reproduces some extremely accurate and lively colours. Flipping through pictures really brings each scene to life as the screen contrasts the colours in such a way only a good screen can.

The screen imitates some great degree precise and exuberant hues. Flipping through pictures truly breathes life into every scene as the screen differentiates the hues in such a way just a decent screen can.

The top flagship tablet comes with support for AMOLED display technology. It basically helps to save substantial power on the tablet with a black interface. The AMOLED display comes with no backlight support unlike LCDs. Furthermore, pixels in AMOLED consists of tiny red, blue, or green coloured light. As Hi10 Plus lacks AMOLED display, the tablet’s display looks grey unlike the Surface line-up.

The tablet lacks in saturation which is made up for in it’s contrast. However, the tablet display provides the content at it’s best. The brightness on the tablet can be raised to an impressive 425 lux. The brightness on the tablet is good enough in indoor settings, but it lacks clear outdoor visibility. The reflection on the Hi10 Plus is one of the reasons that makes it difficult for humans to use the Vi10 Plus under sunlight. The brightness makes it easier for us to see the screen in outdoor visibility, but you’ll face challenges using the tablet outdoors because of plenty of reflections on the screen of the tablet.

The device comes with 10 finger multi-touch support, however, the device has no palm rejection which is pretty annoying in some cases. However, the touch screen on the Chuwi Hi10 Plus gives good feedback but it lags in many cases especially when using Win 32 apps. The screen on the tablet is indeed great but the touch response is slightly less top-notch. The touch screen is less sensitive if youlightly touch the screen. Sometimes the touch responds and sometimes it doesn’t, however, most of the time, the touch screen works perfectly.

The blacks on the display are dark and it offers an amazing viewing angle on the IPS display. The device is not completely laminated, hence there is a visible distance between the glass and the IPS panel under the glass. The screen comes with a screen protector attached already. Furthermore, it’s not a scratch resistant glass as it lacks a Corning Gorilla glass panel. However the display has no visible dead pixels and the screen is brilliant and clear.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Camera

The feature I did not like on Chuwi Hi10 Plus is it’s camera which snaps very bad images and especially the back camera. However, the front camera is pretty excellent for video calling as it carries a 2 mega-pixel tag.

Windows 10’s built in Camera app comes with a good number of features and there are many interesting camera apps available on the Windows Store.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Software & Performance

Chuwi Hi10 Plus dual-boots Windows 10 and Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, another variant of the Hi10 Plus runs on Jide’s Remix OS 2.0 which is an improved Android version based off the inaugural release of Android Lollipop.

Android on the Hi10 Plus lags a lot, it is almost unusable. However, the tablet’s main OS seems to be Windows 10 and it performs really well. The Windows 10 operating system offers true multitasking, it lets you open multiple apps at once and use them at the same time by splitting the screen.

The Chuwi Hi10 Plus runs Windows 10 and there are many pending updates available after turning on the device for the first time. The Windows 10 Anniversary update is available for download and it brings many new features which are available on Chuwi Hi10 Plus as well. After installing the Windows 10 Anniversary update the performance on the Chuwi Hi10 Plus improves and it is working much better than ever before.

It is powered by Intel’s Atom chip with 1.44 GHz clock speed coupled up with 4GB of RAM. The device performs well for light use but if you open too many apps you will start noticing lag while switching apps and sometimes apps even crash. Performance in Windows 10 is pretty great. While opening apps on the tablet takes a few second for them to load completely compared to a Surface device, it never takes long enough to be an issue. While closing the apps and switching between apps in multitasking mode, the animation lags a bit but it never becomes an issue.

I have noticed delay when opening Google Chrome, Adobe Photoshop and a few other Win 32 apps. Google Chrome also lags on Chuwi Hi10 Plus and most of the time it is unable to detect the touch my fingers finger. However, I can easily browse the web through Chrome. It comes the Microsoft Office Mobile apps pre-installed, you can easily edit a word document and open YouTube on Microsoft Edge in the background without the tablet slowing down.

The gaming performance on the tablet is average. You will notice lags while playing Win32 apps because of the device’s slightly downgraded processing power. The company has downgraded the performance of the device in order to save battery. It does not heat most of the time, it is not even an issue either whilst playing games. However, the device produces heat while it is charging, and if you try playing a game whilst charging, it does get quite hot.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Speaker

The speaker on the tablet is installed on the left and right bottom part of the tablet. The stereo effect is indeed amazing. The Hi10 Plus produces loud sound from the speakers. The overall speaker quality on this budget device is indeed good. When you will increase the volume to max, the sound becomes bad which can hurt your ears.

The tablet struggles when it comes to bass, however, if you lower the volume, the bass will get further better. However, you should just not get this tablet if you are especially looking for premium speaker quality.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Battery

The Chuwi Hi10 Plus packs a powerful battery. The battery on the Hi10 Plus is better than on the Surface 3. To be specific, the Vi10 Plus’ battery is 622MAh bigger than the Surface 3. However, Microsoft’s power optimization on Surface devices is better than the power optimization on the Hi10 Plus. Furthermore, the Hi10 Plus tablet comes with a higher power processing chip. The heat dissipation on Surface Devices will, in fact, be much better than the Chuwi’s Hi10 Plus.

Chuwi claims that the tablet could offer up to 5 hours of video playback. It actually performs better than expected by me or the company. When I performed the video playback test, the battery died after 9 hours. Whereas, while browsing the web, it lasted for 6 hours. When we compare the Chuwi Hi10 Plus battery life with the Surface 3, the Hi10 Plus at some extent outperforms the Surface tablet. Chuwi has improved significantly reduced power consumption with the new Hi10 Plus tablet.

Even if you are a heavy user, the Chuwi Hi10 Plus will able to last for almost one day completely thanks to Windows 10’s power optimization.  I did web browsing, watched live TV, played games, read news on MSN News app and at the end of the day, around 10% of battery was remaining, it was almost dead. You can easily use Chuwi Hi10 Plus for the whole day but if you are a heavy user who plays game and videos a lot, it’s better to carry a charger along with the tablet while traveling.

However, charging the tablet could be a headache for some users; it takes more than 5 hours to charge the tablet completely. For me, I had to keep the charger plugged into the socket for 6-7 hours.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Detachable Keyboard

The company sent me a delectable keyboard with the cover case as well. However, as far as I know, there are two keyboard options available for Hi10 Plus. A keyboard with a cover style option and a magnetic transformer style dock option.

The keyboard is actually very cheap looking and the quality sucks as well. I’m still trying to learn that how I can type frequently on the keyboard as the keys on the keyboard are fairly unusable because of the unusual gap between the keyboard and the plastic under the keyboard buttons. The keys are mushy and the company lacked while making the keyboard. To be honest, I am not using the keyboard and I would like to remove the keyboard from the cover and use it only as a cover case.

The fabric used on the cover is bad as well and sucks when it comes to the quality. Although it costs $30 but the quality is one of a $10 product, it is available on Alibaba store. The tablet gets into the cover easily without significant effort. The fabric adorns the entire case. The fabric also attracts all dust and dirt in just a few minutes. To be specific, the cover’s fabric picks up dust, dirt and water and you imagine the condition of the cover. I actually needed to spend 20 minutes to clean the cover using a brush because I would like to see my gadgets clean. To be frank, I spend more time cleaning dust off from this cover than I do typing.

Conclusion

The Chuwi Hi10 Plus is indeed an excellent device from the company. However, it does lack in some areas but overall at this price, the Hi10 Plus is a winner. I had even used the Cube tablets which have nearly same specifications as the Hi10 Plus but the Hi10 Plus quality is far better and the customer support is indeed great.

Chuwi has been able to take advantage of the Intel Atom processor and the performance of Windows 10 is much better on the Hi10 Plus than other tablets available at this price. The display on the tablet makes it a Surface 3 competitor and battery life on the tablet is actually one of the compelling reasons to purchase it. Chuwi could have worked bit hard to improve the keyboard and the touch quality on the Hi10 Plus.

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