Windows 10 tablet - review of the powerful Chuwi Hi10 tablet for $ 180
Nowadays, we are already accustomed to the technology that surrounds us: computers, smartphones, smart TVs - this will not surprise anyone. And in recent years, there has been a tendency to minimize size - everyone wants devices to not take up much space and be portable. A tablet on a full-fledged windows 10 operating system with all its advantages - a few years ago no one even dreamed of such a thing.
A small tablet is much more convenient to use on the couch, due to its light weight it is more convenient to take on the road, and by connecting a monitor or tv, you can work like a full-fledged PC. In addition, you can fasten a special keyboard - the docking station and the tablet turns into a netbook. Surprisingly: compactness, mobility and performance are combined in such a baby.
But more recently, the world's first computer was assembled. More precisely, in 1946. Its weight was 28 tons and it consumed 140 kW of energy. The hero of our review is much more modest in his appetites, and weighs less :) But you can compare him with old monsters only for fun, but can he fully replace a modern laptop or PC? You will find out about this.
Intel took the next step by releasing the new Cherry Trail platform. The lowest processor in the line is the Z8300, on the basis of which the Chuwi Hi10 tablet is assembled.
Let's get acquainted with the characteristics of the model. The new 64-bit processor operates at a frequency of up to 1.84 Ghz (in normal mode 1.44 Ghz). But they especially improved the graphics, the tablet uses Intel Gen8 with a frequency of up to 500 Mhz. New powerful graphics allow you to run much more games than Gen7. About the games will be more detailed, but a little later. The remaining characteristics are no less impressive - 4Gb RAM, which will forget about its shortages forever. And they did not regret the internal memory - 64Gb + the ability to install a micro sd memory card up to 128 Gb. The display with a diagonal of 10.1 inches and a resolution of WUXGA - 1920x1200 is made using IPS technology. Built-in battery with a capacity of 8000 mAh. Among other features: full-fledged usb connectors, one of which is v 3.0, there is an event indicator, a magnetic sensor for the case, OTG, Bluetooth v 4.0
Well, I’ll definitely check everything to find out what our hero is capable of, but for now, let's look at the equipment. Everything is very modest here. The tablet is packed in a dense cardboard box that protects against damage. In the small compartment on the left side you can find a usb cable and charger. A protective film is glued on the screen from the factory. That's basically it.
High quality charging, can produce a maximum current of 2 amperes. When working, it does not make noise, does not overheat, and there are no phantom clicks on the screen during charging. But the tablet itself does not take more than 1.54 amperes. A full charge takes up to 6 hours, so I usually put it at night. You can work with it connected to the network, but in this mode the tablet practically does not charge, because all the energy goes to the operation of the device.
The design is quite ordinary. The tablet can not be called thin, but the manufacturer has placed full usb connectors. The frames around the screen are not small, but it is a necessity, because, otherwise, you will constantly click on the screen randomly. Build quality is very high. This is not the first 10 inch tablet that I hold in my hands, so I know firsthand how hard it is to make the body monolithic. Chuwi succeeded - there are no creaks and backlashes.
The placement of the Windows touch button suggests use in portrait mode. But it’s more convenient for me to use while holding it horizontally.
The back cover is made entirely of plastic. The texture is not smooth, but with a relief, so the prints are not so sticky. In general, I think plastic is a better solution than metal, which complicates the passage of waves, which causes the WiFi signal level to suffer. Yes, and purely tactile plastic is more pleasant than cold metal. Although this is mostly a matter of taste.
On the back you can find information about the manufacturer, serial number. At the top there is a camera that shoots with the quality of 10 year old phones. The maximum resolution of the front and rear camera images is 2 megapixels. This suggests that the manufacturer assumes their use only for skype, which is basically true. But sometimes you need to photograph something with a tablet in order to send the image, and here it is not the strongest place.
The volume and lock control buttons are located in the upper left corner, if you hold the tablet horizontally. The buttons do not hang out and are pressed with a distinct click.
Now let's look at the connectors available to us. First of all, I note two full USB connectors. V 3.0 is blue and V 2.0 is black. There is micro usb with OTG support. Next we see micro HDMI - a bit of a strange solution, provided that the width allows you to set a full or at least mini format. And of course the headphone jack and memory expansion slot.
On one of the faces you can see the holes behind which the audio speakers are hidden. This is unfortunately the biggest drawback of the tablet - the sound, to say the least, is “not very”. For some system sounds, it can also work, and you can watch a movie, because the overall volume is high. But if you want to turn on music or play with high volume, you will hear for the most part high frequencies that are unpleasantly beating in the ears. Loud, but shining - that’s how you can describe it in a nutshell.
Headphones have a completely different story. The sound is pleasant, deep and surround. There are low and high and mid frequencies. In my opinion, the sound card is of very good quality, at least it sounds better than most smartphones that I listened to. And you can also connect a wireless headset, because the tablet has Bluetooth, which I actually did. By connecting the tablet via an HDMI cable to a large TV, I watch movies in high quality, and the sound is transmitted to the Umi Voix headset, which allows me to watch movies at night at high volume, without interfering with households.
On the bottom you can see the contacts. They are needed to connect the keyboard. The keyboard is here, as they say must have, but it needs to be bought separately.
Lying on the couch and working with the touchscreen is certainly convenient, but only if your tasks do not go beyond entertainment. But if you need a tablet for work, then without a keyboard any action turns into torment. A set of tests, editing documents, exel tables, work in 1s and other tasks are much easier to perform with the keyboard and touchpad. And here it is worth noting that there are two types of keyboards. The first option is cheaper, in the form of a cover. Connection is via Bluetooth. The advantage of this option is only in price, its cost does not exceed $ 24 ( *) And on sales, you can take for $ 11. But it has many significant drawbacks - the need for recharging, busy with Bluetooth, it is less convenient and often does not have a touchpad. And just outwardly such a design does not look the best way. Here is an example.
A much better choice is the original keyboard, which connects through a special connector and essentially turns the tablet into a full netbook. It is much more convenient, has an excellent appearance, a full touchpad, but the cost is much higher - from $ 37. I still use a tablet without a keyboard, but I am determined to take just such an option.
Appearance and usability is certainly good, but the most important thing is its work and speed. But first, I want to tell a little story: in November 2015, I was asked to help buy a very cheap laptop. The goals are the simplest: the Internet, social networks, youtube, skype and movies online. That is, you could safely choose from ultra-budget, which I did. A Lenovo B50-30 laptop was selected, on the Intel Celeron N2830 processor (2 cores of 2.4 Ghz each), 2 Gb of RAM and Windows 8 on board. A screen with a diagonal of 15.6 and a resolution of 1366x720 looked wretched, but with a good display, laptops cost crazy money.
And what was waiting for me at home? A slow, slow creature, which before doing each task thought for 1 second, the system boot took a very long time and even in the browser it worked somehow sluggishly. Not helped reinstalling the system, not optimization. Just such iron. Strange as it may seem, the person whom he undertook was happy with the laptop, coping with his tasks, but how he does it is the second question. Personally, I would not be able to use it.
So, our hero in comparison with him - just flies! The system loads quickly, all tasks are performed almost instantly. For the purposes that my acquaintance needed, he would be much better. Yes, the screen size is smaller. But quality! The picture looks very juicy, does not distort at any angle, and the brightness margin allows you to use the tablet even on the street. The system has the ability to increase icons and fonts, but the standard settings completely suit me. There is even a tablet mode, where everything is simplified and large, I’m never used to it - I use the classic version.
Installed licensed operating system Windows 10. It is much more pleasant than the eight. The main disadvantages of the previous version were reworked, there is even a familiar start button. It can be seen that they worked on optimization, taking into account that the OS will be on portable devices. A preinstalled office that was activated when I logged into my Microsoft account.
The system sees 4 gb of RAM. There were some concerns about this, because Intel claims to support only 2Gb. I have no idea how Chuwi did it, but the memory is real. And if you look from other manufacturers, you can find many models with 4Gb memory.
Internal memory is available to the user in the amount of 57.6 Gb. This is enough volume for the system, the necessary applications, and even a couple of full-fledged toys. If you do not store movies and fill up all the space for games - there is no lack of memory. In extreme cases - there is a micro sd extension. The internal drive is not an SSD, but an EMMC. This is also not bad, the disk shows good write / read speed under any conditions.
When I received the tablet, I first decided to check the stability. Everyone probably heard the term - throttling. In simple words, this means that when overheated, the processor significantly reduces the frequency for cooling. The performance drops and the device starts to work very slowly.
The processor description on the official website says that the maximum operating temperature of the Z8300 is 90 degrees. That is, when this value is reached, trotting will most likely begin. The first thing you need is a program that shows the processor load and temperature. For these purposes, Aida 64 is excellent, in which there is even a built-in stress test. It loads CPU cores, memory and GPU as much as possible and shows everything in the form of convenient graphs. If there is a throttling, he will fix it. For some reason, the processor temperature was not determined, so I installed Core Temp in addition. This program in real time measures the temperature on each core and captures the maximum values. In the beginning, I checked the temperature in idle mode: from 44 to 50 degrees. Further - moderate load, for example, web-surfing or video playback: 70 - 75 degrees. I run a stress test with all selected load cases (processor, memory, graphics).
The temperature begins to rise and stops at 84 degrees, after about 15 minutes. The back cover gradually heats up evenly, while the parts where we hold it with our hands remain cool. Another 15 minutes of the test showed that the temperature is no longer rising. 84 degrees on the first core, it turned out to be the hottest. On the rest - a little less (79 - 82). The tablet passed the test, the cooling copes.
But still I decided to try to load it as much as possible in manual mode. The tablet was lying on the sofa, that is, it did not cool well. I downloaded data to a cloud on the network, simultaneously downloaded a large file with a torrent and also installed the Flatout 2 game. The maximum temperature reached 85 degrees, there was no performance drop. Test passed. For about another week I did not turn off the core temp program and constantly monitored the temperature. Even with long games where the GPU is running at full power, no overheating has been noticed.
Further check in synthetic tests. I did it rather for fun, because they do not reflect the real state of things. Tests do not take into account the features of the new iron, i.e. they are simply not optimized. Nevertheless, the general picture can be understood. 3D Mark 06 scored 2127 points.
3D mark 11 counted 618 points and compared performance with an office PC 5 years ago. But this is conditional, because for example, for us, an office PC is considered a 10 year-old box with windows XP. A similar tablet can launch Diablo 3. Such are the bourgeois office PCs J
Next, just screenshots from the Aida 64 built-in benchmarks.
But much more revealing is the game test. It was interesting to compare the increase in graphics and look at the capabilities of the GPU, because in the last generation of tablets from Intel by trail, graphics were not the strongest place. For testing, I chose games of different genres, especially not the latest ones, because still we have a tablet, and not a powerful gaming computer. Games tried to choose hit. And the first one is Flat out 2. Racing. I will be taking readings of FPS using the Fraps program. So, the maximum resolution, but the picture is not full screen, the game does not support such a high resolution. The fps menu has more than 60, in the game 30 - 40. In the most difficult areas, short-term lowering to 25. Completely playable!
The following checked out the Kings Bounty strategy. Resolution set the maximum (the game supports 1920x1200), but reduced the detail of the world. It can be seen that the game really loads the processor, and the graphics are more than enough. In the menus, fps is 60, but in the game it drops to 14-25, depending on the size of the world. In battle - 14 frames per second. But at the same time, no slowdowns are visible, you can quickly rotate the camera. Totally playable! By the way, if you decrease the resolution in the settings, then fps will grow a little, but I'm comfortable and so.
The next game is the legendary turn-based strategy Heroes of Might and Magic. Or Heroes. I am silent about the third, fourth and fifth parts, because they worked well on the last generation of tablets. Unless Heroes 5 began to work even better - at maximum graphics settings. But the sixth part is heavier, it did not even start. What can I say, it does not even work on my old computer (Athlon X2 3 Ghz, 4 Gb RAM and a Geforce 8600 Gt graphics card), most likely due to a weak video card. Imagine my surprise when the game started on the tablet. And even began to work quite smartly. But happiness did not last long, because the more I opened the game space, the more fps sagged. As a result, on the global map, fps is on average 9, during a battle 11. On large maps, it can fall even more. Not playable.
Next, I decided to load the schedule more seriously. For this purpose, I have installed several action-style games. Doom 3 worked on maximum requirements, but for some reason fraps did not want to show FPS in the game. But my verdict is completely playable!
Another famous game is STALKER. Maximum graphics settings, medium screen resolution. The game just flies. Most of the time, fps is not lower than 50, in some moments it sinks to 35. It is playable so much that I got carried away, and the game passed in a week. :)
It’s best to look at the game performance in the video, where you can see live how this or that game works.
The conclusion is obvious, performance has grown a lot. I think a maximum of a couple of years and the tablets will be able to completely replace the PC. I see it this way:
- Use in the "sofa" mode, like any other tablet.
- Use as a stationary. To do this, connect via hdmi to a large monitor, keyboard and mouse - wireless, external ssd disk as storage.
- Use as a netbook. To do this, we put on a keyboard dock station and you can go on a business trip or on vacation.
- Advanced TV BOX. We connect via hdmi to the TV and watch movies from online movie theaters in high quality.
A very versatile device is obtained, it can replace a mountain of different devices. True, if you need more power, then it is better to choose something on the 8500 or 8700 processors. Dual-channel memory, high performance. But the price is still very biting.
The last but very important point is autonomy. On the official website, the battery capacity is 8000 mAh, but it is said in brackets that the nominal capacity is 6500 mAh. It is not clear what this means. It is possible that they guarantee 6500, and more will be, if you're lucky. Of course, you should disassemble the tablet and measure the battery capacity with a DC discharge, but it was not easy to disassemble it. I was not able to remove the back cover, after several attempts with a sharpened plastic card, I quit this lesson, since there was a risk of damaging the case. So we will test the consumer method. After downloading the series in HD-quality, I set the screen brightness to 50%, the sound output via Bluetooth to a wireless headset. In this mode, playback lasted a little over 7 hours. A very good result. In mixed mode, 6 to 8 hours. This is without games, because they drop the battery noticeably quickly. For example, when I was passing a stalker. That full charge was enough for me for about 3 - 3.5 hours. The tablet worked for 8.5 hours with a maximum of one charge with a screen brightness of 25% and performing simple tasks (mainly reading web pages).
So, what can I say after a month, and this is how much I use the tablet - a worthy thing. The euphoria from the purchase has already passed, but still I often find myself thinking that I am happy with the device as a child of a new toy. Of course, this is not yet an option that can fully replace a stationary computer, but as a portable option it is simply ideal. The main advantages in my opinion: Improved graphics performance, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal, excellent IPS screen with high resolution, full USB v3.0 connectors, good autonomy. Among the shortcomings, I note the lousy sound of the speakers and very simple cameras. Accessories gradually begin to fall in price and if a month ago the original keyboard cost $ 50, now it can be borrowed for $ 37 ( * ). Plus myselfChuwi Hi10 tablet ( * ) will cost about $ 181.
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