The Chuwi Hi13 is a very interesting Windows tablet out of China. Its highlights are a low price, a very high-resolution 13.5-inch display and an Intel Celeron N3450. The IPS panel itself seems to be the same or at least similar to the panel of the Microsoft Surface Book. How good can such a big tablet be? That’s what you’ll find out in this review.
I got the Chuwi Hi13 from GearBest, they send it to me to review. That’s a shop from China that exports tablets almost worldwide. Right now, you can get the Chuwi Hi13 at a Flash-Sale for around 290 US Dollars. The Chuwi Hi13 is not sold directly in most countries, so you’ll usually have to import it.
Design & Build Quality
Let’s start the review with the design and build quality. The Chuwi Hi13 feels surprisingly high-end. The body is completely made out of aluminum and even the transition from the back to the display feels nice. Much better than I’m used to from cheaper tablets. Even though it is cheap, I had the impressions of holding an expensive tablet.
As you might expect of a 13.5-inch device, it is not a very light one. In fact, the Hi13 is quite heavy at 1.1kg. Well, that’s to be expected. On the other hand, it is relatively thin at 8 millimeters.
The weight is one reason why I did find one negative point with the build quality. If you’re holding the tablet at one of its corners, it seems like the body is bending just a bit. While it still feels solid, it is not completely stiff.
Ports, Speakers, Cameras
On the right side and on the left side are two speakers each. So the Chuwi Hi13 has four speakers in total. And the sound quality is indeed pretty good – much better than I expected and am used to from cheaper tablets. They are quite loud and it’s nice to watch YouTube or Netflix with these.
There are a couple of ports on the left side of the tablet. Chuwi is giving us a USB Type C port, a micro USB port, a microSD card slot and an HDMI out. You charge it via the Type C port.
On the front, there is a 2-megapixel camera and a Windows button next to the screen. The main camera on the back offers a resolution of 5 megapixels. Both cameras are fine for Skype but not really for the nicest Instagram selfie.
Display: A Lot Of Pixels
The Chuwi Hi13 has one major highlight and that is the display. It’s a 13.5-inch screen with a very high resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixel. That’s impressive.
As I mentioned before, apparently it is the same or at least a similar screen to the one from the Microsoft Surface Book. That could be the case because the display looks really nice. Texts and icons look sharp, colors look nice and the viewing angles are great too.
Unlike with the Surface Book, the display is not fully laminated though. In fact, there is a 0.5-millimeter gap between the IPS panel and the touchscreen. Because of that, the display is quite reflective. It seems like there is no kind of Gorilla Glass as well. Instead, Chuwi pre-applied a screen protector – which attracts a lot of fingerprints.
Even though there are some minor downsides, overall I think the display is awesome. Especially at this price. It is big, offers a nice resolution and just looks pretty.
Hardware & Performance
Inside the Chuwi Hi13 runs an Intel Celeron N3450 chipset. That’s a quad-core processor with all four cores clocked at 1.1GHz. In addition to that, we’re getting 4GB of RAM and a 64GB internal storage.
The performance of the N3450 is much better than an Atom x5, which is the processor we find in a lot of cheaper Windows tablets like the Lenovo MIIX 320. But, at the same time, the performance is not as good as a Core m3.
Even though the chipset is quite powerful, the performance of the Chuwi Hi13 reminded me more of a typical Atom x5 tablet. It’s just a bit better. That’s probably because of the high resolution. I think Chuwi should have gone for a full HD screen here.
Obviously, the performance if fine for office work. I worked a lot in Microsoft Word and did not encounter any problems. The same goes for some light web browsing. It’s totally fine for that – in Edge and in Chrome. But sometimes it can lag a bit when visiting more demanding websites and that includes YouTube.
You can also install apps like Photoshop or PowerDirector and they do run. But, again, the performance is similar to an Atom tablet. It is certainly usable, but it’s not always super smooth.
Chuwi Hi13 Benchmarks & Gaming
While the Chuwi Hi13 is not a gaming tablet, you are able to play some games on it. One that runs pretty good is Asphalt Xtreme. I played it without any problems – especially with turned down graphics.
I even installed Cuphead, which is a very popular and fun game right now. But, sadly, it is not smoothly playable at the standard resolution. That changes though, once you set the resolution to full HD or lower. It’s still a demanding game, but with turned down resolution, it’s certainly playable.
In benchmarks, the Chuwi Hi13 performs as you would expect from an Intel N3450. In Geekbench 4, it gets around 1400 points in the Single-Core-Test and 4000 points in the Multi-Core-Test. So it is faster than an Atom x5, but not as fast as a current Core m3.
As with all of my Windows tablet reviews, I also did a video render test in PowerDirector. It took the Chuwi Hi13 12 minutes and 31 seconds to render a 16 minute full HD video with activated Intel Quick Sync. That’s not great, but not bad either. A Core m3 usually need 5 minutes and the N4200 from the Acer Switch 3 (review) needed just under 8 minutes for the same video.
Overall, the performance is fine, as long as you’re not using too many apps at the same time. But I don’t think it’s good enough to really replace a laptop or desktop pc. It is good enough though for office work, to watch videos and to some internet browsing. As I said, I would compare it more to a typical Atom tablet.
Keyboard & Stylus
Chuwi is offering a couple of accessories for the Hi 13 including a keyboard dock and a stylus. I couldn’t try both tough. The pen supports 1024 pressure points. So while it’s not as precise as the new Surface Pen, it should be alright for most.
According to other reviews, the keyboard dock seems to be pretty good. In addition to a keyboard, it also has a touchpad. It’s sold with a US layout only – so, depending on where you’re from, that’s something to keep in mind.
But, of course, you can use any keyboard with the Chuwi Hi13 that supports Windows. Either via USB or Bluetooth. I used it with the Microsoft Universal Mobile keyboard and that worked great.
On the Chuwi Hi13 runs standard Windows 10. So, I don’t have to talk too much about it. Because, well, it’s Windows 10 and works exactly like on your notebook or desktop pc.
As usual, you can use all the tablet-centric features like the tablet mode. Once you activated it, its easier to navigate with your fingers. Apps are usually opened full screen but you can still run two apps side by side using gestures.
Let’s take a look at the battery life. Even though the Chuwi Hi13 has quite a big battery with a capacity of 10.000mAh, that lasted for 5 hours and 20 minutes in my battery test only. Windows tablets often suffer from a bad battery life and since the display is so big here, it suffers even more.
My battery tests are always the same. I’m running an HD video at 50 percent brightness and activated WiFi until the tablet shuts itself off.
During my everyday use, the battery life wasn’t much better either. While working with it normally with Microsoft Word and Chrome I got an active runtime of 4 hours only. In those four hours, the brightness was set to 100 percent and Bluetooth and WiFi were activated.
Chuwi Hi13 Review: Final Verdict
So, can I recommend the Chuwi Hi13? Well, it depends on what you are looking for. Considering the price, the build quality and especially the display are great. The performance and battery life are kind of weak though.
Since the 13.5-inch screen is so big, you might think it’s a great notebook replacement. But I wouldn’t really recommend it for that. The performance is just not good enough.
Yes, it’s certainly fine for office work. But the tablet has to fight when you do a lot of multitasking. But it’s good for browsing online and watching movies or TV shows. The screen is awesome for that.
So, I can recommend the Chuwi Hi13 if you’re looking for a Windows tablet with a big screen, don’t need a lot of performance and mainly don’t want to spend a lot of money.
If you can live with a 10-inch device, then you should take a look at the Cube Mix Plus (review). While it is smaller, it has a much better performance thanks to its Core m3. The prices are very similar.
If you can spend a bit more money, the Acer Switch 3 might be a nice alternative too. Its highlights are a similar processor and a 12-inch screen – so you’re still getting a big tablet. But it is a bit more powerful because it offers a full HD resolution only. While it is not as fast as the Cube Mix Plus, it is noticeably better than the Chuwi Hi13.
- Great high-resolution screen
- Good build quality
- Tons of ports
- Optional pen
- Performance is lacking
- Bad battery life
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