CHUWI HeroBook for $193.99 in Hands-On: Is the low-budget laptop a real hero?
With the CHUWI HeroBook, the Chinese manufacturer is bringing an ultra-low-budget notebook for the very small purse onto the market. But which tasks can a notebook for this price master at all? We clarify that in this Hands-On.
- CHUWI HeroBook
- at GearBest for $193.99 + Gesture Sensor Light Strip (Coupon: GBNBDE01) | GearVita for $314.30
|Model||CHUWI HeroBook||CHUWI LapBook SE|
|Display size||14 inch WXGA LCD Display (1366 x 768)||13.3 inch Full HD IPS Display (1920 x 1080)|
|Processor||Intel Atom X5-E8000 Quad-Core 1.04GHz CPU||Intel Celeron N4100 Quad-Core 1.1GHz CPU|
|Graphics card||Intel HD Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 600|
|Main memory||4GB DDR3L RAM||4GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Internal memory||64GB eMMC||32GB EMMC + 128 GB SSD|
|Battery||5000 mAh||5000 mAh|
|Camera||0.3 MP front camera||3 MP front camera|
|Connectors||WiFi 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0||Dual WiFi 2.4 GHz/5.0 GHz, 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth|
|Dimensions||33,2 x 21,4 x 2,13 cm||31,70 × 21,50 × 1,59 cm|
|Weight||1.4 kg||1.4 kg|
|Operating system||Windows 10||Windows 10|
Packaging and scope of delivery
We received the HeroBook in an ordinary CHUWI box. This and the notebook itself survived the shipment from China undamaged. Inside the packaging you will find the usual accessories: power supply with C7 small device plug and EU adapter and operating instructions in English and Chinese.
Design and workmanship
With the new CHUWI Notebook generation, the design of the laptops has been unified. From my point of view, this is an important step that significantly increases the recognition value of the CHUWI devices. Beside CHUWI LapBook SE and Pro, also the CHUWI AeroBook and the HeroBook presented here received the new Design.
Modern design with a dark grey housing, large keyboard and touchpad make it visually appealing for me. Although the look looks identical at first glance, there are still big differences in the materials used.
The CHUWI HeroBook is completely made of plastic and not aluminium, as is the case with the CHUWI LapBook SE, for example. There is also no illuminated CHUWI logo on the back of the display with this version. One notices the HeroBook is clearly slimmed down in comparison to the more expensive models, which concerns the choice of materials.
Nevertheless, the laptop is very well processed overall, doesn’t have any material or manufacturing defects and makes a solid impression despite the plastic body. With a weight of 1.4 kg and dimensions of 33.2 x 21.4 x 2.13 cm, it has roughly the same dimensions as the Teclast F7 Plus.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard has basically the same dimensions as the better equipped CHUWI notebooks. However, the CHUWI HeroBook does not have a key illumination, but the label is simply stuck on, as we know it from other low-budget devices. Despite the cheaper plastic, the keys themselves have a pleasant pressure point and allow a good typing flow.
To my surprise, the 125 x 78 mm touchpad is the same size as the Teclast F7 Plus. Such a large touchpad in such a cheap notebook is very rare. In practice, multitouch gestures with up to four fingers work reliably and you can also rely on the haptic feedback during clicking. At least from this perspective, nothing stands in the way of productive work.
International Windows 10 Home
As is now common practice, the CHUWI HeroBook is equipped with an international Windows 10 Home Edition. Unfortunately at least our notebook is already set up and Admin account is already set up with the first boot.
CHUWI chose English as the system language, but the language can be changed with two clicks, very good! The system itself seems to be absolutely clean, there is no pre-installed third-party software. The operating system is also activated with a digital license, so there is nothing to complain about from this side, very good!
Which task can the low-budget hardware handle?
At the heart of the CHUWI HeroBook beats an Intel Atom X5-E8000 quad-core CPU with a base clock of 1.04 GHz. The processor is not very powerful and also not up to date. It was introduced in the first quarter of 2016 and is therefore a good three years old.
In addition there are 4 GB DDR3L RAM and 64 GB eMMC memory. However, only about 39 GB of this memory are free when delivered, the rest is occupied by the operating system. However, there is a free M.2 SSD slot on the underside with which the memory can be expanded as desired. The system is passively cooled, so there are no fans (noises) and, apart from the connections, no openings in the case.
In regular operation, the hardware of the CHUWI HeroBook is sufficient for the absolute basics and multitasking is only possible to a very limited extent. So several Google Chrome browser windows already bring the notebook out of concept and depending on the complexity of the website(s) it lags enormously. With only one open browser window and no other background tasks, streams can be streamed in HD 720p without problems. As the display doesn’t support Full HD 1080p anyway, the higher computing effort isn’t worth it anyway. Office applications during surfing, on the other hand, are no problem. Thus, at least efficient working is possible up to a certain level.
Overall, the performance meets my expectations, working with Office during surfing (e.g. research) works well on a small scale. Working with several browser tabs works conditionally, depending on the complexity of the web pages. During streaming, surfing the net is already slightly restricted. In the area of browser games, the complexity of the games is important again, simple games work flawlessly; if it gets graphically more complex, it gets less smooth.
Thus the CHUWI HeroBook is suitable predominantly as living room laptop for surfing, shopping or smaller Office work for everything else one should reach deeper into the bag.
Display & Battery
The low-budget display resolves with 1366 x 768 pixels and well, it works. At a time when 4K is slowly but surely becoming the standard, CHUWI would have been able to get through to a Full-HD panel. Even the Jumper EZBook 2, our first budget notebook from 2016, was already equipped with one.
The screen brightness is fine, but in the open you should look for a shady spot, otherwise you only see yourself. A complete disaster is the viewing angle stability. Horizontally the image becomes dark and illegible, vertically the image is better readable, but the color image is massively distorted.
The only thing you don’t have to cut back on compared to other China laptops are the ports. On the right side are Micro-SD, jack connector and USB-A 2.0 slot.
On the left side there is another USB-A 3.0 slot, DC charging port, and mini HDMI socket, but unfortunately no full HDMI interface. Of course you also have to do without a multifunctional USB-C interface.
Like all China notebooks, the CHUWI HeroBook is equipped with what I call “emergency” speakers. You can watch a Youtube video on the go, but to listen to music or watch movies they don’t meet my requirements.
In the case of the CHWUI Herobook, the speakers are not located on the underside of the laptop, but between the screen and keyboard.
In my opinion, the CHUWI HeroBook is one of the smartest low-budget notebooks on the market. I am happy that CHUWI has given even the weakest laptop a large keyboard and above all a large touchpad.
Unfortunately the notebook with its current price is, in my opinion, simply too expensive. If you consider that you will probably have difficulties asserting warranty claims and the display will not even resolve into FHD.
All in all, laptops from China aren’t very good bargains at the moment (unlike smartphones, for example). Budget brands like Medion or TrekStor, but also other brands offer similar prices, at least for occasional offers. Mind you, with a guarantee.
CHUWI, but also Teclast and Jumper must offer better hardware at lower prices in the future in order to remain competitive. Why not a budget up to middle class notebook with current Intel Pentium Silver N5000 or Intel Core i3-8130U? With the corresponding price, this could make the China notebook self-import market more attractive again. We are curious to see what the future will bring.To the gadget