When 2 in 1 devices first started coming out, no one expected them to take off like they have. Microsoft’s Surface achieved great success and since then most big name companies have released their “clones” of this devices.
The Chinese, however, have been producing cheap, yet decent quality tablets. Although Chuwi Hi 12 is not really a Surface clone, in true meaning of the word, it is one of the cheapest tablets of this kind on the market and arguably the best within the price range.
Design and Build
At first glance, the Chuwi looks pretty good, even though it has an all metal uni-body design, the designers have somehow managed to pull this look off. Both the tablet and the keyboard feel good in hands but are quite heavy, which could be problematic for some users and definitely feels uncomfortable after a while.
The biggest flaw of this model lies in the fact that the display is heavier than the keyboard, which cannot be firmly attached and this is what makes typing on it feel uncomfortable too. Holding the Chuwi in the lap and typing on the keyboard feels even more uncomfortable.
A kickstand is definitely something this model is lacking.
The keyboard itself, even though small, looks really good – it looks sleek and the keys are well spaced. USB ports and a Micro SD card slot are included. All in all, the device looks good but has some major flaws that are expected, hence the low price.
A large number of ports is something that will impress many users. The Chuwi has a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a mini HDMI port, a micro USB port and a micro SD card slot. Additionally, there are two more USB ports in the keyboard itself, which is a great feature and certainly a rarity when it comes to tablets.
This is a very practical solution that we will hopefully see more of in the future.
A 12-inch display, with a resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels is bright and vivid. The viewing angles are not disappointing either, but the best part is the touchscreen. The touchscreen is really good, much better than one would expect for this much money. It is highly responsive and has impressive multi-touch capabilities.
Possibly the best feature of the Chuwi Hi 12, the display is as good, if not better as displays of Microsoft’s Surface and the iPad Pro.
When it comes to performance, Chuwi does not disappoint, however, it’s nothing to write home about. If you’re looking for a decent tablet to serve as a second device, so that you can perhaps watch movies, write emails, skype or casually surf the internet, you will not be disappointed.
The device handles multi-tasking quit well too, as it switches between different applications effortlessly and smoothly. Heavy games are pretty much unplayable, but those that don’t require high-end performance run just fine.
All in all – if you’re not looking for much or expecting much this device should do the trick and should definitely not leave you feeling underwhelmed when it comes to performance. Windows performs well on the Chuwi, menus are responsive and folders open up quickly. The device runs smoothly and without lag, switches between applications without any issues and operates quite fast.
Audio and Video
The speakers are placed on the right and left sides of the tablet and this separation is what makes them sound even better. The sound that they produce is clear and crisp, better than on most tablets in this price range and definitely better than those of other Chinese devices. The 3.5 mm audio jack supports headsets with microphones, which is something some users might be interested in.
The cameras are decent, but nothing special. Don’t expect to take high-quality photos with them, but they’re good enough for skype video calls.
Battery is arguably where this model excels the most. If you don’t do much except browsing the web, answering emails and watching YouTube videos, you can expect the battery to last up to 8-9 hours. If you are however gaming or watching movies, you can expect it to last somewhere around 6 hours.
Tablets with large screens, such as this one, usually have short battery life, especially the cheaper models like Chuwi, but that is definitely not the case with this device.
Pros and Cons
- Solid build
- A large number of useful ports
- Good display
- Highly responsive touchscreen
- Very good battery life
- Low price
- No kickstand
The Bottom Line
Overall, the Chuwi Hi 12 is one of the best tablets within the price range. It doesn’t have spectacular specs, but performs very well and has good battery life. The downside is the heavy keyboard, but a large number of ports is what makes it convenient and practical.
A kickstand would have made this product a lot better, but it is what it is and it is, with all of its flaws, a good quality tablet computer.