I wrote a few days ago about starting a new business venture reselling. I decided to make a small investment into myself and picked up a new phone and laptop. I owed myself a phone from hitting some weigh-loss goals, and I haven't really had a decent laptop for about a year. It was time.
I Bought a Chuwi
I went with a Chuwi for four reasons.
- I really liked the computers features.
- It has a metal case.
- It's supposed to be Linux friendly.
- The price was definitely right. $260 on Amazon.
Let's talk a little about the features. One of the things I love about these cheap Chinese laptops is the fact that they give you a lot for your money. For instance, where can you find a metal case and backlit keyboard for under $300? IMHO those two features alone are worth the price of admission.
The processor and ram are appropriate for basic computing. I wouldn't game on this thing, but for checking emails, social media, writing blog posts, maybe making an occasional trade or pull up a chart, and listing products online, this thing is more than capable. It seems more than capable of handling basic web-design as well.
This is officially the first post to Hive from the new computer! Here are some specs:
Series GemiBook 2022
Item model number GemiBook-J4125
Hardware Platform PC
Operating System Windows 10
Item Weight 2.82 pounds
Product Dimensions 11.38 x 8.62 x 0.71 inches
Item Dimensions LxWxH 11.38 x 8.62 x 0.71 inches
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 4
Computer Memory Type DDR4 SDRAM
Flash Memory Size 256 GB
Hard Drive Interface Ethernet 100Base-TX
Hard Drive Rotational Speed 7200
Power Source Battery Powered
Standing screen display size 13 Inches
Max Screen Resolution 2160x1440 Pixels
Processor 2 GHz celeron
RAM 8 GB DDR4
Memory Speed 2.8 GHz
Hard Drive 256 GB SSD
Graphics Coprocessor Intel UHD Graphics 600
Chipset Brand Intel
Card Description Dedicated
This is my second cheaper Chinese computer. My first was a Jumper EZ Book. It was the same type of computer with a metal case and a decent enough processor. I got about two years of daily use out of it before I started having any serious issues with it. That computer was about $171 when I purchased it. The Chuwi I'm told is a step up from Jumper and a much better product.
The keyboard on the Jumper was really crappy. Considering how similar the two laptops were I was hoping this one didn't have the same crappy keyboard. I'm delighted to report this keyboard has a much nicer look and feel to it. It's also much more comfortable and functional. So far, I'm extremely happy with the new keyboard. Between the two keyboards, the Chuwi feels a little stiffer and tighter. Could just be that it's new, but I'm trying to be gentle with it, I'm tired of killing keyboards.
I am really rough on my keyboards though. I'm notorious at killing keyboards both on desktops and laptops. Even Dell keyboards become victim to my heavy hand and thumb. We'll have to see how well this keyboard holds up. That's the true test of a laptop for me. If the keyboard still works good in two years, it passed the keyboard test!
After the Jumper, I didn't think I'd buy another Chinese laptop. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I just thought it might be better to spend a little more on something a little better. So far though, I'm really happy with the look and feel of this Chuwi product. Technically, this is supposed to be something a little better.
I honestly didn't set out to buy a new laptop yesterday, but when I came across this, it was just an impulse buy. It looked decent, and my Chromebook and Jumper are just dying and extremely slow. It was time to upgrade. Normally I wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to order laptops. At this price though and the fact that I wanted and needed a laptop, I couldn't resist trying it out. Plus, it's Amazon. If I absolutely hated it, I could always return it. So far though, it seems like a keeper.
This is a 13 inch laptop which is perfect for keeping on my lap while watching TV. It fits nicely in my backpack. With the metal case, I can be a little rougher with it. It's also surprisingly light, maybe even a little lighter than the Jumper EZ Book that I had. Not sure about that one though, the weight just might be wishful thinking. It's no bother at all adding it to the backpack though!
The screen is pretty impressive. Crystal clear and incredibly brilliant colors. Definitely wouldn't expect this type of screen on a laptop under $300.
Reading through the reviews I discovered this particular model is supposed to run Linux really well. I also did further research and found out that Chuwi sells many laptops already preconfigured with Linux. That was a huge bonus for me. I'm currently keeping Windows 10 on here for a couple months, but I personally enjoy a Linux laptop and once I decide on keeping this thing, I'll probably upgrade to a Linux distro like Ubuntu or Kubuntu. Again, I'm not gaming with this thing, and Linux is a lot less top heavy than Windows. Considering the processing power and limited memory at 8gb, I'm guessing Linux will probably breath new life into this thing. That will definitely be a future post. Chances are, I'll test a USB Linux distro in here and if it runs good, I'll swap out OS's in a couple weeks.
As I stated earlier the computer seems powerful enough for my needs. It seems Twitter animated gifs load a little funny. No big deal and I'm hoping the Linux install might fix that. Again, I wouldn't want to game with this thing or do any serious video editing, but for basic needs, this thing seems perfect.
As far as things I don't like. There's only one USB port, that's kind of a bummer. There is also one USB-C port and a headphones jack for speakers or headphones. So more USB ports would have been nice.
The mousepad is a little sensitive and a little funky for my tastes. Nothing to bothersome, but it does have a weird feel to it. I might be able to straighten that out though if I swap the OS to Linux. The mousepad is responsive but feels a bit clunky and almost cheap feeling. Honestly though, that's the only thing that really feels cheap on this laptop. I can deal with that.
Outside of the shortage of USB ports, and the touchpad, I have no other complaints so far.
I'm really happy about keyboard quality so far. For a basic computer to use for social networking, blog posts, and listing products on eBay, I think this thing will be just fine. I guess the real question now is, "How long will it last?" I'll have to do a follow up post in about 6 months and let you all know my final thoughts then. If it makes it through the next 6 months, I'm guessing this is a pretty decent little laptop for the price. For now, at just $260, I find this to be a pretty impressive little laptop and so far seems like exactly what I needed!