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Chuwi GemiBook 13 Review

Chuwi GemiBook 13 Review

What a $400 laptop can do?

Chuwi has followed its own path - it produces cheaper clones of popular laptops. Less efficient processors and materials help to save money.
Another novelty of this Chinese brand called GemiBook uses a body that is very similar to the Huawei MateBook 13, and exactly the same screen. This screen is 2160 pixels wide by 1440 pixels high. Competitive companies only install such displays in very expensive tablets and laptops. The Microsoft Surface Laptop, for example, costs close to $1,000 - while the GemiBook 13 costs $400. Huawei also wants about $1,000 for its aforementioned MateBook.

Let's get to know GemiBook right now.


Design and features

The slim metal design of this laptop is truly eye-catching - especially from a distance. However, there are some shortcomings in the case: backlash of the screen hinges. Compared to the MacBook, Dell XPS, Huawei MateBook, HP Specter and other expensive laptops that Chuwi's developers try to copy, the build quality is lower here and corresponds to the inexpensive price of the device.


In appearance, the GemiBook has a matte gray, slightly grainy surface and well resists finger stains. The body is made thin, but easily lends itself to physical impact, making the appropriate sounds. Remember the price.


At large opening angles, the hinges hold weakly, but the maximum opening angle is 180 degrees. There is a quick service compartment at the bottom of the case. It hides the second M.2 pad for additional storage.



The port selection seems to be acceptable. HDMI is not available, but it can be organized using an adapter, because the local USB-C supports an alternative mode of operation with video output via DisplayPort. The USB-C ports and the power jack are very close together, which can interfere with the connection of thick cords and peripherals.



So, on the right are the connectors: MicroSD, Audio 3.5 mm, USB-A 3.0. On the left is the power connector, USB-C (DisplayPort). Among the shortcomings, it is worth noting that it will be difficult to remove the microSD card with your finger, especially your thumb, since the slot is deeply recessed.


Four speakers, 2x2, are located at the front corners. The volume is good, but the bass is not enough.

The GemiBook keyboard is backlit, the keys are large, the characters are well read. The response from the buttons is adequate, but different from key to key. Enter and Shift are pressed softer than letter rows. The up and down arrows are pressed very softly.


Decent sized (11 x 7cm) touchpad with Precision driver. The touchpad buttons are shallow with a pleasant click.



Display

The Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1 matrix belongs to the IPS family and, in addition to today's Chuwi, is used in the Huawei MateBook 13. Both of these laptops provide similar color rendering, response time, contrast and many other parameters, despite the threefold difference in price.


The screen is covered with glass, and the side frames are narrow. There is no graininess inherent in a matte finish, but there is a clear, sharp image.

GemiBook displays 99% of the sRGB spectrum. Established manufacturers offer this only in laptops for $ 700-800 and more.


Performance and graphics


In terms of multi-threaded performance, the local Celeron is 25-35% behind the dual-core Core i3-8145U, the cheapest Core i3 among the relatively current ones - but at least ahead of the Celeron N4100. With a long load, the Boost frequencies are activated, but by no means at the maximum level.


The tested laptop earned very modest points in the tests of the PCMark family. Smaller than a regular two-year-old Ultrabook with a quad-core Core i5-8250U. Programs on GemiBook are not launched at once and switching between different windows takes time.


LatencyMon sees large delays when opening multiple Notebookcheck page tabs in the browser and blames the ndis.sys file as the culprit. 4K60 video playback from YouTube, on the other hand, is smooth and with no dropped frames.

Our sample has a 256 GB Morebeck-S100 drive. The firm is not very common. It is made in standard size M.2 22x80 and transmits data using the SATA III protocol. Sequential read and write speeds turned out to be decent, over 400 MB / s according to AS SSD measurements, but, of course, this inexpensive drive cannot reach the level of expensive NVMe SSDs. By the way, inside there is room not for one, but for two M.2 22x80 drives.


The local Celeron CPU has an integrated UHD Graphics 600 video processor. It should be noted that this laptop was not created for games. The 3DMark 11 benchmark results are higher.


Noise and heating

The internal fan runs quietly at all times - whatever the computing load. With Prime95, we measured only 26.7 decibels against a room background of 26.2 decibels. In a typical office or university auditorium, this level of hum will be impossible to hear. The cooling system consists of a 35 mm fan and a heat sink. Warm air is blown out from behind.


Autonomy

In standby mode, when displaying the desktop at minimum brightness, the reviewed Chuwi laptop consumes about 7 watts versus 3-4 watts in the case of the Jumper EZbook X3, which uses similar components. The maximum measured by us for the entire time is 24.4 watts.

The supplied power adapter has a capacity of 24 watts. The five and a half hours we got in our Wi-Fi test looks average.


Conclusion

The best thing about GemiBook is its screen. This is the same 3: 2 screen with good resolution that Huawei installs in its expensive MateBook 13. As a result, today's laptop gives the same picture quality as ultrabooks for $1000. A very successful move was made by Chinese developers.
Nice design like the aforementioned Huawei MateBooks, quiet fan and two M.2 storage pads are also good points. But there are also some shortcomings, for example, the screen hinges are sorely lacking in rigidity, especially in some opening angles. On the other hand, the manufacturer asks for only $400, and for this money the laptop looks good. It's just not that well balanced.

Pros:
• excellent screen with full sRGB display
• USB C supports video output over DisplayPort
• there is a card reader (MicroSD)
• slim, compact appearance
• 2x M.2 22x80
• backlit keyboard
• the fan runs quietly
• low price

Cons:
• different feeling of pressing from different keys
• weak screen hinges
• long charging time








CHUWI GemiBook 13 inch Laptop 2K IPS Screen LPDDR4X 12GB 256GB SSD Intel Celeron Quad Core Windows 10 Notebook with Backlit Keyboard


$693.39


$399.99







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