Technology

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Tablet [Review]

When I got the chance to review a dual boot Windows and Android tablet; I jumped at the opportunity. I had seen these tablets online and I was curious about their potential. Having both Windows and Android in one little package sounds nice but can it properly be executed? I’m sure you have seen tablets like this and asked yourself the same questions. Well, I finally got my hands on a Chuwi Hi10 Plus with a keyboard attachment and the HiPen, thanks to the nice folks at the company. Everything I needed to put this tablet through its paces was in my hands. So… Let me share my thoughts.

Chuwi Hi10 Plus

Chuwi Hi10 Plus Specs

First, let’s talk specs. I was pretty impressed with what Chuwi was able to pack into such a small package. Check it out:

  • Dual boot Windows 10/Android 5.1
  • Quad Core Intel Z8350 CPU @ 1.44GHz
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB storage – expandable with up to 128 GB SD card
  • 10.8-inch IPS display, 1920×1280
  • Ports: USB Type-C, Micro USB, Micro HDMI, 3.5mm Headphone Port
  • Bluetooth
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi
  • 2-megapixel front camera, 2-megapixel rear camera
  • 10.88 x 7.28 x 0.35 inches
  • 1.5 lbs
  • 8400mAh battery
  • Price: $215.24 (with keyboard and pen included)

Pretty nice specs at that price point. Of course, specs on paper are a whole lot different than specs in real world usage. I put the Chuwi Hi10 Plus through its paces over the past few weeks and I’m ready to pass along my thoughts to you.

First Impressions

When I took this tablet out of the box I was immediately impressed with the build quality. It felt solid and well-built in my hands. For a 10.8-inch tablet, it certainly has some heft and weight to it. When I held the tablet I didn’t feel like it was going to fall apart in my hands. The keyboard and HiPen both felt similarly sturdy. What impressed me most is how nice everything fit together. It’s easy to attach and detach the keyboard but it still feels sturdy enough that I feel like I’m holding a laptop rather than two separate pieces attached together. The metal build definitely helps with giving a great first impression. This isn’t some cheap plastic piece of hardware.

When everything is put together, the size is perfect for what I would want out of a dual booting tablet with attached keyboard. I feel like I can enjoy multimedia content, get some work done, and travel easily with these components. Until now, I had always lugged around my 17-inch laptop. Yes, it’s nice to have a full laptop with you wherever you go but do you know how hard it is to find 17-inch laptop bags? The Hi10 Plus definitely gets a thumbs up for its first impression.

Using The Hi10 Plus

I do a lot of writing so I was expecting the Hi10 Plus to keep up with me. Was that going to be too much to ask of a tablet with an attachable keyboard? I guess I was going to find out.

Right away I began using the attached keyboard for some of my writing and I was very, very impressed. To be honest, the last time I had used a tablet keyboard was some Bluetooth keyboard I had with my Nexus 7. The Hi10 Plus keyboard was amazing in comparison. Will it replace your nice, desktop mechanical keyboard? Of course not. Still, this keyboard was great for typing on. The size of the keyboard took some getting used to but once I found my groove I didn’t notice any loss of productivity when using the Hi10 Plus keyboard. That may not seem like a big deal to some but it was huge for me. This meant I could maybe leave my giant, unwieldy laptop at home when traveling and just take the Hi10 Plus.

Popping the keyboard on and off was a breeze. For the most part, for my usage, I left the keyboard attached. This meant that I was opening and closing the Hi10 Plus a lot. I wondered if my continued usage of the hinge would begin to loosen it up. It turns out that this hinge is just as good the 300th time you close it as it is the first time. The quality build and firm hinge when opening and closing the tablet/laptop didn’t begin to disappear after weeks of use. On the rare occasion where I was using the tablet as an actual tablet, I was impressed at how quickly the keyboard comes to life when you dock the two devices. There’s no delay or waiting. You literally dock the tablet and you can begin typing immediately.

Let’s talk a little more about the keyboard… It gives you two USB 2.0 ports which is really handy if you want to give yourself a more “PC-like” experience by adding a wireless mouse or other accessories. My one complaint about the keyboard is the track pad. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not bad. However, the responsiveness was sometimes lacking. It was fine for me as a writer – I was using the keys rather than the track pad for most of my work. If you would make a lot of use of the track pad then I recommend using one of the USB 2.0 ports to attach a wireless mouse.

Dual Booting Experience

One of the big draws of the Hi10 Plus is the fact that it can dual boot both Windows 10 and Android 5.1. Switching between the two operating systems is incredibly easy. On boot you have the option to tap and select which OS you want to boot. In each OS there are apps or programs that you use to initiate the switch to the other OS. No need to power down if you don’t want to.

Both Windows and Android were very smooth. I was a little worried that the Windows installation would feel slow or laggy. However, I didn’t experience any noticeable lag at all when doing basic tasks like writing, web browsing, or watching videos.

It’s definitely nice being able to switch between the two operating systems easily and being able to enjoy the best of both worlds. For example, my library has a suite of Android apps that offer access to ebooks, videos, and more. It was nice being able to finish a task on the Windows side of things and then swap over to Android within seconds to get back to a book I had been reading.

With that said, I spent about 90% of my time with the Hi10 Plus using Windows. Windows 10 translates very nicely to a tablet environment and I felt like I had more freedom to accomplish things when using Windows. This partly could be because the Android build is only updated to 5.1 which leaves out some features that a dedicated Android user like myself has become accustomed to. This isn’t to say that the Android side of the device is poor in any way. I loved having my favorite Android apps there with the tap of a button. However, the Windows side of things is just too nice to ignore.

Traveling With The Chuwi Hi10 Plus

Probably my favorite thing about my Chuwi Hi10 Plus review time was traveling with the device. I took a few trips while I was reviewing the Hi10 Plus and I got a point of confidence where I began leaving my large laptop at home. That’s a huge thing for me. I make a good chunk of my income from writing remotely which means I can’t have poor tech slowing me down. The Chuwi Hi10 Plus honestly has made traveling a better experience for me.

First, carrying around a smaller device that only weighs 1.5 pounds is much easier. Instead of fighting to jam my 17-inch laptop into my backpack along with whatever else I was packing along I simply slid the Hi10 Plus into my bag with ease. Plus, it charges with USB Type-C just like my smartphone so I only had to bring one charger rather than a massive laptop charger with a huge charging block in the middle. And, if worse came to worse and I forgot my charger, I could easily pick up a new one for cheap at any store. One time I forgot my laptop charger and I had to do some work on the road… Best Buy ended up taking me for $50 that week.

After some time with the keyboard, I don’t feel like I am making a huge compromise by trusting the Chuwi Hi10 Plus with my work. I save a ton of space in my bags and I’m still able to work as if I had my beastly laptop with me. I also don’t look like an idiot at airport security as I repack my electronics into limited space.

Most importantly when traveling… The battery. Oh my… The battery. I want to cry tears of joy as I type about this 8400MAh battery in the Chuwi Hi10 Plus. With moderate screen brightness and using the attached keyboard I can get up to 6 or 7 hours of usage out of the Hi10 Plus. My laptop, with the screen brightness turned down, would maybe last about 2.5 hours while working. A dead laptop isn’t very useful on the road. This was most evident when I rode in the backseat of a carpool a few weeks ago. I worked for the entire 2.5 hour drive to our destination. I worked for the entire 2.5 hour drive back. I still had 42% battery life when we arrived back home. At no point was I worried about running out of juice and having to stop what I was doing. That kind of stress can take years off your life.

I could seriously write a whole article about traveling with the Chuwi Hi10 Plus. It’s fantastic.

Final Thoughts

“What about the HiPen?!” I din’t forget about the HiPen. If I’m being honest; I’m really not much of an artist. The HiPen worked great for the few stick men I drew. I did, however, find the HiPen very handy for scrolling through webpages and selecting links or check boxes. It was a great replacement for my fat fingers. The HiPen is very responsive and feels incredibly accurate. I would be interested to see a more artistic person put the HiPen through its paces and provide their thoughts. For what I asked of it, the HiPen performed very well. The one complaint I have about it is that it uses a Micro USB port for charging. Not a big deal but just means you need to bring an extra charging cable with you when you’re on the go.

Overall, I felt the Hi10 Plus was a fantastic little device. Its usability when traveling, for me, was its most impressive feature. The dual boot function is handy to have and its one of the features that immediately grabs your attention but there is so much more to love about this device. Typing on the keyboard is nice but takes some getting used to.

Will this replace your top of the line laptop or desktop computer? No. And Chuwi doesn’t make that claim. The Hi10 Plus is a very nice tablet/laptop hybrid that can handle your basic computing tasks with ease. There’s no lag, no stuttering, and no frustration. Out of the box you will get a very nice experience and I guarantee you will find yourself carrying around the Chuwi Hi10 Plus a lot once you get to know it.

Full Disclosure: We received a free Hi10 Plus and HiPen in return for an honest review of the product.