SHENZHEN UPSTART Chuwi has laid down the gauntlet to Microsoft as it previews yet another budget alternative to a Surface device.
The Chuwi Lapbook 12.3 is a little-sister to the Lapbook 14 which we reviewed (and liked) earlier in the year, but we've been holding off mentioning it until there was a definite date and price.
The 12.3 inch ultrabook-style machine rocks the same Intel Apollo Lake N3450 processor clocked at 1.1Ghz up to 2.2Ghz, which comes paired with Intel Gen 9 HD Graphics.
The screen has the same 3:2 aspect ratio as the Surface Book and the recently release Chuwi Hi13 2-in-1, but the resolution is slightly lower at a still impressive 2736x1824.
There's dual band WiFi and Bluetooth from an Intel 3165 chip, plus an OCH177 magnetic sensor.
Windows 10 will be default at launch but an Ubuntu version is in the offing too, though there's no sign of what distro yet.
Specs-wise, there's 6GB of DDR3 RAM and 64GB eMMC ROM. But notably there's room for a microSD card of 128GB (it'll almost certainly work with 256GB) and if you feel like opening up the back, there's room for an M2 SSD of up to 256GB too.
If it's anything like the 14, you'll get a full day of battery from it, and of course there's USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, as well as HDMI out.
It clocks in at 1.4kg. We'd have liked a little lighter, but you will get a full metal body for that, where the last one was plastic.
The Chuwi Lapbook 12.3 will be available by the end of May for $349 from Gearbest. Remember to allow for import charges, though we understand Chuwi are looking into UK and US distribution.
Recently, Chuwi threw down the gauntlet to Microsoft over its Hi13 device, pointing out that its already available with comparable specs (they're not quite as good if we're honest, but they're not bad at all) asking Microsoft why it wasn't able to match its $349 price point.
As we always say, we love Chuwi, and while its products aren't in the same league as those at those higher price points, you get a lot more bang for your buck compared to buying a high-street brand with the same budget.
We'll be hands on with both the Hi13 and Lapbook 12.3 very soon. µ
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