Of the many budget Chinese tablets/smartphones/laptops I’ve tested in the last year or two, the two brands that have consistently impressed me in terms of build quality and usability have been Chuwi and Teclast. The former’s laptop, the 12.3, was an excellent $300 device with a gorgeous screen (same panel as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4). Meanwhile, Teclast’s Tbook 16 Power was a tablet with a really, really good keyboard cover.
Both companies have just announced new devices that look to continue the trend of “pretty good specs and design at a really cheap price.”
First up is a new Android tablet by Teclast with a 10.1-inch, 2560 X 1600 resolution display produced by Sharp. With an MTK 8176 chipset — the same one used to power a variety of mid-tier tablets by Xiaomi and Asus — and Android 7.0, the T10 should be great at multi-tasking thanks to Android Nougat’s split-screen mode and quick app switching features. Amusingly, Teclast admits on its own website that the 13- and 8-megapixel cameras on the front and back respectively are just “decent,” but you wouldn’t want to be one of those people who take photos with a tablet anyway. What makes the T10 stands out, other than the display, is that it has a fingerprint reader despite the mid-tier price (unconfirmed, but it should cost less than $350). The company will announce more information on its Facebook page in the coming days.
The T10 has a fingerprint reader on the back, though it’s oddly located.
Shenzhen-based Chuwi, meanwhile, has announced a new laptop named the LapBook Air. Contrary to what you may be thinking, the laptop is more inspired by Xiaomi’s Notebook Air than Apple’s MacBook Air. Chuwi’s new device is significantly sleeker and “sexier” than the 12.3 I reviewed, only 6mm thick and weighing just a bit over 2 lbs. The 14.1-inch model, however, is just a 1080p panel, which is actually a downgrade from the 2k-resolution panel on the 12.3, but it’s fully laminated so it shouldn’t be as reflective.
While the device looks great in these renders, the best news is in memory — the LapBook Air will rock 8GB of RAM, a first for a Chuwi device. The company hasn’t announced what processor will ship with the laptop, however. Having tested Chuwi’s previous products, I’d guess it will be the mi-tier Apollo Lake chipset from Intel.
Teclast’s T10 is already on sale, while Chuwi’s LapBook Air hasn’t been launched yet but will be available in the next couple of weeks.