Design

Looking at the Chuwi AeroBook, it becomes clear very quickly that Chuwi has been inspired by the MacBook, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For originality it’s not the best design, but there’s little doubt that it’s a design that works, and looks great.

The AeroBook is thin and light, coming in at just 1.26 kg / 2.77 lbs, making it easy to travel with. The exterior is all-metal offering a great in-hand feel, and also helping with the fanless cooling. The laptop isn’t entirely metal though, with the keyboard deck being made out of plastic, but they’ve nicely matched the coloring to the rest of the unit.

Chuwi also offers a modern looking then-bezel design, with 5 mm bezels on the side and the top and bottom being slightly wider to allow for the webcam. The display is a 16:9 unit, meaning the bottom bezel is quite tall, but it still looks great framed in the black surround.

Chuwi has done a great job on the keyboard, with a very wide keyboard layout pushing the keys all the way to the edges, and the keys themselves offer reasonable good travel and are quite easy to type on. Generally a power button integrated in the keyboard is a negative, but Chuwi has put it off to the side far enough that it’s less likely to be accidentally hit, and the button is bright red so you can’t miss it. Chuwi also offers two levels of white LED backlighting on the AeroBook, which isn’t something they always offer on their LapBooks, but is certainly an expectation as they creep into higher price brackets.

The trackpad is quite good. The size is just right and it seems very responsive. This is one area where Chuwi has traditionally done quite poorly on, so it’s great to see them focus some attention here. It’s not a glass trackpad though, and the plastic coating is a bit rough, but it registers taps and multi-touch well and this is likely the first Chuwi where the money saved on the notebook didn’t have to be spent on an external mouse.

For expansion, there’s a USB 3.0 port on the right side, along with the headset jack and a micro SD card slot. The left side offers a somewhat strange assortment, with a USB 3.0 port, a micro HDMI port, and a USB Type-C port. There’s no Thunderbolt 3, It does provide power delivery, but despite this Chuwi has a dedicated barrel connector, also on the left side, for charging. It's a strange decision to integrate a separate charging connector when they could just use the USB-C they've already installed.

Overall though, the design of the AreoBook is easily Chuwi’s best effort yet. The metal exterior feels great in the hand, and the laptop offers very little flex. It’s still thin and light as well, and the thin-bezel design keeps the AeroBook looking modern, while at the same time reducing its overall size. No one is going to confuse the AeroBook for the laptop it so clearly is themed after, but for the price, it exceeds expectations.

Introduction System Performance
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  • Mil0 - Sunday, June 23, 2019 - link

    Ah, this article mentions that it wakes up when sleeping, but not when hibernated: https://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-tip-keep-... Reply
  • ArcadeEngineer - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    I have had hibernated laptops wake up for windows updates before, it seems to be a quite new 'feature'. Reply
  • Rookierookie - Sunday, June 23, 2019 - link

    They do a good job of waking you up in the middle of the night. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Saturday, June 22, 2019 - link

    Windows update 1903 wakes my laptop from sleep. First time in the life of that 2015 laptop Reply
  • cfenton - Saturday, June 22, 2019 - link

    "After a bit of howling and screaming they did offer me to send it to HongKong for a free replacement, and I am torn between using it just on external power or actually see if it gets back fixed."

    That right there should be a huge red flag for anyone considering Chuwi. If they're selling it in North America, then there should be somewhere I can send it for repair in North America. If they don't want to do that, then they should be cross-shipping (for free) at the very least.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    Even with weird / intense usage, it should take a *lot* longer than a year for a battery to swell like that. It was definitely a manufacturing fault. Reply
  • StormyParis - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    Can you keep using it ? I've had huge durability issues with 3rd-tier Chinese OEMs (Teclast and Chuwi esp., Cube has been OK for me) and according to fellow complainers (a highly representative sample /s) on Techtablets' youtube channel, I'm not alone.

    They've managed to make stuff that's OK out of the box (it wasn't, a few years ago). Now it seems the things are still fragile, especially with iffy connectors and batteries.

    I've had no issues whatsoever with 10+ XIaomi devices, and since they're barely more expensive than Teclast Chuwi et al., I'm sticking with Xiaomi for now.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    My Teclast T8 tablet's still in good shape after 15 months; but I went with a lower tier Chinese maker because I don't use my tablet much and didn't want to pay apple/samsung prices; but wanted something with a higher DPI display than Amazon's race to the bottom Kindles.

    I managed to keep my 8" Dell android tablet for about 4 years; despite the model I got being cursed with a highly fragile usb port so I'm not overly concerned about general breakableness.
    Reply
  • OFelix - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    There's a good chance I would buy this laptop apart from 1 thing:
    I do NOT buy laptops with glossy screens !!
    Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    Looks nice enough. The main no-go for me is the low battery life. Also, how long do Chuwi's keyboards and track pads last? Reply

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