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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  • HStewart - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    I have purchase a Chuwi tablet and would say it was very cheap and I would never purchase one for $500. This uses 2 generations old bottom of line Intel Y processor and very soon to 3 generations old. My guess is that they are trying to monopolize on old hardware.

    My 3 year old Samsung TabPro S has similar cpu and in better form factor than this - are we sure this was a new computer - but than again Chuwi always used outdated components which to be honest gives a bad name out there.
    Reply
  • pjcamp - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    "Chuwi has often never done well on battery life..."

    Often never?
    Reply
  • PixyMisa - Sunday, June 23, 2019 - link

    In this case, yes. Reply
  • Hog54 - Friday, June 21, 2019 - link

    Im on a Asus laptop that has a AMD RYZEN 2500u, Nvidia 1050 graphics,8 gig of ram,and a 256 ssd that I paid the same price for 3 months ago.:) Reply
  • Xpl1c1t - Saturday, June 22, 2019 - link

    Bought a Huawei Ryzen 2500U Matebook D, $450. Im mainly a desktop user, but this laptop is probably the most functional laptop I've used. Running Plasma Wayland desktop for most taks (still need windows for MATLAB and SPICE). Havent been this convinced that I own a great mobile product since purchasing the Samsung NC20 (Via Nano powered) netbook ages ago and reworking the keyboard to DVORAK to evaluate the claimed benefits (it is better, wish i could rework this keyboard).

    The level of competition in the low/midrange mobile segment makes me wonder why anyone would mess with premium segment mobile products given the minimal performance gap. Egotism I guess.

    HP, Razer, Dell, Apple - I see most college students around me using these products, but cant help shaking my head when considering their markup over price-competitive brands. My experience with HP laptops is that they have fragile glass coverings on their touchscreens, Razer is basically adopting the premium Apple tax mentality which caters to their market segments, Dell products are probably the most durable - though XPS machines are way overpriced. I strongly suspect that, despite the fact that all these machines are not manufactured domestically, that the markup over identically specc'd machines from non-domestic brands is simply buffering the inevitable collapse of their niche domestic markets. The proposition that the domestic engineering of a laptop is significantly superior to non-domestic engineering is no longer legitimate. Guess this is why people want to make america great again?
    Reply
  • bji - Saturday, June 22, 2019 - link

    I guess no one else is as smart as you huh?

    Perhaps you should read and understand the selection mechanisms that go into consumer choices. Not everyone wants what you want, and other people value aspects of products that you may not care about. It's kind of obvious if you think about it. Have you actually thought about it? Or are you more comfortable making ego-stroking assumptions?

    Sorry I just cannot read another smug Anandtech post about how much smarter the poster is than everyone else with regards to product choices. It is soooo old and increasingly annoying every time it happens.
    Reply
  • Xpl1c1t - Sunday, June 23, 2019 - link

    I'm not proposing that I am smart, but thank you for educating me about your opinion.

    "The proposition that the domestic engineering of a laptop is significantly superior to non-domestic engineering is no longer legitimate."

    That is my proposal. Eat it. What, do you work for HP? Raking in the screen repair bucks? Yeah... guess I cant get my Huawei repaired domestically, but im not concerned about the glass shattering any time soon.
    Reply
  • oRAirwolf - Sunday, June 23, 2019 - link

    I got one of these off of the IndieGoGo campaign for $429. It's a nice laptop for the money. I agree that the battery is too small.

    Some complaints:

    The screen has a very yellow tint to it. I have tried adjusting the color temp in the Intel control panel, but it's just not great. I ordered a SpyderX Pro and am going to play with it more.

    The backlight on the keyboard does not turn on with the laptop. You have to turn it on every time you power on the laptop. It would be really nice if it remembered it's setting.

    The backlight on the keyboard does not turn off when you turn off the laptop.

    The BIOS is completely unlocked and has options for many features that do not exist. It makes it pretty difficult to make any changes.
    Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Monday, June 24, 2019 - link

    "The backlight on the keyboard does not turn off when you turn off the laptop."
    All I can say to that is: Haha what.
    ...
    How do you mess that up?
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    Agreed, that's pretty damn special! Reply

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