Chuwi Vi10 Review: A $200 Surface 3 Competitor

The Chuwi Vi10 is a strong competitor to the Microsoft Surface 3 that is $400 cheaper. Compared to the Surface, it has a lower screen resolution, lower brightness, and a slower processor. So, can you tell the difference? And if you can, is that difference worth an extra $400? So let’s find out how the Chuwi Vi10 and it’s keyboard perform at $200. How close is the Chuwi to the Surface? What does the Surface provide that the Chuwi doesn’t? Will your experience on the Chuwi be good enough that spending extra on the Surface is a waste of money? Let’s find out. I highly recommend you buy the keyboard as well, but if you don’t, there are many other options out there that give you a retina display for just $30 more like the Teclast X98 Air, but if you buy it with a keyboard as a semi productivity machine, it is a lot more worth it. So with that in mind, let’s get started. You can buy the Chuwi Vi10 for just $153 here:

Key Specifications
10.6″” 1366×768 IPS Display Intel Z3735 Quad Core 1.7GHz
2GB RAM + 32GB ROM 13MP + 5MP Camera
Android 4.4 KitKat Windows 8.1
Bluetooth, MicroUSB, USB, MicroHDMI 628g, 278 x 171 x 8.8mm
8000mAh Battery

Build Quality

The Chuwi Vi10 is a beautifully made tablet. The front and back of the device is encased in glass and there is a metal band running around the tablet that looks very good.

Doesn’t matter if you’re looking at it or picking it up, it looks and feels amazing (except when it gets covered by fingerprints, which is all the time, another reason to get the keyboard cover). You have to be careful with the tablet because the glass will crack much easier than a plastic or metal tablet.

However, the Chuwi isn’t very compact for a tablet. The bezels around the screen are large compared to iPads and chinese tablets like the Teclast X98 Air. Compared to the Surface 3 though, its similar in size, the Surface is wider while the Chuwi is taller. The Chuwi feels thick even though it’s only 8.8mm. This is because there are no bezels on the sides to make it feel thinner. The Chuwi Vi10 also doesn’t feel too heavy due to proper weight distribution even though it’s at least 100g heavier than other tablets like the Teclast X98 Air or the Voyo Winpad A1S. The build quality of this tablet is through the roof, on par with other tablets like iPads and Surfaces which are at lesat 3 times the price.

The Chuwi Vi10 comes with the standard buttons and ports, the power and volume button, MicroHDMI, and a MicroUSB port which you can charge through. It also comes with two full size USB2.0 ports as well. This is great as many other tablets including the Surface only have one. At the bottom is the keyboard contact and the two magnetic holders that holds the keyboard to the tablet. You can attach the keyboard very easily, and you can shake the tablet hard and the keyboard still stays in place. The magnetic contact for the Chuwi should also work for many other chinese tablets.

The keyboard accessory that I got with the tablet is a mixed bag. It’s better and worse than the Surface Type Cover. Summed up in one sentence, the Chuwi’s keyboard is much easier to type on but the Surface Type Cover feels more premium. The Chuwi keyboard’s plastic feels kind of cheap, but at least the fabric feels nice to touch.

However, the fabric picks up dirt very easily, you will need to clean it every so often. The Chuwi tablet and keyboard combo does not have a kickstand like Microsoft’s Surface tablets but the fabric folds into a stand with only one position, which in my opinion is a little awkward.

The Surface 3’s three position kickstand is miles ahead of the foldable cover. The best part of this keyboard are the keys.

The keyboard is surprisingly easier to type on than the Surface keyboards because the keys have more travel, similar to the ASUS T100 or the Acer Aspire Switch but the keys themselves are smaller than the Surface’s keys. The touchpad is about the same as the Surface 3 or the Acer Aspire Switch in terms of responsiveness. However, it’s much easier to use the touch screen than the small touchpad. They come with gestures that make it much easier to use the small trackpad.

Microsoft coined the word Lapability to describe how easy their tablets were to use on the lap. The Surface’s kickstand/keyboard combination was always awkward to use on the lap, as the Surface kept on falling backwards. What about this tablet? Not surprisingly, also difficult to use on the lap. It feels awkward because of the stand and I don’t recommend using this on your lap at all. If you want to, I recommend folding the keyboard backward to use as a tablet stand.

The build quality of the tablet itself is amazing. I’m especially happy about the two extra USB ports as they will certainly come in handy. The keyboard however is lower quality than the Surface’s keyboards, but the typing experience on the Chuwi’s keyboard is way better than the Surface keyboard. The trackpad is about the same size as the Surface 3’s trackpad, and just about as accurate as well. Someone with bigger hands will definitely have trouble using such a small trackpad, but that’s where the touchscreen will come in handy.

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One thought on “Chuwi Vi10 Review: A $200 Surface 3 Competitor

  1. Pingback: Pipo W3f Review | Mobile Device Review

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