First look at the Chuwi V99 Android tablet with Retina Display

The Chuwi V99 is a Chinese tablet with a Rockchip RK3066 dual core CPU, Android 4.1 operating system, and a 9.7 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display.

That sounded a lot more impressive before Google introduced the $399 Nexus 10 tablet with a 10.1 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel display. But until Google’s tablet goes on sale in a few weeks, the Chuwi V99 is one of the highest-resolution Android tablets money can buy.

You can pick one up from AliExpress for around $250, or order the Chuwi V99 from PandaWill for $290. PandaWill sent me a demo unit to review, and while I’ll have some more details soon I wanted to share some initial impressions.

Chuwi V99

The tablet bears a more-than-passing resemblance to an iPad. It’s about the same size, shape, and weight, and I really do think screens with 4:3 aspect ratio screens are easier to hold in both portrait and landscape mode than tablets with widescreen displays.

So far the tablet seems reasonably responsive, but I’ve only been using it for a few hours. Clearly I can’t say much about battery life yet either.

Here’s what I can say though: Text and images look noticeably more clear on this tablet than on devices with lower resolution displays. Unfortunately this is kind of difficult to show in photographs, but when I placed the Chuwi V99 side-by-side with an HP TouchPad tablet with a 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel screen, everything looked just a little better on the V99.

Chuwi V99 vs HP TouchPad

Left: Chuwi V99 / Right: HP TouchPad

You can see a larger version of the comparison photo at our Google+ page.

The difference is most noticeable when viewing magazines and other content that wasn’t really meant to be displayed on a 9.7 inch screen in the first place. Text that looked pixelated, blocky, and difficult to read on the TouchPad was much more crisp on the Chuwi V99.

Magazines still look best in portrait mode where you can look at one page at a time instead of landscape mode where you view two virtual magazine pages side-by-side. But if you really wanted to, you could use a 2-page landscape view to read at least some magazines on this tablet.

Unlike the Ampe A10 tablet PandaWill sent me recently, I can’t see any physical defects in this tablet. While the Ampe A10 had a dead screen pixel and a bubble under the display, the Chuwi V99 screen looks great.

I’ll have more information about the performance, battery life, and software in my full review. But I can already say that there are noticeable benefits to adding a high resolution display to an Android tablet.

Now that we’re starting to see tablets with high pixel densities both from small Chinese device makers and big-name companies such as Samsung (which manufacturers the Nexus 10 for Google), hopefully higher-than-HD screens will become the norm rather than the exception soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregg-Jones/527975393 Gregg Jones

    “Google introduced the $299 Nexus 10 tablet”

    The Nexus 10 is $399

  • renw0rp

    just add video out (hdmi) and its killer tablet!

  • http://twitter.com/V_U vēer

    Well, I hope that these hi-res panels will become common on all sizes of laptop screens as well! Id love to be able to have option to switch between high resolution for enhanced productivity and ultra sharp images when required!
    The old way of using screen resolution to have more real estate and new one to enhance image quality, that would be great to have!

  • Tom

    Brad,

    I assume there’ll be more details in a more formal write-up, but would appreciate some short answers in the mean time:

    . How good is RK3066 at that res? Are UI and web browsing smooth? 1080p videos? 3D games?

    . Can you confirm if bootloader is unlocked? I’d assume so for Chinese tabs, but confirmation is always good.

    . 4.2 will have Miracast support, which requires dual-band wifi. Does this have dual-band and MIMO?

    Thanks for above and future info.

  • Tom

    Some observations from watching a video of Chuwi:

    . SD slot has no indentation to protect against accidental removable. If it’s spring-loaded, losing cards will be a problem.

    . Shell is plastic.

    . Single-band 1×1 wifi. Miracast is out.

    . Small barrel connector on charger vulnerable to breakage, but no more so than the micro-USB variety.

    . Having the ports clustered into one location is poor ergonomics. The single speaker grill (at same side) probably means the usual tinny mono audio.

    . Unsure about battery life.

    . SoC is no powerhouse. One hopes it can do OK in web browsing w/o too much lag. This will be good as a reader, web browser, video player. 3D games are probably bad.

    • s2weden2000

      it is mali 400 graphics ..should do just fine ..also sold under Cube brand and Vido..exact the same tablet

  • Hugh S

    Very excited to for your upcoming review, these RK3066 Chinese 4:3 retina tablets are very enticing to many of us android adherents who use our tablets to read (web content, articles, magazines, etc). For us, this is potentially the perfect tablet. Couple of requests for the upcoming review: 1) could you cover the reading experience, especially if the performance is sufficient to navigate through a PDF comfortably (i.e. tap to zoom, advance pages, etc) and 2) could you say a few words about where to safely buy one of these (any trusted Chinese vendors ?Pandawill ?Aliexpress ?others) and whether you are completely comfortable you won’t get a tablet with malware embedded.

  • bikinis online

    An Android tablet PC is also able to support different types of networks. The wireless connectivity that comes with a tablet, is a big advantage that some of the deals on electronics like this all the more exciting. Tablet supports Wi-Fi signals, although some options may go so far as to support 3G signals.This means that the chuwi-v99-android-tablet is likely to be more than the functions and programs which handle a traditional device may be treated. volkkauf site still look best in portrait mode, where you can view a page at a time instead of landscape where you see two virtual magazine pages side-by-side. But if you really wanted, you could have a 2-page landscape format to read at least some journals on this tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/pseudobacon Chris Wong

    One of these arrived today.

    -The backing is metal, not plastic
    -Theres two speaker grills – one the left and one the right
    -Apparently 10,000mah battery (we’ll see)
    -Performance is OK

  • kasper

    Where’s the full review? I’d like to know aout battery time.
    Also on the Quad-core version, if anyone knows…

  • Lawrence

    do this Chuwi V99 have any bluetooth?, some seller spec say : support, some not mention at all., pls advise…

  • tabc