Chuwi’s 12.3 inch tablet with a Microsoft Surface Pro-style display is now up for pre-order from crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Like Microsoft’s premium tablet, the SurBook features a 2736 x 1824 pixel display and a built-in kickstand that lets you connect an optional keyboard and use the tablet like a notebook PC (on a flat surface, anyway).
But while Microsoft’s newest Surface Pro sells for $799 and up, Chuwi is offering its tablet for as little as $299 to early bird backers of the Indieogogo campaign.
One key difference? Microsoft’s new Suface Pro tablets have Intel Kaby Lake processors. The Chuwi SurBook has a 6 watt Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake processor.
You’ll also probably get better build quality and support from Microsoft, as well as support for that fancy new Surface Pen. But if you’re looking for a budget option, there’s a lot to like about the SurBook.
The tablet featrues 6GB of RAM, a USB Type-C port and two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a 10,000 mAh battery and an optional pen and detachable keyboard.
Chuwi’s tablet measures 11.7″ x 8″ x 0.37″ and weighs about 2.1 pounds without a keyboard, and the company says it should offer up to 8 hours of battery life. It’s also fanless, has a magnesium alloy body, and features 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 and stereo speakers.
A pledge of $299 reserves a tablet with 64GB of storage that should ship in July.
Or you can pledge $349 for the same tablet plus a keyboard and a pen with support for 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
And a $399 pledge reserves a 128GB tablet/keyboard/pen combo.
Those prices are only available for the first 200 Indiegogo pledges at each level though. After that, the prices go up to:
- $369 for a 64GB tablet
- $473 for a 64GB tablet/pen/keyboard combo
- $498 for a 128GB tablet/pen/keyboard combo
Note that this is actually the second time we’ve written about the launch of an Indiegogo campaign for this tablet. It looks like someone jumped the gun last week by launching a campaign a bit early, and then pulling down the web page. This time Chuwi gave me a heads up that the campaign is set to go live, so I’m pretty sure the campaign isn’t going anywhere.
Chuwi is a pretty well established PC maker in China at this point and the company probably doesn’t need to run a crowdfunding campaign for the new tablet. The campaign goal is set at $30,000 which is not nearly enough to cover the costs of research, design, and manufacturing this sort of tablet.
But a crowdfunding campaign does provide a way to build some buzz and gauge the level of interest in the product.