Chinese PC maker Chuwi is getting into the mini laptop game. Notebook Italia spotted a new 8 inch convertible that looks a lot like a GPD Pocket or One Mix Yoga, but which is expected to be sold as the Chuwi Minibook.

It’s unclear when the little laptop will be available or how much it will cost. But it features a low-power, low-cost Intel Gemini Lake processor, so it’ll probably be more affordable than some other mini laptops that have hit the streets over the past few years.

Update 5/14/2019: Chuwi says there will be two versions — one with a Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake processor, and another with an Intel Core m3-8100Y Amber lake chip. 

Update: The Chuwi MiniBook is up for pre-order for $429 and up through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Chinese manufacturer iLife is showing off the little laptop at the Hong Kong Sourcing Fair, and it’s also known as the iLife NG08. But according to Notebook Italia, it’ll likely come to market as the Chuwi Minibook in the future.

The compact computer’s closest cousin is probably the Topjoy Falcon, which is a GPD Pocket/One Mix Yoga clone that launched last year, but which also has a Gemini Lake processor and and 8 inch display. But a glance at the keyboard layout and ports make it clear that the Minibook/NG08 isn’t merely a rebranded Falcon. It’s a brand new machine… with a very similar design.

Like many other recent laptops with screens smaller than 10 inches, the keyboard looks kind of cramped, there’s an optical touch sensor instead of a touchpad, and the space bar is broken into two portions (to make room for the touch sensor). But the position of the arrow keys, among other things, is a bit different on this model than on the Topjoy Falcon.

The Chuwi Minibook features an aluminum chassis, an 8 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display and a 360 degree hinge that allows you to fold the screen backward and use the computer in tablet mode.

It has a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a USB 2.0 Type-A port, a mini HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. There are stereo speakers and a 2MP camera.

According to iLife, the system will be available with Intel Celeron N4000 dual-core or Celeron N4100 quad-core processor options, 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of eMMC storage. There’s also an M.2 slot for a speedier (and/or larger) solid state drive. You can access that slot by removing a single screw on the back of the laptop to open an access panel.

The company says 4G LTE is also supported, although it’s unclear if that feature will be available in all devices, or only certain configurations (an LTE modem would most likely drive up the price). There’s also a fingerprint sensor built into the laptop’s power button.

On the down side, iLife is only promising up to 4 hours of battery life from the NG08’s 3,500 mAh battery.

You can find more images of the Chuwi Minibook/iLife NG08 at Notebook Italia, or check out the video below for more details.

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30 replies on “Chuwi Minibook convertible laptop with an 8 inch display coming soon”

  1. I think that is really nice. It reminds me of the IBM PC110 – a similar size laptop. I wonder if it can run different OS’s like the IBM model?

  2. A lot hinges on the pricing and support, of course, but I think it will be a mediocre product.

    I see where Chuwi can cut prices as they might have gotten a good deal on N4100 (and it can trade blows with m3-7y30/8100y) and using eMMC by default shaves off a little bit more.
    However, I can’t quite say what else can make it stand out in the niche of late-’10s UMPCs.

    They didn’t redesign the keyboard in any more comfortable way and the battery capacity is mediocre.

    Sure, if kickstarter gods look away for a second, they may theoretically beat Topjoy Falcon to the market and get their audience for whom 8″ is significantly better than 7″ and an additional USB 2.0 port is a must.
    However, I’m not sure of the size of that audience and it looks like Falcon will finally start shipping next month.

  3. Here we go again with the GPD fanboys voting en masse. I never understood this kind of mental behavior.

  4. I can’t believe they would only put in a 3500mAh 3.7V battery. I have to imagine it’s a 3500mAh 7.4/7.6v battery – which is the equivalent of a 7000mAh 3.7v battery capacity wise

        1. The estimation seems to be a bit on the low side, though it’s unclear, how much does a bigger screen contribute to the power draw.

          It has 80% of One Mix 2 battery capacity and assuming the CPU is configured for the same TDP, I think it’s quite reasonable to expect about 5 hours from it on office loads.

  5. Why is everyone doing the b/n thing for the fake trackpoint? :O g/h makes so much more sense…

      1. Placing the trackpoint between the keyboard keys B & N V.S. placing them between keys G & H.

      1. Based on Thinkpads, I personally feel it’s better for the trackpoint to be between the g and h keys. Mimicing how it would be if the trackpoint is between the b and n keys makes it feel more difficult to use. Although, with such a small cramped keyboard, maybe I wouldn’t have to stretch too much nor need to move my hands down (ie. like with regular touchpads).

        Well, I’m a fan of the trackpoint and prefer not to move my hands away from the resting home row keyboard position so I rarely use touchpads nor touchscreens.

      2. I think the position for the optical mouse is targeting typical touch pad use and not how it’s typically used for ThinkPad trackpoints. For example,
        – This design: Lift your hands and move them down when you want to use the mouse, then move them back to the keyboard if you want to type.
        – ThinkPad trackpoint: You always keep your hands above the home row keys. You don’t need to move your hands away when you need to use the mouse. That is, it’s meant to save some time/movement (it can add up).

        I like the ThinkPad trackpoint positioning use case better. Although, as said, the keyboard is so small that it might not be that awkward using the optical mouse similarly to how one would typically use the trackpoint on ThinkPads.

    1. I believe the reason for that, at least on 7″ laptops, is as follows.

      Take the laptop in both of your hands like a gamepad, with index fingers holding it from the back, like bumper buttons on a gamepad.
      You’ll find that the touchpoint is placed to be somewhat comfortably reachable by a thumb of an average length on the right hand.
      Between G and H it’s equally uncomfortable for both thumbs.

      https://i.imgur.com/WWzzduH.jpg — I apologize for the quality of the illustration.

  6. One thing that all of these minibooks are missing is a high level scripting language/interpreter with GUI capabilities. Back in the day, devices like the Psion, HP 100, HP OmniGo, PocketPCs, etc. had a way for the end user to create apps that would help the user with their tasks and productivity. That’s one of the things that helped make them “personal”. Oh well, I have to get back to yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

    1. Not disagreeing with you, but being as these are capable of running (sort of) any x86 / amd64 OS, you have whatever productivity or scripting tools you want available. Is it in ROM like the Epoc / Symbian / Basic tools were? Nah, but you can do all those old PIM things and so much more.

      Are you familiar with the Hermocom suite? Check it out!

    1. Not sure why people keeps down voting you. There were 20 up votes at some point then it went down to less than 5 in less than an hour.

      Wanting built in LTE without the need to tether a phone is a legitimate request.

      1. The author of this site manipulates the comment votes. It’s clear as day. You can run some tests. Some comments will get multiple up votes or down votes within seconds. Most of the time, each article only has a few comments and very few up votes or down votes, but if you say something the author likes or doesn’t like, watch the instant crap storm ensue.

        1. No, it only happens on GPD articles or GPD related (ie. this one since it’s similar to the Pocket). There’re some GPD fanboys with a lot of time on their hands around here.

          1. Yep, only happens with articles related to GPD or GPD’s competitors. Just go through all the articles.

            GPD has attracted many fanboys who get their panties in bunch too easily. GPD fanboys have voted some comments up and some down by the 100s. Pretty sad.

  7. I was ready to pass on this until I read that there’ll be an option for built-in LTE. If this becomes available in the US and support US LTE bands (Verizon for me), then I’ll dump my GPD Pocket immediately.

    1. Could also be they licensed it. Or GDP doesn’t actually own it and just uses it themselves. The design is very similar to our blackberry keyboards of years past.

    2. So what? This is China. They all shamelessly steal from everyone else (including GPD). What did you expect? Although, I’d prefer they didn’t copy the keyboard because it’s terrible and not worth copying.

      Anyway, I’m glad there’re more companies going into this market. There may be copying going around but each company is adding features and/or differentiating in ways people may like. For example, this is nice for people who want more of a netbook than a handheld and/or built-in LTE for those who don’t want to tether their phone.

    3. It’s not a GPD Pocket 1 or 2 design.
      It’s a slight variation (fn+ctrl and del+p combined, keys are slightly more spaced out) on One Mix 1 design.

    4. I’m willing to bet that they bought these keyboard components (keycaps, scissor stabilizers, and rubber domes) from an actual keyboard OEM, and theyre probably just using them under license like everyone else.

      If GPD had anything to do with the design, it probably followed the standard Chinese manufacturing expectation of “Okay, we will manufacture these parts that you designed, but we can’t promise that we’re not going to sell these parts to anyone else”. I design and crowdfund Keyboards and Keyboard parts that I have manufactured in China, and I have to be careful to not discuss “product use” or functionality with them at all. I name my PCB design files things like “Flux Capacitor v1.8” to avoid them guessing what it is. If they perceive any value in them, they will end up on Aliexpress and Taobao.

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