After making an appearance at trade show in Hong Kong last month, the Chuwi Minibook is almost ready to go.
The folks at Chuwi tell me their 8 inch mini-laptop with a convertible tablet-style design will go up for pre-order through an Indiegogo campaign soon. And the company has posted a promotional website where you can sign up for a “Super Early Bird Discount” of 25 percent off the sale price… whatever that may be.
While the demo unit Notebook Italia checked out in Hong Kong was powered by an Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake processor, Chuwi says it also plans to offer a model with a higher-performance Intel Core m3-8100Y Amber Lake processor. In fact, that’s the only version listed on the promotion page… but I’m hopeful that the company will offer both models, since I suspect some folks would be willing to sacrifice some CPU power for a lower price tag.
But this model has a slightly different keyboard layout than some other devices in this category and a few other unusual features such as support for multiple storage devices and an overclocked processor — the Core m3-8100Y is normally a 5 watt chip, but Intel allows it to be configured to run as low as 4.5 watts or as high as 8 watts, and Chuwi seems to be going with the latter option.
Here’s a run-down of the tiny computer’s specs… at least for the Core m3 model:
- 8 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS touchscreen display with 360-degree hinge
- 8GB LPDDR4 memory
- 128GB eMMC storage + M.2 slot for PCIe NVMe storage and microSD card reader
- 26.6 Wh battery
- USB Type-C port (PD 2.0 fast charging support)
- Two USB Type-A ports
- Headset jack
- Mini HDMI port
- Fingerprint sensor in the power button
Like most devices in this category, the laptop is too small to accommodate a traditional keyboard layout. So while the QWERTY keys are pretty much where you’d expect them to be, some punctuation and function keys are in a row above the number keys. Like the upcoming One Mix 3 Yoga, the Chuwi Minibook has a Tab key is above the 2, for example.
And since there’s no room for a full-sized touchpad, there’s a small optical touch sensor instead. It’s placed between the B and N keys and in the middle of a split space bar.
Update: Here are some real-world pictures, courtesy of Chuwi: