Chinese device makers have a long and proud(?) track record of releasing cheap knockoffs of high-end devices like iPhones and Surface devices. But the Chuwi Aerobook is a little more surprising — it looks like a straight-up Huawei MateBook knockoff.
The Chuwi AeroBook is a thin and light laptop with a compact design, slim bezels, a backlit keyboard, and a large touchpad. It’s less powerful than most members of the MateBook family… which means it’ll probably be cheaper.
Chuwi plans to start taking pre-orders through an Indieogogo campaign that should begin soon.
What’s a bit weird about making a Huawei MateBook knockoff is that Huawei has only been selling laptops for a few years. But the company did make a bit of a splash with its MateBook X Pro last year, a premium thin-and-light laptop that offers a nice balance of specs, performance and design, with some reviewers considering it to be one of the best laptops released in 2018.
Of course, one thing that many of those reviewers noted is that the MateBook obviously borrows some design cues from Apple’s MacBook lineup… so I guess what’s good for the goose and all that.
Anyway, Chuwi hasn’t revealed all the specs or the pricing for the upcoming Aerobook, but the company does say that folks who sign up for alerts can score up to a 25 percent “super early bird discount.”
What we do know is that the laptop has a 13.3 inch widescreen IPS display, 5mm bezels around the screen for an 80 percent screen-to-body ratio, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, Windows 10, up to 8 hours of battery life, and a nearly edge-to-edge keyboard with 3mm spacing between the keys.
The laptop weighs less than 2.8 pounds and measures 0.6 inches (15mm) at its thinnest point.
Ports include two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, and a DC charger port.
There are three reasons I’m pretty sure this system will be cheaper than a typical Huawei MateBook laptop:
- Chuwi is known for making budget devices.
- It has an unspecified Intel Core M chip rather than a more powerful Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 chip (or an AMD Ryzen processor, for that matter).
- It looks like that 128GB of built-in storage is relatively slow (and cheap) eMMC storage.
That said, the system actually supports dual storage: eMMC plus an optional SSD. There appears to be an M.2 2280 slot that will let you add up to 1TB of additional (and faster) storage to the system.