Posts Tagged ‘laptop’

CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Apollo Lake Laptop Review – Part 1: Unboxing & (Partial) Teardown

January 23rd, 2017 11 comments

CHUWI LapBook 14.1 is one the first Intel Apollo Lake laptop launched in the market. It features an Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and comes with a 14.1″ Full HD IPS Display. The company sent me a sample for review, and I’ll start by checking out the hardware today, before running some tests in Windows 10, and trying to install Ubuntu 16.04 later on.

CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Unboxing

I received the device in what looks like CHUWI standard package for 14″ laptops,

but a sticker on the stop made it clear which model I got.The laptop comes with a 12V/2A power supply and power cord, a user manual in English and Chinese, a warranty card, and a product inspection report.

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The laptop battery is nearly fully charged, so I started it.

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I could not find any keys to adjust the display brightness, but maybe I’m supposed to do that in Windows. It’s been close to 5 years since I’ve used a Windows laptop, and that was a Windows XP netbook, so I may have a few things to learn before the review.

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The device is very thin, and quite light (1.5 kg). One of the side comes with the power jack, a USB 3.0 port, a mini HDMI output, while the others features a micro SD slot, a headphone jack, and a USB 2.0 port.

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CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Teardown

The laptop is clearly not designed to be user serviced, especially since there’s no upgrade possible. We’ll have to start on the back of the laptop, model CWI533, and loosen 10 screws to open it up.

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It won’t open that easily, and I have to use a plastic tool to unclip the bottom cover.

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I have never open this type of thin laptop before, and the battery takes a lot of space, simply because it has to be so thin. We’ll also find two speakers on each side, and two WiFi antenna placed at opposite location in the laptop.

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The main board components are covered by a metal shield and black thermal sheet, except for the audio chip and Intel Dual band Wireless-AC3165 (3165D2W) WiFi module.

On the other we have IO-BOARD2 with the micro SD slot, audio jack, and USB 2.0 port.
Black thermal & metal sheets can also be found on the bottom cover of the laptop.

I’d like to thank CHUWI for providing a review sample. The laptop is not for sale but GearBest and Banggood have it listed with an arrival notice with price starting at $269.99. You may find a few more details in the manufacturer website. In the second part of the review, I’ll go through most of the test I do for Windows mini PCs, and do a battery test (any standard ones?).

NexDock is Working on a Hybrid Laptop Dock for Intel Compute Cards

January 18th, 2017 5 comments

NexDock first launched a 14″ laptop dock for smartphones, tablets, and development boards via a Indiegogo campaign in 2016, where they successfully raised over $350,000, and delivered rewards to backers last September and October. With the recent introduction of the Intel Compute Card, the company has now decided to work on a new NexDock that will take Intel’s cards.

We don’t have much details right now, but the company said that beside the Intel Compute Card, it will come support interchangeable USB type-C modules, and will still support Windows 10 smartphones with continuum feature, Raspberry Pi and other devices that can be connected through a USB-C port. The second drawing also suggests the keyboard will be detachable, and you’ll be able to use NexDock as a Windows tablet.

It could be nice to have an Intel laptop with Linux or Windows, and an ARM tablet with Android, but this won’t be possible, since Intel Compute Card are unlikely to be fitted with ARM processors.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting development, as Intel appeared to target smart devices and business applications for their Compute Card when the announced it as CES 2017, but if the NexDock becomes reality, we will also find it in consumer devices, possibly around mid-2017 when the new NexDock is supposed to launch.

Intel Compute Card is a Business Card Sized Platform for Modular & Upgradeable Computers & Devices

January 6th, 2017 5 comments

Intel has just introduced their Compute Card, the name likely originating from their Compute Stick & Module series, integrating all main components you’d find in a computer such as a processor, memory, storage, and wireless connectivity into an standardized ultra thin business card sized module that can be used in compatible devices from smart kiosks to security cameras and IoT gateways, as well as computers and laptops.

intel-compute-cardIntel has some demos at CES 2017, but has not announced any specific models yet. We still have some of the key features for the Compute Cards:

  • Processor up to 7th Gen Intel Core, memory, storage and wireless connectivity are all included in the card
  • Intel Compute Card-based device will provide the power, cooling and the optimized user I/O for that particularly solution
  • Connection to devices will be done via an Intel Compute Card slot with a new standard connector (USB-C plus extension)
  • USB-C plus extension connector will provide USB, PCIe, HDMI, DP and additional signals between the card and the device
  • Dimensions – 94.5 mm x 55 mm x 5 mm

It’s not the first time company have created compute module for upgradeability and modularity, as with, for example, EOMA68 CPU card going into a mini computer and laptop, just like BBC demo of Intel Compute Card below featuring Core-M processor.

Intel is now working with early partners such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sharp, and InFocus to develop products taking Compute Card. More details, including pricing, will be made available in Q2 2017 just before the Compute Card and compatible devices should start to hit the shelves around the middle of the year. You’ll find a few more details on Intel’s Compute Card product page and press release.

ARM based Acer Chromebook R13 is Now up for Sale for $349 and up with Chrome OS or Windows 10

December 29th, 2016 25 comments

Acer Chromebook R13 was unveiled in September as one of the first 64-bit ARM Chromebook. Based on Mediatek MT8173C quad core Cortex A72/A53 processor with 4GB RAM, the “Chromebook” now ships in three variants running either Chrome OS as expected, but also Windows 10 Home.

acer-chromebook-r13All three models share the same specifications, except for storage and operating system options:

  • SoC – Mediatek M8173C quad core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.1 GHz, 2x ARM Cortex A53 cores, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage
    • CB5-312T-K8Z9 / K6TF – 32 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
    • CB5-312T-K0YQ- 64GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Display – 13.3″ touchscreen IPS LED display; 1920×1080 resolution; 10-point touch; 360-degree hinge design
  • Audio – Integrated microphone, dual built-in speakers, microphone and headphone jacks
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Camera – HD webcam (1280×720 resolution) with HDR and 720p HD audio/video recording
  • Wireless Connectivity – 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 3.1 type C port for data, video, and power
  • User Input – Touchpad and keyboard
  • Battery – 4670 mAh LiPo battery good for up to 12 hours
  • Power Supply – 45W max
  • Dimensions – 326 x 228 x 15.5 mm
  • Weight – 1.49kg

Acer_Chromebook_R13The official prices listed on Acer website for the three models above are respectively $399.99, $429.99 (64GB storage), and $399.99 (Windows 10 Home), but CB5-312T-K8Z9 (32GB + Chrome OS) model is now on sale on BestBuy for $349, while the 64GB model is sold for $439.99 on TigerDirect, and CB5-312T-K6TF Windows 10 “ChromeBook” goes for $407.99 on TigerDirect.

Thanks to Martin for the tip.

Mediatek MT8173 Powered Emdoor 2-in-1 Laptops Run Android or Remix OS

December 23rd, 2016 1 comment

Acer Chromebook R13 is the most powered ARM Chromebook so far thanks to its Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor combining two ARM Cortex A72 cores and Cortex A53 cores, as well as a PowerVR GX6250 GPU, 4GB RAM and a 13.3″ touchscreen display. But unless you live in the US or other markets where Chromebooks are sold, it’s pretty hard to buy, and that model is relatively expensive as it sells for close to $550 on Amazon. Emdoor, a Chinese design house, has made 2-in-1 hybrid laptops based on the processor with a 11.6″ or 13.3″ touchscreen display, 1 to 2GB RAM, and 16 to 64GB storage, which – once launched – should be easier to buy, and cost less.

mediatek-mt8173-laptopBoth EM-T8513 and EM-T8516 models share most of the same specifications, except for the display:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, 2x Cortex A53 cores, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 16GB, 32GB, 64, or 128 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Display
    • EM-T8516 – 11.6” IPS LCD screen with 1366 x 768 resolution,  10-points capacitive touchscreen
    • EM-T8513 – 13.3” IPS LCD screen with 1920 x 1200 or 1366 x 768 resolution,  10-points capacitive touchscreen
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port
  • Audio – mini HDMI port, 3.5mm combo audio jack,
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS via MT6630 chipset
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Camera – 2MP front-facing camera
  • Sensor – G-sensor
  • User Input – QWERTY keyboard and touchpad
  • Battery – 10,000 mAh; good for a typical 6 to 7 hours on EM-T8516 model
  • Power Supply – 5V/2.5A
  • Dimensions & Weight
    • EM-T8516 – 297.5 x 202 x 17.5mm – 1340 grams
    • EM-T8513 – 330 x 227.7 x 18.9mm – 1480 grams

The laptops run Android 6.0 by default, but Jide’s Remix OS can also be installed instead.

If you are interested in Linux, you could try to adapt the instructions to install ArchLinux ARM on Acer Chromebook R13 to Emdoor laptops. The instructions are relying on Chrome OS, but you’d have to handle it from Android instead, so there will be differences.

Pricing and availability information have not been disclosed yet. You may be able to find more details via Emdoor’s products page (N.B: It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to load a page for me).


CHUWI LapBook 14.1″ Full HD Laptop is Powered by Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake Processor

December 2nd, 2016 7 comments

We’ve already seen Voyo Vbook A1 Apollo Lake laptop based on Intel Celeron N3450 SoC going for pre-order a couple of weeks ago, but its has a 11.6″ display only, and I prefer to use larger screens when I need a laptop as it’s less of a shock when switching from my 39″ TV screen connected to my desktop computer. CHUWI LapBook offers just that with many of the same specifications as Voyo laptop, but with a 14.1″ display instead, and a little less storage & battery capacity.

chuwi-lapbookCHUWI LapBook laptop specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core “Apollo Lake” processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz (Burst frequency) and 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz (Burst freq.); 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Display – 14.1″ IPS screen with 1920 x 1080 (FHD) resolution
  • Video Output – 1x micro HDMI port
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Camera – 2.0MP front-facing camera
  • USB – 1 x USB 2.0 host port, 1 x USB 3.0 port
  • Power Supply – 12V DC / 2A
  • Battery – 9,000 mAh Polymer Li-ion battery good for about 4 hours video playback.
  • Dimensions – 32.92 x 22.05 x 2.05 cm
  • Weight – 1.74 kg

intel-apollo-lake-laptopThe laptop ships with a power supply and a user’s manual, and comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home. The Windows license (if any) may not be 100% compliant with Microsoft’s Windows 10 discount license hardware requirements since the storage device where the OS is installed has over 32 GB capacity. AFAIK, Linux support is uncertain at this stage for Apollo Lake hardware.

GearBest has the laptop listed on Arrival Notice with a $292.89 price tag, but actual price could be a little lower, especially once coupons come in play.


PINEBOOK ARM Linux Laptop Powered by Allwinner A64 Processor to Sell for $89 and Up

November 24th, 2016 33 comments

Following up on Pine A64 board powered by Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor, Pine64 has decided to work on a software compatible laptop based on the processor. PINEBOOK comes with 2GB RAM, 16 GB flash storage, a 11.6″ or 14″ display, and the usual ports you’d expect on such device.

pinebookPINEBOOK specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash and micro SD slot up to 256 GB
  • Display – 11.6″ or 14″ IPS LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution (no touchscreen)
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port for external display
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack, built-in microphone and stereo speakers
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Camera – 1.2 MP camera
  • User Input Devices – Full size QWERTY keyboard, 5″ touchpad
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Battery – 10,000 mAh LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 352 x 233 x 18 mm
  • Weight – 1.2 kg

The laptop is not based on Pine A64+ board, nor the upcoming SOPINE A64 module, and instead they had to design a custom board to meet the thickness requirements.

pinebook-connectorsPINEBOOK should support most of the operating systems supported by PINE A64(+) boards including Android 5.1/7.0, Remix OS, Debian, Ubuntu, and others, but the firmware requires some (minor) modifications since the laptop is using LPDDR3 RAM.

The laptop is not available for sale right now, but we know the 11.6″ version will cost $89, the 14″ version $99, and you can register to get notified of the launch. You may also find a few more details on PINEBOOK product page.

Voyo VBook A1 Laptop Comes with Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake Processor, 11.6″ Full HD Display

November 22nd, 2016 10 comments

Voyo recently introduced one of an Apollo Lake mini PCs called Voyo VMac, and  powered by either Intel Celeron N3450 or Pentium N4200 processor combined with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash + 128 GB SSD storage. The company will soon launch an Apollo Lake laptop based on Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor with the same 4GB RAM + 160 GB storage configuration, and an 11.6″ display with 1920×1080 resolution.


Voyo VBook A1 laptop specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core “Apollo Lake” processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz (Burst frequency) and 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz (Burst freq.); 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + 128GB M.2 SSD (Supports dual SSD extension, up to 512GB) + micro SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Display – 11.6″ IPS capacitive touch screen with 1920 x 1080 (FHD) resolution; rotatable by 360 degrees.
  • Video Output – 1x micro HDMI 1.4 port
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Camera – 2.0MP front-facing camera
  • USB – 1 x USB 2.0 host port, 1 x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power and volume keys, 1x micro SIM card slot, lock key, G-sensor
  • Power Supply – 12V DC / 2-3A
  • Battery – 12,000 mAh Li-ion battery
  • Dimensions – 29.0 x 19.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Weight – 1.2 kg


The laptop will run Windows 10 Home, and ship with a power supply and a user’s manual. The laptop appears to be inspired from Lenovo Yoga models, with the expression “YOGA 2-in-1 tablet” being used in the marketing documents, and the hybrid laptop also supports tablet, tent, and stand modes. A SIM card slot is mentioned in the specs and GeekBuying blog post, but somehow 3G / 4G LTE connectivity is not discussed at all anywhere, and it is stated that “this machine has a SIM card slot, but it does not support SIM card to surf Internet or make phone call.”

GeekBuying has started to take pre-orders for $299 including shipping, with delivery scheduled in about 40 days.