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

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. We can also see a connector to add a M.2 SSD on the bottom center of the board.

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?).

Continue reading “CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Apollo Lake Laptop Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Benchmarks, User Experience, and Battery Life“.

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