AT A GLANCE
The Chuwi Hi8 Pro Tablet PC offers some real-value for the price you pay. I have had the tablet for almost two weeks, and I can dare say, the value for the money is exceptional. It may not be the best product so far, but a combination of Intel Cherry Trail Z8300, 2GB RAM, 32GB of storage and a full HD display are hard to pass by.
Its not every day that you bump into a well-performing dual boot tablet at an incredibly affordable price. By dual boot we mean you have both Windows and Android platforms on the same tablet, and in this case Windows 10 and Android 5.1. The Chuwi Hi8 Pro Tablet is just that. If you’re in the market for a good tablet for use, but your budget doesn’t allow to purchase a premium tablet, then you should read along. Out of the box, the Chuwi Hi8 is ready for day-to-day use, thanks to 2GB system memory, 32GB ROM and a superb 1920-by-1200 pixel screen.
The Chuwi Hi8 is an 8-inch tablet, that sports a well built, albeit, plastic body safe for the glass screen area. Measuring 8.31 x 4.85 x 0.37 inches and weighing in at only 306 grams, the tablet is small enough to carry along and to even fit into a back pocket. On the edges you have a metallic strip along the right and left sides that gives the unit a premium look, but still the backside is made of plastic that easily picks fingerprints and smudges.
Ideally, a metallic construction would have pushed the price higher, so for now we can do with the plastic body. You don’t have full USB ports, like the Chuwi Hi10, but you do have Micro HDMI port and a 3.5mm headphone port and a very good screen. Other ports include a Type-C port that supports faster data transfers and a MicroSD slot. I was able to use my 64GB memory card without the system stuttering. If you want to output your screen to a larger display, you can do it wirelessly using Miracast.
Powering the Hi8 is a quad-core Intel Atom-X5 Z8300 that clocked up to 1.84GHz and an Intel HD Graphic Gen8 processor. To that, add 2GB RAM and 32GB ROM that comes handy for online surfing, video streaming and 3D gaming for casual games. The 2GB system memory is especially helpful in case you need to edit a work/school document, as it allows you to multitask without experiencing any lags. If you need more storage space, you have a memory card slot that supports a maximum of 128GB, though the memory card is not included in the box. If you’re booted into Windows 10, you’ll see that the available space is less than 10GB, while the Android 5.1 boot you’ll have barely 6.5GB. This is typical with all dual boot systems.
Our review unit came with Windows 10, that supports .EXE files just like a PC. It gives the full Windows 10 experience including: Edge browser, Cortana, Smart Voice Assistant among others. Booting up the system is seamless, and folders in Windows 10 load up quickly, but you need to bear with slow application install times. While setting it up, I was able to sign-in with my Microsoft account, and the system just synced most of my bookmarks and settings the office desktop without a glitch.
The Chuwi Hi8 comes with Android 5.1 stock, and Play Store was working out of the box. In most Chinese consumer electronics, users have issues with google accounts, but this one was working and managed to download a few free apps from Google Play Store. The ROM delivers quick load times. The system acted up a little while booting up in Android, but restarting it solved the problem.
Switching the operating system is simplified; just touching the Android icon on the desktop and you’re booted to Android. However, if you shut down in Android, the system will boot up in Android and vice-versa. Pressing the volume key down button plus the power button will allow you choose the which OS to use on boot.
If you indulge in gaming, the Hi8’s 1280-by-1200-pixel screen will push through most casual games. I was able to play a couple of Windows and Android games at full resolution, but for older titles like Counter strike you’ll be forced to tone down the settings. Still, Windows games like League of Legends and Counter Strike Source are still playable, but you need to lower your resolution in order to get playable frames per second (FPS). What’s more, its 283 PPI eschews the iPad Air’s 264 PPI, which Apple likes to call “Retina Screen”. Color rendition is perfect, viewing angles are good, and the 10-finger touchscreen is very responsive.
The bright 1280-by-1200-pixel screen definitely uses a lot of juice, that we’d expect lowers the battery life. The moment I fired up the screen I had the same thoughts, I was in for a shock. Yes, the bright screen does take a toll on battery life, but I managed 4 hours and 12 minutes on medium Windows 10 use, with brightness set at 42%. This isn’t bad for an otherwise good dual-boot tablet PC.
Just like any budget tablet, there are a few rough edges here and there, and am inclined to comment on speaker location. Also, they would’ve improved on both the front and back cameras, each 2.0 MP, but we are made to understand that would have upped the sticker price. The system did play-up a little during the review period, but came to realize it was happening when the battery was at 65-67%, but restarting it solved the issue…that goes to show that things can go wrong sometimes.
The Chuwi Hi8 Pro Tablet PC offers some real-value for the price you pay. I have had the tablet for almost two weeks, and I can dare say, the value for the money is exceptional. It may not be the best product so far, but a combination of Intel Cherry Trail Z8300, 2GB RAM, 32GB of storage and a full HD display are hard to pass by. If you can afford the pricier Microsoft Surface 3, the it’s a safe bet too as it comes with a more powerful CPU, Windows 10 Pro and an even amazing camera. However, if you’re on a tight budget the Chuwi Hi8 is the way to go.