A Review of the Chuwi Hi9 Air Tablet PC
The Chinese electronics manufacturer Chuwi, which is fast gaining repute for its proficiency in creating laptops, notebooks and tablet PCs, launched its Hi9 Air tablet in the market this January. The Chuwi Hi9 Air was first unveiled, alongside a host of products that included a convertible SurBook, the Lapbook Air, and a TV Box, at the IFA 2017. The IFA boasts of being the biggest event for showcasing consumer electronics in Europe, something akin to the CES held in Los Angeles annually.
By bringing its products to this prestigious platform, the China-based company has driven home the point about its ability to create excellent entry-level products. The Hi9 Air tablet delivers on that premise, as it comes loaded with advanced features and some surprises such as an Android operating system inside.
Chuwi Hi9’s Design
The first thing that strikes you about the Chuwi Hi9 Air tablet PC is that it’s one big tablet, that is on the heavier side of the measuring scale both in terms of dimensions and weight. Available in a single color variant – Black, the Hi9 Air measures 239x167x8 mm and weighs 550 grams. Well, everything in life comes at a price, and the lack of ergonomic design is the price you pay for the huge battery pack that the Hi9 Air is fitted with. If you are one of those people who do not like charging their gadgets often, you are definitely going to be able to look past its heavy build and weight for the sake of its long-lasting battery life.
The tablet sports a 10.1-inch screen, which may be a tad smaller in comparison to some other models available in the market, but its 1920×1080 Full HD resolution more than makes up for it. It also offers an image ratio of 16:10 and a pixel density of 298 PPI, which makes it ideal for playing videos, even those with a 2K resolution, that are displayed in widescreen mode and with great clarity where even the finest of details stand out.
The Chuwi Hi9 Air also incorporated the OGS (One Glass Solution) full lamination technology, which offers some protection against scratches and damage to the screen. The LCD screen and the touch screen have been placed together with a close to zero gaps, which reduces air refraction significantly, thereby improving the brightness and clarity of display manifold. The feature also reduces the addition of extra bulk to the Hi9 Air’s body, making it possible to handle this tablet with a single hand.
The Hi9 Air comes with 4GB DDR3L RAM and 64GB eMMC ROM capable of offering writing and reading speeds of up to 150 m/ss. It also comes with an SD card slot, with which you can expand the internal storage capacity of the device up to 256 GB. The expandable storage provides enough memory space in the tablet to support all your media needs, including games, music, images, movies, and documents, besides accommodating a host of apps.
The Hi9 Air does not have any SIM support and runs solely on WiFi. It is powered by 8,000 mAh non-removable Lithium Polymer battery that provides a run time of over a day on a single full charge. The inclusion of ARM Mali T830 GPU, MediaTek MT8173 chipset, and Accelerometer sensor makes it a powerful and stable machine that does not struggle with lags and is capable of offering a user experience on par with that of a laptop.
The functionality of this tablet can be enhanced manifold by addition of another Chuwi offering, the HiBook Pro keyboard that lends a familiar laptop structure to this tablet for greater productivity.
The keyboard accessory is meant for those who want to use the Hi9 Air for heavy duty tasks because the tablet has the specs to support it. The HiBook Keyboard can be linked to the Hi9 Air through any of the USB ports or even paired with the tablet via Bluetooth.
OS and Processor
The Hi9 Air is powered by a tablet-centric System on a Chip – the MediaTek MT8173 processor. The chipset, even though a tad old, packs a great performance punch with its four highly efficient Cortex-A53 cores capable of clocking up to 2.0GHz of processing speed. The real surprise, however, is the inclusion of an Android operating system in the Hi9 Air. And Chuwi delivers that surprise on a high note by powering up the Hi9 Air with an Android Nougat v7.0. These specs coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable internal storage make this tablet a smooth-running device offering flawless multi-tasking usage.
Camera and Battery Life
The Chinese manufacturer has not made any major upgrades in the Hi9 Air in terms of the device’s camera shooters and optics. In fact, the Hi9 Air retains the camera sensors used on its predecessor, the Hi9. This Chuwi tablet comes with a 5 MP camera on the rear that is equipped with features such as autofocus, digital exposure, geo-tagging, and uninterrupted shooting but lacks an LED light. The Hi9 Air is fitted with measly 2 MP front camera, which like its counterpart on the rear lacks any LED light support.
While the camera specifications on the Hi9 Air are rather lackluster, the battery is certainly one of the strongest features of this device. The 8,000 mAh Lithium Polymer battery offers a good run time. On the flip side, the omission of fast/quick charging support makes getting this 8,000 mAh battery up to a full charge a painfully tedious process. With its charging capabilities, it takes anywhere around 3-4 hours to get the Hi9 Air battery near the 100 percent mark.
The Chuwi Hi9 Air is a likable device by many standards. It has a great display size, humungous battery backup, abundant RAM and internal storage capacity, and runs Android Nougat OS. Even though these features make the Hi9 Air a tablet worth buying, its $350 price tag may seem like a bit of a stretch, especially given that it lacks some catchy features such as fast charging support and a fingerprint scanner.
Even so, it is more than a decent tablet with versatile capabilities, making it ideal for play, leisure, and work-related usage.
It is available to order on Amazon.