Microsoft drove the 2-in-1 market with its Surface devices. Since then, Windows OEMs followed the company's lead with their “Surface Killer” devices. One of them was Chinese company Chuwi, which is now back with its latest Surface Pro rival, the CoreBook.
When thinking of Chinese companies, it is still easy to dismiss with a “Chinese Knockoff” jab. A cursory glance on eBay suggests that perception is warranted. However, in the tech sector, China has made its presence felt at all ends of the market.
In the smartphone market, Chinese manufacturers sold 48% of all handsets during Q3. Xiaomi, Huawei (the 2nd largest smartphone seller), and Oppo (4th) have enjoyed success with good devices. We can argue about the overall quality, but these companies are certainly not peddling “Chinese knockoffs”.
Chuwi arguably fits nicely with these brands, and indeed Lenovo (a PC giant from China). The company made an impact with its first 2-in-1 devices, which were well-spec'd and run Windows 10.
The CoreBook ups the proverbial Ante with newer specs that arguably justify a “Surface Pro Killer” tag. However, the company needs funds to produce the device, so has set up an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Chuwi has decked its device with high-end hardware. For example, the 13.3-inch screen is full HD and is an OGS fully laminated panel. The company says this improves glare and the image quality.
Elsewhere, the CoreBook gets an Intel 7th (Core M) generation processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB storage. Also worthy of mention is the 4K video hardware decoding capabilities. There is a touch pen with 1024 pressure levels and a 2-in-1 keyboard that doubles as a kickstand.
While I would stop short of calling this a true Surface Pro competitor, it is a compelling package. I always make the following point, and will continue to do so because it is interesting. Any device running Windows and targeting Surface's market is good news for Microsoft. Yes, the company wants hardware sales, but Windows coverage is more important.
Of course, any device putting the Surface Pro in its crosshairs is also targeting Apple's MacBook. Again, I would stop short of such comparisons in this case. However, it is amazing that Chuwi has called the integrated fingerprint scanner on the CoreBook is called “Touch ID”.
This is the name Apple uses for its fingerprint scanning sensor on iPhone. Yes, Touch ID was removed from the new iPhone X, but it is present on all other models. Perhaps Chuwi is just using the name for the crowdfunding campaign, because if not I guess some lawsuits will follow.