These days, coming upon a dual boot tablet is easy, but not one with a good price. The Chuwi Hi8 is one of those models that offer both solid specs and an affordable price tag, as you’ll learn below. I had the chance to play with this product for a few days, after getting it from Gearbest and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. I’ve seen the Chuwi Vi8 at work before, so I expected quality from this brand.
I played with the white version of the slate, that comes in your typical beige cardboard box, featuring the manual inside, an USB OTG cable, USB cable and charger. In spite of this device being white, it doesn’t get dirty easily, since its polycarbonate has a texture that both increases grip and decreases the chance of collecting dust or grease.
The slate has two metal insertions on the sides, for improved build solidity, so it can survive a drop from a certain height, if need be (hopefully it won’t). The polycarbonate device you can see here is rather portrait oriented and integrates a Windows button below the display. Its bezels are reasonably slim considering the sub $100 price and upfront we find the brightness sensor, front VGA camera, while at the bottom there’s the mic and at the top the audio jack.
Also at the top we find the microUSB 2.0 port. The Power button, as well as the volume buttons are placed on the right and while they are made of plastic, the feedback they offer is good. Also on the right we find the microSD card slot, with support for up to 64 GB of extra storage. Moving to the back, we find a speaker that surprised me with the quality of the volume.
So, drawing a line we can say this is quite a compact model, weighing 304 grams and measuring 8 mm in thickness. If need be, you can also use with a single hand with no problem, for e-reading and other such tasks. One of the aspects I liked the best here was certainly the resolution, so we’re getting a 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS 8 incher here, which is a pleasant surprise.
Also inside the slate there’s a quad core Intel Z3736F CPU, clocked at a pretty high 2.16 GHz and offered together with 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage and a main 2 megapixel camera. Also inside there’s a 4000 mAh battery, that should offer 5 hours of gaming and finally we get Bluetooth 4.0 support, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and microUSB 2.0.
The core of the experience is the dual boot thing, so the Chuwi Hi8 comes with both Android 4.4.4 KitKat and Windows 8.1. You’ll alternate between them by pressing a special virtual button, that comes in handy. Then the slate restarts and you’ve changed OS in just a few dozens of seconds. Each of the platforms gets its own storage capacity, so Android only gets a bit under 7 GB, while Windows 8.1 gets 10.2 GB or so. (UPDATE: The tablet offers support for Windows 10 installation)
In case you’re wondering, Windows 10 is available as an upgrade for the Chuwi Hi8, so we can’t wait to get it. We liked the quality of the video and audio playback on this tablet and it also handled productivity, browsing and even gaming without problems. The best thing here is obviously the price, that is much lower than usual, thanks to a special Gearbest promotion.
They are dropping the slate’s price by as much as 62%, reaching only $93 and delivery is available for free. The product will reach the customer in 25 days tops, after placing the order, but it all depends on the country. Well, this is one solid dual boot tablet and I can’t wait to see more from Chuwi in the future.