Windows 10 Surface Pro 4 lookalike: Chuwi's Surbook goes the budget route

Chuwi has unveiled a Surface Pro 4 clone, but one that features Intel's lower-end Apollo Lake processor.

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Unlike the Surface Pro, the Surbook runs on an Intel Apollo Lake processor, the cheaper alternative to the seventh-generation Kaby Lake CPUs.

Image: Chuwi

Chinese hardware maker Chuwi is launching a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 lookalike, but core specs suggest it will be a more affordable option.

There's no shortage of Windows 10 2-in-1 devices that have taken inspiration from Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, from Samsung's enterprise Galaxy Book 12, Dell's new Latitude 5285, or Lenovo's affordable MiiX 510. They've all got Surface-like designs with a kickstand, keyboard, and stylus, but deviate from the Surface Pro 4 on some core specs.

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First look: Surface Pro 4 adds refinement and polish

This hybrid device isn't for everyone, but the small changes add up to a significantly better user experience.

Chuwi, which has made several budget Surface-family alternatives, has now unveiled the "powerful but affordable" SurBook, a very close rendition of the Surface Pro 4's design.

Like the Surface Pro 4, it features an aluminum body, detachable keyboard, stylus, and built-in kickstand. It also shares the Surface's screen specs with a 12.3 inch display at a 2,736 x 1,824-pixel resolution.

Unlike the Surface Pro's Intel core m and Core i processors, the Surbook runs on an Intel Apollo Lake processor, the cheaper alternative to the seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors.

Chuwi intends to launch a crowdfunding campaign shortly on Indiegogo and is currently offering to give away two devices under an early promotion for fans who can suggest a desirable feature.

Other core features include 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, and a 10,000mAh battery. Chuwi sent ZDNet additional specs. The device has a microSD slot, a five-megapixel (MP) rear camera and 2MP front camera, a USB Type-C port, two full-sized USB 3.0 ports, a mini HDMI port, and 3.5mm headphone jack. Wireless connectivity options include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The device will ship with Windows 10 Redstone.

Chuwi hasn't revealed pricing yet but the choice of Apollo Lake suggests it will be cheaper than Microsoft's entry level Surface Pro 4.

Chuwi is taking a somewhat similar approach to Finnish hardware startup Eve, which crowdfunded its Surface Pro 4 rival, the Eve V. The company raised $1.4m from backers for the device, which features near identical specs to the Surface Pro 4, but with Intel's seventh-generation processor. Eve is producing 2,000 devices for its backers.

Eve played up the fact that Microsoft launched the device in 2015 with Intel's sixth-generation processors.

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