Hands-on with the Chuwi Hi9 Air: Fast performance and good battery life

chuwi-hi9-air-android-tablet-eileen-brown-zdnet.png
  • Editors' rating
    8.4 Excellent

Pros

  • Deca core CPU
  • 8,000mAh battery
  • LED flash with rear camera
  • Dual SIM

Cons

  • No keyboard pins

I like the form factor of the Chuwi Hi9 Air much better than its predecessor, the Hi9 Android tablet. It is a nice-looking, sleek tablet that runs multiple apps together well, and its large screen is great for gaming.

Its external dimensions are 241.7 x 172.0 x 7.9mm, and the form factor makes the Hi9 Air very similar, but slimmer, than the Apple iPad. It weighs 0.55kg (1.2lbs).

Its 10.1-inch screen size and resolution of 2560 x 1600 gives the device a lot of screen real estate.

Read also: Chuwi Hi9 Android tablet hands on: Good battery life

Inside the Hi9Air is a MediaTek 6797 Helio X20 Deca core CPU with an ARM Mali-T880 graphics chip running at 780MHz. it seems faster than the Hi9. It comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. There is also the option to add a TF card up to 128GB.

It has an 8,000mAh battery, which will give you up to about six hours of usage, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a micro USB slot. The SIM slot will take two SIMs, which can be configured for mobile data use, calls or SMS messages.

Top ZDNET Reviews

The tablet setup lets you copy your data over from an iPhone and Android device or download it from the cloud.

Building the device is easy. Once connected to Wi-Fi, updates, if any, are applied to the Android 8.0 build, and you are presented with a simple, clean home screen.

I'm impressed with the cameras on the Hi9 Air. The rear camera is 13-megapixel Samsung and the front-facing camera is 5 megapixel. There's an LED flash, too -- thank you, Chuwi.

It is about time tablets have started to appear with built in LED flash functionality. The camera's panorama setting has guidance arrows to ensure you get a smooth panoramic image -- a nice touch.

The tablet has 5G and 2.4G Wi-Fi, too, and its performance is good here. I saw no lag in apps loading or basic tablet functions.

The speakers are good, clear, and fairly loud for a tablet of this size. The base is not thumping from the small speakers, but the sound is more than adequate.

Read also: Chuwi Lapbook Air hands on: A slim, beautiful PC

There are other features in the base OS -- such as Find My Device and Google Pay. With a SIM, you can engage the mobile anti-theft feature to lock the phone, or wipe the data remotely.

To use the tablet in kiosk mode, you can pin one specific screen for viewing and request that a PIN be used to unpin the screen again.

A couple of things annoyed me: The settings in the OS indicate that you can attach a physical keyboard. This would have to be a Wi-Fi keyboard -- there are no pins for physical connection to the tablet. The settings also specify that the tablet has NFC, yet I could not get it to work.

Apart from those few niggles, I think that the Hi9 is a well-performing tablet for around $230. Its long battery life that can easily substitute for your laptop when you are out and about.

Related stories

Top ZDNET Reviews