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

eileen-brown.jpg
Written by Eileen Brown on
chuwi-hi9-air-android-tablet-eileen-brown-zdnet.png
8.4

Chuwi Hi9 Air

Excellent
Like
  • Deca core CPU
  • 8,000mAh battery
  • LED flash with rear camera
  • Dual SIM
Don't Like
  • 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.

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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.

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