Disclaimer: The Chuwi Hipad used for this review was provided by the manufacturer. In return, we’ve agreed to include a direct link to the product right here.
The Android tablet has always been a weird area of the tech world. While Google has attempted to provide tablet users with a variety of necessary Android features, the Linux-based hardware has consistently failed to stand out from the polished experiences seen on both Apple’s iPad and the technological cacophony of Windows 2-in-1s. With poor offerings from the flagship manufacturers in recent years, tablet enthusiasts will have to look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, Android tablets keep on coming and Chinese manufacturer CHUWI has earned its place as the reliable provider of budget Android tablets. While never perfect, these offerings have always provided “good enough” offerings that are well-known for balancing the line of affordability and reliability. But does the Hipad LTE follow that trend?
Well, the Hipad is certainly an attractively priced product that emulates the fashions of higher end tablets. From the outside, Chuwi has created a beautiful product: while the screen’s bezels are on the chunky side, the aluminium chassis and sleek matte rear more than make up for it. It’s not a gorgeous device but it’s still quite a looker. With an iPad Pro level of thickness, it’s also easy to take anywhere.
With a solid frame holding its internals, does the new Hipad hold up as a solid performer? Absolutely! While the 10-core MediaTek Helio X27 SoC isn’t a monster processor by any means, it’s a beefy inclusion for a budget device. Every app we’ve tried – from productivity to gaming – ran well enough without noticeable drops in performance. From PUBG Mobile to Photoshop Express and even video editing – the Hipad doesn’t shirk in the performance arena whilst running apps. Of course, when it comes to gaming, you’ll have to be reasonable: don’t expect cutting-edge GameCube emulation to run well.
Unfortunately, experiencing those apps isn’t up to snuff. Whilst the 10.1-inch IPS display panel provides gorgeous colours, the touch digitiser underneath the display results in inaccurate and frustrating inputs. From texting to gaming, the Hipad LTE always requires more effort to input your commands — copy and pasting text stands out as a particularly infuriating activity.
Much like the screen, other aspects of the device’s standard inclusions also happen to fall well short of expectations. The single mono speaker is simply awful: both at low and high volume, listening to music or watching a video provides an almost 2005 Sony Handycam level of muffled quality. It’s simply awful and a low quality headphone jack doesn’t help.
Thankfully, the worst aspects of the Chuwi Hipad LTE is held up by an impressive 7000MaH battery that adheres to the two-day battery life appeal of many mainstream tablets. With a simple USB-C port located at the top of the device, this multi-day battery charges to full in just a few hours.
The impressive battery is needed as Chuwi is pushing the LTE as a productivity device. With a keyboard accessory that is good enough –albeit way too flimsy on its standard folding stand – for long typing sessions, the Hipad can be used to do anything from writing for a fantastic website like MSPoweruser.com to basic video editing. The keyboard’s built in trackpad is also ideal: it helps to sidestep the awful touch sensitivity on the display.
Ultimately, the Chuwi Hipad LTE is the ultimate mixed bag Android tablet. For everything good it does, there’s always something else pushing the quality back. Nothing is amazing, but it fills the “good enough” mantra that previous Chuwi tablet products appear to strive for. If you want a decent Android tablet with a pure Android 8 experience, this is certainly a product to consider.