Laptops have proven incredibly popular and valuable in 2020, but finding a great device that doesn’t break the bank still isn’t that easy. Chinese company Chuwi has been trying to change that in recent months, with a series of impressive budget releases.
Its next device looks to be continuing that trend, albeit in a much thinner and lighter form factor than we’ve become accustomed to. The 13.3in LarkBook is just 11.9mm thick and weighs less than 1kg, making it well-suited for on-the-go productivity.
Working from a plane, train or automobile might be off the cards for most people at the moment, but there are plenty of other reasons to consider this device. Chief among them is the design, with an aluminium and magnesium alloy helping the LarkBook to look the part.
The display is also impressive on paper, as a Full HD (1920×1080) panel with tiny bezels. It means the LarkBook looks the part, although we can’t be sure how well it holds up to day-to-day usage.
One area the LarkBook may struggle is performance, as it’s equipped with Intel’s 2.4GHz N4120 processor. Despite appearing to be a big step up from its predecessor in the N3350, benchmarks suggest it can’t hold a candle to the recent i5s. That’s a concern, especially when you consider it’s marketed towards students and office workers.
However, the N4120 is described as a low-power processor, which should deliver a significant boost to battery life. Chuwi says the LarkBook is ‘long-lasting’ but doesn’t quote any specific figures.
The built-in Intel UHD 600 graphics card sounds a lot more promising, and Chuwi claims it’s capable of ‘easily’ decoding 4K video. There’s also 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD on the only configuration available.
You also get quad speakers with DTS surround sound support and dual-array mics. There’s plenty of ports, too – two USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot and USB-C for fast charging.
Pricing is yet to be revealed, but if the listing on AliExpress is anything to go by, it will start around £324/US$419.
How’s it different from other Chuwi laptops?
Chuwi’s laptop lineup continues to grow, and it’s far from the only clamshell device the company makes. The GemiBook (from £349/US$349) and CoreBook Pro (£389/US$439) have both been released in the last few months, so why would you choose the LarkBook over these similarly-priced devices?
The big one is its portability. The GemiBook and CoreBook Pro (both 1.34kg) aren’t heavy by any means, but dropping under 1kg makes the LarkBook one of the lightest laptops on the market.
Another attraction is the audio setup, with quad DTS speakers rare at this price point. While we can’t verify how good they sound, it’s double the number you’ll find on both of the other devices. It also sticks with dual-array mics, meaning audio input should be just as good as output.
The other work from home essential is the webcam, which looks to be positioned just above the display. A specific resolution or megapixel count hasn’t been announc
Specs for the webcam haven’t been announced, although it’s likely to join the GemiBook and CoreBook Pro in sporting 1Mp cameras.
The webcam, another work from home essential, looks to be positioned above the display, but no specs have been provided.
The LarkBook is available to buy now from the Chuwi website. All purchases before 23 December will get a free laptop bag, while you can enter your email address for US$50 off the asking price. If you’d prefer, the device is also available from AliExpress.
Check out our best budget laptop chart to see what it’ll be up against.