In today’s review, we took a closer look at the KUU XBook laptop, which, after our preliminary fears, caused a particularly positive disappointment. The cheap laptop, available from stock in Europe for as little as $259, is primarily recommended for those who would use it for internet access, watching series, or simpler office work.
The laptops launched by the KUU manufacturer were first seen in the online stores this summer. Fortunately, thanks to the GearBest store, all their products are available from European stock, so anyone in Europe can get them quickly, VAT and duty-free.
I also wanted to test the KUU K2 notebook this summer, but in the end, I missed it due to my busy schedule. Last month, I was in the mood again, when the newly released KUU XBook laptop was promoted, which was also nearly $30 cheaper than the KUU K2.
Where to buy it?
The KUU XBook, like other KUU notebooks, is currently available in very few stores and can be found on the internet with a little test. In addition to the official Aliexpress store, we can only find the products of the new manufacturer in the offer of the GearBest store. Since in the latter we had the opportunity to order from European stock, there was no question that we would choose this for procurement. The website wrote 3-5 working days for delivery, which was fulfilled, since the order placed on August 20 was already with me on August 26.
You can buy the KUU XBook laptop from the EU stock in a coupon sale that is currently running for as little as $259. This price applies to the version with 256GB of SSD storage, you don’t have to pay much more for the version with 512GB of storage, it costs $289. In my opinion, 256 GB of SSD storage is enough for such a relatively cheap machine, which can also be replaced later.
You can use the coupon codes that can be used for purchases, for EU (Spanish) stock, until September 30, or while stocks last:
256 GB - coupon: L5375993C5627000
512 GB - coupon: I5375A1339DEB001
The KUU XBook, like the laptops we visited last time, did not overdo the packaging, the simple cardboard box only shows the KUU inscription and the logo. Neither the type nor the features of the laptop can be found on it, so it could even be a baggy cat if we didn’t know what we ordered.
As soon as we snatched the laptop out of the foam, no little to our surprise, we actually found a bag. I didn’t really realize what it was good for, as the thin bag made of fine material protects the machine from dust at most. For home storage, maybe your child’s gym bag can still do good service in the future.
We didn't get too much from the manufacturer next to the device: in addition to the mains adapter (24W) and the bag, we found only a short, multilingual description in the box.
I liked the look of the device, it finally breaks away from the usual cheap-looking laptops. The angular design is particularly good for the KUU XBook, and although the manufacturer tries to mimic the metallic effect with the gray color, you can clearly feel that we are dealing with plastic. Regardless, the assembly is correct, does not bend, does not crack, does not crack. This is not always the case with entry-level machines, for example, the most recently tested Chuwi HeroBook Pro laptop has been given exceptionally poor quality plastic and has been sub-category assembled.
At the top of the KUU Xbook, only the reflective manufacturer's logo is visible, but after reversing, more is revealed to us. The four rubberized soles ensure that the laptop does not slip when placed on a table. When you open the display, the lower part of the appliance rises slightly, making the cooling of the machine more efficient.
The notebook got a better quality 14.1-inch IPS display with excellent viewing angles, around which we can really see a very narrow coffee. The screen itself, which has otherwise been given a matte outer cover, can be opened at a maximum angle of 120 degrees. The one-handed opening didn’t work, but later, when the hinges are getting better, there probably won’t be a problem with that either.
What we notice for the first time is that the KUU XBook is truly a compact, ultrabook-sized device, measuring 32 x 22 inches and weighing about 1.3 kilograms, surpassing even the most recently visited HeroBook Pro, which is similarly compact. Putting the two laptops side by side, the KUU’s product is spectacularly smaller, though both products come with a 14.1-inch display.
Going back to the back cover: here you can find the speakers that sound surprisingly clear, I would definitely rank it among the better in this category, but it could have been improved at maximum volume. Of course, there are also the advantages of quieter speakers: distortion is not at all characteristic of it.
On the bottom half of the back cover is the M.2 SSD slot, where you can find the 256GB / 512GB, quick storage. There is not much information about the brand of SSD, but the inscription LHMZNIY certainly refers to a previous laptop manufacturer. Certainly, this SSD could have survived from the previous life of the manufacturer. This can also be evidenced by the fact that the laptop, formerly known as Lhmzniy A9, is currently running as KUU A9 in the GearBest store.
But let’s turn back to expandable storage: the KUU XBoook is available in 256 or 512 GB by default, but anyone can replace that storage with a much larger or better quality SSD. In my opinion, this is completely unnecessary, since whoever cares about quality will not buy a $ 259 notebook.
There are not too many connectors on the pages of the KUU XBook, and unfortunately, we can't find the USB Type-C either:
2 x USB 3.0
1 x 3.5 mm Audio
1 x Mini HDMI
1 x DC (12V/2A)
1 x MicroSD
The design of USB connectors is not ordinary, thanks to the design element that tapers at the edges. If you want to connect a device to the machine, due to the slim design, you have to push the lower, movable part of the USB connector slightly to fit the end of the cable. We have seen a similar solution for other devices, for which the connection of the RJ55 UTP cable was solved in a similar way.
We can type easily on the keyboard, their sensitivity is appropriate, the size of the keys and the distance between them is close to that of a traditional keyboard.
The size of the keyboard is right, the distance between the keys is enough, it allows for quiet, non-clicking, comfortable typing, after the last time I visited Chuwi HeroBook Pro, typing was refreshing. Special mention should be made of the two-level adjustable backlight under the keyboard, which allows you to type quickly and easily in the evening, even without a backlight.
Use the function key (Fn) to adjust the volume, brightness, keyboard brightness, and turn the display on / off. There is no separate numeric part and it cannot be activated using the existing keys.
The picture shows that the KUU KBook keyboard has been given a QWERTY layout, meaning we can't see special characters painted by default. Of course, this does not mean that it cannot be used.
In Windows, you can set the language for your country when you install it, and GearBest usually sends a keyboard sticker to your laptop.
The TouchPad under the keyboard was decidedly wide, with no problem, but it could have been higher. The touchpad can handle multiple finger touches and can even be used for gesture control, which can make your work easier and faster in Windows.
The KUU XBook has been given the ultra-fresh Intel Celeron J4115 processor, which delivers enough performance for home use. The four-core, four-thread, 1.8MHz clock with an Intel processor with 4MB of cache is already much more powerful than the last one tested, the Celeron N4000, so I didn’t get much stuttering with reasonable use. We can't find a dedicated video card next to the processor, so the integrated solution, the Intel UHD Graphics 600, remains.
Interestingly, this processor is not listed on Intel's official site, only the J4105 or J4125.
Fortunately, recently released laptops don’t save when it comes to memory. You can also find enough 8GB of DDR4 memory in your KUU laptop for a long time.
Surely many will say that the Celeron processor is the lowest and not good for anything. Isn't it worth buying a laptop under Core i3 or Ryzen 3? Some of this is also true for anyone looking to buy a laptop for more serious use, it really shouldn’t go below the Core i3 and Ryzen 3 levels, but it’s important to know that the price of these machines starts at around $500.
If you look at the raw power, the Celeron J4115 is not ashamed, it scored nearly 2800 points in the PassMark CPU Mark test, which is almost double the Celeron N4000 processor, or almost similar to a sixth generation i3-6100U (2600 points).
Of course, no one should expect speed, but it is great for working with office software (word processing, spreadsheets, making presentations, etc.), watching movies, listening to music, surfing the Internet, running older games.
To test the Celeron J4115 processor, I ran several Benchmark programs, including CPU-Z Benchmark, CineBench, GeekBench, 7Zip tests. The results were not surprising, this processor is so capable:
CPU-Z Single Thread:197.0
CPU-Z Multi Threads:707-3
CineBench 15 CPU:218 CB
CineBench 15 OpenGL:12.59 fps
CineBench 20 CPU:485 cp
7Zip (19) Compressing:7270 MIPS
7Zip (19) Decompressing:10303 MIPS
GeekBench 5 Single:421
GeekBench 5 Multi:1361
GeekBench 4 Single:1771
GeekBench 4 Multi:5299
3D Mark 11 GPU:414
3D Mark 11 Combined:435
3D Mark 11 Physics2522
In addition to the Intel Celeron J4415 processor and 8 GB of memory, there is an M.2 (2280) 512 GB SSD already mentioned above. By the way, the vault was partitioned in an extremely interesting way, as it appeared not as one volume, but as three. I was able to combine two of these, but not all of them for some reason. In fact, this is not a problem, as the system still has nearly 120 GB of space left and the rest remains for the applications.
Thanks to SSD technology, the storage space is really agile, and we can really feel this when using the system, loading programs and applications. The maximum write and read speeds in the tests reached almost 500 MB/s.
You can see more detailed test results here:
Operation System - Windows 10 Pro
The KUU XBook is installed on a 64-bit, surprisingly not Windows 10 Home, but a full-fledged Windows 10 Pro operating system. Date of last major security update: September last year (version number 1909). Of course, after the first launch, I already had the opportunity to install quite a few vital Windows updates, along with the most recent 2004 major update.
When you start your laptop for the first time, you have to select the language of the system, almost all languages are available here, so you don't have to make any subsequent language settings. After installation, this screen will welcome us:
Windows do not have office software installed, but there is an Office cloud-based service where we can access a slightly dull version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In order to use them, you need to register a Microsoft account if it had not already happened during installation.
There is life without Microsoft Office: Anyone can choose from the free office application packages (LibreOffice 7, FreeOffice, OnlyOffice ...).
The KUU XBook was equipped with a not-so-large 34.2Wh battery, but thanks to the economical Intel processor, it was able to run for about 6 hours on a single charge under average usage.
This value was again appreciated in the promotional material of the Far Eastern company, as it includes 13 hours. Anyway, I tried I couldn’t get more than 6 hours out of my laptop at medium brightness.
Playing the standard 720p Youtube video, I was able to watch it for Wi-Fi for about 6 hours, as evidenced by the BatteryBar statistics:
The KUU XBook was the manufacturer’s first product to visit me. I started testing the product with a little fear, as there are poor products in this price category. Luckily, the XBook isn’t one of those, my initial worries were completely dispelled during the test, and so in the end I can confidently say that the laptop is really worth the price. The $ 259 starting price also included extras like a FullHD resolution, a very nice IPS display, 8GB of memory, lightning-fast SSD, dual-band WiFi, a backlit keyboard, silent, passive cooling, and a whole fair assembly.
In addition, it’s important to note that the Celeron J4115, which runs a laptop, isn’t a powerhouse, but it’s sufficient for average homework in most cases. Other negatives include the not-too-powerful speaker and the issue of future software support from the currently lesser-known manufacturer.
If I had to compare it to the Chuwi HeroBook Pro laptop I recently visited, available for around $250, I would clearly bring out the KUU notebook as the winner. If we look around at the products of the more reputable manufacturer, we wouldn’t be able to buy a machine with similar knowledge for that much, even for $300-400.
The KUU XBook is a well-equipped, entry-level laptop that was available from stock in Spain with fast delivery starting at $ 259 from the GearBest store. If you want a lightweight, portable computer primarily for surfing, working from home, or even studying, you should add the KUU XBook to your list.