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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Dual-booting Android and Windows with a Chuwi Vi8

Well ever since winning $150 by sheer luck (paid $3 on one of those ticket machines) soon after doing so-so at bowling, I decided to go forward with a personal project of mine. It's supposed to include a Pico Projector (which I will get one way or another later) and either a Raspberry Pi, Mac Mini, or PlayStation 3. Well I chose none of those, and instead got a tablet with mini HDMI and microSD slots that dual boots Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4.4 for $120. It came with all the cables along with a keyboard case and 32 GB microSD. Here is my experience with this 8-inch wonder.

First of all, performance is quite good for an Intel Atom with only 2 GB of RAM, especially considering Windows 8.1's minimum requirements. There is next to no lag with everyday tasks, including playing 720p video with HDMI mirrored to the TV (while charging at the same time). I haven't tested gaming, but don't expect much with Intel HD Graphics from Intel Atom (even though it is Bay Trail). Android KitKat runs admirably as well.

An added bonus was that it includes a lifetime license of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Premium! That I transfered to my gaming laptop. It also came with Microsoft Office 365, but unfortunately doesn't accept my Microsoft account. Oh well, uninstalled it for 350 MB more space. Although Windows 10 and Android 5 should be available for this device, I don't want to ruin anything especially the rooted (by the previous owner) Android OS. Therefore, I decided to disable the upgrade to Windows 10 notification, that downloads in the background without you stating yes, altogether: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/huge-problem-with-unwanted-windows-10-download.379049/page-3#post-2525124

Not everything was fine and dandy though. First, I noticed that after rebooting from Android to Windows, I cannot access the microSD on Windows anymore. It seems Android locked it for exclusive access or something to do with Windows... Also, my edits to the BT_Config.xml doesn't stick, it always resets back to what it was on reboot or re-enable of Bluetooth service. The only reason I do that is to use the same mouse on Android and Windows without re-pairing it. The Bluetooth keyboard case seems to support multiple devices, so it works on both without issues. Oh well, Android is touch-based after all. Lastly, I couldn't connect the tablet directly to my laptop and recognize it, even using Android. Guess I'll need to use an OTG cable or something, but I want it charging at the same time. Therefore, I'll just copy to and from the microSD directly.

Overall, it's quite the worthy investment as I have not only a tablet, but a full-fledged computer at the same time all in that portable package. If I could upgrade the RAM or flash storage, I would. But it'll have to do, and I have no complaints with it as a secondary machine I can easily bring down the living room and hook up to the TV. Did I make the right choice? You decide!

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