I ordered the M3-8100Y version with 16GB of RAM. However, I did not order any additional SSD since I intended to use an M.2 PCI-E MicroSD adapter for an internal drive. This means I can just take the internal MicroSDXC from my GPD Pocket rather than having to copy anything. The card also draws at most maybe 0.5W as a storage device which is a lot less than an equivalent SATA or NVME SSD. Yes, it's slow but I seriously don't notice that much since I'm not a gamer.
Some observations about the Minibook.
- Chuwi have configured M3-8100Y with TDP-up settings that give a minimum turbo of 1.6GHz. It would be great if this was configurable in a future BIOS with the options of regular TDP (1.1GHz) and TDP-down (800MHz) for those of us who want to extend battery life. I'll detail my experiments with Throttlestop in this area down below.
- It's annoying that the minimum PD power requirements is 24W (12Vx2A) rather than 18W (9Vx2A) since there are a lot of 18W adapters and power packs around. Not sure whether this might be adjustable or is hard wired. On the other hand, it makes sense considering the potential maximum power draw of the Minibook (15W peak TDP for the CPU alone).
- It would be nice if the default keyboard light status could be configured in the BIOS to Off/On/Last Setting for mainly for resumption from suspend/hibernate.
- The screen is a seriously shiny fingerprint magnet and I'm still looking for a good oleophobic matt screen protector in the UK. I ordered at AtFoliX one from eBay and it was far too big.
- The Intel drivers for the M3-8100Y seem to handle external displays very badly - the GPD Pocket was painless but getting scaling and orientation right with the new control panel doesn't really work.
- I have downvolted the CPU core by 100mV and the CPU cache by 50mV to reduce power consumption. This works for me but depends on your CPU. This works for all frequency settings.
- I have left the TDP limits as they were, since they can't be configured per profile in Throttlestop. Instead I use turbo frequency limits to control power consumption. I haven't fiddled with GPU settings since I don't really game that much - so its power consumtpion is generally minimal. Geekbench 4 figures are in [brackets].
- Profile 1 is 1.6gGHz limit for both single and dual core turbo (this is as low as it goes) and is the default I use when on battery. Power consumption seems to be around 3.5W peak (CPU only). [2207/3845]
- Profile 2 is 1.8/2.2GHz and with a CPU peak power of around 5W. The fan doesn't seem to spin up at this level and keeps things quiet. [2798/4807]
- Profile 3 is 2.2/2.7GHz, with a CPU peak power of around 7W. The fan spins up but is generally not too obtrusive. This is my default when plugged in. [3289/5706]
- Profile 4 is the default 2/7/3.4Ghz that the Minibook comes with. With undervolting I am seeing a peak of maybe 10W here but the fan does get noisy. [3939/6771]
For those of you with NVME drives that draw 4+W, default CPU settings and Windows Update/Indexing thrashing both, I'm not surprised battery life is short. Once Windows settles down things will improve a lot but a heavily used power hungry SSD could easily halve battery life.