Last month, we were given our first glimpse of Chuwi’s SurBook, a low-cost alternative to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. Now, Chuwi has opened pre-orders on the system — and the company is utilizing an unusual launch strategy to gauge public interest in the hardware.
Chuwi is running an IndieGogo campaign that will process pre-orders for the first wave of SurBook systems, according to a report from Liliputing. The company is well-established in China, but much less so in the United States, so this strategy allows it to offer its product directly to consumers without relying on relationships with retailers.
The deal works out pretty well for anyone who is interested in purchasing the device, too. Like many crowdfunding campaigns, there are early bird discounts to be had, with backers receiving deep discounts on the hardware if they’re among the first to confirm their pre-order.
The cheapest model available offers 64GB of storage, and will cost the first 200 backers $299 — later, the price will go up to $369. There’s also the option to get the same system bundled with a keyboard and a stylus, which costs $349 at the early bird rate, and $473 thereafter.
Chuwi is also offering a 128GB model that comes with the keyboard and stylus accessories, which costs $399 while the early bird allocation is still available, after which point the price will rise to $498.
The SurBook boasts a 12.3-inch screen with a 2,736 x 1,824 resolution, 6GB of RAM, and USB Type-C and USB 3.0 Type-A ports for easy connectivity. However, with a weight of 967 grams and a thickness of less than 10 millimeters, its greatest strength is its portability, given that it’s a very affordable system.
The crowdfunding campaign will run for a month, but Chuwi has already met its low funding goal of $30,000, so all orders made from here on out are guaranteed to be fulfilled.