So there I was, enjoying my morning coffee and finding new Black Friday laptop deals when I stumbled across a so-called “deal” so hilariously deceptive that I pulled off the perfect spit-take all over my keyboard.
Ignoring my sticky keyboard for a second, allow me to introduce you to the Chuwi GemiBook: a 13-inch laptop with a “4K” display that shares a similar shape to the MacBook Air and comes with a deep discount from £379.99, to £297.49.
Sounds good, right? Well, no, for a lot of reasons. Rather than just post a tweet about how obviously this company is trying to fleece you, let’s use it as a teachable moment.
How do you spot a fake Black Friday deal? It’s as easy as three steps.
Check the price
This one is the easiest one to do thanks to the CamelCamelCamel Chrome extension. Simply visit a product page on Amazon and click it, then you’ll get a graph tracking the history of its price, both on and off Amazon.
It’s a great tool to show you whether that supposed saving is genuine or whether the company has sneakily increased the price beforehand to make it look better than it actually is. As you can see, Chuwi upped the price of this in October.
Check the specs
A lot of companies are in the business of stuffing their product listings with as many highly searched keywords as possible, to appear in more prominent positions on Amazon. This practice even extends to downright lying about what the products they sell can actually do.
Channel your inner Detective Phelps from L.A. Noire: take a minute to scrutinize the details and see if they cast doubt over the whole case of buying one. You never know, you may come across funny fraud like what Chuwi tried to pull off here.
- The GemiBook is not actually 4K, even though the name says it twice and the specs read “4K video display.”
- What in the blue hell is a “Front 100W” camera?
- “4K video processing” on Intel Celeron J4115 processor? In Ask Geek’s testing, it could barely play Fall Guys on low graphics settings at 720p resolution (11.3 frames per second)!
Read between the lines on certain specs and do your homework. Inconsistencies like these become obvious, which is when you should...
Trust your instincts
If you think something is too good to be true, it probably is. By this point, your instincts will start to veer you away from this so-called deal. Trust them, as there is always another deal. This is Black Friday: there are literally thousands of them.
Just make sure you’re clear on what you want from a laptop. Set out your use case and map specs to it. This Chuwi laptop deal is a great example, as something like this will only be good enough for the lightest, most casual use cases. Anything more, you'll need an Intel i3 chip for better multitasking productivity, and you'll need even stronger performance than that if you're after a 4K laptop (not 1440p).
Black Friday is a great time to save, but it’s also a great time for companies to trick people with fake deals. Don’t get short-changed. If you need advice on what to buy, we’re here to help with our many guides.
As for the Chuwi GemiBook, there is only one situation where you could even remotely think of buying it: if there is someone you deeply hate and you’re really irresponsible with your money, but fancy watching someone struggle.
I’ve reached out to Chuwi for a comment about this blatantly misleading product listing.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.