I have just installed Linux to a fast USB thumbdrive (Samsung Fit). I hesitated between Void Linux with the Enlightenment desktop, and Devuan - both distros that do not use systemd and are thus a bit more appropriate for low-end hardware (which the Hi10 Air is, on the inside).
The system definitely becomes a lot snappier under Linux, and even browsing Facebook in Firefox (unbearable under Win10) is as “fast” as you’d expect it to be. So far I’ve tried the XFCE desktop and the KDE Plasma5 desktop; even the latter runs just fine as far as I can tell. I installed the free version of Paragon’s NTFS for Linux driver, so I have native-speed access to my files on the internal drive and the SD card.
In fact, I’m now going to look into moving the Win10 install to one of those Fit drives, and install Linux on the internal eMMC.
I haven’t yet figured out how to get the display manager (SDDM) to start up in landscape mode but that doesn’t stop me from logging in.
One extremely annoying thing that does hold me back a bit: the entire power management system is NOT detected by the kernel, the battery included. I have to assume that the system thus runs at full speed, with the warning led that blinks from the moment the kernel starts booting (very strange; you’d expect that to be controlled by the BIOS!)