Chinese device makers possess one capability that has yet to be rivaled by any other company—the craft of offering feature-packed tablets at a price that’s affordable by all. Leveraging this might, many companies form the Asian market, including Huawei and Xiaomi, have spearheaded to become known brands across borders.
Merely a couple of these names are recognized by the western world while there are innumerous smaller players making inexpensive tablets that are never heard of by users outside China. The only way to get your hands on these devices is by importing them from online retailers like AliExpress and Gearbest. This is the sole pain point in the buying experience as the imported packages take several weeks to reach you and, at times, you also have to deal with customs. But the wait is well worth it for these fantastic devices mentioned below.
Here are a few Chinese tablets that you can consider before making your next purchase in 2019.
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Plus
A popular name in the smartphone world, Xiaomi is also invested in making tablets under its Mi Pad series and the Mi Pad 4 Plus is their newest one. In our review of the device, it proved to be a impressive performer while bringing a certain degree of brand value. Using a Snapdragon 660 processor, the tablet could offer satisfactory performance and its battery left us impressed with an outstanding score of 17 hours in our standard test.
This Plus model comes with the support for 4G LTE built-in and the feature isn’t optional. However, do keep note that it lacks support for band 20 that’s required in certain European markets. Being a for-China tablet, there will be no Play Store preinstalled, though there are several workarounds for this situation. For under $280, you’re getting a good FHD 10-inch display, fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, and a spacious 4GB of RAM.
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
The Mi Pad 4 is one of the few devices to share most of its internals with its Plus sibling. This non-Plus model comes with a smaller and more manageable 8-inch display with the same full HD resolution while packing a 6000mAh battery which is larger than what most similar tablets come with. What it lacks is a fingerprint scanner and 4G connectivity on this device is optional. It is reassuring to see all the goodness the larger tablet included in the smaller one too without making almost any compromise.
We haven’t reviewed this particular non-Pro Mi Pad 4 tablet but given its similarity to the Plus model, we can safely say that you won’t be disappointed if you are indeed wanting an 8-inch tablet. You will get all the same internals including the Snapdragon 660 chipset and up to 4GB of RAM. The Wi-Fi only variant costs $214 when importing from China and you can spend an additional $16 to get the 4G variant.
Chuwi Hi9 Pro
Undoubtedly, the Chuwi Hi9 Pro has one of the best displays among its peers from China and its affordable price makes it an even better deal. An 8.4-inch IPS QHD display is placed on the front with the device sporting a mostly metal built. Its performance using a MediaTek Helio chipset was decent enough for normal tasks with the gaming experience being particularly bad. Despite holding a 5000mAh battery, the tablet couldn’t last for over 8.5 hours in our testing.
Priced under $140, this Chuwi tablet has support for two SIM cards and it can even latch on to a 4G LTE network for better data speeds on the go. It is one of the cheapest tablets with 4G connectivity. Besides this, people favoring vanilla Android experience will find this inexpensive device appealing, thanks to its clean Android Oreo OS.
Read: Our Chuwi Hi9 Pro Review
Teclast tends to be a popular name among those looking specifically for Chinese tablets and its T20 device hits that sweet spot. Available for 200 US dollars, the Teclast T20 is a 10-inch slate that comes with respectable specifications and supports 4G LTE connectivity. What disappoints about the device is its shorter battery life compared to other similar tablets and the use of the now two-gen-old Android 7.1 Nougat OS which shows no sign of being updated.
Leaving those shortcomings aside, the Teclast T20 has a lot of features, like its fingerprint scanner, that are hard to find even on costlier products. Plus, you’d get solid performance using a deca-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM. It has a full metal body and a 2K display for sharper image quality. It features a USB C port.
Read: Our Teclast T20 Review
While not a dedicated tablet, the Teclast F5 deserves a space in this list considering the great value it offers. Running Windows 10 OS, the F5 is a convertible device that can entirely fold in either direction to enable its usability as a tablet using a great touchscreen. Windows itself is optimized for tablet use, so you shouldn’t face any problem in any mode you choose. Plus, you also have the option to use a stylus.
The included 11.6-inch display may be large enough for a tablet, but it also means you’ll get a reduced keyboard deck area. Though, once you get used to the keyboard, any problem is unlikely to arise. This 1.1kg convertible is powered by an Intel Celeron processor and has 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of SSD. Aside from this, the device comes with a meager 3850mAh battery which was downright disappointing in our review. You can get a detailed look at the device in our review video below.
Note: Some shops don’t offer the Teclast F5 anymore or significantly raised prices. However, they do offer a newer Teclast F5R which is cheaper but seems to be almost identical except for a bit lower-end CPU.
Chinese Tablets We Haven’t Reviewed Yet
It’s common knowledge that China churns out a new tablet every other week, making it tough for us to keep pace with their releases. There are quite a few tablets from the Asian market, which were either released recently or couldn’t be reviewed due to some logistical problems. But given our broad experience with tablets, including those from Chinese brands, we’re suggesting some options that you can look at in case you couldn’t pick one from the list above.
Chuwi UBook Pro
Many of you want a device like the acclaimed Surface line, but don’t want to spend top dollar for the entire package. That’s exactly where the Chuwi UBook Pro comes into the picture. It comes with a design akin to the Surface Pro, including the kickstand that can lay the tablet almost flat. Chuwi has even used a screen measuring 12.3 inches in the 3:2 aspect ratio.
This Windows 10 machine has a lot of ports and uses an Intel Core m3 processor paired with up to 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It is supposed to come bundled with a stylus, while you have the option to get a keyboard accessory that also resembles the Microsoft machine. We’ve reviewed a bunch of Chuwi tablets so far, and one thing that has remained consistent is their underwhelming battery life.
For a tablet launched as recently as August, running Android 8.0 Oreo is a bit awkward, but the entire package may still be worthwhile, given its pricing. It is interesting seeing a tablet offer respectable internals for a base price of under $150, and for an additional $20, you can get more RAM, storage, and 2K display that is unheard of in this price bracket.
For that price, you’re getting a spacious 10.1-inch display, making the Teclast M30 a great entertainment screen since you’ll have access to a host of apps from the Play Store. Everything is powered by a deca-core MediaTek processor paired with up to 4GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. It charges using a Type-C port and has a headphone jack on one side. It has a fairly large 7500mAh battery, though its predecessor was particularly underwhelming in this department.
This Teclast tablet was released quite recently and shares a lot of similarities with the M30 mentioned above. The M16 is aimed at those who find themselves hitting the keyboard almost everywhere — on the train, cab, or when in their bed. It runs Android, but the company has tinkered with the software a bit to make it work like a computer. For under $200 you can get this tablet along with its keyboard accessory.
Again, for portability, the Teclast M16 comes with 4G LTE connectivity, and you can use the tablet to project your presentations using the included micro HDMI port. However, it charges using the standard USB Type-C port. Since it is meant for being used in boardroom meetings, the company hasn’t skimped on the build quality as the outer shell is made out of metal.
Announced earlier this month, the Teclast P10HD can be grabbed for around $100, putting it directly against the likes of Fire HD 10. This time, the Chinese company didn’t skimp on the software and included a newer Android version — Pie. However, the P10HD uses a rather unknown Unisoc processor, though it has eight cores that should suffice your basic needs.
The tablet name gives away the display size of 10 inches and the fact that it’s an FHD panel. With its 16:10 aspect ratio, watching Netflix shows and YouTube videos is just a better experience. The P10HD has a pair of cameras, one each on the front and back, while you’ll also find 3GB of RAM paired with 32GB of expandable storage. From what we’ve seen on the Teclast tablets we’ve tested, the battery life on the P10HD may not be its USP given the meager 6000mAh capacity.
Taking design cues from the iconic Surface Pro line, the Alldocube Nuvision tries to give you a budget alternative to the expensive Microsoft package. It’s an entry-level machine with a dual-core Intel Celeron processor that is supported with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable eMMc memory. Its keyboard attachment can fold to form a kickstand that you can position in any angle of your preference, which isn’t possible even with the iPad Pro cover.
Over at the front, you’re getting a large 11.6-inch 1080p display, while a pair of stereo speakers are also present. It runs Windows 10 Home, giving you a full computer experience that is limited only by the hardware. It has a USB Type-C port, though it can’t be used for charging and you’ll have to use the dedicated DC port. The biggest downside of this tablet is its paltry 4000mAh battery — a size that only suits smartphones — though Alldocube may successfully justify it with a $230 price tag.
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