Chinese devices have indeed diluted the electronics arena with their cheap products. Most people have a conception that price reflects quality.
It does in most cases but why exactly are Chinese products so affordable?
Stick around to find out why. In the meantime, here are some of the best Chinese tabs in the market today.
1920 x 1200
Android Pie (V9)
MediaTek Helio P22
2560 x 1600
Android Oreo (V8)
MediaTek Helio X27
1920 x 1080
Intel Celeron N4100
2560 x 1600
1920 x 1200
Android Oreo (V8)
The device has a metallic body and that’s why this 10.1” tablet weighs 1.01lb(460g). It is similar to the Huawei MatePad Pro which has a bigger screen.
On the bottom, you’ll find a USB-C port and the headphone jack is located on the top.
The display is unique in the sense that the usual tablet size in the 10-inch range is 10.1-inches but the M10 has a 10.3” full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. The colors are bright, and the tab has a PPI of 220 which is decent.
You get a MediaTek Helio P22 chipset which is an octa-core processor and is pretty good for the price range. However, the battery capacity is quite low and can last for around 4 hours under an HD video streaming test.
- Good display
- Solid premium build
- Poor battery life
Now Telcast is not a name you’ll hear unless you are specifically looking for cheap Chinese tablets.
However, I think it deserves to be a mainstream tablet brand with the amazing products they are putting out.
The 10.1” tablet has a metal casing and is slightly heavy for a tablet of its size at 1.23lbs (560g). The device has a smooth finish. The display of this device is amazing for its price. It has a 2560 x 1600 resolution with a whopping 298 PPI.
We’ve seen quad-core tablets and octa-core tablets, but this is on the first few tablets I’m reviewing with a deca-core MediaTek SoC. Specifically, the device is fitted with a MediaTek Helio X27 chipset which is a high-end processor mainly used in Android smartphones.
Since they’ve used a smartphone chipset, it might be difficult to unlock the full capabilities of a tablet, but for the price, it’s more than enough.
Internal storage is also quite sufficient at 128GB and even the RAM capacity is amazing.
- Good build
- Sufficient storage and memory
- Sharp display
Another thing with Chinese tablets is that the designs are often based on popular products.
The CHUWI Ubook is quite similar to a popular 2-in-1 Windows convertible. Yes, the CHUWI Ubook looks exactly like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
From the bezels to the windows logo on the right end of the device, you see nothing but the Surface Pro.
The device weighs 1.76lbs (800g) and is a bit heavier than the Surface Pro 7 which comes in at around 1.7lbs (770g). The Ubook measures 11.4 x 7.1 x 0.4-inches (290.4 mm X 179.3 mm X 9.0 mm) and is smaller than the surface pro in length and width but is thicker by around 0.1-inches.
The 11.6” display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a PPI of 190.
At the core, the device runs on an Intel Celeron N4100 and is mainly used in low-cost notebooks. The RAM however is more than enough at 8GB and also the internal storage of 256GB is a plus point.
- Sufficient RAM capacity
- Relatively affordable compared to popular devices
- Images aren’t sharp enough
- Bit heavy
The MatePad Pro weighs 1.01lbs (460g) and is lighter than the iPad Pro 11 2020 by around 0.03lbs (13.6g).
On the other hand, it is thicker than the iPad by 0.05” (1.3mm). The device has a premium finish almost similar to that of the iPad with curved edges.
The 10.8” display is very vivid and is a strong competitor to the Liquid Retina Display of the iPad. The display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 compared to the 2388 x 1688 of the iPad Pro. The Huawei flagship killer has a PPI of 280 and surprisingly better than that of the iPad.
The device ships with the latest version of the Android and runs on the Kirin 990 chipset. HiSilicon is a Huawei’s brand of in house processors and most Huawei devices use this brand of SoCs.
Unlike most Chinese devices Huawei has offered a range of storage options like the big brands do.
The device supports wireless charging and also by USB-C and the 7250mAh battery lasted for a full day under normal use.
- Good display
- Wireless charging
- Good processor
- Poor camera quality
This device was specifically made for entertainment and multimedia if you didn’t already get that from the device name.
The device weighs 1.05lbs (475g) and measures around 9.58 x 6.39 x 0.35-inches (243.3 x 162.3 x 8.9 mm). For a 10.1” display the device is a bit heavy but the weight distribution is quite good and you don’t feel it.
At the core, the device runs on a Kirin 659 SoC which was made of mid-range devices like the MediaPad M5 Lite. The Octa-core device clocks at around 1.7GHz with 4 of its cores while the other 4 boosts up to 2.35GHz.
The 10.1” display has a resolution of 1920 x 1200, and a PPI of 224 which is very good at this price.
Huawei again offers two varieties in terms of storage, either 32GB with a 3GB RAM or 64GB paired with a 4GB RAM. For a mid-range device at this price range, it's more than sufficient.
Battery life is solid with a 7500mAh battery. It can last for around 8 hours on a continuous video streaming test.
- Sharp display
- Loud Audio
- Good battery life
- Camera quality is poor
- Slightly heavy
Buying Guide and FAQ
Are Chinese Tablets Good and Why are they so cheap?
I think the straightforward answer to this question is that it depends on the brand.
China is a technologically driven country, so you have so many companies trying to break through into the market with various product offerings.
The main focus of these brands is the affordability and their constant efforts to undercut big competitors. To do this, they try to make the devices as minimal as possible.
This can lead to poorly designed tablets and mobile phones paired with entry-level components. They also tend to have a very short lifespan, and this has given birth to the misconception that ALL Chinese products are inferior.
This however is not true because popular brands like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oneplus, and even Lenovo have broken into the western market.
However, even with these brands, the prices are relatively affordable when compared to giants like Apple, Samsung, or even Microsoft.
You’re probably wondering why.
Time for an economics lesson. The first point is that the occupancy cost in China is quite low, so owning a factory or company is pretty cheap. This is also connected to the cost of living and hence when compared to the US, China has a low cost of living.
Infrastructure is also well-developed due to the high competition and this reduces the prices for electronic components. Production is also done in larger volumes and coupled with high competition, brands are forced to lower their prices to compete and capture the market.
What to Expect from a Chinese Tablet?
Display Size and Quality
When talking about size, two things come to mind: display size and the overall dimensions of the device. Some devices have small displays but larger dimensions due to big bezels around the screen.
Tablets are meant for portability, so for me, the ideal size is between 10 to 11-inches. I prefer tablets with smaller bezels so that the overall dimension is also small and it’s easy to hold and control.
Tablet display sizes range from 7 to over 11-inches. Tablets that are around 7 inches are ideal for web browsing, reading eBooks, or for kids.
Tablets ranging from 7 to 9-inches are perfect for gaming and watching your favorite videos on YouTube or Netflix.
Tablets over 9-inches are ideal for work, word processing, and multitasking.
Some tablets have no screens and are known as graphics tablets used as an input device. Chinese manufacturer Huion makes some of the best standalone drawing tablets.
Moving on to display quality, this is something Chinese brands struggle with a lot. Most budget devices have poor screen resolution. Pixels per inch are drastically low when compared to the likes of Apple and Samsung. But again, this depends on the brand you are looking at.
Look for something with a PPI of at least 200.
Most Chinese tablets have either Qualcomm Snapdragon or MediaTek processors. Since many of the tablets are budget devices, you’ll see entry-level chipsets in the tablets.
Even though Snapdragon is an American company, China is one of its largest markets with a massive number of electronic manufacturers. Meanwhile, MediaTek is a Taiwanese company.
The number of SoC manufacturers in China is on the rise, and to make costs even lower some brands go with Chinese manufactures like Rockchip.
There are three general types of tablet processors: single-core, dual-core and quad-core processors. Single-core processors are entry-level and can only perform basic tasks like web surfing while quad-core processors are the best for multitasking.
Chinese tablets come in 2 types, either Microsoft Windows or Android.
When it comes to Microsoft Windows, it is the best OS for work while Android is good for entertainment and daily use.
Windows will always come in the stock version but since Android is an open platform, some brands tend to modify this and create their own version.
A good example is the Oxygen OS running on OnePlus devices. It is a better-modified version of the stock Android and it one of the main reasons why Oneplus devices are quite popular.
RAM Capacity and Internal Storage
Budget Chinese tablets usually come with a 2GB RAM capacity and very low internal storage. Some tablets even have 1GB RAMs which is pointless.
Popular storage options are 8GB, 16GB or 32GB. Again, this depends on the brand.
Famous Chinese brands such as Huawei have higher storage options.
Almost all Chinese tablets have Micro SD card slots which can be used to expand the storage capabilities.
Battery life is important when it comes to electronics like laptops and smartphones but it's more important in the tablet.
Tablets bring out the best of both worlds and the trend took off due to its high portability.
Most Chinese tablets suffer from low battery life with an average of around 5 hours.
Look for a tablet that can give at least 8 hours under a standard stress test.
Almost all tablets come with Wi-Fi but something remarkable about even the cheapest Chinese tablets is that most of the time, they come with Wi-Fi + cellular capabilities.