In the past few years, it seems that budget tablets have been slowly making a return to mainstream adoption. After a moment of relative dormancy in markets worldwide, we’re slowly seeing manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Lenovo put out new bang-for-your-buck devices, and it seems that more companies want a piece of that Android tablet action once more.
With that said, TCL is one of these companies – not satisfied with establishing a foothold in the Android smartphone segment, the China-based electronics company has also launched a series of tablet devices in recent times, one of which is the TCL Tab 5G.
The Tab 10 5G comes with some hardware features that enable it to compete with other similarly-priced devices, and today we’re going to check out what it has to offer – let’s take a look!
TCL Tab 10 5G Specs
- Display: 10.1-inch, 1080×2400 pixel resolution
- Processor: MediaTek Kompanio 800T, 4GB of RAM
- Storage: 32GB Expandable Storage
- Battery: 8000 mAh with 18W Charging Support
- Cameras: 8MP rear sensor, 5MP front
- 5G Connectivity via SIM tray
- Software: Android 12 with TCL UI
Hardware and Design
Starting with its hardware, the Tab 30 5G features a 10-inch display with a 1080×2400 pixel resolution. Powering the tablet is a MediaTek Kompanio 800T chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. You get an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, and this whole set-up runs on an 8000 mAh battery that should last for hours (or even days) on end.
The design of the Tab 30 5G is very minimalist, and if you prefer a subtle matte look to your devices then this should fit right in with the rest of your get-up. The polycarbonate build feels rather sturdy, and the matte back has a grippy feel to it, which is reassuring as the tablet does lean towards the heavier side of things.
The bezels around the display are somewhat slim, and although they aren’t as narrow as what you’d see on budget tablets from Samsung or Lenovo for example, they’re still sleeker compared to other devices, like Amazon’s Fire-series tablets which still come with large bezels around their screens.
The tablet is clearly designed to be handled in landscape orientation, as evidenced by the placement of the front-facing camera, as well as the volume and power keys. The left and right sides feature loudspeakers, with the USB-C port and SIM-SD card tray on the right-hand side. Unfortunately, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack on the device, so you’ll have to use a USB-C adapter for wired headphones or opt for wireless audio solutions.
Software and Performance
Now with this being an TCL-branded device, it runs on a modified version of Android. Underneath the hood the tablet runs Android 12, although this is packaged alongside TCL UI, a proprietary skin you’ll find on other TCL-branded phones and tablets. It’s functional though with very minimal lag (at least in my usage), and although it comes with some additional apps they are thankfully kept to a minimum, unlike what you’d usually get on other skins like One UI or MIUI.
TCL has included a few additional software features on the device like “NXTVISION,” which lets you tweak some aspects of the display to get a more immersive experience. For example, you can optimize it for gaming sessions or even eBook binges.
Performance-wise, the 4GB of RAM on the tablet is enough for most basic tasks – once again we have to remember that this is an entry-level device with a focus on media consumption and casual gaming. While the processor onboard isn’t obviously a flagship-level chip, it is enough for most casual usage like video streaming, social media and web browsing, as well as a bit of gaming. I was able to run a few “older” Android titles on the Tab 10 like Great Little Wargame and Chaos Rings III, and it’s safe to say that budget tablets today are miles ahead in terms of performance compared to their early 2010-predecessors.
The tablet also comes with 5G connectivity, so you’ll be able to access data services if you have a SIM card inserted. With that said however, the model we have here is network-locked to T-Mobile, so this is something to keep in mind.
Camera and Battery
As with most other budget tablets, camera performance isn’t something that you’ll be impressed with on the Tab 10 5G. It comes with an 8MP rear sensor and a 5MP front camera, with video maxing out at 1080p resolution at 30fps. Image quality isn’t particularly groundbreaking, although with good lighting you can get some decent shots. Still, we’d reckon that the tablet would be better suited for video call purposes rather than Instagram posts, in which case you can go on extended Zoom sessions thanks to the massive 8,000 mAh battery.
Given the moderate chipset, the battery will be great for long Netflix and eBook sessions, as well as extended gaming for example. It does take a while to fill up the battery, as the tablet only comes with support for 18W charging.
For a price of $299.99, the TCL Tab 10 5G manages to do a lot of things right – a sturdy design that plays it safe, a large battery, decent performance and a large-enough display will suit the needs of most folks after a relatively-affordable Android tablet. The added 5G connectivity is also a plus, and will be ideal for content streaming, making this a go-to gadget for casual and moderate users.
Of course, there are factors to consider such as the small 4GB of RAM, average camera quality, as well as the low internal storage, so folks looking for something that goes beyond these boundaries will have to think twice about the Tab 10 5G. Given the budget price of the tablet though, this should be somewhat expected.
TCL Tab 10 5G Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_50star_empty (3.5 / 5)
- Sturdy build and minimalist design
- Large battery and display are ideal for media consumption
- 5G connectivity is a great addition
- 4GB of RAM is low these days
- Camera quality is lacking