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.
Read: Our Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Plus Review
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.