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Saturday, September 18, 2021

TCL Tab 10s review: The no-nonsense budget tablet you probably haven’t heard of

TCL Tab 10s review: Check out our full review of the TCL Tab 10s and find out if this is the tablet for you under Rs 20,000.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 15,999
Written by Chetan Nayak | Mumbai |
Updated: August 22, 2021 10:38:47 am
TCL, TCL Tab 10s, tcl tablet, tablet, android tablet,Check out our full review of the TCL Tab 10s. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

If you think of a tablet in the era of large screen smartphones, only a few names come to mind including the Apple iPad series, the Samsung Galaxy Tabs and the Lenovo tablets. This is why when I got my hands on the TCL Tab 10s, a large-screen tablet with a decent spec sheet and an affordable price tag, I was surprised as to why I hadn’t heard of TCL tablets before.

At a time like this, when video conferences, online lectures and digital alternatives in general are at an all time high, tablets present a large-screen experience that even the largest smartphones simply do not offer. However, that doesn’t make all tablets out there worth your money. The TCL Tab 10s, however, aims at being a great value for money solution with minimal compromises. Here’s what we think about it.

TCL Tab 10s Specs: 10-inch IPS LCD display | MediaTek MT8768 with 3GB RAM/32GB storage | 8000mAh battery + 18W charging | 8MP(rear) +5MP(front) camera | IP52 certified | Bundled stylus |

TCL Tab 10s: What’s good?

Display: TCL has been primarily associated with making TVs, so it would be weird for the brand to not put in a good display panel on their tablets. Fortunately, that is not the case and the TCL Tab 10s features a good 1920x1200p 10-inch display panel with good viewing angles and decent brightness too for a device that is primarily likely to be used at home.

TCL, TCL Tab 10s, tcl tablet, tablet, android tablet, The TCL Tab 10s features a good 1920x1200p 10-inch display panel. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

There are no fancy elements like high refresh rate or super narrow bezels, but there are no compromises with the display you get either, except maybe WideVine L3 limitation which means no HD content on Netflix.

Stylus support: The TCL Tab 10s comes with a bundled stylus in the box that can be used with the device for day-to-day operation. However, like most styluses, where the tool really shines is in the note-taking and drawing applications where you now get much more precision than your fingers.

TCL, TCL Tab 10s, tcl tablet, tablet, android tablet, The TCL Tab 10s comes with a bundled stylus in the box that can be used with the device for day-to-day operation. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

The stylus comes with no buttons or other fancy features, but gets the job done well. Unfortunately, the tablet doesn’t feature a groove to put the stylus in when not in use and it must be kept separately. You may however find third-party cases that could help you out here.

Design: Tabs aren’t considered to be personal statements when it comes to design like smartphones are, but that doesn’t mean a tablet cannot benefit from good build quality and design. The 10s does a good job here and feels mostly solid to the touch with no creaky edges or wobbly buttons. The tab also comes with a velvet-meets-sandstone like finish on the back. It isn’t as grippy as a true sandstone finish, but handles and looks a lot better than a layer of glossy plastic.

TCL, TCL Tab 10s, tcl tablet, tablet, android tablet, The tab comes with a velvet-meets-sandstone like finish on the back. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

There’s also a USB-C port which is always great to see. Users also get dual speakers, an LED indicator and magnetic pogo pins to help connect the device with keyboards and accessories. There is also an IP52 certification for protection against the elements.

Battery: The 8,000mAh battery on the TCL Tab 10s can last you for days with basic usage and if you’re watching videos or movies, you can expect anywhere between 6.5 to 8 hours of screen on time, which is almost enough to watch the entire Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy in one stretch. The 18W charging, however, may feel slower than usual for the large battery.

Camera, 4G LTE and more: You get a basic camera setup with the Tab 10s that comprises an 8MP rear camera with a flash and a 5MP front camera. Unsurprisingly the pictures aren’t anything spectacular, but suffice for video calls in well-lit environments. The Tab 10s also has a 4G LTE variant. With the dedicated LTE slot, the tablet also lets you connect to 4G LTE networks in addition to Wi-Fi.

TCL, TCL Tab 10s, tcl tablet, tablet, android tablet, There’s also a USB-C port and a magnetic pogo pin on the tablet for charging and accessories respectively. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

The software experience here is also very clean, with stock Android 10 coupled with almost no bloatware. Performance was average, but the combination of the Mediatek MT8768 and a 3GB/32GB storage configuration was not bad considering the price. If basic tasks, media consumption, video calls and online lectures are your use-cases, you’re good to go, but don’t expect a lot more.

There aren’t a lot of cons to the device at this price point, with most devices that are cheaper offering only 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, which might be too less for today’s times, even on a tablet. The TCL either performs average or above in most areas.

Verdict: Should you get the TCL Tab 10s?

The TCL Tab 10s is not the most powerful tablet out there, nor is it the most affordable. However, what it does aim to be is a great budget tablet for those who simply want a larger screen and are not looking to run behind performance, but don’t want to compromise big time on the spec-sheet either. .

If you want a device for video conferencing and online lectures, along with some media consumption and light gaming, and also control all your smart appliances at home while you’re at it, or any other similar use-cases, the TCL Tab 10s is a solid option to consider.

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