I’ve been on a search for a tablet that I could comfortable use for large-format media consumption and reading, especially when I’m on the treadmill at the gym; reading on my Nexus 7’s smaller 7″ screen is really a challenge while running. My wife has a Sony Xperia Z tablet, which I love – the thin and high-end form factor, the screen, the robust hardware, the waterproof construction, complete with a stock-ish Lollipop experience. I also got this white-backed 32Gb model refurbished on eBay for $195 last Christmas – a steal, in my opinion. One year later, I’m actively looking for a brand new (or lightly used/properly refurbed) tablet within my $250 budget. Yes, that only gets you access to low- to mid-range models, or at least last year’s high-end ones. I have no qualms with that, because there are a quite a few standout tablets such as the Lenovo Tab 2, Nexus 9 (on Craigslist), Sony Xperia Z/Z2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, et al.
Well, after much research, deliberation, and my downright disappointment in the new/used pricing of these mainstream tablets, I decided to bite the bullet and purchased a Teclast X98 Air 3G from the Motherland in Guangzhou, PRoC. It’s a reliable brand in terms of China upstarts, similar to how brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and OnePlus started in the beginning. Regardless, we’ll see how this goes. In a few weeks (from China, remember?), I’ll be able to get my mittens on this puppy, test it out, and hopefully run a review.
In case you’re wondering, the specs are pretty impressive and unique compared to the tablet landscape in the US.
- Dual boot – Windows 10 and Android Lollipop (with bootloader already unlocked and ready to be rooted, if you prefer)
- 9.7″ Retina display – the exact same panel made by LG that’s used in the iPad Air
- Aluminum casing – has the exact dimensions of, again, an iPad Air (so essentially, a clone)
- 1x HDMI out port (to your TV to expand your Windows workspace, for example), 1x OTG USB port (to plug in flash drives, USB hubs to simultaneously charge your device and use peripherals)
- Intel Bay Trail Atom chipset (approx. equivalent to Snapdragon 800 in performance) with Gen7 Intel GPU
- 8+ hours of average battery life (approx. 5.5 hours of real-world screen-on time)
- 64Gb partitioned storage (expandable by another 64Gb of microSD space), with 2Gb RAM
- SIM card slot for 4G (rest of world) or 3G (USA) connectivity
And how much does it cost for all this? $200? $250? Nope.
$180 with free shipping from GearBest.com.
Stay tuned for my first impressions of this calculated crapshoot!