Chinese tablet selection '2013

    Six months ago, I already wrote about choosing a Chinese tablet.
    During this time, much has changed, so I brought an article about choice to today's realities.

    Dozens of Chinese online stores sell hundreds of different tablet models with prices ranging from 60 to 400 dollars. How not to get confused in such abundance and choose exactly what you need? In this article I will give general recommendations that will help you make a choice.

    First of all, let's figure out why we need a tablet. Here are its main applications:

    • Internet browsing
    • Games
    • Watching movies
    • Watching online videos
    • Reading electronic documents (pdf, djvu)
    • Reading electronic books (fiction)
    • Listening to music
    • Use as a large navigator, work with maps
    • Special applications (equipment management, etc.).

    In my opinion, fiction should not be read on a tablet - an e-book with a screen on electronic ink e-ink is more suitable. At the same time, pdf documents on such books are inconvenient to read (as a rule, pdf is made up for a large format, so you have to constantly shift the picture for comfortable reading, and on books with e-ink it is rather slow), so reading electronic documents is a prerogative tablet.

    Perhaps the main thing in any tablet is the screen, so we'll start with it.

    Screen size

    There are four standard screen sizes - 7 ", 8", 9.7 "and 10" -10.1 ". At the same time, 7" and 10 "screens have an aspect ratio of 16:10, and 8" and 9.7 "have a 4: 3 aspect ratio (I recall that The iPad screen has a size of 9.7 ", the iPad mini has 7.9". The aspect ratio of both is 4: 3).

    For watching movies, a wide screen of 16:10 is better. For working on the Internet and reading it is more convenient to use a 4: 3 tablet: it can be used as horizontally and vertically. A 16:10 tablet is not very convenient to use vertically - it turns out to be too narrow and tall.

    A big advantage of a seven-inch tablet is its light weight and size. easy to hold for a long time and it fits in a jacket pocket or ladies' bag.

    The 7 "screen size is quite enough for games (after all, almost all of them were created for mobile phones with much smaller screens) and watching movies on the go. For the Internet and reading, the 7" wide screen is small. Yes, everything is visible and can be used, but at 8 "-9.7" it is much more convenient. Tablets with a wide screen 10 "-10.1" in my opinion are not very practical.

    Tablet weight

    When choosing a tablet size, you should pay attention to its weight. Good weight for a seven-inch tablet is 300-330 grams. The 9.7 "tablet weighs 586-730 grams (iPad weighs between 601 and 662 grams depending on the model). 662 grams of the New iPad 4G are quite noticeable - it’s hard to hold it for a long time.
    After the iPad mini came out, Chinese 8-inch tablets with a small weight began to appear (390-430 grams), but they are still far from the 309-gram iPad mini.All the old models of 8-inch Chinese tablets are very heavy - from 490 to 620 grams.

    Screen type

    There are two main types of screens used in tablets - these are IPS and TN. IPS has maximum viewing angles and excellent picture parameters, but it is more expensive. TN are of very different qualities: on some screens the picture may darken when the angle deviates down by 5 degrees, while others look pretty decent when viewed at large angles. If you buy a tablet with TN, it makes sense to look on the Internet for reviews about its screen or, if there is such an opportunity, look at the screen before buying. Another type of matrix - MVA is practically not inferior to IPS, but it is rarely used.

    Screen resolution

    In seven-inch tablets, screens with resolutions of 800x480, 1024x600 and 1280x800 pixels are used. If you plan to use the tablet to work on the Internet and read, I strongly recommend that you do not take a tablet with a screen of 800x480 pixels, because the text on it does not look clearly enough.

    Modern 8 "tablets have a resolution of 1024x768 pixels, but there are also old models with a screen of 800x600 pixels. Of course, I do not recommend taking a tablet with a screen of 800x600 pixels, because 800 pixels in width is not enough even for a 7-inch screen.

    9.7" tablets have a standard screen It has a resolution of 1024x768 pixels (like the iPad 2), but tablets with retina screens of 2048x1536 pixels (like the iPad 3 and 4) started to appear.

    Screen Sensor Type

    All modern tablets have a capacitive sensor that responds to touch. Different tablet models support a different number of simultaneous clicks (points, points) - usually from 5 to 10, but this is not very important. Capacitive sensors may vary in quality - on some models the sensor may perform worse than on others. There may be a decrease in sensitivity at the edges of the screen, a decrease in sensitivity occurs when the contact of the tablet case with hands worsens, so it is important to watch reviews on specific models.

    On sale there are still old models of tablets with resistive touchscreen. It requires a tap on the screen and does not allow to fully implement multi-finger control.

    I recommend buying a tablet only with a capacitive sensor.


    Tablets differ in power consumption and battery capacity. It is considered standard to work for 3 hours at maximum load and 5 hours in video viewing mode with WI-FI disabled. There are models that work in video viewing mode up to 10 hours. In addition to data on seller’s sites, it makes sense to look for customer reviews, because sellers have data that is not always true.


    The most popular processors of 2012 are the dual-core Rockchip RK3066 and Amlogic 8726-M6 (MX) operating at frequencies of 1600 and 1500 Mhz. These processors are built on the Cortex A9 architecture and have an integrated Mali 400 graphics processor. Cortex is not a processor model, but the architecture of ARM, which itself does not release processors.

    Now there are tablets on the new quad-core Allwinner A31 and RK3188 processors. Most likely, these processors will be very popular in 2013 models.

    There are tablets on sale with older processors. So at the beginning of last year, the AllWinner A10 chip was popular, including the A8 core operating at a frequency of 1000-1200Mhz and the Mali-400 graphic core. Although this processor is outdated, the Internet, video, toys work on it quite normally.

    Still on sale are cheap tablets on VIA WM8650 800Mhz processors. These tablets work extremely slowly (so slowly that you can’t even fully use the Internet and play the simplest games).


    The tablet has three or four types of memory:
    1. RAM - RAM, necessary for the programs. It can be found from 256MB to 1GB. Must be at least 512 MB, but better than 1 GB.
    2. System flash memory on which the operating system and programs are installed. It is desirable that this memory was also 1GB.
    3. MicroSD card slot. The card can store video files, music, data, as well as install some large programs and games.
    4. Internal storage. Replaces or complements a memory card. Usually it has a capacity of 8GB or 16GB, while the actual volume will be 6 or 14GB. It’s not necessary to strive to have 16GB, because you can always use a microSD card.

    Means of communication

    All tablets have WIFI. Some models have problems with the quality of reception, so you should read the reviews. Bluetooth is quite rare, and is it needed?

    There are few Chinese tablets with a built-in 3G modem and a SIM card slot. Therefore, it is hardly worth hoping to find a good 3G tablet in all respects, but there are two solutions that replace the built-in 3G on the tablet:
    1. Most tablets support an external USB modem. You don’t even need to configure anything: after connecting the modem, the tablet itself goes online. It is only important that your modem is included in the list of supported ones. The most standard modems that support everything are Huawei E1550, E1750. To connect a modem, an OTG cable may be needed, which may not be included in the tablet kit.
    2. All smartphones on Android (and iPhone too) can work in access point mode. In this case, the phone becomes a wi-fi router. Setting this mode on the phone is very simple.

    USB and OTG

    All tablets have a USB port for connecting to a computer, almost all have OTG mode (connecting USB devices to a tablet). For OTG, there can be either a large USB connector, or a separate MiniUSB connector or even a single MiniUSB connector used both for connecting to a computer and for OTG through a special OTG adapter. Some tablets come with an adapter, some need to buy it separately.

    Through OTG, you can connect USB modems, flash drives, card readers, mice, keyboards to the tablet.


    Most cheap tablets do not have a GPS module. If you plan to use the tablet as a navigator or for working with maps, look for a model with a built-in GPS-receiver.

    Camera, HDMI

    All tablets have a front camera (some and a rear camera). Is she needed? In my opinion, not really. Front only for Skype. Using a tablet as a camera seems rather curious to me. The quality of the cameras in most Chinese tablets is very low - manufacturers put the cheapest camera “for show”.

    Many tablets have an HDMI output (usually a MiniHDMI connector) for connecting to a TV.

    Fame model

    Many Chinese tablets have no name and model. When buying such a tablet, you need to understand that if something goes wrong, you will be left alone with it and you are unlikely to find help on the forums. You can also not count on new firmware. However, almost every nameless tablet is an analogue of some well-known model, but the analogy may not be complete.
    I recommend choosing a tablet with a brand name and model. Before buying, you should see if there is a thread dedicated to this model on thematic forums. The Chinese brands Ainol, YuanDao (Window, Vido), Pipo, Onda, Ployer momo, Hyundai, Cube, Ramos have proven themselves well.

    operating system

    Almost all Chinese tablets run on Android. Tablets with Android versions below 4.0 are no longer worth buying.

    Before buying, it makes sense to see if there are alternative and improved firmware. So for many Ainol tablets there are Cyanogenmod firmware that completely replaces the Chinese Android builds.

    Google play

    It is very important that the tablet’s operating system supports Google Play (formerly the Android Market). This will allow you to install any program, which in the Google Play hundreds of thousands. If there is initially no support, installing it can be difficult, and sometimes impossible.

    Search, selection and reviews

    Testimonials about tablets can be found in customer communities and forums. When you make a choice, you can start looking for specific models in Chinese online stores.

    I hope the above recommendations will help you with choosing a tablet.

    So, what in my opinion is not worth buying:

    - nameless tablets;
    - tablets with a resistive touchscreen;
    - tablets with low resolution (800x480 for 7 ", 800x600 for 8" and 9.7 ");
    - tablets on Android versions below 4.0 (since they have old Android, then the hardware is outdated);
    - tablets with a lot of weight (more than 350g for 7 ", more than 450g for 8", more than 650g for 9.7 ").

    When buying a Chinese tablet, I would choose one of the options for myself:

    1. 7 "IPS 1024x600 or 1280x800, up to 330 grams, known model.
    2. 8" IPS 1024x768, up to 430 grams, famous model.
    3. 9.7 "IPS 2048x1536, up to 650 grams, a well-known model.

    Do not be surprised that I do not indicate the type of processor. The fact is that with a combination of the IPS matrix type, good resolution, low weight and a well-known model, the processor will automatically be modern.

    In conclusion I’ll note that any Chinese tablet is likely to have any flaws, you’ll be lucky and the flaws will be so insignificant that it seems that they aren’t, but in any case, you need to understand that the Chinese tablet will be inferior to the models of world famous manufacturers , but also It costs 3-5 times cheaper.

    Also popular now: