It’s time to put down the iPad, it’s time for another tablet review and this time, it’s with the TCL 10 TabMax 4G.
Opening the box for the first time, I’m really liking the look and feel of this tablet. A big display with thinnish bezels all the way around, and a beautiful brushed metal effect backplate. It’s plastic in construction but it feels very well built and sturdy. The tablet is available in two colours, either silver or blue, but that only relates to the backplate cover. Port wise, there is a USB-C port to the bottom, plus a sim/micro SD card slot. Buttons, three, power on/off and then volume control up and down. As for size, it’s 247 by 158mm and 7.65mm thick. Also at the bottom of the tablet, centrally, if you’re holding it landscape, there is a 5 pin connector area, suggesting this can be plugged into a keyboard.
Speakers are positioned on the side, although you will notice four sets of vents or speaker holes, two on each side. However, only the top one on either side emits any sound, the bottom two don’t, which is fine because chances are, you’ll hold it landscape to watch some content and your hands will likely cover the bottom two.
In the box, you get the tablet, a UK 3 pin plug adapter, USB C cable, sim card pin tool and some instructions. On the TCL website, there appears to be a pen that is compatible with the tablet, for writing, sketching but this is an optional extra.
Spec-wise, it’s got a MediaTek MT8788 8core chip, with 4GB Ram, 64GB internal storage, which is expandable via a microSD card up to 256GB. It’s a 10.3” IPS display with a quirky 15 to 9 ratio and a resolution of 2000×1200. There are two cameras, a 13MP lens to the rear, 8MP to the front, both of which are capable of recording video at 1080p, 30FPS. Two connectivity options are available, standard wifi plus a LTE version as well, if you wanted to add a sim card for on the go access. It’s running Android 10, it’s got a 8000mAh battery which takes about 4 hours to fully charge and is meant to provide about 5 hours of gaming or 22 hours of video streaming.
As for screen performance, colours look pretty good, brightness can be turned up quite high, with those reds and yellows popping out nicely. Video quality while streaming from Netflix, YouTube or similar really depends on the content. Netflix was a bit disappointing, while Youtube performed better at 1080p. Viewing angles are not ideal but when are they with a tablet, you’re meant to have it in front of you and just you while using it. As for touch screen control, it’s snappy, it’s quick, sliding up and down on a website was very smooth.
Audio Performance was fine, as mentioned earlier, just the top speaker on either side is active and it can get loud enough to put on say your kitchen side, move away and you’ll hear it just fine. The quality of sound is average, bass lacks nig time, it’s a tinny sound and I’d recommend using headphones with this.
Everyday gaming, the candy crush type games, the RTS money grabbing games, they all work perfectly fine. But how does it fare against something more graphically demanding like Call Of Duty Mobile? Not that bad at all in fact. It wasn’t the smoothest, highest frame rate possible but at medium settings, it looks nice for a mobile game and was very playable. I was able to play a few rounds without any problems, I was able to get kills and pretty much come MVP for everything I played.
I did run Geekbench 5 on it just to see what it was like and it got a single-core score of 296, a multi-core score of 1398. Compare that with something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, which is about the same price, the results are similar. The Tab A7 got a single-core score of 309 and a multi-core score of 1355, so price and performance, on par with each other.
The tablet can take photos and record 1080p footage as well. You won’t win any awards with this but the quality is good enough for social media, family photos or videos. Video calls work just fine thanks to that 8MP front-facing camera. Zoom, Teams, both worked just fine, plenty of definition of me and the audio as well, no complaints from people on the other end.
So looking at the market, the TCL 10 TabMax is there or thereabouts when compared against its competitors, as a budget/mid tier tablet. It looks good, it’s lightweight and generally performs well across the board, at this price point. It’s still on Android 10, which isn’t ideal considering 12 is now out but it could get pushed out. A quick google has it at around £230 as of recording this, while the Samsungs A7 about £220 for the 10” model so they’re comparable, but the Huawei MatePad is also just £130, which might sway you.
Find out more at the official TCL website.