Tablets are great thanks to their portability and size. They’re great devices for on-the-go media, games, browsing, and can even hold their own for work. However, they can be quite pricey. Fortunately for everyone, there are a ton of affordable options out there, especially if you’re willing to look into the Chinese market. These tablets have a ton of features thanks to the precedent that top tablet designers have set, so you will get quite a versatile machine for a very competitive price.
Things you should know before buying from China
Before we dive into the tablets, there are a few things you need to know about buying Chinese electronics. It’s pretty easy to assume that, because these devices and products are so cheap, they’re either knock-off, poorly made, or just a plain old scam. While these cases do exist, they are not the majority. For the most part, you will be getting quality devices, especially when it comes to Chinese tablets sold on websites like Aliexpiress and Gearbest. These sellers are able to offer affordable prices without the exorbitant markup that’s applied by western sellers, so take advantage of it. Chinese shopping websites also offer varied stock, meaning that they have a huge selection that you would have a hard time finding in the West.
Gearbest and Aliexpress are multi-language websites, meaning they do not only cater to English-speaking customers. No matter what language you speak, you’ll be able to order from these companies. Each website has its own stock and different shipping caveats. Aliexpress is one of the safest websites to buy from, as they offer buyer protection on their products—meaning, if for some reason your product doesn’t get to you, you’ll either be refunded or sent another product. Most Chinese websites have some sort of free shipping offer should you spend a certain amount, but some don’t.
Speaking of shipping, some buyers get hit with exorbitant duty charges when buying from China. You should be wary of that. To prevent duties, it’s best to split your cart into multiple orders and keep it as light as possible.
If you’re in any sort of rush to receive your product, don’t buy from a Chinese website. Shipping is known to take a long time, with the average shipping time being at least a month. Time is money, as they say, so if you want something quick, you’re going to have to buy it from an American seller for more money. While orders do not always take this long, it’s best to expect it to take at least a month. Just be patient, and your order will show up at your door eventually. With that said, there’s no point in paying for tracking—if you have that option. Your order will show up when it shows up, and as it’ll be at least a month, there’s no point in paying more to stress out over tracking information that tells you nothing you didn’t already know.
One other thing you may not be aware of is different voltages. If you’re buying an electronic with a wall adapter, you need to make sure it’s the same voltage as your home. Typically, different countries have different voltage outlets—something that works in China may not actually work in your home. You could have to buy an additional adapter to be able to use the wall outlet.
If you’ve decided you still want to buy from a Chinese seller, then continue reading—especially if you’re interested in a Chinese tablet.
While Chinese tablets are cheaper than their American counterparts, that price point can, in some models, limit their functionality. If you’re buying a tablet from one of these Chinese marketplaces, first of all, you want to be sure that it’s fully English. This shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s good to be safe.
Secondly, know which operating system you want. Do you want a tablet that boots Android, or Windows 10? Or, maybe you want both? Some tablets actually support dual-boot, meaning they can boot either Android or Windows. This is a really useful feature if you want the portability and ease of Android and the production capabilities of Windows in the same device.
Other things to keep in mind are RAM, internal storage, external storage support, resolution, processor, and price.
If you’ve decided you want to opt in and purchase a Chinese tablet, check out Aliexpress or Gearbest’s options, as they have most—if not all—of the Chinese tablets available.
Let’s get into five of the best tablets available from Chinese sellers.
Chuwi Hi12 12.0 inch Tablet PC
The Chuwi Hi12 is one of the best offerings available on the Chinese marketplace. It has a 12-inch screen with a 2160 x 1440 resolution. It’s relatively large screen paired with great resolution makes it an ideal machine for watching movies and television shows. It’s also thin and light, making it great for travel.
It has a quad-core 1.44GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. The 4GB of RAM is sufficient for browsing with multiple tabs open, running many background apps, and playing 3D games. It can also hold up to a 128GB external storage, which is more than enough space when combined with the 64GB of internal storage.
This tablet PC supports dual booting. It can utilize Windows 10 64bit and also boot in Android 5.1. As Windows doesn’t have a ton of apps—especially when compared to Android—having the ability to switch between the two is vital. This way, you can use all of the android apps you want while maintaining the computer functionality of Windows 10.
To play those games, it boasts an Intel HD Graphics Gen8 500MHz processor. It also supports HDMI, so you can broadcast whatever you’re watching or playing straight to your TV from your tablet.
The tablet also has a back and front facing camera, at 5MP and 2MP respectively. The back camera has auto-focusing, which makes recording video easy and efficient.
This tablet also has a lot of accessories that work with it. There are styluses and keyboards available that increase the functionality of the tablet. You could use it as an art tablet, where you draw with the stylus, and the keyboard and mouse support makes it a true laptop replacement.
Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 Tablet PC
Xiaomi is known for making quality electronics, and their tablets follow the same trend. The Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is a fantastic tablet—although it is one of the pricier ones. The Mi Pad 3 has a 7.9-inch screen, making it one of the smaller tablets out there. The screen’s resolution is 2048 x 1536 pixels and is a multi-touch screen with 326 PPI. The screen is super clear and great for movies and photos. The smaller screen has a few parks. It’s extremely light and very easy to travel with, making it the perfect tablet to take on-the-go.
It runs its own operating system called MIUI, which would be a con if it didn’t support Google Play apps. Fortunately, the MIUI is, for all intents and purposes, Android with a skin over it. Anything an Android tablet can do, this tablet can also do.
It has an MTK8176 hexa core 2.1GHz processor, making it extremely low-voltage and quick to boot. It has 4GB of RAM, supporting multiple tabs in browsers, games, and video-editing software. It also has 64gb of internal storage.
The camera in this little tablet is quite impressive. The back-facing camera is a whopping 13MP, which is great for taking clear and crisp photos and videos. The front facing camera is 5MP and is perfect for Skype video calls.
Unlike some other tablets, it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi. The support of 5GHz wifi is impressive, allowing it to have super quick download and upload speeds when in range. It also has Bluetooth and can sync with devices to wirelessly transfer media files between them.
The battery boasts up to 12 hours of video playing time and is 6600mAh. It also has some unique features, like a built-in gravity sensing system, a light sensing system, and it supports multiple languages.
One thing you’ll want to note is that, if you want to use the tablet in Japanese, you may run into some difficulties. Japanese characters may not be fully displayed.
Teclast Tbook 10 S 2 in 1 Tablet PC
Teclast is a pretty widely known Chinese electronics creator, and their tablets are known to be top of the line. The Teclast Tbook 10 is not just a tablet—it’s marketed as a 2 in 1 tablet PC. It has the portability of a tablet combined with the functionality of a PC.
Before we get into the specs of the tablet, you should know that this tablet was specifically designed to operate on the Android and Windows versions it comes with. That is Windows 10 and Android 5.1. If you upgrade either operating system, change the firmware, or mod the custom ROM, the device may experience issues and you will be voiding your warranty.
With that said, as mentioned, the tablet is dual-boot, meaning you can use both Android and Windows. That gives you the functionality of a full PC while maintaining the ease of use, portability, and apps available on an Android tablet. It has a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. The screen is a relatively good size, which is good, as the bigger screen lends itself to function as a PC.
It boasts an Intel Cherry Trail X5 64bit Quad core processor with 1.44GHz, but it clocks at 1.92GHz. It also has 4GB of ram, which makes it great for multi-tasking and switching between different types of media and your browser without it getting bogged down. It also has 64GB of internal storage and accepts external storage of up to 128GB.
The Tbook is not made for taking pictures, that’s pretty clear. It only has a front facing camera, no back camera, and it’s 2MP. It’ll suffice for Skype or other face-to-face video calling, but that’s about it. It also has an HDMI port and a USB slot.
The battery is a bit smaller than the other two offerings, coming in at 5800mAh, but it’s still a pretty long-lasting tablet.
Cube iWork 10 Flagship Ultrabook Tablet PC
The Cube iWork 10 is a great laptop-tablet hybrid. It’s the flagship ultrabook-tablet made by Cube, and is a relatively cheap option if you’re looking for a hybrid that’s efficient.
Like the Teclast, this Ultrabook-tablet was designed to function specifically with the version of Windows and Android that are already installed on it. If you alter the custom ROM or update the firmware, your warranty will be voided.
This ultrabook-tablet is dual-boot like the Teclast as well, so you can use Android and Windows on it. It has a 10.1-inch screen that is 1920 x 1200 pixels. The images you see on this tablet and clear and crisp and make for a great viewing experience. If you’re looking for a device that is suitable for media and photos, this is a good one to get.
It also a 4GB of built-in RAM, which seems to be the standard for these tablets. You’ll be able to multi-task using this device as well as any of the others, so you don’t need to worry about that. It has also 64GB of internal storage. It also has an Intel Quad Core 1.44GHz processor, so whatever you’re doing will be quick and responsive.
This device does have two cameras. It has a 2MP back camera with HD autofocus, and a 2MP front-facing camera for selfies and face-to-face video calling. Although these cameras are not great, most people aren’t in the market for a tablet to take pictures with anyways.
This tablet has the biggest battery of any of the ones we’ve looked at so far, clocking in at 7000mAh. It can play up to 6 hours of continuous video without needing a charge. It also has a micro-USB slot and a micro-HDMI.
You can use this with an attachable keyboard and a stylus, but they do not come with the tablet itself.
Teclast X80 Pro Tablet PC
The second Teclast tablet in our lineup, and for good reason. The Teclast X80 Pro is the cheapest of the bunch but still packs in quite a few features.
Like the previous Teclast tablet, this is designed to support the version of Windows and Android that it is shipped with. So, update it at your own risk—you will be voiding your warranty.
This is a smaller tablet, being 8 inches, and it has 1920 x 1200 resolution. You get pretty clear images despite its cheaper price point. It also has a quad-core, 1.44GHz processor, making it able to keep up with the other tablets.
Unfortunately, this tablet only has 2GB of RAM, limited it’s multi-tasking capabilities. You’ll still be able to browse with ease, but it may slow down a bit if you’re running a lot of background apps. In addition, the built-in storage is 32GB. But for its price point, that’s still a lot of space. You really shouldn’t have any issue playing games downloaded from the Google Play store.
It also has an HDMI output, so you can broadcast whatever you’re watching or playing on your tablet straight to your TV.
With that said, this is a good budget tablet if you’re looking for something compact and you won’t be doing any demanding things like editing videos.