TCL just launched an attractive 10.36 inch Android tablet called TCL Tab Pro 5G. As its name indicates, it is a 5G-enabled tablet, but what makes it stand out is its 399.99 price that makes it the most affordable 5G tablet on the market.
Powered by the Verizon network, the tablet offers excellent “always-on” connectivity. Having 5G “always-on” broadband is much more comfortable than hunting for WiFi hotspots if that’s the situation you’re in and if you can afford the extra 5G subscription.
Looking at the technical specifications, the TCL Tab Pro 5G looks very decent for multimedia usage and basic productivity (web, email, social media, youtube). The 10.36-inch display has a 2000×1200 resolution, and the dual-speakers should give users a good movie experience.
I’m disappointed by the absence of 3.5mm audio jack connector (a free adapter is included) on such a large device, but it seems like the world has moved on, and I already have a bunch of adapters.
The high-capacity 8000 mAh battery is a very nice highlight as battery life has always been one of the reasons why people buy Android tablets over a cheap laptop. TCL says it’s enough to use the tablet for “17 hours of mixed-use”, and depending on the display brightness, it’s believable for a best-case scenario.
The tablet can also serve as a battery bank to charge your phone, although it’s not clear at what (charging) speed.
Inside, you’ll find a mid-range Snapdragon 480 5G (4GB of RAM) hardware platform. It’s not as performant as tablets such as the Galaxy Tab S7 FE or the iPad mini 5G for sure, but that’s one of the reasons why the TCL tablet is so affordable.
For gaming purposes, you can run casual games and many older 3D games with decent graphics. The most modern games would run slower, and the solution would be looking for a faster (more expensive) tablet.
The 13MP rear camera and 8MP selfie camera seem like entry-level options, and I suspect they wouldn’t perform as well as phone cameras in the sub-$400 segment. We have the CAMERA HW benchmark for that and this seems like an obvious conclusion. However, the cameras should be fine for video calls and casual photography. In fact, most of these 8MP selfie cameras are much better than laptops’ for zoom videos, so if that’s your use case, it’s great.
The 64GB of flash storage capacity seems small to me, but you can add cheap microSD storage, so it’s a decent tradeoff, but keep in mind that microSD isn’t as fast as the internal storage.
Overall, the strength of the TCL Tab Pro 5G is that it is the only game in town in its sub-$400 10-inch tablet with 5G category, so that makes up for the several tradeoffs to reach that level of affordability.