The new Alldocube X Android tablet is a surprisingly powerful tablet, with a surprisingly low price.
The first time I heard the name, I thought it was the title of an album or a band from the eighties. Truth be told, the Alldocube X is the result of an Indigogo campaign from a manufacturer in China. I was contacted by one of their employees, asking if I'd like to give the X a go. Naturally, I'm not one to turn down a review of a tablet, laptop, or desktop, so I agreed. I wasn't expecting much.
To be frank, those low expectations were blown away. Maybe it was that I'd set the bar a bit low for such products? Or maybe it was that I'd found so many low-end Android tablets to lack on just about every conceivable level? After all, what could a price point of $269 USD deliver? Far more than you'd think. Let's take a look.
The specs of the Alldocube X are surprisingly solid.
- Display: 2K Super AMOLED 10.5" display running at 2560 x 1600 pixels with a 100000:1 contrast ratio, 16:10 aspect ratio, 288 pixels per inch (PPI), and 300 nits brightness.
- Processor: MediaTek MT8176 ARM Cortex-A72/A53 Hexa Core 64-bit CPU, with clock speeds up to 2.1GHz and IMG PowerVR GX6250 GPU at 600MHz.
- Audio: AKM Hi-Fi chip to minimise distortion, harmonics, noise and other disturbance with audio processing to produce Hi-Fi sound quality.
- Memory & Storage: 4GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage, and support for up to 128GB MicroSD card.
- Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo
- Fingerprint: Fingerprint scanner
- Chassis: All metal, unibody design at 6.9mm ultra-slim (45 x 175 x 6.9 mm)
- Camera: 8MP front + 8MP rear dual camera
- Battery: 8,000mAh lithium-ion battery to deliver up to 8 hours of movies and TV shows. Pump Express 2.0 quick charge 5V/7V/9V- 2A or 12V-1.5A power adapter.
- Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz & 5GHz dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and USB-C Port, and 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The specs are decent, especially given the price. But the specs don't really give away how impressive this low-cost Android table really is.
Upon unboxing the Alldocube, the first thing that hit me was the design. It's square. Not the tablet itself, but the edges. You'll not find tapers or gentle slopes. Instead the corners and edges are quite square. I like square. I don't know why I like square, but it works for me. Sure there is a slight rounding of the corners to prevent the accidental jabbing and scratching (Figure A), but the device is a nice, thin, flat square piece of tech.
This design makes the Alldocube X very easy to hold in the hands, no matter if it's used in horizontal or vertical mode.
The power and volume buttons are on the left edge of the X, in the upper left corner. The fingerprint scanner is found on the right edge of the X, in the upper right corner. Personally, I find this layout helps prevent accidental tapping of the power or volume buttons. Having the fingerprint scanner on its own makes perfect sense, and not having it on the display makes handling the tablet simple (and helps to prevent unwanted fingerprint smudges).
Once the first impression of the design was out of the way, I turned the X on to see how it fared. As per usual, it took me about 2 minutes to get signed into my Google account and have everything ready to go (kudos to Google for making the "new Android" experience so incredibly easy--especially compared to a new iOS device).
The second I saw the display, I completely forgot about the price of the X. This display equals and (in some cases) bests displays on tablets costing twice the price. I compared the X to my wife's Samsung Galaxy Tab X 4 (which retails for around $650) and the X stood toe-to-toe with the pricier device. Both are running Super AMOLED displays at the same resolution.
The one caveat to the display is, running at the high resolution means sacrificing text size for certain elements. Take, for instance, the Notification Shade (Figure B).
Fortunately, you can adjust the font size in Settings | Display | Advanced Font size (Figure C).
Drag the font size slider all the way to the right and those on-screen fonts will be much more readable (especially for older eyes).
The performance of the X is equally as surprising (especially given the price point). The MediaTek MT8176 is an upper mainstream ARM processor (introduced in October 2016), with two Cortex-A72 CPU cores running at up to 2.1 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores for power-saving in a big.LITTLE configuration.
The GPU is based on the IMG Series 6XT (Rogue), has the designation PowerVR GX6250 clocked at 600 MHz, and includes a video decoder with 4K and H.265 support.
In layman's terms, the Alldo X performs very, very well. Apps install and load fast and smooth, and there's next to no delay found with any task. Open Chrome and point it to a website, and the page will load with speeds you won't find on tablets in this same price range. Period.
Here's where the love affair ends. I'll preface this by saying that it's a very rare occasion when I use a tablet's camera. In fact, I don't remember the last time I used a tablet camera. But out of curiosity, I had to give it a test. I took the same photo with the Alldocube X and my Pixel 3 (I know, that's a totally unfair comparison), and the results are shocking (Figure D).
Suffice it to say, you won't be buying the Alldocube X for the camera. If you do, be prepared to not be impressed. Even with the camera's HDR feature enabled, I wasn't able to snap a picture that even remotely compared to that of the Pixel 3.
I'm going to make this simple: Camera notwithstanding, no matter your budget, if you're looking for a solid-performing tablet, with well thought-out design, the Alldocube X is a solid choice. Are there better tablets on the market? Certainly. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find as impressive a tablet at this price point. At $269 USD, this tablet is a no-brainer.
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