If you're looking for an inexpensive tablet connected to a fast cellular data network there are shockingly few options available. The new TCL Tab 10 5G will cost $300 and run on T-Mobile’s 5G network, making it a great value option if you want a backseat tablet for travel with its own connectivity. The ten-inch display is much bigger than the next cheapest option, and the battery is large enough that it should last through long trips.
The only tablet less expensive than the TCL Tab 10 is the Samsung Galaxy A7 Lite tablet, which uses only an eight-inch display but costs $100 less. For only $100 more, you get quite a step up with the TCL Tab 10. You get a larger screen, the 10.1” full HD display made by TCL’s NXTVISION group. You also get a much larger battery, an 8,000mAh cell compared to the 5,100mAh battery on the smaller Galaxy Tab.
The TCL Tab 10 has an 8MP camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front for selfies. That front camera can also handle face unlocking for security measures, a very nice option for quick access to a tablet, especially for young ones.
This new Tab 10 runs Android 12 but includes a scant 4GB of RAM with only 32GB of storage space (after the system software), but that should be just enough for basic movies and Web browsing. Faster gaming and multitasking would be more difficult since it's running on the MediaTek Kompanio 800T processor.
Analysis: It's cheaper than what?
TCL also makes a Tab Pro tablet, available on Verizon’s network, for $100 more, but that tablet has very similar specs. You get a potentially more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor, but a similar screen size and resolution, and the same 4GB of RAM and 8,000mAh battery. The cameras are a bit higher resolution, but it ships with Android 11, and TCL is unproven with Android system updates. The Tab Pro also gives you 64GB of storage, a fingerprint reader, and microSD card expansion, for more professional use.
For much more power than this, you’d have to take a major step up in price. Apple’s cheapest iPad costs $160 more for a cellular-connected option. A Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE connected to T-Mobile starts at $669, more than twice what this tablet costs. For that price, you get a device that can replace a small laptop or Chromebook.
We’ve asked for a closer look at the TCL Tab 10 5G to see if it could be our favorite bargain tablet that you can connect to a superfast network. Check back for our full review.