Teclast X98 Air 3G Windows Tablet
Ever since Microsoft entered the touch game, I wanted to try the Windows touch experience. I never really understood the criticism on Windows 8, for me it just was Windows with some extras I never really used. Never missed the start menu.
I am very interested in the Microsoft Surface tablets, they could maybe have best of both worlds. But I already have a fast laptop with 16gb ram, core I7 and SSD and buying a Surface just to try would be a bit too much.
But, I discovered Chinese tablets, and here I am touch typing with a thumb keyboard, using Word 2013, Windows 8.1 (Bing version) on a $235 Teclast X98. It takes some time to get used to it, and I am still “adjusting”, but until now I am quite happy with the tablet.
Teclast X98 Air 3G
Ok, the Teclast tablet is no speed monster, it has only 2gb ram and a “hard disk” with just 32gb emmc memory, but it is very responsive non the less. It is a nice tablet for couch surfing, and typing this f.i. I usually use an Android tablet or my phone while not behind the desk, and for some tasks these devices are, until now, handier. If you want to glance the news, check Google analytics or something, its easier to just push a button. I have looked around the Microsoft store, but the offers for apps is still limited. There are a few apps for Gmail that behave similar like their Android counterparts, but I like it better on my phone. But there is no replacement for programs like Word etc. The tablet is a great addition for the couch.
GPS, Modem and Retina
The Teclast has two features unusual for a “normal” Windows pc. A GPS, which works fast and precise, interacts with Google and Bing maps, and a 3g modem. The modem works very well, with my provider I got the maximum speed.
The 9.7 inch display of the Teclast X98 has a high resolution, similar to an iPad Air, retina screen, 2048×1536 pixels. That is nice, but, at least for me, a bit overdone. 1920×1200 would be more than enough for a tablet in this size. The extreme high resolution needs you to set the display properties to the largest size for “all items”, effectively decreasing the DPI. 99.9% off programs use this setting, but it happens that there is a program that just uses pixels instead, and then it’s too small to read. If you use a remote desktop connection, the host will use 2048×1536, without scaling, and that is unworkable without a magnifying glass. But, the screen is sharp, and shows no pixels at all. Playing a bit with resolution and setting different DPI sizes can be useful to find the best way of working with the tablet for you. The display is bright enough and has good viewing angles.
I don’t play games, but others have reported that the large amount of pixels of the Teclast slows down gaming, but lower resolutions are available, of course.
Zooming in and out with two fingers is pretty smooth, especially with the Microsoft programs. Internet Explorer works much smoother than Google chrome, on touch. Maybe there are some magic settings for Chrome I did not discover yet.
USB OTG and Connections
The tablet has connections for USB 2.0, HDMI, headphones. With an Intel WIDI receiver you can transmit your display on a TV or other device through Wi-Fi.
USB works fine. With an OTG adapter you can connect keyboards, mice USB sticks and drives. I tried some of my USB 3 portable drives, not all got enough power from the tablet to work. A WD 2tb drive worked fine however. There are a load of different OTG hubs available. Some OTG hubs allow to add some extra power to your USB devices, I tried one, and with it, all my USB disks work.
There is a hub that is supposed to charge the Teclast and provide extra power to devices. I still need to order that one. With that hub you can “dock” the tablet to a more workstation kind of setup, with HDMI monitor, mouse and full size keyboard. For light work this could be just fine. I have not tried, but processing lots of raw images, movie editing and such will probably be very slow.
A Nice Device.
It has two camera’s, front and back, with mediocre performance, but good enough for Skype etc.
For the price the Teclast X98 is a nice addition to my devices, and it certainly is useful. This will replace my laptop on short travels. Maybe one day a device in this size can replace a laptop/desktop completely, and that would be great. And, it can be a handy device for Photography “in the field” or RC pilots needing a computer to adjust settings of their flight controller.
You can find some videos of the Teclast X98 Air on this YouTube channel:
Some videos are of flashing the device, dual booting it with Android, but that is not for me. And not for you, if you just want to use it, and keep using it.
Beware if you order one, it comes in Chinese. You can set the language to English, but you have to wrestle yourself through Chinese menus for a while.