China Tablet Ultimate Guide

Do you need help in buying a cheap generic China tablet? Chinese tablet PC manufacturers are flooding the market with Android tablets at very attractive prices. Many of these are poor quality knock-offs that China is notorious for but there are also genuine gems that can save you a lot of money.

Top China Tablets is a one-stop information site for Chinese branded Android tablet PCs. We cover the full range of models from low-end budget-friendly models to high-end models that can easily rival the best of what the top Android tablet brands like the Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus have to offer.

There are dozens of Chinese brands offering hundreds of different models with different processors, memory sizes, screen sizes, various screen technologies plus many more different specifications. While tablet PCs from China have generally improved in quality and design of late, there are still a lot of models that are real duds. We are here to help you to separate the wheat from the chaff. Our simple but informative tables help you identify the most suitable Android tablet for your needs and budget. Let us help you demystify the China tablet selection and buying process.

Once you have identified or narrowed down your choice, check out our tablet reviews for more detailed information plus a list of pros and cons to help you make the final decision.

Top China Tablets Comparison Guide – Top 10 Tablets

Model
Processor
Display
(inches)
Resolution
(pixels)
RAM / ROM
Camera
Price
Ainol Novo 9 Spark

amazon button

aliexpress button

Read Review
Quad-Core Allwinner A319.72048x1536 IPS
Retina
2GB / 16GB2MP(F), 5MP(R)$$
Chuwi V88

amazon button

aliexpress button
Read Review
Quad-Core RK31887.91024x768 IPS2GB / 16GB2MP(F), 5MP(R)$$
Chuwi V99

amazon button

aliexpress button
Read Review
Quad-Core Allwinner A319.72048x1536 IPS
Retina
2GB / 16GB2MP(F), 5MP(R)$$
Cube U30GT2

aliexpress button


Read Review
Quad-Core RK318810.11920x1200 IPS
Retina
2GB / 32GB2MP(F), 5MP(R)$$$
Hyundai T7S

amazon button

aliexpress button

Read Review
Quad-Core Exynos 441271280x800 IPS2GB / 16GB0.3MP(F), 5MP(R)$$
Hyundai T7S

aliexpress button


Read Review
Quad-Core RK31888.91920x1200 IPS
Retina
2GB / 16GB2MP(F), 2MP(R)$$
Onda V701s

amazon button

aliexpress button

Read Review
Quad-Core Allwinner A31s71024 x 600 IPS1GB / 8GB0.3MP(F)$
Pipo M6

amazon button

aliexpress button

Read Review
Quad-Core RK31889.72048x1536 IPS
Retina
2GB / 16GB2MP(F), 5MP(R)$$$
Pipo M9pro

amazon button

aliexpress button

Read Review
Quad-Core RK318810.11920x1200 IPS
Retina
2GB / 32GB2MP(F), 5MP(R)$$$
Vido N90 FHDRK

aliexpress button


Read Review
Quad-Core RK31889.72048x1536 IPS
Retina
2GB / 16GB2MP(F), 2MP(R)$$

TABLE KEY

  • Processor – Number of cores and processor model
  • Resolution – Display resolution and panel type
  • Camera – (MP) Megapixel rating (F) Front camera (R) Rear camera
  • Price –
    • ($) Budget – Under $125
    • ($$) Mid-range – Between $125 and $250
    • ($$$) Premium – Over $250
Want To See Even More Tablets?

The matrix above feature our picks for the Top 10 China Android Tablet PCs. Refer to our Top China Tablets Full Guide comparison matrix for our full list of over 40 China tablets.

How to Select the Right Tablet

There are a few critical features that every China tablet buyer should be mindful of. If you are considering buying a generic Chinese brand tablet PC, your budget or getting the best value for your money is likely one of your top concerns. Here are a few tips on which specifications that you should pay attention to that can save you some money.

Know Your Needs

While everyone would like a top-of-the-range model with all the bell and whistles, you can save a lot a money by knowing which features are important to you and which you can live without. List out the main tasks that you will be using the tablet for.

Is it mainly for web browsing? Do you plan to stream or play movies on it? Do you like listening to music? Is gaming important to you? What kind of games do you like? Casual games or hardcore 3D intensive games? Will you be using it for video chats? Do you plan to use it on the go or will it mainly be used at home?

Dual-Core or Quad-Core Processor

Rockchip RK3188 used in China TabletThe latest models coming out today are mostly powered by quad-core processors like the Rockchip RK3188 or the Allwinner A31. A multi-core processor can run multiple tasks at the same time and thus speeding up and increasing the processing power. However, the OS and to a certain extend, the apps themselves need to be programmed to take advantage of the extra processing power of the multiple cores. While Android OS is designed to support multi-thread, there are opposing views on whether the latest quad-core processors bring significant improvement to performance or if it is more of a marketing tool.

Benchmark and actual tests have shown that the quad-core processors do not boost performance as much as expected. However, the newer quad-core processors do bring other hardware advancements besides just doubling the number of cores. The apps that would most likely take advantage of the extra processing power are processor intensive apps like 3D games and high bit rate video (large video files) decoding and playback.

High resolution screens require extra processing power to push all those pixels on the display. Therefore models with high resolution screens should have quad-core processors. Otherwise, all those extra pixels will go to waste if there isn’t enough processing power.

If you have no need for processor intensive apps or a high resolution screen, you can probably save $50 to $100 by going for an older dual-core model.

Single-core models are not worth considering and this is one area where you shouldn’t try to save money on.

Display and Panel Type

China Tablets use a wide range of display panelsDisplay size is mainly a matter of personal preference. The smaller displays (7″) are best for portability. They fit easily into large pockets or in a lady’s handbag. They also don’t weigh too much. However, they are also only slightly larger than large screen smart phones. The battery life is also not as good as the bigger display models.

The larger displays (>10″) do provide much more screen estate and thus provide a better experience but at the expense of portability and weight.

The mid-size tablets are a compromise between the two.

Besides the size of the display itself, the other matter to consider is the screen resolution. The absolute minimum screen resolution is 1280 x 800. Anything lower should be avoided unless it is a small 7″ screen. Higher resolutions are preferred of course but there is a diminishing return as the resolution goes higher and might not be worth the money.

The high-end tablets today have Retina Displays, a term coined by Apple to refer to displays with high pixel density that the human eye is unable to notice any pixelation at a typical viewing distance. In reality, the screen quality and brightness plays a much bigger role than we are led to believe. As usual we all get misled that the bigger the number, the better it is. Not everyone needs a retina screen and most people cannot tell the difference between a good quality medium resolution screen and a retina screen as proven by this experiment by TNW. Therefore when deciding on the display resolution, look out for screen quality instead of just the numbers.

Higher resolution screens require more processing power. If the processor is not up to it, this causes lag or jerky animation especially when running graphically intensive apps like 3D games. The extra processing power required also causes higher battery drain. A high resolution screen needs to be paired with a suitable processor and an adequately sized battery.

The other thing that you should take note of is the display panel type. Select either an IPS (In-Plane Switching) or PLS (Plane to Line Switching) panel. Although not all IPS or PLS panels are created equal, they are generally sharper, brighter and provide better contrast images with a wider viewing angle compared to other technologies. AMOLED screens are also a good choice but I have yet to see them used on China tablets. Any other display type will only lead to frustration.

Front and Rear Camera

Camera ModuleThere are 2 types of cameras on a tablet, a front camera and a back camera. Some tablets have either a front or a back camera while others have both. Some have no cameras at all but this is very rare.

The front camera is usually a low resolution camera (2 megapixel or lower) and is mainly used for video chat. The rear camera is for taking photos and videos and usually has higher resolution (2 MP or higher). Some tablets do include an LED flash for low light photos but they don’t actually improve picture quality so it is a feature that doesn’t really matter.

A high megapixel camera is meaningless if the camera image sensor is small or of poor quality. The image sensor size determines how much light is captured in creating an image. More light equals better images.

The other info you might be interested in is the video capture specification. If video capture is important to you, make sure the camera supports at least 720p 30 fps.

Like the display, the camera quality cannot be determined by numbers alone. Higher pixels do not mean better quality cameras. Unfortunately, if you require a tablet with a great camera, you may have to look elsewhere. The cameras on the typical China tablet are above average at best.

WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G

WiFi Bluetooth 3GThere are 3 main types of wireless connectivity on a tablet, WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G. WiFi 802.11 b/g/n is standard for all tablets. Some higher end models may offer dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) WiFi. Dual-band WiFi provides better and more importantly more stable connection.

Single-band WiFi runs on the 2.4 GHz frequency that is getting more congested as it is shared by more and more wireless devices in a typical household. Try and tally up the number of all the 2.4 GHz devices in your home – laptop, tablet, smart phones, smart TV, media players, cordless phones, wireless headphones, wireless RF keyboard/mouse, wireless game controllers and even your microwave. All of these devices can cause interference with WiFi connection.

Dual-band WiFi allows the device to switch between both bands to provide a better connection. However, you do need a dual-band WiFi router to take advantage of it.

The presence of Bluetooth is usually taken for granted on a smart phone. However, Bluetooth is sometimes available as an option on the China tablets. Manufacturers provides gives the option to the retailer to have it or not. Therefore, the presence of Bluetooth cannot be taken for granted even though it is mentioned in the table above. If you are unsure, it is best to check with the retailer to confirm. The price difference with and without Bluetooth is minimal.

Bluetooth is a nice to have feature but it may be an essential feature if you are a music lover. It allows you to connect wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers and headphones. The other thing you should watch out for about Bluetooth is support for the latest version, Bluetooth v4.0 Low Energy (BLE). Bluetooth v4.0 dramatically reduces power consumption. If you are planning to use Bluetooth for long periods of time, you should get a tablet with Bluetooth v4.0 support.

3G like Bluetooth is an option on the tablets although models with and without 3G are sold as different models. Also, unlike Bluetooth, the addition of 3G support increases the price of the tablet significantly. If you plan to use your tablet outside your home a lot, it might be worthwhile to spring for the 3G option.

However, if you have a smartphone with a data connection, it is possible to use tethering to share your phone’s data connection with your tablet via WiFi. This saves adding the 3G option as well as an additional data plan for your tablet.

Other Considerations

Depending on your needs, other things that you may want to consider include:

  • GPS – This is not a very common feature on China tablets but you can find it on the newer models. Please note that most GPS applications require an internet connection to work properly. Unless you are getting a 3G capable tablet or you are able to tether to your phone, GPS might not be all that useful.
  • Battery – Battery longevity is another specification that is difficult to judge from a specification list. There are many factors that influence battery life including processor, screen and data connection. Some manufacturers include the hours of expected usage from a single full charge but this is more often than not a bloated figure. The benchmark here is at about 8 hours on light use. However, small-sized 7 inch tablets usually come with smaller batteries and they seldom last longer than 6 hours. Bear in mind that rechargeable batteries do deteriorate over time so you do not want to be permanently tethered to a power socket 12-18 months down the road.
  • Android OS version – Surprisingly, China tablets are often very uptodate when it comes to using the latest Android OS versions on their latest hardware. This is mainly because they just use the stock Android OS firmware with minimal or no customization at all. We consider this as a plus point as bloated customized firmware just slow things down and waste valuable storage space.  Preferably the tablet should come with at least Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). However, if you are comfortable with rooting and updating firmware, the installed firmware is not an issue. You just have to make sure if an updated official or custom ROM is available for the tablet.
  • System memory (RAM) – The minimum RAM that you should have is 1GB. If you can afford the newer 2GB models, go for it. The extra RAM goes a long way in making everything on the tablet a little more responsive.
  • Internal (ROM) and External (SD) storage – Built-in storage typically ranges between 8GB to 32GB. This should be adequate for most purposes. If you plan to use the tablet to view your video collection, a bigger storage is preferred. A cheap way to add more storage is with SD memory cards. If you need a lot of storage space, make sure that the tablet has an external memory card slot. The great thing about China tablets is that most if not all do come with a micro SD expansion slot.
  • Community support – Not a hardware specification but it is an important aspect. China manufacturers still lag way behind at  customer and product support when compared to the top brands. Strong community support is a viable alternative as problems can often be solved via custom firmware updates. The common places to check for this include:

Choose Your Tablet

You now have enough information to make an informed decision and choose the best China tablet. We will be constantly updating the site with the latest models and reviews. If you cannot find what you are looking for now, come back later and perhaps one of the new models will be a perfect fit for you.

Author: Roy Yap

Roy Yap is the administrator of TopChinaTablets.com. Roy has been writing both online and for print magazines for many years. He writes mostly technology related articles, particularly on consumer electronics and gadget reviews.

50 Comments

  1. Would like reviews of the best ipad mini alternatives = 7.9 inch tablets. New Chuwi V88 Ice Green, and Icoo Fatty 2 to mention a couple of examples I would like to see. Thanks for a great site, and great reviews.

    Post a Reply
    • The 7.9″ tablet reviews are coming soon.Stay tuned :)

      Post a Reply
    • Just posted a review for the Chuwi V88. Check it out.

      Post a Reply
    • Hi, I live in Hamburg, Germany and wish to buy a good phone tablet that works here. I am only interested in using the phone, skype, google, watch films, make videos for my school, skype and GPS.
      I am NOT interested at all in any games (yuk).

      I think 7.9 or 8” size would be good for viewing (Later I want to buy the mini projector for extra large screening). How it looks is important too but I have a limited budget up to Euros 250!

      Can you help?
      John Bram Leigh

      Post a Reply
      • Plus, stereo speakers and bluetooth, wi fi etc.
        Have you reviewed Asus products like the fone tab 8”?
        Thank you,
        JBL

  2. great site, keep it up.

    Post a Reply
  3. very informative

    Post a Reply
  4. Appreciate the detailed comparisons of Chinese tablets. A great point to start the decision-making process Roy – well done and keep it up!

    Fred

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Fred and I’m glad you found the reviews and guide useful.

      Post a Reply
    • If you forgot the pattern, you can enter your pin. If you forgot your pin as well, you need to do a hard reset. Search for how to do a hard reset for your particular Onda model.

      Post a Reply
  5. I’m looking for a tablet with a function for calls. Any idea which of those stated has it?

    Post a Reply
    • Officially, there is no support for calls via a cellular network for the 3G models like the Pipo M9 Pro with 3G. However, there are people online who claim that they have managed to hack 3G tablets to support calls.

      Post a Reply
      • Great site Roy, I am waiting patiently for a Pipo M8 HD ,
        Keep up the great work. Happy Holidays.
        Cheers

      • Hi Carl. Happy Holidays to you too and enjoy your Pipo M8. It’s a great tablet.

  6. Graet site provides great information for us, Thanx Roy, i plan to purchase a tablet kindly guide me.

    Post a Reply
  7. Tablets best types of Chinese in terms of the camera

    Post a Reply
  8. After consideration I bought a colorflyCT801 16G Quad Core with RK3188. Due to a major fault it keeps freezing (I am attempting to get replacement from a reluctant supplier)
    It seemed good in the short time I used it – What is your view of this tablet?

    Fred McIlmoyle

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Fred. I’ve never tested out the ColorFly so I don’t have an opinion on it. You can try a factory reset to see if it solves your freezing problem since it was working fine originally. Perhaps a rogue app is causing the problem.

      Post a Reply
  9. How come so many Chinese companies all produce the same make 7-inch tablets with a 1024×768 screen resolution? Since everyone produces clones of each other (that are behind Apple), wouldn’t it be smart for some manufacturer to start making something like 7+ inch w/ at least a 1900×1200 resolution? Then they would be able to distinguish themselves from the crowd and get more marketshare.

    Post a Reply
    • There are a few models with 1280 x 800 resolution but nothing close to a retina display. Perhaps 7″ retina displays are cost prohibitive.

      Post a Reply
  10. The first manufacturer who can make 7.85in, QCore, 1900×1200, 2GB RAM tablet will beat iPad Mini 2 and dominate world market share. I guarantee it.

    Post a Reply
  11. Thought I would post an update about my tablet search. I finally ended up passing on both the Afunta and the Matricom and went with an Icoo Icou7GT.
    It’s very nice especialy considering the price ($130 USD) General specs are 7″ 4.1 Android tablet, Allwinner A31 quad core CPU, 2GB DDR3, 16GB onboard memory with a MicroSD slot, 1200X800 resolution.

    The build quality is very good and seems really solid the back is aluminium it’s comfortable to hold and not slippery. The only “Odd” thing is the four screws at the corners which I haven’t seen on any other tablet.

    I have had it for about two weeks and so far the performance is really good especially with video and games. It wasn’t loaded down with a lot of bloatware although I did get rid of a couple of apps because I unfortunately don’t speak Chinese and I couldn’t find a way to change them to English.

    The only real downside is the battery life isn’t epic but it can be managed and considering the rest of the specs and the price I’m not complaining.

    Post a Reply
  12. Is Coby kyros with simslot a good choice when buying China tablet?,

    Post a Reply
    • I haven’t tried any of the Coby units yet.

      Post a Reply
  13. Hello, I found this site to be very useful. I belong to India and am thinking of buying 1000 tablets from china for our students. We want them to use it for watching video lectures and writing tests. Camera and calling facility is not important to us. Budget is around 80-100$. Can u suggest some good options. 8 inch screen size is what we are considering. Also students may kind of mishandle it, so it better be strong. Thanks for the info u have shared.

    Post a Reply
    • None of the 8″ tabs I reviewed is under $100 but with a bulk order of 1000 tablets, you can probably get much better pricing than I can. You may want to consider either the Pipo U8 or Chuwi V88. Both are 8″ tabs with pretty good performance. I have not done any robustness testing on any of the tablets so I can’t say if any of them are better suited for handling by students. I would suggest that you get sample units of a few models for evaluation before making a decision.

      Post a Reply
  14. I’m looking for batteries for the tablet CVYF 7493

    Post a Reply
  15. Hi Roy, I am from Singapore. I recently bought an AMPE A80 7.85″ IPS Android 4.1.2 Quad Core 3G Phone Tablet PC w/ 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM, GPS – White. I had actually wanted to buy an Ainol but ended up getting a AMPE. I just wanted to know if it is a good and reliable brand/model.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Xavier. Greetings from across the causeway. Ampe is not as well known or as popular as Ainol. I’ve seen the Ampe tablets but have not had the chance to review a unit so I haven’t really formed an opinion about the brand. To be brutally honest, tablets of different brands but with identical or very similar hardware perform more or less the same most of the time. The critical part is the firmware. If you buy a less popular model or brand, your chances are slimmer for getting firmware updates or custom ROMs. However, if you are happy with the A80 as it is and have no interest in firmware updates, I wouldn’t worry about it.

      Post a Reply
  16. Hi Roy. Your site is beeing a very usefull guide in my choice to buy a new tablet, but let me ask you, which tablet has the best screen, in you opinion? The only doubt I still have is that, once there are not most comparisons between the quality of screens, only specifications.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Arlison. Sometimes the best screens may not result in the best tablets. There are quite a few Chinese tablets with retina class displays but the GPU cannot keep up with pushing that many pixels thus resulting in sluggish performance.

      Post a Reply
      • Hello again Roy. Thank you for your reply and explanation. That’s exactly what I am worried about. I will try to find reviews of specific models while I choose the best one for me. Thank you again for the attention.

  17. hello sir. im from the philippines and im wondering if you could post something about the Haipad Air 7″ 4.2 JB 8gb quadcore tablet?

    Post a Reply
  18. is the FNF 3gs good enough to make it to the list? its octa core

    Post a Reply
  19. Hi Roy, I am Ashok Shuka from Delhi, India. I found your site full of information. Thank you.

    Post a Reply
  20. Hi Roy,

    Congratulations on your website! Very professional and accurate info. Let me ask you, what`s your opinion on the Onda V975m? thanks a lot and good luck! Your Brazilian pal, Marcelo

    Post a Reply
    • Haven’t gotten my hands on a unit yet but it looks good on paper.

      Post a Reply
  21. Does Onda support calls

    Post a Reply
    • No, it doesn’t. The 3G support is just for data but there are ways to hack it for voice calls.

      Post a Reply
  22. Hello !
    I want the tablet named(atech)
    But i had not found it….please see about it

    Post a Reply
  23. Dear Roy,

    Please help me out with making my choice. I am getting a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7.0″) for free as a promotion from Samsung.
    My plan was to sell this tablet for around $125 and get a far better tablet from China.

    Can you please recommend the best tablet I can buy for $125? The one with the best build quality and considered a good tablet that won’t fall apart after some weeks of use. Let’s say the limit is $150 and I don’t have a preffered screen size (7 inch might be the best option as that would give better specs for a lower price)

    You would do me such a great favour if you could help me out, making that incredible tough choice.

    Thanks in advance!
    Jeroen.

    Post a Reply
  24. Hi Roy, I am from India and it is good to see you providing voluntary & helpful advice to lay people… I wish to buy a tablet from china which is CHEAP for movies, videos, socialising, games & a good camera with high end processor and effective RAM. Since I am confused which one to buy can you please guide me through your expertise.

    Anthony

    Post a Reply
  25. Hi Roy,

    I´m from Holland. thanks for sharing your Knowledge. I wish to buy a tablet from china. I had made contact with some companies from China via Alibaba.com and they send me some prices like
    Asus Vivo Tab Smart ME400C for $115
    Samsung note 2 16GB/32GB/64GB……$100/$110/$130
    even Ipad and Surface tablet.
    What is your opinion? Is that posible?

    I want a tablet to replace my laptop.

    Regards and thanks in advance,

    Orlando

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Orlando. There are many vendors on Alibaba/Aliexpress selling the same items. If you see something being sold at prices at prices that are too good to be true, they usually are. Buying from China is always a risk. Vendors may not be out to cheat their customers but there is always a possibility of defective products and warranty claims / returns are always a hassle.

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Roy, thanks for you advice. Sorry for my late reaction. Best regards.

  26. Roy,

    Excellent blog and reviews. Buyer like us really depends on this articles.

    Please help us by giving your top 3 choices in terms of overall criteria.

    no sluggish apps and connection
    good connectivity
    with 3g or 4g connectivity
    long life battery
    OS – atleast latest
    ram 2 gig

    thank you in advance.. im not really that tech savvy though I will use mainly for gaming and internet browsing.

    Post a Reply

Have something to ask or share? Drop us a comment.