Alldocube X Android Tablet Quick Look: Low-Cost OLEDby Brett Howse on February 19, 2019 12:00 PM EST
Back in August we first talked about the Alldocube X tablet, launching with Android 8.1. The company sent us one to check out, so I’ve run some tests on it to kick the tires a bit. This isn’t going to be a full review, but some first impressions along with some performance levels. The Android tablet market hasn’t really worked out the way Google likely expected, and we don’t really see a lot of high-end tablets launching with Android, and even Google has launched their latest tablet with Chrome OS. Still, there’s definitely a market for Android tablets, and one area where Alldocube should do well here is as a media playback device.
Alldocube’s X tablet features the same Samsung 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display as found on Samsung’s tablets. This display features a 2560x1600 resolution, meaning a 16:10 aspect ratio and 287 pixels-per-inch, and being OLED, the vibrant colors and amazing contrast rations that make OLED such a crowd pleaser. Alldocube fits this into a tablet with reasonable bezels as well, especially on the sides.
The Alldocube even offers a fingerprint reader built into the side of the device. It works well, but only if you are holding the tablet in landscape. In portrait mode, the fingerprint reader finds itself on the bottom where it’s difficult to access.
The build quality of the X is quite impressive, with a fully CNC aluminum chassis that is one you’d expect to see in a much higher cost device. The device weighs in at just 500 grams, which isn’t class-leading, but still light enough to make it very portable. It’s 6.4 mm thick, which also helps with the portability.
|Alldocube X Tablet|
|Display||10.5" 2560x1600 Samsung AMOLED
100% P3 D65 coverage with HDR
2 x Cortex A72 @ 2.1 GHz
4 x Cortex A53 @ 1.6 GHz
|RAM||4 GB LPDDR3|
|Storage||64 GB / 128 GB eMMC|
|Operating System||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|WiFi||802.11ac w/Bluetooth 4.2|
|Battery||30 Wh - USB-C Charging|
|Dimensions||257 x 179 x 6.4 mm
10.1 x 7.0 x 0.25 inches
|Starting Price||$265.99 USD|
Alldocube has tapped an older SoC to power the X tablet with the MediaTek MT8176, which offers two Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores, along with an IMG PowerVR GX6250 GPU. This is an older 28 nm processor, so it’s pretty far from the cutting edge we’re seeing launched these days
On the CPU side, the CPU does a fair job against some newer, faster SoCs. The A72 was a good CPU core for performance, but the 28 nm process really limits the maximum frequency on this, and at 2.1 GHz it is well behind the latest chips, plus there are only two high-performance cores.
On to the GPU:
The PowerVR GX6250 offers just two GPU clusters of the same vintage as Apple’s iPad Air 2 with its A8X, but Apple offers 8 clusters on 20 nm, so the MediaTek is at a severe disadvantage to even a four-year-old tablet. As such, GPU performance is a particularly sore spot on the tablet, and it can run into stuttering issues even with the notification shade.
As for battery life, that again is a sore spot. The Alldocube has a 30 Wh battery, which should be sufficient for a device like this, but it appears to lack any sort of sophisticated power management, and when coupled with the OLED display which is definitely more power-hungry displaying the typical white background of a website or application, it runs into trouble. I calibrated the display to 200 nits and ran it through PCMark’s battery life test to see how it performed under load.
As you can see, it’s not pretty. The company rates the tablet for up to 8 hours, which will be likely ideal conditions such as dim movie viewing, but for web browsing and any sort of task that leverages the CPU, the power usage is very high.
Still, the Alldocube does offer a very nice design, coupled with the AMOLED display, so if the Samsung tablets offering this same display have been a bit out of the budget, this is an option. It just comes with some serious compromises to get to the price point it is sometimes at. For instance, there was a flash sale recently which had a 128 GB model of this tablet for $287 USD, which makes it pretty appealing despite the older SoC and battery issues, but on Amazon right now it’s almost $370 USD which puts it too close to the Samsung tablets to make it a recommendation. With a new brand, you’ll likely need to shop around to find a good price.
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dlum - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - linkFor some specialized needs this could as perfect match. Some time ago when I was looking for a device for reading/reviewing materials (text & graphical) on the go - a highest-possible quality screen was all I was looking for.
Didn't care about CPU & speed, even battery time was largely irrelevant - as long as it's able to be alive some 1.5-2h - it would do the job for me.
Ended up with Samsung Tab, but given the choice - this idea of "perfect screen and barely adequate the rest" could be a nice fit, given the low price.
Although I understand that it's rather narrow niche use-case.
Irata - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - linkJust received mine in the mail yesterday - got it for a (in theory) very reasonable price via Gearbest.
Build quality and the screen are very nice but there is a big downside:
Even though it was a European model (as per the serial number), it came with a Chinese Android version and no Google apps whatsoever. I guess it had some Chinese market place app but not speaking Chinese, this is just a guess. Browsing the web worked fine for many sites but there were others where the browser said it cannot find them (oddly enough one of them was the Alldocube website).
Fortunately you can download the right Android image from the Alldocube website (European Android with Google play store) which could also be written to the ROM.
But (again) - none of the Google apps worked. Was not possible to log in and it still had the weird "some sites cannot be found" issue, so am trying to get my money back. I really only wanted a reasonably priced tablet that works out of the box :(
Irata - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - linkCorrection it was from Banggod not Gearbest.
Bob Todd - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - linkThe reviews of Banggod as a retailer are horrendous. Questionable Chinese tablet from an even more questionable site is way too optimistic.
oliwek - Friday, March 29, 2019 - linkThis is curious. I crowdfunded this tablet, recieved a european one (U1005E, where the last letter is for the european device), with Google Apps installed, and no chinese app whatsoever. Around 200 euros for a 64GB tablet (you have a slot for additional flash storage). 280 euros if you have to pay customs, as I did.
BedfordTim - Friday, February 22, 2019 - linkUse FDroid to load the Yalp store. That will get you the rest of the Googlyness.
Bob Todd - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - linkI bought one of these from the Indiegogo campaign. Keeping in mind I only paid $219 total which ended up including a case and screen protector, I'd still say most people are better off spending more and getting a 128GB iPad on sale (just saw it for $329 at the big W) unless you have some very specific use cases for the device, need multi-user profiles, etc.
One very important thing to note because of that beautiful screen, is that the device doesn't support Widevine L1, which means that basically all the USA based streaming services like NetFlix will only be 480p. As what's pitched as an entertainment device, they really should have taken the time for the certification. They didn't want a delay to force a holiday delivery miss, but as anyone who has ever worked in product can guess, they ran into other problems which pushed the deliveries until after the holidays anyway Android is still garbage on tablets. Even basic core parts of the OS like notifications are not optimized for the form factor. You need to expect essentially the exact same experience as your phone and be happy with that going into the purchase. Yes, a few 1st and 3rd party apps have built a better UX around it (e.g. Gmail, Nine), but for the most part it is laughable.
My biggest disappointment is indeed the battery life. It's horrendous. One of the reasons I bought it, besides my gadget addiction, is that they were working with XDA in some fashion, so hopefully it builds up a decent dev community and they can tackle the poor power management of the stock ROM.
cfenton - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - link"One very important thing to note because of that beautiful screen, is that the device doesn't support Widevine L1, which means that basically all the USA based streaming services like NetFlix will only be 480p. As what's pitched as an entertainment device, they really should have taken the time for the certification."
This should be in bold in every article written about this device. It's just absurd. The only selling point of the tablet is the screen and you can't watch HD video on it from the most popular streaming services. Do you know if this is something they can fix in software, or is it a hardware problem?
Bob Todd - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - linkAFAIK this can't be done via an OTA update. The DRM goop can only be added through an "authenticated pc", so likely a machine where they are built that has some kind of dongle for the software to even run.
Bob Todd - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - linkForgot to add, this is why getting Widevine L1 on the OnePlus 5T required returning the device to OnePlus.