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Android is a fun touchscreen-based operating system, but it isn’t exactly built for getting work done. Meanwhile, Windows 10 feels like the opposite — an operating system to get work done on rather than to play with.

But what if you could have the best of both worlds? That’s what Teclast is proposing with its Teclast X98 Plus tablet that can run both Android 5.1 Lollipop and Windows 10 – and it only costs $200. So is this little-known Chinese tablet worth it? Let’s find out.

Specifications

  • Price: $200 from Aliexpress
  • Dimensions: 240mm x 169mm x 7.8mm (9.45in x 6.65in x 0.31in)
  • Weight: 521g (1.15lb)
  • Screen: 9.7″ IPS (2048px x 1536px) display
  • Processor: 64-bit Quad-core 1.44Ghz Intel Cherry Trail X5 Z8300
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Memory: 64GB
  • Battery: 8,000mAh
  • Camera: 5MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing
  • Operating Systems: Android 5.1 Lollipop and Microsoft Windows 10
  • Extras: MicroSD card slot, micro-HDMI port

Hardware

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Despite the aluminum-backing, the X98 Plus looks and feels more like a budget device than it might seem at first glance. The buttons and front panel pool like a cheap, white plastic that doesn’t mesh well with the otherwise premium-looking back.

That being said, for it’s price range, it is solidly constructed. There’s no creaky plastic here, just cool aluminum. It has a very boxy design, which makes it feels larger than a similarly-sized tablet with sloped edges.

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Held vertically, the front-facing camera is in the top-left and the power and volume buttons are along the left side. Towards the bottom of the left side is a TF card slot, which should work for microSD card expansion. At the very bottom, you’ll find the micro-USB port, micro-HDMI port, and headphone jack.

Screen

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The 9.7″ screen has an impressively high resolution for this price range, reaching above 1080p to get 2048px by 1536px. That’s particularly useful for this size of tablet, allowing images to feel sharp and crisp.

The display is IPS, which means wonderful viewing angles, but it’s biggest downfall is the lack of brightness. Indoors this isn’t a problem, but stepping outside makes it extremely difficult to use in sunlight. That’s a problem inherent with all screens, but it seemed particularly bad on the X98 Plus.

Camera

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The 5MP rear-facing camera will not motivate you to take photos with your tablet. You’ll look silly, and the quality won’t be that great anyway.

The 2MP front-facing camera is the same story, but it’s good enough to do some basic Skyping or video chatting with other apps Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls It doesn't matter your platform -- from Mac to PC to Android and everything in between -- one of these apps will let you make video calls. Read More .

Speakers

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With two rear-facing speakers on the lower back of the device, you might expect decent sound — but you’d be wrong. I’m generally pleased with any speakers that get slapped on a tablet, but these are particularly awful. The lack of volume is one thing, but mainly, they just produce a tinny, weak kind of sound that isn’t pleasing to the ears.

I’d recommend getting a nice pair of headphones 10 Terms You Should Know to Identify the Best Headphones 10 Terms You Should Know to Identify the Best Headphones In this guide we'll cut through the jargon and show you what the key headphone specifications actually mean, and why — or if — they matter. Read More to plug into the X98 Plus if you value audio quality.

Android

The biggest selling point of this device is that it dual-boots both Android and Windows 10 — so first, let’s take a look at the Android side of things.

teclast-homescreen

On the X98 Plus, you’ll find a very stock-like version of Android 5.1 Lollipop, which isn’t quite the newest (that’d be 6.0 Marshmallow Android 6.0 Marshmallow: What It Is and When You'll Get It Android 6.0 Marshmallow: What It Is and When You'll Get It Android Marshmallow is here -- but why should you care? Read More ), but it’s not outdated yet. The biggest customization is the navigation bar, which includes a screenshot button, volume buttons, and an option button — in addition to the usual Back, Home, and Recents.

There’s also quite a number of built-in Chinese apps, though this bloatware is somewhat removable How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting Did your phone come with a bunch of crappy apps pre-installed? Let us show you how to get rid of them the easy way. Read More . Thankfully, it does come pre-loaded with the standard Play Store, so you’re free to download Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and all the great apps Downloading Apps on Android: Everything You Need to Know Downloading Apps on Android: Everything You Need to Know Looking to download apps for your Android phone or tablet? This is everything you need to know about the official app store for Android: Google Play. Read More you’re used to (though you could just as easily install another third-party app store Google Play Alternatives For Downloading Android Apps Without Fuss Google Play Alternatives For Downloading Android Apps Without Fuss Many people think that the Google Play Store is the only option Android users have for downloading apps, but there are actually quite a few quality alternatives out there. Read More ).

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I did run into quite a few games that force closed as soon as I tried to open them, including FIFA 15 and World of Tanks New Smartphone? These 8 Games Will Push it to its Limit New Smartphone? These 8 Games Will Push it to its Limit You’ve just got a new smartphone, brimming with power, full of RAM, and with a top-end GPU to boot. There is only one thing on your mind – games, games and more games. Read More . Other games like Stacks or Zombie Highway did work, though. I’m guessing it’s some incompatibility with the Intel Atom processor, given that Intel is relatively new to the mobile processor scene.

I also had YouTube force close once, but for the most part, the apps I used on the daily functioned without an issue.

My main complaint here is just that the whole experience feels laggy. It doesn’t have the buttery smooth crispness to animations and scrolling that we’ve come to expect from our smart devices. It has 4GB of RAM, so I don’t think that’s the problem — but everything just feels a little jerky.

Still, it gets the job done. You can use Android to your heart’s content. But what about the other operating system here?

Windows 10

To boot into Windows, you can either select the “Boot to Windows” app on the Android side, or you can simply restart the tablet. Everytime it boots up, it presents a screen where you can choose between Android or Windows.

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Windows 10 boots up surprisingly fast, and then you have access to a full-blown desktop-level operating system. It’s tweaked for a relatively small touchscreen device, always opening apps in fullscreen mode, though allowing you to have two side-by-side.

I actually found the Windows side to be quicker and more responsive than the Android side. Multitasking and switching between apps happened fast. I could have several tabs open and still be scrolling just fine through websites on Microsoft’s new Edge browser 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now Microsoft Edge marks a complete break from the Internet Explorer brand name, killing off a 20-year-old family tree in the process. Here's why you should be using it. Read More .

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That’s not to say that the software experience was without flaws. Some websites behaved oddly; for instance, there was a multi-second delay from what I tapped on a YouTube video to pause it, toggle the Closed Captions 7 Best Tools for Managing Subtitles/CC on YouTube 7 Best Tools for Managing Subtitles/CC on YouTube Subtitles allow you to view content you otherwise wouldn't understand. YouTube Closed Captions help you better process what's being shown. We look at the most popular tools for dealing with subtitles on YouTube. Read More , or skip an ad, to when it actually registered the touch.

But, just as with the Android side, it certainly works. Whip out a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse (because you won’t be plugging much into the micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports), and you could legitimately use this as a computer.

Battery Life

This was really hard to gauge on this device. Most Android devices give you a breakdown of what apps consumed your battery, but in the Battery Usage menu, the X98 Plus just says that this data is not available — though it did show a graph of the overall battery percentage as well as when the device was awake. But switching between operating systems meant that this data often had chunks missing from it (from the time I would spend on the Windows side).

Regardless, one thing was very clear: this device drains itself pretty quickly when not in use. It shows a lot of “awake” time even with the screen off, and it could lose around 20% overnight. Under heavy usage, it definitely didn’t make it through the day for me.

Under lighter to more moderate usage, which I think is how most people use tablets, it could last a day, but it’s certainly no battery life champion. Plus, it takes an extremely long time to charge — usually over 5 hours.

Should You Buy It?

The Teclast X98 Plus isn’t a perfect device… but for $200, it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t particularly excel in any one area, but it’s good enough in several. If you need a cheap device that can run Android and Windows, this will do exactly that.

However, if you’re looking for something that feels a bit more premium, has nicer speakers, or might actually see an Android update Why Hasn't My Android Phone Updated Yet? Why Hasn't My Android Phone Updated Yet? The Android update process is long and complicated; let's examine it to find out exactly why your Android phone takes so long to update. Read More at some point, you’re best off looking elsewhere.

Our verdict of the Teclast X98 Plus:
If you’re on a budget and need something for work and play, get the Teclast X98 Plus; but if you’re looking for just a solid Android tablet, there are much better options out there.
610

Teclast X98 Plus Dual Boot Tablet Giveaway

Send your products to be reviewed. Contact James Bruce for further details.

  1. Mhm
    May 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Hi,
    Who won this giveaway?
    Still waiting for announcement.

  2. gloria patterson
    April 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    cannot find the video :-(

  3. Alfred C
    April 19, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Seem a good tablet to own. Love it.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:38 am

      yeah it's definitely not bad :)

  4. Christina Moore
    April 18, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I would love to win for my daughter, thank you for the chance

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:38 am

      no problem, good luck!

  5. Petroula Philippou
    April 17, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:38 am

      no problem! thanks for entering :D

  6. Rodel S. Mercurio
    April 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Thank you for the review tip and giveaway.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:41 am

      for sure, no problem!

  7. C-J Carlson
    April 15, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    The Instagram contest entry is misleading, since it brings up a Gleam contests connect dialog. Simply following MakeUsOf on Instagram didn't seem to trigger those extra entries (I did refresh the page here). Anyhoo...

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:41 am

      ah sorry about that, i'll look into it

  8. Ron S
    April 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I'm sure there are more, but this is the first small, dual boot, tablet I've seen offered.

    Sounds like a fun toy to play with. It is a good size, under 10.1 so you can get free Office 365 for Android on it.

    Pick me, pick me please

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:42 am

      yeah first one i've gotten to play with too, and the free Office definitely is nice. good luck!

  9. Dexter Cruz
    April 15, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for the opportunity. Good luck everyone.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:42 am

      no problem! good luck to you too!

  10. Donn Elsey
    April 15, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Why do you hate your life Rachol?

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:42 am

      hope theyre okay!

  11. rachol
    April 14, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I hate my life

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:42 am

      sorry :( hope things get better

  12. sharyonda
    April 13, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    The referral link is pointing people to the IPhone giveaway not this one and where is the video...cannot find it.

  13. Sean Thompson
    April 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I haven't used this particular device, but I have had the X98 Pro for a number of months. I would pretty much agree with everything in this review. The main difference between this one and mine is my processor is slightly more advanced (but probably not noticeable in usage), and it has a smoother, rounded back instead of the boxy design.

    I find it strange that it doesn't run better than it does though. Based on the specs, you'd think it would fly. I'm guessing the optimization isn't the best. Every now and then mine just feels like it gets a little janky, and it needs a reboot. I can't exactly explain it. It seems to get a little more laggy or something if it's been on for longer than a couple of days. But, the reboot seems to clean it up. This is another hint at less than perfect optimization. I'm hoping that the next series from Teclast (whatever comes after X98) will use this as a bounce point for improvements.

    I don't do anything super serious with it most of the time. The android side is great for sitting on the couch or in Starbucks, and then I usually switch over to Windows when I take it to school. I store all my classwork in the cloud, so the smaller storage from a PC perspective isn't bad. I kind of use it how you would use a Chromebook, I think. It's also good at the gym. I would say that I give it about a 7/10 as opposed to your 6, but I don't really have any criteria for that. Just a feeling. I could see a 6 being justified too. I think I would recommend it most for students honestly. It's really nice to have the android side for quick goofing off with Pinterest and Netflix, since the screen is the best part (don't forget the headphones for Netflix). And, since it's dimensions are a knockoff of an iPad Air, it travels really well.

    I got mine from GearBest.com, and they also carry cases specifically for this style. I got a snap on case with a keyboard for less than $25, and a basic snap on case with a trifold cover for about $6 or $7. The shipping took quite a while though. Usually a couple of weeks since it's coming from China directly. The price basically makes any gripes about it a totally moot point though. It's not the greatest tablet of either OS you could get, but it also didn't cost $600 like the best in class do. I would gladly buy more of these. It'd be great to just find them in Walmart, BestBuy or Amazon, though, rather than having to import them.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:43 am

      awesome, thanks for sharing your experience with it!

  14. Dimitris P
    April 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Fix the referral link plz!

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:44 am

      what issue are you having with it exactly, so i can look into it?

  15. GraveDigger27
    April 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Strangely enough I just bought an ASUS tablet with similar stats over the weekend (8" screen, 4GB installed ram, 64GB storage and microSD) for $250 - this looks like an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how running both operating systems would work in the real world. Kinda like running my HP TouchPad with webOS and Android on it...

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:44 am

      doesn't sound like a bad deal for $250, but yeah depends on how much you're actually gonna use both i guess

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