Teclast X98 Pro – A nice but flawed entry to the Cherry Trail Market

The Teclast X98 Pro is considered the first Cherry Trail Tablet, it looks great on paper but does it perform as well too?

SpecsTeclast X98 Pro
ChipsetIntel Atom Cherry Trail X5 Z8500, 2.24GHz Quad Core, 22nm
GPU: Intel HD Gen8 GFX
MemoryRAM: 4 GB LPDDR3 @ 1600MHz
ROM: 64 GB eMMC
MicroSD up to maximum 128 GB
OSWindows 10
Display9.7 inch, IPS, Retina, 10 point
2048 x 1536 pixels, QXGA, 264ppi, IGZO
CamerasRear: OV 5.0 mp, Autofocus, HD videos
Front: 2.0 mp
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, MicroUSB 2.0 (OTG)
Featurespreinstalled Windows applications (MS Office), HTML 5 browser, E-Book, Wireless Display
SensorsGravity
Interface1x Mini HDMI
1x 3.5mm Audio Jack
1x TF-Card Slot
1x MicroUSB Slot (OTG cable included)
Dimensions239 x 169 x 80mm
Weight: 526g
Battery8000mAh built-in
100-240V 5V 2A (adapter)

AVAILABILITY (Updated August 6, 2016)
Teclast X98 Pro retails at $234 – Click Here

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The Teclast X98 Pro is by all means a “REBOOT” tablet, that means, no design changes were made except of course for the improved Chipset. The tablet comes with Windows 10 64 bit out of the box, has 4 GB RAM and 64 gB eMMC Storage. The modelthat i was able to test was the K9C3 model.

Solid build and design

iPad Air inspired, that’s it, and because it is a reboot Tablet, you should expect no design changes, expect probably for the engraving at the back. The Tablet overall is well put together. I do have to comment on the awkward placement of the power and volume rocker keys as well as the placement of the ports which is cramped at the left hand side of the tablet.

Love the Screen!!!

No issues at all. Probably the best feature of the Tablet is the Screen, IGZO, Retina Touch Screen with about 264 ppi is a real beauty. The colors are rich and the viewing angles are exceptional. However, the screen is not Scratch-Resistant and is easily prone to Fingerprint Smudges.

Performance: how does it fair?

What do you expect from the new Cherry Trail Chipset? It’s still an Atom, but i did notice improve performance and overall better experience. Real world performance is more evident on web browsing and especially with the 4 GB RAM, i was able to ran multiple programs, tabs with minimal slow downs. However, the tablet appears to hate Google Chrome, and i don’t really blame it, since that web browser is notorious for memory usage, it is best to use the built in Microsoft  Edge for better performance.

Theoretical performance, i measured using Antutu Benchmark and was able to get respectable scores. Gaming performance wasn’t really what i was expecting. When i ran Mainstream games like Dota 2, it did struggle and came up with unplayable gameplay. Anyway, older titles ran fine such as Starcraft 2 but you do have to bare the minimum of details and resolution.

Slow eMMC Storage

Upon closer inspection, according to device manager, the tablet uses a Toshiba eMMC Storage. However, on my testing, read and write speeds are not what i expected, it is a bit slow.

Camera Quality and Loudspeaker Perfomrance

The rear 5.0 MP captures photos and videos but quality isn’t really anything special. What did disappoint me is the Loudspeaker performance, it is horrendous. The Volume and range is low and there is no bass, you can barely hear the sound and bass is practically non-existent. Using Headphones offer a much better option but not leaps in bounds.

Connectivity options?

The tablet only supports WiFi, specifically only up to Wireless N via a Realtek Chipset. Performance is satisfactory, no disconnections or issues with connecting. Bluetooth also works great and you also have the option to use the HDMI Port.

Thermal Design Flaws

I will not hold this issue back. The tablet literally runs hot, with idle temperatures peaking close to 55C, and that’s true even without load. I did test using Aida 64 to see the maximum temp, and i was able to determine that 87C was the highest it could get. I’ve also read online that thermal design blunders is a real concern, it seams that it uses the same thermal pads and design for the BayTrail version. Teclast apparently didn’t account for the much higher working temps for the Cherry Trail chipset.

What is annoying, is that the temps are very unstable and can jump out of nowhere. Even on low to moderate usage, the temps jumps to its peak without warning. This is especially noticeable on gaming. Also on my games test, it seems that the GPU throttles to accommodate the unstable temps, games such as Dota 2 was rather playable due to major lag spikes. Older games ran fine, but still the tablet ran toasty most of the time.

Updated Sept. 10, 2015, i recently tested the tablet using Aida64 and Cinebench to really determine if Thermal throttling was affecting performance. My results were surprising, although the tablet ran HOT, it never got hot enough to cause Thermal Throttling, thus Full performance was still available, when you need it. Aida64 is just like Prime95 and it tested the tablet at a theoretical situation of all 4 cores at 100%. It revealed a slight or neglible thermal throttling but at just 3%, this is barely noticeable. The temps remain the same, the CPU performance remain also the same, about 1.4 to 1.5GHz, which is it’s ideal working speed.

Battery life is not as expected and slow charging

If you’re expecting 8 hours battery life for the 8000mAh on-board, then your sadly mistaken. On my test, i was only able to get close to 4.5 hours on my test, which are really low numbers. On more frugal stance, i was able to get 5 hours easily. This test was done using 25% brightness, WiFi on and using Microsoft Edge for web surfing.

Probably because of the heat issue, the battery drains quickly. And because of the lack of USB Type C, there is no support for Fast Charging. To get 100% you need a bit more patience to charge it.

“Great Potential but needs improvement”,

True, it needs major improvements. Although we have a glimpse of the benefits of Cherry Trail. I wasn’t really able to enjoy and reap the benefits because some of the issues. A major concern is in terms of the Unstable Thermals of the tablet. I was able to test the tablet comprehensively and thus, was able to discern such judgment. The Tablet features might look great on paper but it still has some kinks to work out.

Teclast X98 Pro pics

Strengths of Teclast X98 Pro:

  • Acceptable Performance
  • Good Multitasking capability
  • OK connectivity (Wifi Performance)
  • Good build quality
  • Comes with 4 GB RAM out of the box and 64 GB eMMC Storage
  • 64 bit Windows 10 out of the box
  • MicroUSB and support for OTG
  • Dual OS version now available

Weaknesss

  • No MicroUSB 3.0 Port (No  Fast Charging support)
  • No Dual Band WiFi support
  • Not great Audio (Low volume and No Bass)
  • Battery life not quite as expected
  • Poor Loudspeaker Performance
  • Slow eMMC Storage Drive
  • Runs HOT (83 to 84C for the hottest Core and 78C for the other cores) and unstable temps
AVAILABILITY (Updated August 6, 2016)
Teclast X98 Pro retails at $234 – Click Here

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Tablet Flash Sale (updated)

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