Tablets are currently experiencing a similar fate to that of navigation systems a few years ago. At that time the navigation devices of TomTom, Garmin and Co. were extremely popular. Sales were enormously high, especially at Christmas time. At least the industry and the advertising suggested it to the consumer. In the course of the ever faster and above all bigger smartphones, the offer of navigation apps in the app stores, as well as the navigation system installed as standard in the “digital cars”, today nobody needs (please correct me if I am wrong here) an extra navigation device for their car. With the iPad from Apple, the tablet made its way into the living rooms of consumers or even into numerous companies. But also here the (edge-less) smartphones, or phablets with a display diagonal beyond 6″, slowly outstripped the tablet. While 3 or 4 years ago new tablets constantly came onto the market, the selection now is quite small. But for the Chinese manufacturer Teclast this is no reason not to enter the tablet market again. The manufacturer will certainly be well known to diligent readers of CH.net with its diverse range of tablets and ultrabooks. With the Teclast M20, a tablet with a large display is presented again. We have examined for you more closely whether or not the investment is worth it, .
Design / Build quality / Scope of delivery
The device is delivered in a rather eye-catching cardboard box with neon-orange inscription and a white top. When the tablet is switched on, the typical indication that it is an Android device is followed by a Teclast lettering, which also appears in orange and thus maintains the colors of the packaging. The Teclast M20 is not exactly light with its 590g. Holding the device thus equals a fitness exercise. The dimensions of the tablet are 244.0 x 175.0 x 10.2mm.
The rear side is a metal uni body with aluminium alloy. Only the cover for the Micro-SD cards & SIM cards slots is made of plastic. In order to make the design unit more attractive, a further plastic cover is attached above the camera lens, which extends just to the edge of the uni body. This certainly also serves for a better reception quality.
In addition to the model name and serial number, the M20 has 8 holes each on the left and right side for the stereo speakers. A closer look reveals that the cut-outs are not completely clean. Some of the holes still have a little burr. But this is hardly noticeable. However, we from CH.net take a closer look. 🙂
On the upper side there is a 3.5mm jack connector next to the still not extinct Micro-USB connector. The volume and power button is located quite high up on the right side. It is slightly loose, but has an absolutely passable feedback. You can read the corresponding function of the button of its back. The M2 also has a reset button. In order to operate it, you need a pointed object. For example, you could use the good old paper clip.
The Teclast M20 offers a Dual-SIM function. In addition, the storage can be expanded to a maximum of 256GB without having to sacrifice a SIM card slot. In order to get to the slots, the plastic cover has to be removed first, which can sometimes end in a certain fumbling and somehow leaves a cheap impression of the casing.
The scope of delivery of the M20 contains:
– USB charging cable
– Charging adapter
– Operating instructions
The build quality of the M20 tablet is fine so far, but somehow you get no premium feeling. The tablet is solidly crafted, but otherwise has a rather dull appearance. Somehow, you can tell from this device that tablets haven’t really been further developed in recent years. The tablet could just as well be from the year 2010, when the hype in the tablet business started. You might rather think that the M20 is more of a step backwards in terms of design technology, or is it the way to the tried and tested? What was good in 2010 can still be good in 2018? Of course, this is always a matter of personal taste. It simply seems as if an old technical drawing had been dug up, a somewhat more up-to-date technology had been used to simply throw a tablet onto the market again. Not even a fingerprint sensor was included.
The M20 houses a 10.1-inch 2.5k display by Sharp with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. The pixel density of 298ppi is just below the retina value. Single pixels are nowhere to be found. The 10-Point multi touch screen simultaneously detects…well guess, exactly 10 touches at the same time and does that also relatively precisely. In some situations, however, you notice smaller delays. With faster movements especially, commands are sometimes not recognized. The IPS panel offers a natural color representation and average contrast values. The average brightness is 334 in the upper display area, 335 in the middle and 301 lux in the lower area of the screen. This is relatively low for an IPS display. In direct sunlight, or when using the tablet outside, there may be problems with the legibility. When using the tablet at home, however, there is no problem. In addition, the viewing angle stability is very good, as usual with IPS displays, but the display also reflects very strongly. When it’s used outside, it is sometimes impossible to see anything at all. As usual with MediaTek SoC’s, the color representation can be customized using MiraVision. The M20 is operated exclusively with on-screen buttons. Unfortunately, the device does neither have a brightness sensor nor a notification LED. Thus, the brightness must be adjusted manually. Unfortunately, there is also no night mode that protects the eyes during the evening and night hours. The tablet is equipped with a display protection film by the manufacturer ex works. The protector is certainly useful, as no scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass was used. At least a display protection film is attached as standard.
There is one thing I have to mention at this point: At the beginning, I mentioned the “old-fashioned” design of the device. As far as the display is concerned, I personally have to make the same judgement here. Of course, this is a very inexpensive tablet and the resolution, color representation and reaction speed of the IPS display leave little room for criticism, but where is the progress here? In the meantime we have gotten used to tri-bezel-less or even full-screen smartphones, but in the in general weak tablet industry there doesn’t seem to be any movement in this direction. I could even live with a notch, but the M20, having a screen-to-body ratio of just under 73%, is far from “up to date” anyway. This is not a direct criticism of the Teclast M20, but rather refers to all new releases in the tablet segment.
„Equipped with better performance and lots of power for your use,” the manufacturer says, and on paper, you can agree to that for the time being. Well, here you could exclaim in delight!
Octa Core is old-fashioned! The M20 uses a Deca Core (10-core) processor from MediaTek instead. The Helio X23 (MT6797D) from 2016 is a mid-range processor that is still manufactured in the 20nm process and is divided into a total of 3 clusters. Two more powerful Cortex A72 cores with a maximum of 2.30GHz and two 4-core A53 clusters for less demanding tasks that clock with a maximum of 1.39GHz. The Mali-T880 GPU, which clocks at a maximum of 780 MHz, supports the X23 for gaming. Current games, such as Asphalt 9 for example, can be played easily, but many opponents or effective driving maneuvers often have smaller jolts. The tablet only gets warm to a limited extent at full load. The system itself runs smoothly and with 4GB LPDDR3 RAM, multitasking tasks are no big problem. The short-term memory has a throughput of almost 4.3GB/s, which is a reasonable value. The tablet has enough storage by default. 64GB should be more than enough in practice.
If you still need more space, you can get an SD card and expand the storage by a maximum of 256GB via a separate slot. The Dual-SIM function remains as it is not a hybrid slot. Although the internal storage is somewhat faster than that of the recently tested Chuwi Hi9 Pro, 11MB/s for reading and 140 MB/s for writing will not knock anyone’s socks off. On the contrary, it’s more like falling asleep. You have to do without the fast UFS storage in the price range of this tablet. The slower eMMC storage is used here.
Fans of Stock Android get their money’s worth with the M20. A clean version of Android 8.0.0. is pre-installed on the M20, which is also free of any bloat or malware. Only the MediaTek program DuraSpeed is available as add-on software to control background processes. All Google apps are also implemented as standard. The system seems to be very mature and works error-free. Crashes did not occur during the 2-week test phase. Updates would be installed conveniently via OTA, which will hardly happen in view of the price.
Sure, a tablet of this size is perfect for watching movies, series on Netflix and the like. However, with the M20 you can’t stream any of it in HD quality, which is a big drawback. Unfortunately, the tablet only has Widevine Security Level 3. As a result, you can’t watch the streams by Amazon and Netflix in HD. However, the device shares this fate with many other Android representatives, because the certification is too time-consuming, especially for smaller manufacturers.
Stock Android is beautiful on the one hand, as it is simply not overloaded with functions. The system exclusively concentrates on the essentials. No system manager, no useful features and certainly no themes. Well, that’s almost boring. If you don’t like the Google launcher, you can at least download another one from the Play Store without any problems and use it as default. You also have the option of changing the font as you like. In the font manager you can download your desired font and use it directly.
With a display of this size, the possibility to vary both font and size of display is always an advantage. This makes surfing and browsing the net really funny. If you set the font and display to the lowest level, the 3 Android home buttons will be split by the way. Back and Home buttons slide to the left side, while the symbol with the square moves to the right side. This is a nice feature when using the tablet with 2 hands.
We can certainly keep this section short. Why should there be something groundbreaking new here, when there is no such thing in terms of design and display. The Teclast M20 offers a 5 megapixel main camera. The front camera takes snapshots with a maximum of 2 megapixels. “Snapshots” is the right word here: As it is usual for tablets, the shots can be used for Skype or video calls at most. Videos can be recorded in HD quality with a maximum of 30 frames per second. If the lighting conditions are right, the quality of the photos is quite okay, even if the HDR photos look far too unnatural. But to be honest, why should it be any different in the case of tablets? You would surely score by getting the laughs if tablets were equipped with a dual… oh, nonsense… with a quad camera or even more (there is enough space available). And you could add a selfie stick, which would then probably have the size of a telescopic paintbrush, with which crowds of people make a nice group selfie with “duck face”. That would certainly make an absurd picture. Well, that’s not going to happen with the M20 (luckily). Normal shots very often have a cross-fade effect. Night shots quickly lead to image noise. There is no LED flash.
The China smartphones probably serve as a model for the Teclast M20. Just like most of them, the tablet has a Dual-SIM function. Both slots support parallel operation in 4G. Thanks to a separate slot for the storage card, no SIM slot has to be used for more storage space.
The following frequencies are supported:
2 (1900 MHz)
3 (1800 MHz)
5 (850 MHz)
8 (900 MHz)
38 (2600 MHz)
39 (1900 MHz)
40 (2300 MHz)
41 (2500 MHz)
Surfing with the Teclast tablet is a lot of fun. We couldn’t find any reception problems. If you don’t mind making calls in public via loudspeakers, or if you’re not politely asked by other people to refrain from making phone calls, you can also chat with the M20. But due to the missing earpiece, this is only possible with the hands-free function. If you have a headset with you, you can also connect it for telephoning. Even without headphones, the person at the end of the line can be clearly understood, although the volume could have been somewhat higher. Due to the size of the tablet, navigation in the car is somewhat difficult. However, owners of a 2.5t SUV, a van or a truck have enough windscreen to put the M20 without blocking the field of vision completely. 🙂
Be that as it may, the navigation works quite well thanks to the support of GPS, Glonass, Beidou and A-GPS, but the reception leaves much to be desired. It takes several seconds to find the position.
The integrated WiFi module in the 802.11b/g/n/ac standard supports both the 2.4 and 5.0GHz frequency ranges, which ensures a good WiFi speed. The signal is also very stable. Thanks to OTG you can connect a USB stick or mouse and keyboard to the device and use it. The Bluetooth module works flawlessly, even if it is “only” available in version 4.0. There are not many sensors available. Teclast has only provided the M20 with an acceleration sensor. And it doesn’t work that well either. At least with our test program, there is partly no reaction. On the other hand, the dual loudspeakers are nice, one on each side. This is good for the sound quality, even if the speakers are loud, but sound extremely tinny and tend to oversteer.
The tablet houes a 6600 mAh polymer battery. Of course, this sounds quite good at first, but the Helio X23, which is still manufactured in a 20nm process, isn’t considered to be particularly energy-efficient. In combination with a very large display of 10.1 inches, the M20 therefore gets a not really convincing run time of 6 hours in our battery life test. If you use it frequently, the battery should last for 2 days. If you like watching videos on YouTube and Co., for which a tablet of this size is best suited, you will lose 13% of the battery within 1 hour at half the display brightness. The M20 comes with a 5V/2.5A charging adapter. The complete charging of the tablet takes 3 hours and 10 minutes due to the missing quick charging function.