The X2 Pro is Teclast’s second Core M 5Y10 tablet, it’s the little brother of the 12.2″ Teclast X1 Pro 4G, but in a smaller 11.6″ form factor with a lower screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. Like the X1 Pro 4G, the X2 Pro is a flagship Core M tablet for the local Chinese market. Unlike the X98 Air series, these tablets ship with Windows 10 Pro in Chinese. Windows 10 multi-language licensing for tablet’s like these are just too costly for Teclast to even make a splash in the crowded international market. But we do have sellers on Ali Express and other retail stores shipping them overseas to international buyers.
What’s in the Box:
- 1 x Screen protector
- 1 x X2 Pro 11.6″ tablet
- 1 x Power cable (in white!) with green LED plug and rated at 12v and 2 amp.
- Some warranty cards and instructions in Chinese
Hardware & build quality:
The X2 Pro has a plastic matte outer frame with a metal rear housing plate that’s finished with a matte black paint job. The design of the tablet is definitely aimed to be more premium, business and work originated with its two full-sized USB 3 ports and Surface type cover like detachable keyboard.
Overall the feel of the Teclast X2 Pro is solid, it’s well built and assembled, but I do find the corners are just too sharp and tend to dig into your palms when held. I’m not sure why Teclast’s designers went with a square edge rather than a round one. With a weight of 851 grams or 1.87 lbs, it’s clear you’re not going to be holding it for long periods watching movies. This isn’t the tablets main role. But if you look at it this way it’s only 51 grams heavier than the Surface 3 Pro’s 801 grams. At least the Surface 3 Pro has a kickstand. The X2 Pro is thicker at 10.8mm Vs the Surface 3 Pro’s 9.1 mm.
On the right side of the tablet you’ll find the power button and volume controls. The left side of the tablet is where all the action is, with the d/c power plug (12v, 2A) two full sized USB 3.0 ports, MicroSD card slot, micro HDMI and the 3.5mm audio jack. The rear speakers are located on the left and right of either side of the X2 Pro, see below in the review for info on their performance.
Keyboard dock: (Optional)
To make the X2 Pro whole, it has a matching magnetic lacking keyboard. If you are seriously considering this tablet, then the keyboard is a must. It’s like buying the Surface 3 or Surface 3 Pro and not getting the keyboard. Without you have a nice tablet, sure, but it’s real strength lies in the keyboard. Which then transforms the tablet into a workable notebook or ultrabook experience.
The keyboard is great to type on, after a few minutes of adjusting to it I was typing with ease. And since it’s larger than the Cube i7 Stylus’s 10.6″ keyboard it doesn’t feel so cramped up. Teclast went with the chiclet island style keys which I prefer and find much easier to type on than even my only Surface 3 and 3 Pro type covers. The spacing between the keys helps to cut down on typos and the key travel while a little on the short side doesn’t feel anywhere as bad as the shallow key travel of the Surface type covers.
The keys are individually spaced out with a 5mm gap between each one of them, the key travel I worked out to be around 13mm, which has to be more than the Surface 3 type covers offer.
The keys are 10mm x 10mm in size with a matte plastic finish. I think over time this matte finish on the keys will wear and become shiny, which is common with this type of textured matte finish.
The quality of the keyboard is better than expected, but with one gripe. The rubberised material on the bottom and the fabric material used is a dirt and dust magnetic. It’s will need a vacuum every now and then to keep it looking at its best.
The keyboard also folds back and doubles as stand to support the tablet, but you only have that one fixed angle, love it or hate it you’re stuck with it. But it is solid and shouldn’t tip back when pushed hard with even a stylus.
When not in use the keyboard folds up as a cover for the tablet and magnet latches keep it tightly in place. The weight of the keyboard is 526 grams and is 9.8mm thick (just the keyboard). The total weight of tablet + keyboard is 1.37 kilos or 3.03 pounds.
The touchpad is fairly usable and quite responsive with both left and right mouse hardware buttons. Which is good to see and also Windows gestures are supported. I had no issues using the touchpad to manipulate files and folders within the desktop. While not a huge trackpad, it’s definitely better than the likes of the Chuwi Vi10 or PiPo W3 keyboards.
What I have noticed is the keyboard WILL scratch up the plastic screen protectors when traveling. So it might pay to get more screen protectors or buy a tempered glass one.
The X2 Pro does support an active stylus with a battery. Similar to Dell’s Venue 11 Pro stylus, I hope to have one soon in order to update the review.
Screen and touch response:
The IPS panel used in the X2 Pro is an AU Optronics 1920 x 1080 16:9 display. Brightness is reasonable, but due to the fact it’s a non-laminated display I would have like to have seen some more brightness to help out in times you’re battling with reflections. It’s not dim by any means, but could just be brighter. The screen is is accurate and responses to the lightest of touches. No complaints here. Blacks are not the darkest I’ve seen, maximum brightness is 285 cd/m2, with a minimum brightness of 5 cd/m² which is great for night use.
The PPI is close to 190 and on an 11.6″ panel I find it’s still sharp enough and helps keep the tablet running smoother. Super high-resolution panels like on the PiPo W8 reviewed tend to slow down the system I feel and tax the Intel graphics more than lower resolution displays. This was evident on the W8 and I’m glad to see Teclast didn’t go with a higher resolution display since they already have the X1 Pro 12.2″ Core M tablet for that.
Like all the other Chinese Core M tablet tested here at Tech Tablets, the X2 Pro comes with a M.2 2242 spec 64GB SSD or 128GB SSD. My version here is the 64GB model. Speeds are good and definitely a huge step up from the eMMC drives seen in the Atom tablets. And since the tablet has USB 3 ports you can make more use of the faster sequential read and write speeds without any storage bottlenecks.
On first boot Windows has approximately 44.7 GB’s free. It is possible to upgrade this with any 22 x 42mm M.2 (NGFF) SSD drive, but it will require you to open up the tablet so only recommend for people that have experience in doing so.
Speeds are good for a 64GB drive, see how they compare to other Core M tablets tested below:
Ports & Connectivity:
The X2 Pro is one of the few tablets that have full sized ports out of China that don’t require OTG adapters. The X2 Pro has two full sized USB 3.0 ports on the bottom left corner making it one of the key features of this tablet. Both ports run at full USB 3.0 speed and can power 2.5″ 1TB drives without any issues on power and running via the battery (Some tablets require a powered hub for this)
Speeds via the USB 3 port are great and enough to run a Pluggable USB 3 docking hub for example with external display’s using DisplayLink technology. The below benchmark shows speeds I achieved using my Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 drive.
MicroSD card slot:
Like all decent tablets, the X2 Pro has a MicroSD card slot. It supports up to 128GB microsd’s, but it doesn’t always play happy with certain brands. I found a Sandisk 128GB MicroSD card wasn’t detected, whereas a Samsung Evo 128GB one was. Using the fastest MicroSD card available to me I was about to get 30mb/s read and write rates (See the image above). Unfortunately, it’s only a Realtek USB 2.0 card reader, so speeds are limited.
Using the same old Realtek RTL8723B Wireless N and BT combo card, I had no issues connecting up my Logitech Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. However, it’s to be noted that since both the wireless and Bluetooth use 2.4Ghz you can get some slowdown when using both at the same time. I found my mouse pointer would lag when downloading files or running CPU intensive tasks when my BT keyboard was also in use.
Using my desktop PC connected to my 4G router via the LAN port. I can get around 50Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload speeds. This is maxing out my limited 4G 100Mb/s connection.
Testing the same server on Speedtest.net show the Realtek RTL8723B wireless N card in the X2 Pro shows no difference what so ever to my wired desktop. Wireless speeds are impressive with the router on the same floor as the tablet.
If I walk downstairs the furthest away from my wireless router rates slow somewhat which is normal as the signal has to be transmitted through the concert floors and walls. But speeds are still great.
Windows & Performance:
My X2 Pro came with Windows 10 Pro install, initially it look to be activated. But Windows Defender soon discovered a KMS activation tool called OEM8.exe that was used to hack the activation. This is something the seller on AliExpress where I go this tablet has done to the tablet. They maganged to upgrade Windows 10 Chinese only to Windows 10 Pro and install English for me, but they also hacked the activation. Later I also discovered a virus hao123.com creating shortcuts on my desktop to this spammy looking site and changing my browser homepages to hao123.com. This was problerly installed with the OEM8 activation hack.
The tablet also experienced high loads and heat as a result of Windows defender working overtime and the and the virus.
So in order to rectify this, I was forced to do a fresh Windows 10 install and use my own valid Windows 10 Pro license. Once complete the tablet felt much faster and didn’t heat up as much as a result. So if you are thinking of getting this model. It would pay to get your own key and do a fresh install. The drivers can be found under the X2 Pro drivers section here.
Note: You might read some retailers claiming the tablet comes as dual boot with Android. As of October at the time of this review the X2 Pro only ships with a pre-installed Chinese Android emulator called, Happy Android. Since my X2 Pro desperately needed a fresh Windows 10 install. I didn’t get much time to test this emulator, but it was all in Chinese. Emulators I find tend to be very slow and laggy, so I don’t even bother with them.
Windows performance is great thanks to the Core M 5Y10, 4GB of RAM and fast SSD. Programs and apps load up quick and multitasking, opening up many tabs in Chrome, streaming a video in Youtube, editing an image in Photoshop can all be done at the same time without any noticeable slowdown.
The Core M 5Y10 scored really well against other Core M tablets tested here. See the below images and comparison chart to get an idea. The X2 Pro got the best 3DMark11 and PCmark 7 score I’ve seen yet on a Core M tablet.
Other benchmarks: PCMark 8
The Core M 5Y10 comes with Intel HD Graphics 5300, it’s the 8th generation graphics with 24 EU cores and as a results runs games much better than the Intel Atoms commonly seen in the tablets. The GPU clock can in theroy range from 100 Mhz to 900 Mhz, but I never saw the graphics core hit 900. The maximum speeds where 798Mhz depending on the TDP. Once things heated up a little, clocks bounce around from 600-798 Mhz.
The Intel HD Graphics 5300 is no gaming monster that will you play 2015 titles with maximum settings. But you will be surprised at just how well it plays popular titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, TF2, Dota and other lighter titles that aren’t so demanding. These games scale well on low-end systems, so running in 720p with medium to low settings these games are perfectly playable. The X2 Pro handles games well, one of the best tested to date. Take a look at my examples below:
One thing to note, when gaming the system is being pushed to the limit, so it will get hot. I recorded a max CPU temp of 86 degrees and the rear metal housing reached a hot 44 degrees.
The X2 Pro has a 10,000mAH battery and this around the same size as other Core M tablets tested. The battery life test was conducted with Wifi on, 40% brightness and balanced power mode. The type of workload used was mainly Chrome browsing with various tabs open, Youtube and some uploads via FTP. Your results may vary and this is just an approximate guide of what battery life to expect. I managed 5 hours and 21 minutes (10-15 minutes of this time was stuck at the 6% mark). Which is around the same as other Core M’s tested. Not an amazing battery life but you could run Windows 10 battery saving mode and reduce the brightness further to gain up to 6 hours I believe.
Heat and throttling:
The thermal design of the X2 Pro uses a thermal pad to transfer heat from the copper CPU heat sink to the metal rear housing (similar to the Cube i7 Stylus) as a result the X2 Pro’s metal rear casing can get very hot to the touch if left face up on a tablet and benchmarking. Gaming with the tablet laying flat saw temperatures of the outer case reach a toasty 45 degrees. It’s not enough to hurt you, but would be very uncomfortable to hold as a result of this heat. So it’s advisable to game on this using a stand or upright in the keyboard dock.
Throttling will always take place on all Core M passively cooled tablets, but Teclast are very lenient with the Core Min the X2 Pro. Thermal limits imposed seem to light compared to other tablets I’ve tested. It will hold both cores when stress the CPU at max turbo speeds of 2.0 Ghz right up to 88 degrees. See the above image, on other Core M’s during the Intel CPU stress test for 5 minutes normally the clocks drop down to 1.6Ghz or lower and bounce up and down during the test. Not the X2 Pro. It held the top speed for the whole duration of the test (see the orange line).
Normally things are throttled back way before it reaches these temps and it will hold the top boost for a very long time if conditions permit. When gaming and stressing the GPU there isn’t the room for the CPU clocks to hit 2.0 Ghz so it does throttle back to allow the GPU more legroom and higher core speeds.
When powered off, the X2 Pro takes a good 3-4 hours to fully charge up from 6% battery life.
The sound output from the two rear facing speakers is a little bit better than most Chinese tablets I have tested, but ultimately quite flat. Not a patch on the front facing speakers of my Surface 3 which are placed either side of the screen. While the sound produced is okay, the tablet lacks a little volume.
The 3.5mm jack, does it have interference? Thankfully not, this is a common issue on tablets. But the X2 pro exhibits no static or interference over the 3.5 jack. maximum volume is adequate for most. But for those people that like to drive huge headsets with large drivers and play their music at eardrum-bursting levels might want a little more.
Cameras on a tablet have never been good, let’s be honest, they are normally overlooked and they are here. But at least we do have an autofocus 5Mp rear camera. It’s nothing stellar and produces some sub-par images at the best of times with a focus that’s hit or miss. But it still comes in handy of you need to take a quick snap of some text. Macro photos came out okay. but the camera often struggles with exposure and focus and as you can see from the samples only half of the samples I snapped are usable.
At least both the front and rear cameras are good enough for Skype video. Below are some samples taken from the rear 5-megapixel camera.
Overall the X2 Pro is a solid tablet with great all round performance. So for those looking for a practical Core M tablet with full sized USB 3.0 ports, a great keyboard type cover style dock, digital pen support without breaking the bank, need not look further. For me the Core M is perfect for tablets, it offers fanless slim designs and still have the power to multitasking and do things with speed where often the Intel Atom’s are lacking.
With the X2 Pro you do have to keep in mind you’ll need to factor in the additional cost of a Windows 10 license and it’s a bit heavy for a tablet at over 800 grams. Then there are the minor complaints, the sharp corners of the tablet, a non-laminated display that doesn’t have any form of scratch resistant glass. If you can overlook those then your time with the X2 Pro should be a pleasant one (Once you install your own Windows 10 image of course!)
If you’re not keen on spending close to $500 on a Chinese Core M tablet with the keyboard and stylus, be sure to check out the Cube i7 Stylus, which has a slightly better casing, smaller profile at 10.6 inches and wacom stylus support and is only around $320 USD. But it only comes with a 64GB SSD.