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Blackview Tab 12: You can buy 4 of these impressive Android tablets for the price of the iPad Air

I'd forgotten that Android tablets existed -- and that they could be so good.
Pros
  • Fast and responsive
  • Nice, clear, bright display
  • Good battery life
  • Amazing price
Cons
  • Display picks up fingerprints and dirt easily
  • Not sure about the durability of "Rainbow Glass"

OK, let me level with you. Android tablets had completely fallen off my radar over the past few years, so much so that I'd honestly forgotten that they existed. Such is the power of Apple's iPad marketing machine.

But they do exist.

And they can be really good.

Take the Blackview Tab 12. Blackview is a company better known for making rugged Android smartphones (such as the flagship BV9900Pro, featuring a built-in thermal camera), but it also makes other gadgets -- such as tablets.

Specifications

Display 10.1-inch IPS FHD+ touchscreen, 1920x1200 resolution featuring Rainbow Glass
Processor Octa-core UNISOC SC9863A 2.0GHz Arm Cortex-A53
Camera 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
RAM 4GB RAM + extended virtual 3GB RAM
Storage 64GB + up to 1TB microSD card support
Battery 6580mAh allowing up to 7.5 hours of web browsing, up to 5 hours of gaming and video playback, and up to 700 hours of standby
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Ports USB-C, SIM tray with support for microSD card, 3.5mm stereo jack
Operating system Doke OS-P 1.0 based on Android 11
Dimensions 243 x 162 x 8.4mm
Weight 523g
Colors Gray, Gold, Silver
Blackview Tab 12 front view

But is it any good?

Yes.

Overall, the fit and finish is great.

A solid tablet packed with performance

A solid tablet packed with performance

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

The tablet feels light and comfortable in the hand, and it's something that you can use for extended periods without feeling its weight. The screen is nice to look at, but because that screen protector doesn't have an oleophobic (oil-repellent) finish, it does pick up every bit of finger schmoo.

Performance-wise, everything is fast and responsive. This tablet has no problems handling web browsing, email, processing documents, playing YouTube and NetFlix, and all that. The 4GB of RAM might start to feel a bit constrained if you want to play high-end games or you're planning on doing video editing, but if you're buying a $150 tablet to do that, you need to rein in your expectations.

And at $150, you could buy four of these tablets for what one iPad Air costs. 

The cameras are also very capable, especially the rear camera. It pulls off decent close focus and has an HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode that does a good job of lifting up detail from the shadows without blowing out the highlights and washing out the photo.

Rear camera

Rear camera

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Example photo - outdoor colors

Example photo -- outdoor colors

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Example photo - HDR shot of the sky

Example photo -- HDR shot of the sky

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

The Tab 12 can record video in 1080p HD at 30 frames per second. This is perfectly fine for social media, but if you are looking for 4K, you need to look elsewhere. 

I wish companies would stop it with the watermark. Sure, you can disable it easy enough, but by that point, you've already taken loads of photos.

However, be aware that the example photos on Blackview's website were not taken with the tablet but are instead stock images. That's another thing I really wish companies would stop doing.

Speakers on this are good, and work well both indoors and outdoors.

Could you take off the screen protector? Maybe, but I don't know the scratch or impact performance of the "Rainbow Glass" used for the display, so I'd be wary of doing this.

Battery life is excellent, delivering what the manufacturer's claim it will, and I've not noticed any overheating in use.

It even has a 3.5mm headphone jack for those of you still using wired headphones.

Yes, there's even a headphone jack!

Yes, there's even a headphone jack!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

I've been using Blackview Tab 12 for some time now, and I have to say that I'm impressed, not just by the build quality and overall performance of this device, but that ultra-low price -- you can pick this up for $150 -- makes this a steal.

Sure, it's no iPad Air, but not everyone needs an iPad Air. And if someone were to give me this tablet and say that this would be my daily driver tablet from now on, I'd be happy with it. 

Editorial standards

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