Gizmo watch: TCL takes on the tab – and wins

A quality screen, several modes to make work and play easier, decent sound, a great battery life, and all at an affordable price - there’s a lot to like about TCL’s Tab 11

By Anirban Bagchi

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

The TCL Tab 11 comes with a myriad of features that make this tablet ready to tackle your everyday needs, from work to play.
The TCL Tab 11 comes with a myriad of features that make this tablet ready to tackle your everyday needs, from work to play.

Published: Wed 4 Oct 2023, 6:53 PM

The tablet is perhaps the second most ubiquitous gadget out there in this day and age, right after the smart phone. While the size of the tablet does not lend itself to be carried around in pockets, I’d wager that almost as many people own tablets at home as do mobile phones. And with the millennials and Gen-Zs quite used to small screens — and indeed preferring them over larger ones, as quite a few surveys have found — I don’t think I’d end up on the losing side either if I bet that there are more tablets around than TVs.

So while the point is moot that tablets are common and popular, when you think tablet you probably think the Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy. Maybe even a Huawei or Lenovo. But you certainly do not think TCL. And that’s a pity. Because in the age of digital transformation, when having a versatile and reliable tablet is essential, the TCL Tab 11 is definitely a gadget that offers a lot more than just reliability — it’s a sleek and affordable option that promises to be your all-in-one entertainment companion.

The TCL Tab 11 comes with a myriad of features that make this tablet ready to tackle your everyday needs, from work to play. The first and the most visibly obvious of these is the display, which is just right for an immersive multimedia experience and is among the device’s standout features.

A tablet is nothing if not portable and the 11-inch screen is a size that is just right for a variety of purposes without being too cumbersome to lug around. The more fancy, larger-screened models from the hippier brands — such as Apple’s 13-incher or Samsung’s whopping 14.6-incher — may wow with their larger display sizes but fall flat when you try to fit them into the average satchel. An 11-incher strikes the most pleasing balance between still being large enough to enjoy great action — whether watching movies or playing games — and being of the right size and weight to be taken around everywhere you’d want to take a tablet around to. Complementing the TCL Tab 11’s dimensions are the ultra-light 462-gram weight and the ultra-thin 6.9mm thickness.

But the obvious advantage of the portability of the screen-size aside, it’s the screen’s performance that has a wow factor. TCL says the Tab 11’s screen is a ‘NXTVISION, 2K-ready display’ that offers a 2,000 x 1,200 resolution and a 5:3 aspect ratio for more comfortable viewing whether for work, study or play. While this is no cutting-edge AMOLED, you not only do not feel the difference, but actually come away impressed by the picture quality.

According to TCL, the NXTVISION visual enhancement enables you to “view pictures in more detail and sharper clarity” and “feel more thrill while streaming and watching movies”, while “gaming will keep you on the edge with a bursting colour feast”.

What this marketing spiel translates into is sharp and vibrant visuals, which actually make watching movies, playing games or browsing the web a visual delight. The colours are vibrant yet well-balanced, ensuring that your content looks great, whether you’re watching a thrilling action film or editing photos. And the contrast is just right, even in varying light conditions.

This is helped by what TCL calls its ‘Eye care modes’, which it describes as an intuitive screen that raises or lowers the brightness as needed to give the clearest picture possible and avoid eye strain, no matter whether it is bright sunlight outside or bedtime. All these lead to a very enjoyable viewing experience, which is also helped by the tablet’s slim bezels that make the screen look larger than its 11-inches and give the Tab 11 the appearance of an overall sleek and well-designed package.

The TCL Tab 11's colours are vibrant yet well-balanced, ensuring that your content looks great, whether you’re watching a thrilling action film or editing photos.
The TCL Tab 11's colours are vibrant yet well-balanced, ensuring that your content looks great, whether you’re watching a thrilling action film or editing photos.

Under its skin the TCL Tab 11 is powered by a Mediatek Helio P60T Octa-core processor, which is not the latest and greatest among processors by any means. In fact, if you’re the geeky sort, you might even complain that it is on the geriatric side by now, but in the Tab 11 it does the job without fuss, combining with its 4GB RAM to run Android 13.

The combination runs most everyday tasks with ease. We found multitasking on it quite a seamless experience; whether streaming HD videos or playing games, this tablet didn’t leave us wanting in the snappiness and responsive department.

TCL has also made subtle tweaks to the operating system to offer some very user-friendly features. There are several modes and interfaces that enhance the user experience: for example, a mirror casting mode enables you to project the full screen of your tablet into another device making it easier to revise presentations, take video calls and watch TV shows played from your tablet hassle free. Meanwhile a PC mode makes the screen of your tablet mimic the screen of a PC, giving you an interface that you are used to in your everyday work on your tablet. Then there are floating windows and split screens that make it easy to multitask when you can keep several windows open on screen together and even work on more than one window simultaneously.

The best, though, is the Screen Extension Mode, which allows you to increase productivity by using the tablet as a second display linked to your computer set-up, allowing you to share photo galleries, recorded videos and files.

Speaking of photos and videos leads me to the camera and the speaker system on the Tab 11. While the former is nothing to write home about, the latter definitely punches above its weight.

The TCL Tab 11 isn’t primarily marketed as a camera-centric device, still the quality of its cameras leaves something to be desired. Both front and rear camera set-ups are 8MP units serviceable for video calls and basic photography, but they struggle in low-light conditions. If you’re looking for a tablet to capture high-quality photos or videos, you might want to consider other options.

The sound quality, however, is much better than most tablets we have encountered. The quad-speaker system that TCL has equipped the Tab 11 with shines with its clear audio and as punchy a bass as you can get from a tablet — a device that was never built for audio entertainment. Best of all is the way the speakers handle calls, lowering noisy background noises to enhance voice clarity.

Coupled with the vibrant screen and the capable sound, the Tab 11 is a good device to view movies on on-the-go. And in this endeavour you’ll also be helped by its battery, an 8,000 mAh unit that gives you up to a claimed 13 hours of playback on a single charge, so you don’t have to worry about your battery dying in the middle of a Netflix binge.

Even with heavy usage, we got through a full day without needing to recharge. This makes it an ideal travel companion, especially when you’re on long flights or road trips. The tablet also supports 18W fast charging, ensuring that you can quickly top up the battery when needed. And an added bonus is that you can also use it as a power bank to top up other devices with the Reverse Charging feature. Just connect it to your device that is running out of power — your mobile phone, for instance — and transfer some juice to keep it going.

While the long-life battery is a definite plus for continuous entertainment, you’ll be hard pressed to store much media in the device given its 128GB of internal storage. While you can expand it with a micro-SD slot, other comparable tabs ship with more storage, so your only option with the Tab 11 if you want to carry around a lot of media is to spend on extra storage.

While there are a few definite negatives in the Tab 11, in the final analysis what makes it a killer is the price: Dh602. Given the plethora of features this TCL comes with, it’s a real steal at the price it is available for. And it’s for this reason that it earns four stars in our ratings and we recommend it highly.

TCL Tab 11


- Screen and picture quality

- Audio quality

- Helpful operation modes


- Small internal storage

- Camera




4 stars

More news from World