I love small tablets. I also love Windows 10. So I went out looking for the best mini Windows 10 tablet you can buy right now. I was originally looking for a premium, high-end device with pen support, gorgeous build quality and a high-resolution display. Unfortunately, it turns out hardware makers aren't making devices like that right now. So I settled for the next best thing.
This is the NuVision eight-inch Windows 10 tablet. It's a low-to-mid range Windows 10 tablet with great build quality and a high-resolution screen. It cuts corners in some areas, however, and over the last couple of weeks I've been using it as my new daily tablet. This is my full review.
NuVision technical specifications
|Display resolution||1200 x 1920 Full HD|
|Software||Windows 10 Home 32-bit|
|Processor||Intel Atom Z3735F 1.33 GHz|
|Storage||32GB (expandable via microSD)|
|Front camera||2.0MP camera|
|Rear camera||5.0MP camera|
|Ports||Micro USB, Mini HDMI, microSD, 3.5mm headphone jack|
Being a low-cost mini Windows tablet, I had low expectations when it came to design. Almost every eight-inch Windows 10 tablet on the market is rocking some kind of low-end, plastic design that feels cheap. The NuVision surprisingly breaks out of this habit, being incredibly wallet-friendly while still rocking a semi-premium design and chassis. It's definitely not Surface Pro-level, but for the price, you're getting more than you bargained for.
The chassis of the device is made out of the same material, wrapping around for a smooth feel when holding it in your hand. It's made of metal, which is cold to the touch. This alone makes the device feel way more premium than it is. The front of the device is covered in what feels like glass, but NuVision doesn't specify whether this glass is Corning Gorilla-protected.
The device is incredibly thin too at just 7.62 mm, which further adds to the premium-ness of its design. Overall, I'm incredibly pleased with the build quality and design of the NuVision. If I had any criticisms, it'd be that the back of the device is covered in way too many logos. It has NuVision, Windows, and Intel logos on the back, along with a black bar at the bottom that holds details such as model number, FCC markings and more.
One of the reasons I was most interested in the NuVision was because of its display. Like build quality, most mini Windows 10 tablets are rocking super cheap specifications, which unfortunately usually means low-resolution screens. Most tablets are rocking 1280 x 800 resolutions, which is terrible for 2017. The NuVision, on the other hand, is rocking a Full HD display, which looks crisp and clear, and is exactly what I'd expect from a mini Windows 10 tablet.
Being Full HD at eight inches, Windows 10 scales pretty well at 150 percent scaling. Apps and games look great, and Windows 10 itself scales well at this size and resolution. The display gets bright enough, but I wouldn't recommend using it outside in the sunshine.
The front of the device also has a dedicated Windows key, which isn't often seen on devices anymore. The Windows key is capacitive, and when pressed takes you directly to the Start screen. You can even use it to wake the display when the device is in sleep mode, which is handy when the tablet is lying flat on a table. Unfortunately, there's no haptic feedback motor on this tablet, so tapping the capacitive button gives no feedback, making it odd to use.
Sadly, there's no pen support. One of the main reasons I wanted an eight-inch Windows 10 tablet was so I could jot down notes with an Active Pen. Unfortunately, NuVision decided to omit such functionality from its smaller tablets, likely to keep costs down.
The port selection is pretty good for a tablet of this size. You have a Micro USB port for charging and USB OTG, a Mini HDMI port for extending to an external monitor or TV, a microSD expansion slot that supports cards up to 64GB, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. On a tablet like this, I'm not expecting to want to plug in any USB sticks or peripherals, so the lack of a full-size USB port isn't something I care about.
This model, in particular, has a Micro USB port, and in the box, NuVision packs a Micro-USB to full-size USB adapter for those of you who do plan on using a full-size USB stick or peripheral with this device. The newer model of this NuVision tablet has a USB-C port instead of Micro USB, which is a little more futureproof.
The Mini HDMI port is also a nice addition, especially if you're planning to use this device for media consumption. You can load up the tablet with a bunch of movies and TV shows, take it with you on a journey, and hook it up to a bigger display to watch said movies in a hotel room, for example. Being able to expand storage with the microSD card slot is also a big bonus, especially for media junkies.
Unfortunately, that card slot only allows for cards up to 64GB in size.
Here's where things start getting a little rough. All small Windows 10 tablets have one fatal flaw: low-power CPUs. Intel doesn't offer any good, relatively powerful processors for fanless devices as small as eight inches, so hardware makers are constrained to Intel Atom processors, which aren't all that great when it comes to performance.
This tablet is designed for light usage, which includes casual web browsing with maybe a few apps at one time, and switching between Windows Store apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Mail, and Groove. You are not expected to be using this tablet to run heavy applications like Photoshop. If you're planning to use the NuVision for web browsing, email, and movie watching, then you'll get by fine.
I can typically use the tablet with several Windows 10 apps open at one time, switching between them quickly with Task View. Of course, you don't want to be multitasking with too many things open at once. If you're listening to music, browsing the web with a few tabs, and doing email, the NUVision should get you by just fine.
It's important to stress that these Windows 10 tablets aren't designed for any real work. You can, of course, get away with running Office Mobile apps, or even the full version of Office. But why would you want to do that on an eight-inch tablet?
Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi on the NuVision is utter rubbish. I don't know what it is, but the Wi-Fi on this tablet is incredibly slow all the time. I have fast internet, and all my other devices on the Wi-Fi can access it just fine. The NuVision, however, takes longer than normal to load web pages, check for updates and more. It's using a Realtek RTL8723BS Wi-Fi chip, which could be the culprit.
Also not great are the speakers. I'd suggest using a pair of headphones with this tablet. The built in speakers are quiet and don't sound clear at all. They're possibly the worst set of speakers I've ever heard in a tablet.
Battery life with the NuVision is a mixed bag. I can squeeze about five to six hours out of it on a single charge. This includes using the tablet for video, web browsing, music and apps like Twitter and Instagram. I'm not sure what causes it, but sometimes I'm able to get seven to eight hours on a single charge. This involves using the device on and off throughout the day, putting it to sleep and waking it up again to check email. Overall, battery life is OK if you're only planning to use the tablet around the house, where you'll always be near an outlet for charging.
Speaking of charging, it takes an hour or two to charge from 0 percent to 100 percent. There's no fast charging here, which is a shame.
NuVision eight-inch tablet: Final thoughts
I originally wanted a small, premium Windows 10 tablet with pen support. Unfortunately, nobody makes those. So I had to make a sacrifice, and that sacrifice was a lack of pen support. I still wanted a premium-feeling device with a high-resolution display, and the NuVision delivers on those two things.
Since I can't take notes on the device, the NuVision has become my go-to "at home" media consumption device when laying in bed or lying on the couch. It's a lot more comfortable to use an eight-inch device in this scenario because it's light and easy to maneuver.
Do I recommend the NuVision? For its $80 price tag, absolutely. It's a great feeling tablet with a superb display that's awesome for light and casual use, much like a tablet should be. Speakers and Wi-Fi are a bit iffy, and battery life could be better. But apart from that, the NuVision is a solid eight-inch tablet.
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