With the NATPC M10S, I think we may have a cheap tablet that’s actually pretty good. Lets take a look at what makes the NatPC M010s a really good Tablet PC!
By Chris Messenger | Published 04/12/2012
Camera works great with Skype
Good web browsing experience
Perfect for email, video, and music player
Basic resolution, far from the best
Problems with geo specific applications
The inbuilt speaker isn't the greatest
Minor upgrade from the M009s
There’s something about rooting for the underdog, I dunno why we do it, but we always do. From David going up against Goliath to that odd, misshapen mutant Jellybaby that you always save ‘till last, underdogs are always inspirational figures of nobility and courage. How depressing would ‘Star Wars’ have been if it was the same story from the Empire’s point of view, as the Evil Emperor Palpatine tried to rid the world of goodness, one Ewok at a time? Exactly.
I always apply this attitude when reviewing ‘budget’ tech. Well aware of the faults and pitfalls, I’ll almost always gift an underdog with the benefit of the doubt and try to put a positive spin on everything I write.
With the NATPC M10S, however, I think we may have a cheap tablet that’s actually pretty good. Let’s take a look...
With only 8GB and a relatively cruddy design job, things don’t start well for the M10S. The bodywork is thick and coats the whole thing in a white plastic finish that just comes off as ‘Apple without the finesse’. The design job resembles a 4 year old’s drawing of an iPad, as opposed to the iPad itself. To make matters worse, it only has 6 hours of battery life.
Nevertheless, the M10S runs the latest Android, makes use of a decent 1.0GHz processor and connects ably with WiFi. The screen resolution is only 800 x 480, but the screen is a multi capacitive touchscreen and actually works pretty well. It is small and lightweight, however and feels reasonably sturdy in the hand.
At £64.99, this is actually a pretty good deal. Although absolutely nothing mentioned above is state of the art, the price is actually very good for what you’re getting. As a basic device for Skype calls, Facebook and checking email, this is a pretty good option and, if that’s all you want, you aren’t going to do much better than this.
Considering its less than stellar processing power, the M10S actually handles really well. ICS works wonders as a browser and you can actually have a couple of apps open at once before you start to feel lag. When the M10S does start to lag, it does so quickly and efficiently and without any threat of crashing (a short pause followed by a low click and then you’re back in play).
The screen resolution is, predictably, not so good, but its able to cope reasonably with Skype and iPlayer (though not at the same time, obviously). The speaker system makes it tough to tell the difference between Beethoven’s 9th and the Turkish entry into the last Eurovision Song Contest, so no points there, but the M10S’s ability to comfortably stream media content virtually without issue more than makes up for this flaw.
Gaming is a little slow, but I’ve seen it slower on tablets that are worth up to three times this much. Occasionally you’ll find an app that is simply too much for the M10S to take (Google Maps was one) and then the poor little guy gets all flustered and needs a reboot, but this is to be expected when price and processing is properly considered.
Overall, this is actually quite a fun ride. Easy to use, efficient and somewhat charming, the M10S is everything you can hope for in a tablet of this price and quite a bit more besides.
What Other Users Say
Response to the M10S is overwhelmingly positive. Over on Amazon, this tablet has been the recipient of 61 customer reviews in total, of these, 51 are ranked at 4/5 or higher (even then, only 5 of them are 2/5 or lower).
Freddy (5/5) said of the M10S: “it's fast, not even just for the money, but genuinely slick” while ‘Gerry’ (5/5) said it “does everything it says and more”. ‘Hushy’ (5/5) actually runs a bargain-sharing group and actively recommended this tablet in a helpful review that detailed the group’s FAQ’s about the product, along with his/her answers (definitely worth checking out if you’re planning on buying one).
The M10S is a splendid little underdog tablet with capacity and performance far beyond expectations. On paper, this really isn’t anything special, but a careful design and an attention to detail really make it more than the sum of its parts. A pleasant surprise.