RCA Viking Pro 10.1 inch 2-in-1 Quad Core Tablet Review

A Rival to End the Dominance of the Kindle Fire Tablets?

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Posted: January 16th, 2016

The RCA Viking Pro is a 10.1" hybrid 2-in-1 tablet (i.e. it comes with a detachable keyboard) that can be bought for a little over a hundred dollars ($124 on date of publication). It would seem to be pitched as a slightly more expensive Kindle Fire competitor, with better specs and running pure Android. How does it measure up?

Specs

It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. You get 24GB of free storage out of the box, but can delete some of the pre-installed apps if you want to free up space.

Its quad-core MT8127 processor runs at 1.3 GHz, backed by 1GB of RAM. Performance is fine - most apps run smoothly, but it's not a device for multitasking. For best results you'll need to close apps you aren't using. Still, it's quite fast for the price.

Design

The tablet and keyboard are made from rigid plastic - cheap, but not the kind of plastic that attracts smudgy fingerprints. (It's seriously unbelievable to me that some manufacturers still make glossy tablets and phones that get so full of fingerprints they end up looking like an ink-pad in a police station.) 

Both tablet and keyboard have a thickness of 9.6mm. That makes it very portable, but it's heavy enough that holding it in one hand for some time starts to be a drag. You'll end up switching hands a lot, or changing to portrait mode where it can rest more on your palm and ease the strain.  

A reset button can be found on the back, along with a micro-SD slot that allows expansion of up to 128GB. Volume control and headphone jack are placed a little awkwardly. There's a micro-USB port and a handy micro-HDMI slot. 

The 2-in-1 features work well - the keyboard is attached by magnets, and it's possible to detach it and use the tablet in various form factors - display mode or tent mode are good for watching movies, while tablet mode turns the device into a somewhat bulky slate

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Screen

At 10.1 inches, you get a lot of real estate for your money. The resolution is a slightly disappointing 1280 x 800 - a mere 149 pixels per inch. It's far from the glorious high-end Samsung models, but guess what? You don't get a premium screen on a device this large and this cheap. It's more than capable of running videos in HD, and for most purposes the screen looks fine. 

Keyboard

The keyboard is surprisingly good - it's compact but yet has SEVENTEEN shortcut keys. Some quality sacrifices were made to get it into the right price bracket, but you'll definitely use it instead of the on-screen keyboard. The trackpad is good and has some limited but useful multi-touch gesture abilities. You just have to be careful not to touch the trackpad while typing on the keyboard - pressing it by accident is a nuisance. Adding a wireless mouse is an option, but by default a right-click acts as 'back' - which drives me crazy because I'll never get used to anything other than the traditional Windows interpretation of a right-click. Never!

 

Cameras

Both front and back cameras come at the bottom of the scale. I'd rate the front camera 1 out of 10 and the 2MP rear camera 2 out of 10. You might use it in an emergency - for example if your cat is doing something hilarious RIGHT NOW and you have no time to get grab your smartphone or DLSR camera. But otherwise, you should tape them up and pretend they aren't there.

The Speaker

We don't normally give speakers their own section - audiophiles typically know which products have the best sound, and we only mention them if they are seriously good or seriously bad. Guess which you get on a ten-inch tablet that costs a hundred bucks? Clue - not the good ones. The tablet has bluetooth, so you'll want to set it up with a wireless speaker.

The Battery

Battery life isn't too bad - after about 5 hours you'll get a notice saying there's 20% battery left, with the option of turning the brightness etc down to squeeze more life out of it. It takes about 3 hours to charge back to full capacity. It consumes almost no battery in standby mode, which is great. 

Conclusion

A quick glance through the customer reviews on Amazon suggest that most buyers are happy with this tablet - most complaints were about delivery etc, not about the device itself. It's currently only available in the USA.

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Technical Specifications

RCA Viking Pro 10.1
 Tablet  RCA Viking Pro 10.1"
 Rating  Ratings
 OS  Android 5.0
 CPU  Quad Core - 1.3 GHz
 Storage  32 GB
 RAM  1 GB
 Display  IPS LCD - 10.1 inch
 Resolution  1280 x 800 px - 149 ppi
 Camera  Front 1.0 / Back 2.0 MP
 Weight  1.04 kg / 2.29 lbs
 Battery life  6.0 hours
 Released  2015-10

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Battery life comparison

Battery life of selected tablet

 Tablet   (h)   Battery life 
RCA Viking Pro 10.1"6.0RCA Viking Pro 10.1

Compared to 5 tablets with largest battery life

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 1018.0Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 tablet autonomy comparison
Sony Xperia Z415.0Sony Xperia Z4 tablet autonomy comparison
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.115.0Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 tablet autonomy comparison
Microsoft Surface 214.0Microsoft Surface 2 tablet autonomy comparison
Apple iPad Air13.5Apple iPad Air tablet autonomy comparison

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Weight comparison

Weight of selected tablet

 Tablet   kg   lbs   Weight 
RCA Viking Pro 10.1"1.042.29RCA Viking Pro 10.1

Compared to 5 lightest tablets - 10 inch and more

Chuwi Hi120.310.68Chuwi Hi12 weight comparison
Sony Xperia Z40.390.86Sony Xperia Z4 weight comparison
Amazon Fire HD 100.430.95Amazon Fire HD 10 weight comparison
Sony Xperia Z20.440.96Sony Xperia Z2 weight comparison
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.50.461.02Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 weight comparison

RCA Viking Pro 10.1