At the 2021 CES conference, TCL made a big splash by debuting the TCL NXTPaper
, a tablet-style device with an entirely new screen technology. It’s an impressive device that could fill a big gap in the market, especially with its new display technology.
More on what’s so revolutionary later on, but first, a little history. To understand why the NXTPaper is potentially the next evolution in tablet/e-reader display tech, it’s important to walk through the strengths and weaknesses of current tablet display tech.
Current Tablet and E-Reader Display Tech
There’s a longstanding debate in handheld display technology, one that doesn’t have a clear winner. On one side are conventional tablet displays. Whether made from LCD, OLED, or something else, tablet displays are brightly backlit, displaying vivid colors and generating smooth visual performance for videos and gaming.
Of course, conventional displays also suck batteries dry at an impressive clip, they can cause eye strain and fatigue, and using them outdoors is nearly impossible: even at max brightness, they can’t compete with the sun, and their glass surfaces are frustratingly reflective.
On the other side you have e-ink displays, like those found in Kindle devices. These aren’t backlit and rely on natural light to be visible. They don’t tend to have high refresh rates, and a quality color e-ink experience remains rare
. But e-ink devices can run for weeks or even months on a single charge, and they’re easy on the eyes. Reading on them is a pleasure in any setting from dim indoor light to full sun.
So, which is better? The answer depends completely on what you want to do with your device and where you plan to use it. Both technologies have some serious drawbacks. One is great in the sun and useless in the dark. The other is awesome in most settings, but too bright for the dark and too dim for the sun. One looks awesome but hurts your eyes. The other looks, well, a little boring, but it’s a pleasure to view.
The market is ripe for a new approach. Enter TCL NXTPaper.
TCL NXTPaper: The Screen Tech
Whenever a truly new technology arrives, it’s hard to picture it with words alone. TCL has truly delivered something new with NXTPaper. The company calls it a paper-like display, and to call it the next evolution of e-ink wouldn’t be an overstatement. NXTPaper lacks a backlight or front light, just like e-ink displays, meaning it still isn’t going to work in the dark.
However, the device takes a massive leap forward in terms of color saturation and refresh rate. So long as there’s enough natural light to see the display, you can enjoy rich, colorful video content at 60 fps. You won’t see any flickering or burn-in, either.
Because the display is like paper, there’s no glare to worry about. You’ll also be able to view the screen for hours on end with no eye strain or fatigue. And despite not having a backlight, NXTPaper includes adaptive brightness technology, which adjusts color temperature and perceived brightness based on current light levels.
In short, the device combines the best features of e-readers and backlit tablets, offering a visually dynamic experience that’s easy on the eyes (and the battery).
The new screen tech is awesome, but you still need a tablet that’s capable of doing what you need to do. NXTPaper looks like it will perform quite well. The 8.8-inch device will run for three or four weeks on a charge despite its gorgeous 1440×1080 screen. The processor is capable though not top of its class, and 4 GB of RAM is comparable to other mid range Android tablets. 64GB storage is sufficient, and connectivity options are all there: Bluetooth 5.0, FM radio, Wi-Fi and cellular. Front and rear cameras, stereo speakers, and a standard headphone jack round out the feature set.
Software and Availability
There’s a lot that’s still not known about TCL NXTPaper. The company announced that the device ships with Android 10, but no word yet on access to the Google Play store. As the display is a brand-new technology, there could be some software and app compatibility issues.
There’s also the issue of availability. TCL has not yet announced plans to bring this device to the USA, though there’s every reason to expect this to change. Launch markets include virtually everywhere else: Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Considering NXTPaper? Get an Extended Warranty
If you’re considering picking up a TCL NXTPaper later this year, you’ll want to be sure to get an extended warranty
for your shiny new device. First-gen tech can face unexpected issues, and being protected from defects and accidental damage on a portable device is the smart play.
Upsie offers industry-leading protection that doesn’t break the bank. If you’re picking up a new tablet soon, get an extended tablet warranty from Upsie today.
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