TCL NXTPAPER blends LCD and frugal e-paper for an unusual Android tablet

TCL has a new tablet for CES 2021, but while Android iPad rivals aren't exactly uncommon, the TCL NXTPAPER does something Apple's slate doesn't. It's based on TCL's NXTPAPER technology, a transflective IPS panel that promises the best of both e-ink screens and LCD panels for something that's easier on the eyes and on battery life.Announced at IFA 2020 last year, NXTPAPER isn't quite the screen tech familiar from a Kindle ereader, but it shares some ideas with it. Rather than relying on an artificial backlight, as an LCD screen would, it reflects natural light back out through the screen.

In the case of the TCL NXTPAPER tablet, it means the 8-inch Full HD screen can look like paper, but still deliver full color and support smooth video playback. It's 25-percent higher in contrast than most e-ink displays, TCL claims, but also over 65-percent more power efficient than a comparable LCD panel. As well as no flickering, there's also no blue light as there's no artificial backlighting.

It runs Android 10, and there's no limit on the apps you can use: it'll just work like a regular tablet, despite the different screen technology. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel front camera, while inside it uses a 2.0 GHz octa-core MT8768E chipset with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage.

There'll be WiFi 802.11ac together with LTE and Bluetooth 5.0, plus USB Type-C and a microSD card slot. A 3.5mm headset is included, plus twin microphones and twin speakers, and the whole thing is IP52 water and dust-resistant.

TCL says the NXTPAPER will go on sale in Europe, Middle East/Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific from April 2021. It'll be priced at 349 euro ($406). No word on when – or if – TCL will bring it to North America at this stage.


What will be coming to the US is the TCL TAB 10S. An even more affordable Android tablet, it'll have a 10.1-inch display running at 2,000 x 1,920 resolution. Inside, there's a MT8768 octa-core processor with either 3GB or 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage.

The battery is 8,000 mAh and supports 18W charging, and there'll be WiFi-only and LTE versions. Both will have WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0, plus USB Type-C 2.0. Pogo pins on the back will support accessories like a keyboard, and there'll be a TCL T-Pen stylus too for graphics.

The TCL TAB 10S will go on sale from March 2021. It'll be priced from 199 euro ($231) for the WiFi version and from 249 euro ($290) for the LTE model.