Tablets have been few and far between at CES 2021, but the event has gifted us with one of the most interesting slates we've seen in recent years. That tablet comes courtesy of TCL, a company best known in the US for its TVs and smartphones.
Called the NXTPAPER, this unique Android tablet has a full-color 8.9-inch, 1440 x 1080-pixel display that doesn't use backlighting. Instead, it is most similar to an E-ink display except that is "reuses natural light" so there is no flickering or harmful blue light. That means you can watch full-color videos or scroll through vivid webpages without straining your eyes.
Better yet, TCL claims the NXTPAPER is 65% more power-efficient than a traditional tablet screen, meaning this slate should last significantly longer on a charge. You might think using this technology leads to compromises. While I'm sure that's true, TCL claims the panel is 36% thinner than most LCDs and offers higher contrast.
As Engadget reports, TCL says the NXTPAPER display is similar to an LCD panel with the brightness turned to low. You can still see the panel in bright environments because light gets reflected into your eyes. Dark conditions are trickier but you shouldn't have issues so long as a lamp or reading light is turned on nearby.
Of course, we'll be the judge of the display if and when we get one in for review. Unfortunately, the NXTPAPER doesn't have a US release date. Rather, is slated to arrive in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific for €349 in April.
Looking past the display, the TCL, which runs Android 10, weighs 0.7 pounds, making it considerably lighter than the competition. Don't expect the fastest performance from the TCL considering it uses a Mediatek MT8768e chip with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (expandable to 256GB via a microSD card). You get LTE connectivity and a headphone jack as well.
We don't have any battery life estimates but TCL promises the tablet will last for a full day thanks to its 5,500mAh battery and that super-efficiency display.