Review Of The TCL Nxtpaper 10s
Whether you’re interested in a budget-friendly Amazon Fire device, a modestly endowed Android tablet, or an entry-level iPad, there are plenty of affordable, capable tablets on the market right now. The TCL Nxtpaper 10s, however, adopts a different strategy.
Instead of releasing another tablet that could do everything ok, TCL produced a tablet that is optimized for reading and writing. It has a covered screen that makes taking notes and drawing with a stylus feel more like writing on actual paper.
There is something to it, although the advantages I tested were not great. The disadvantages, however, were considerably more severe because most other daily tablet needs do not mesh well with the dull, jumbled-looking display.
Review of the TCL Nxtpaper 10s: Price and Features
North American customers cannot presently purchase the TCL Nxtpaper 10s. TCL offered a testing sample, which is available on Amazon France for €249 (or around $258 USD).
A model with a detachable keyboard is also available for $499 AUD (approximately $317 USD) in Australia. The gadget contains a 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, 10.1″ touch screen, and MediaTek MT8768 chipset.
Our testing item had a pressure-sensitive active stylus that is battery-operated, although the TCL website also lists a version that comes with a standard stylus. The TCL Nxtpaper 10s is available in Dark Gray in addition to our light green Ethereal Sky model.
Review of the TCL Nxtpaper 10s: Design
The TCL Nxtpaper 10s looks and feels like a fairly typical mid-range Android tablet despite having a distinctive emphasis. It has a backing and frame made of plastic, and it is slender and quite light. A tiny speckle pattern may be seen when looking closely at the Ethereal Sky frame and backing finish, which is a very light green color that almost resembles coral.
Its total size and weight are relatively identical to those of the Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) base model at 9.5 x 6.27 x 0.33 inches and 17.3 oz, respectively. The front bezels are fairly thin, and the screen-to-body ratio of 77% is slightly higher than that of the iPad.
There is one significant design flaw, though: while the phone is flat, the back camera module adds a tiny wobble that you might notice when writing or drawing on the screen.
The power button is bizarrely on the same side (left) as the USB-C charging port, along with speaker grates, but additional speaker grates are on the right side when held in landscape orientation with the selfie camera on top. A microSD slot and the volume rocker are located on the top, while a magnetic attachment point for a keyboard case is located on the bottom.
Although it utilizes a AAAA battery and is not powered by the tablet, the active stylus can also be magnetically attached to the bottom (as the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil does with the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini).
Contrary to what the TCL Nxtpaper 10s’ official specs page claims, oddly, it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, therefore you’ll need Bluetooth or USB-C headphones.
Review of the TCL Nxtpaper 10s: Display
Using the stylus, writing on the covered screen resembles writing on paper more.
The details are hazy, and the screen is very dull and dark.
The Nxtpaper 10s’ 10.1-inch LCD display is both TCL’s best selling point and, perhaps more importantly, its biggest drawback when used as an all-purpose tablet. The screen otherwise falls short in very obvious ways, but it does offer a little more pleasant writing and drawing experience than, say, an iPad with an Apple Pencil.
Comparing this Nxtpaper display to most tablet and smartphone screens, you can see and feel the difference: it has a matte surface and slightly more texture than typical. TCL highlights a “multi-layer” coating on top of the screen that is intended to produce a tactile sensation more similar to really putting pen to paper while also lessening blue light and glare.
On the plus side, writing and drawing on the screen with the active stylus feels more like doing so with a marker or pencil on actual paper than it does when touching the screen, despite what the marketing materials imply.
To distinguish the experience from using a stylus on a conventional, glossy screen, just the right amount of slight drag is introduced. When writing with an Apple Pencil on an iPad Air (2020) and then using the supplied pen with a TCL Nxtpaper 10s, there was a noticeable difference. At some pen angles, it even sounds more like marking up paper.
The advantages of reading are less visible and tangible. Longer reading sessions may be less taxing on your eyes and more similar to reading on actual paper thanks to the blue light filters and somewhat textured screen. To further reduce the possibility of eye strain, a dedicated reading mode switches to a monochrome design.
The coated 16:10 screen also boasts wide viewing angles, reduces glare, and is less likely to collect fingerprints and smudges. It’s all positive!
On the other hand, even though it may seem apparent, adding a gently textured, multi-layer finish to a screen has some significant drawbacks for doing just much anything else you’d want to do on a tablet. This screen is really hazy, but you can’t tell that from the pictures, which benefit from the reduced glare.
The 10.1-inch screen is uncomfortably dark. This screen’s brightness was only 171 nits, which is less than one-third of the snappy display provided by the Apple iPad 10.2 (2021), which delivered an average of 473 nits throughout the panel. It can be challenging to see your information clearly in a well-lit environment, whether you’re playing games, watching videos, or browsing the web.
Review of the TCL Nxtpaper 10s: Performance
A $300+ tablet has a processor with a low price tag. The 10.2 iPad destroys it.
The performance of the games is uneven, but not particularly spectacular.
It shouldn’t come as a major surprise that the TCL Nxtpaper 10s has limited processing and graphics capabilities given its emphasis on writing and reading.
It has enough velocity to get you through the interface and over the web without too many noticeable delays or hiccups—it isn’t bottom-of-the-barrel like the Fire 7. It’s not a speed demon, though, as games frequently lag or use very low graphics settings to keep a constant pace. Again, the entry-level iPad is a huge improvement in this regard.
You can get an idea of the capabilities here by comparing the MediaTek MT8768E processor, an octa-core CPU that was released in 2020 as an entry-level tablet chip. The TCL Nxtpaper 10s can manage basic web browsing and navigating the Android 11 UI thanks to its 4GB RAM and 650MHz PowerVR GPU, but open up a few Chrome tabs and it will start to have performance issues.
Review of the TCL Nxtpaper 10s: Verdict
The shortcomings of this tablet cannot be compensated for by a writing-friendly screen.
The reMarkable 2 is a worthy investment for those looking for a serious writing tablet.
Although it is commendable that TCL tried something new in the tablet market, the end result isn’t a very appealing gadget. The enhanced stylus writing experience pales in comparison to the significant disadvantages, such as the murky, dark picture that adversely affects the entire tablet experience.
In addition, the TCL Nxtpaper 10s is outfitted otherwise like an inexpensive tablet yet costs more than $300. (converted from AUD). Even with the stylus, the price isn’t quite right, especially when a Samsung tablet like the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite can now be purchased for $300 or less and outperforms TCL’s product on every count.
Most individuals will have no trouble writing on an iPad or a Samsung tablet, plus you get a far superior all-around gadget for using apps, playing games, browsing the web, and more. And the reMarkable 2 is the ideal tablet for people looking for the best writing experience. TCL’s attempt to find a satisfactory medium ground between those two extremes falls short.