Full-color ereaders are still a bit costly, and tablets like the iPad aren’t ideal for long reading sessions. TCL now hopes to bridge the gap with the NXTPAPER 11, a proper Android tablet with a colorful “eye-care” screen. It’s far from the most powerful tablet on the market, and it lacks some of the key benefits of an E Ink display, but it fits a niche that may appeal to some bookworms.
The NXTPAPER 11 costs $230, which is more expensive than a Kindle, but cheaper than the BOOX Tab Mini C and other full-color E Ink devices. It also has a large 11-inch IPS display with a 2K (2000 x 1200) resolution, which should be great for magazines, graphic novels, and other full-color material. The main selling point is the “paper-like” screen, which has a glare-free matte finish and gives onscreen items a softer appearance. This, along with the screen’s color and light output settings, should result in less eyestrain when compared to a typical LCD display.
An IPS screen that’s tailored for eye comfort is still an IPS screen. TCL’s NXTPAPER 11 won’t offer the weeks-long battery life of a Kindle, and it won’t be perfectly legible in direct sunlight. But at half the price of a full-color E Ink tablet, some tradeoffs are to be expected. Not to mention, the NXTPAPER 11 is a full Android 13 tablet with Bluetooth and a selfie camera, so it isn’t limited to reading books.
TCL also encourages customers to pair their NXTPAPER 11 tablet with a TCL T-Pen stylus for note taking. And this is where the NXTPAPER 11 might have a real leg up. Plenty of new ereaders, including the Kindle Scribe and Kobo Sage, now include stylus functionality. But the NXTPAPER 11’s IPS screen is much more responsive than the E Ink screens used in ereaders. It should offer a better note-taking experience, if that’s something you care about.
My only serious concern is the NXTPAPER 11’s pithy MediaTek Helio P60T chipset. The Helio P60T was pretty decent when it launched in 2018, but it’s seriously outdated. While this chipset is fine for ebooks or other lightweight material, it’s basically a non-starter for mobile games. It may also have trouble with some streaming apps.
You can buy the NXTPAPER 11 for $230 at the TCL website. This tablet is also available on Amazon, but it’s cheaper to buy direct from TCL. Note that the NXTPAPER 11 launched outside the U.S. earlier this year, so there are plenty of reviews and testimonials to look through.