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TCL NXTPAPER 10s review: Master of none

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TCL NXTPAPER 10s - Review
TCL NXTPAPER 10s
2.8 out of 5 stars
2.75
Display
10.1-inch FHD IPS + Matte Paper-like Coating
Display
MediaTek Helio P23
Memory
64GB storage, 4GB RAM
Camera
8MP rear Camera, 5MP front camera
Brodie Fogg
Mar 29, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read
Quick verdict: TCL NXTPAPER 10s review
The TCL NXTPAPER 10s is an admirable effort that tries to be too many things at once. It wants to replace your ereader, it wants to replace your tablet and the inclusion of a physical keyboard suggests it wants to be your portable productivity machine too. The problem is, it doesn’t do any of these jobs particularly well, even considering the somewhat affordable price tag.
pro
Pros
pro Decent price
pro Matte display is nice to draw on
pro Easy to switch from ereader to tablet or PC mode
pro Detachable keyboard on certain models
con
Cons
con Matte screen dulls regular tablet usage
con Too slow as a tablet, too big as an ereader
con Battery life is typical for a tablet of this price but ereaders last much longer
TCL NXTPAPER 10s review - PC mode

TCL NXTPAPER 10s price

How much does the NXTPAPER 10s cost in Australia?

The RRP for the TCL NXTPAPER 10s is $499 in Australia. At the time of writing, you can grab the tablet (and stylus) for $416 or the tablet and keyboard combo for $487 at Amazon Australia.

TCL NXTPAPER 10s design and display

A paper-like display that sacrifices image quality.
TCL NXTPAPER 10s photograph

The key selling point of the TCL NXTPAPER 10s is its paper-like (TCL’s words) display that imitates the look and feel of an ereader, in a more complete tablet experience. It’s an interesting idea– combining two devices into one– but the result is a product that suffers for its efforts to be too much.

The NXTPAPER 10s is a nice-looking mid-range tablet. It's slim, reasonably lightweight and comes in a matte white or fun Teal finish. But its design betrays its loftier ambitions. For one, the camera bump on the rear gives it a noticeable wobble when laid flat, which makes using the included stylus a little frustrating when sitting at a workstation.

TCL NXTPAPER 10s ereader

Ereaders for the most part remain scant on features for two reasons: maintaining long-lasting battery life and keeping the device as light as possible. The TCL NXTPAPER 10s admirably tries to pack in all the features of a modern tablet but all that tech ends up weighing a bit too much. The size and weight of the NXTPAPER 10s might be typical for a tablet at this price range, but as an ereader, it’s just too hefty and precious; a one-handed reading session always feels like a dance with the display’s integrity.

Then there’s the “paper-like” display (essentially a grainy matte finish). It plays the part well and feels nice to draw on with the stylus but the graininess ultimately dulls the 10.1-inch IPS display. The matte coating also doubles as an anti-glare, anti-blue light solution and while it claims it achieves this without sacrificing colour reproduction, there is unquestionably a degree of fidelity that’s lost.

Consider the tablet competition for a second. For around the same price, you can pick up a 2021 iPad or a Galaxy Tab S8. The 9th Gen iPad will get you a gorgeous 10.2-inch LCD Retina Display and an A13 Bionic Chip, whereas Samsung will give you 4G connectivity and a bigger (better) 10.5-inch display for about $50 more.

And if you like the feel of the paper-like display, you can easily find a screen protector on Amazon that will deliver the same experience without impacting the screen’s image quality.

TCL NXTPAPER 10s performance and battery life

Average performance for the price.
TCL NXTPAPER 10s photograph

At $499, you can’t expect the world from the NXTPAPER 10s MediaTek Helio P23 processor. Still, it’s impossible to avoid comparisons to the aforementioned 9th Gen iPad, which gets you a formidable A13 Bionic Chip for around the same price. There’s a bit of hang when switching between apps and games such as Marvel Snap struggle to maintain a steady frame rate. In all fairness, Marvel Snap is surprisingly resource intensive for a digital card game, but if the NXTPAPER 10s struggles to run it, you can imagine more demanding multiplayer shooters will suffer too.

Good battery life... for a tablet

The NXTPAPER 10s’ 8,000mAh battery is no slouch for a tablet of this price and calibre and in our experience, it easily delivers on its promise of 10-hour battery life. This is about the same as you’d get out of the 9th gen iPad and even a little more promising than the Galaxy Tab A8, which only manages around eight to nine hours of battery.

Once again, though, we’re compelled to point out that 10 hours of battery life is peanuts in the world of ereaders. Some of the best ereaders can last as long as 10 weeks on a single charge. That’s a huge selling point for ereaders in general.

Is the TCL NXTPAPER 10s worth the money?

There's little doubt your money would be better spent buying a separate tablet and ereader.
TCL NXTPAPER 10s keyboard case

This is a tough one. Buying a decent tablet and a decent ereader will rack up a receipt higher than the NXTPAPER 10s does alone. On that merit, TCL succeeds. But spending a little bit more for two separate devices will get you a better tablet and a much better ereader.

One of the very best tablets money can buy is undoubtedly the Apple iPad Mini. Yes, it’s got a smaller display, but it’s a pocket rocket when it comes to performance. It’s got a powerful A15 chip, Apple Pencil 2 support, and is closer to an ereader in form than the NXTPAPER 10s. And if you want an ereader that lasts, you can pick up a Kobo Nia for $159 at the RRP.

All of this is to say, putting all your eggs into the NXTPAPER 10s basket might seem good for your hip pocket, but before too long you’re going to be left wanting for a better tablet experience and a longer-lasting ereader experience.

How does the TCL NXTPAPER 10s compare?

Looking for something more? Take a look at our top-rated tablets in the table below.
Product
Our score
Price
RAM
Storage
More info
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 UltraSamsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1599
12GBStarts at 128GB
iPad Pro (2022)Apple iPad Pro
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
From
$1649.99
8GBStarts at 128GB
ASUS ROG Flow Z13ASUS ROG Flow Z13
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$3299
16GB1TB
Microsoft Surface Pro 9Microsoft Surface Pro 9
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
$1799
8GBStarts at 128GB SSD
Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi (256 GB)Apple iPad Mini
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$800
4GBStarts at 64GB

TCL NXTPAPER FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about TCL's NXTPAPER tablets.

NXTPAPER is TCL's line of tablets that toe the line between a tablet and an ereader. Functionally, they claim to fulfill all the needs of a modern day tablet but their displays are built to look and feel like an ereader. That's typically achieved with a multi-layer film laminate that aims to reduce eye strain while providing a paper-like feel akin to a Kindle or Kobo ereader. 

The TCL NXTPAPER 10s retails for $499 here in Australia. You can usually find it for cheaper on Amazon, Target or mobileciti. Just be sure the model you're purchasing comes with the accessories you're looking for. Here in Australia, you should be getting a bonus keyboard case and stylus with your purchase. 

TCL is a brand that has developed a name for quality electronic goods at a more affordable price, particularly here in Australia. Samsung, on the other hand, has made a name for mid-range to premium smartphones and tablets, and some of the best televisions on the market. TCL is a worth option if you're looking for the latest tech at a cheaper price, but Samsung has proven itself to be the more reliable and cutting-edge brand, albeit at a higher asking price.
Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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