TCL NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s new Ultra Retina XDR, which it debuted its new 2024 iPad Pros is not the only innovative tablet display technology doing the rounds right now.

TCL, a company best known for delivering ever-larger and more powerful yet cheaper TVs, also makes things like phones, and yes, tablets.

When it launched the 14-inch TCL NxTPaper 14 Pro tablet at the CES 2024 show, I dismissed it and its claims of an E Ink-like display (the display tech showed up a few years earlier, but products arrived slowly). From the pictures I saw, it looked like just another maybe too-large tablet with a vibrant color screen.

Now, though, I’ve seen it in person. It is not actually E Ink – the display tech used in e-readers like the best Amazon Kindles – but like Apple’s ‘tandem OLED‘ Ultra Retina XDR display it uses layering technology to achieve a more eye-pleasing visual effect and capabilities. Granted, I didn’t see the tablet and screen technology in the best, ahem, light.

My discovery started when I was invited to what was ostensibly an event to preview yet more giant QD-Mini LED TVs.

TCL NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

However, when I arrived I found a collection of mobile devices lying rather unceremoniously on a few pedestals, one of which was a giant tablet. Thin, slightly narrow, and long, the perhaps ironically named NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G is a beast. It even has a huge camera array on the back, which is similar in appearance to the setup on the TCL 50 XL 5G phone that was sitting nearby.

At first, I didn’t notice anything remarkable about the Android tablet. It seemed responsive enough, and the camera was fine, though hard to use on an unwieldy 14-inch slab.

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TCL NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

But then I realized how the screen had almost no reflectivity, and a sort of flatness. I found a red button along one edge that with a flick transformed the display into a grayscale paper-like screen, similar to an E Ink display. I was finally experiencing TCL’s NxtPaper screen tech.

TCL NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

To be clear, this is not E Ink, and it does bother me that in its marketing materials, TCL keeps referring to NxTPaper as “E Ink-like”. True E Ink uses tiny microcapsules (usually black and white but could be color) that are electrically charged to present one side or the other and create an image. These images can hold with virtually no power, which is why your Kindle battery lasts so long.

NxTPaper is still fundamentally an LCD panel, but TCL has layered glass and other material above the display panel to give it its low glare and easy-on-the-eyes appearance. There’s the nano-etched layer that gives the tablet display its distinctive matte finish, almost zero reflectivity, and a more paper-like feel.

Below that is blue-light filtering technology. TCL claims the filter does not reduce color verity. And, yes, that nano etching is similar to the nanotexture you can get on the new iPad Pro (1TB and 2TB versions) for an extra $100. That tablet starts at $999 for the 11-inch version, and the 1TB 11-inch Wi-Fi model with nanotexture is $1,699. TCL’s NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G starts at around $549.

The mostly grayscale NxTPaper Mode is quite a bit like an E Ink display but with higher resolution, refresh rates, and instant access to, say, colorful websites.

I did not, by the way, get to try a stylus on the NxTPaper screen.

TCL NxTPaper 14 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Overall, there is a bit of flatness to the look of the screen, which might be a problem for, say, TV viewing, but it’s also a pretty cool idea.

I’m not saying TCL’s NxtPaper directly compares to Apple’s accomplishment. In my brief hands-on time with Apple’s new iPad Pro 13-inch, I found the tandem OLED stunning, with the deepest blacks I’ve ever seen on a mobile display.

On the other hand, I think it might be worth revisiting TCL’s NxtPaper 14 Pro when it finally starts shipping sometime later this year.

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A 38-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC. 

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The post TCL’s NxTPaper tablet screen is like an affordable version of the new iPad Pro’s nanotexture display first appeared on

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