The TCL NXTPAPER was officially announced at CES 2021 and is an exciting technology: the first electronic device, similar to ink, with a color screen, a combination that is more eye-friendly and slightly more battery friendly than traditional tablets with LCD screens for an extended period of time. All of these may be the best tools … for reading comics. The TCL tablet looks perfect for comic book fans.
Comics, comics, “fun pages”, consistent art – all an integral part of the modern media landscape and the starting material of the superhero genre that has dominated cinema for the last ten years. Even so, reading digital versions of comics is quite a hassle: because of the full A4 page size (the size of a paper), they don’t really fit on a modern cell phone or computer screen.
On the contrary, they’re great for reading tablets, which have the best screen area for reading an entire page at once, because comics are designed to be read. (Technically, it’s two pages at once for this wide distribution, but digital beggars are not selectable.) Even so, it seems like it drains the tablet’s sports battery to read static pages, like taking a sports car to the store for groceries.
The TCL NXTPAPER tablet is probably a better solution for reading digital comics, just as the reader is a much more efficient way to read digital books. Part of that is the battery: The NXTPAPER display technology that TCL presents at IFA 2020 is “more than 65% more energy efficient than regular LCDs”, according to a press release.
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We expect the NXTPAPER’s 5500 mAh battery to last longer than other modern tablets when viewing individual pages, especially since the “standby time” will last 400 hours, or more than 16 days if left unattended. It didn’t take longer to play the video and it only took about 11 hours to stream the broadcast over WiFi. Still, still images should take screen efficiency seriously.
However, the NXTPAPER’s best asset is barely noticeable: the electronic ink technology of the same name makes the display very pleasing to the eye, and TCL claims that the screen doesn’t emit blue light or flicker. In short, comic book readers can flip through issue after issue, swapping covers for light ones, and their eyes shouldn’t tire like they do on a traditional tablet. It also won’t keep you awake anymore, because there’s no blue light.
Damn, it might even show a comic that looks more lifelike with a real page looking at the NXTPAPER screen that TCL calls “paper” – assuming it’s a little more textured and less shiny than the reflective glass in the bright LCD screens found on most tablets today.
There’s one major caveat here: like many early e-ink readers, the NXTPAPER technology doesn’t have a backlight. That way, they’re totally reliant on atmospheric lighting, and like kids in their 80s or 90s fighting for the lights around at night to play their Nintendo Game Boy, they can prove it under certain circumstances. TCL is committed to including a separate lamp in every purchase of the NXTPAPER attached to it and discharging the battery. However, this is basically a problem modern devices have long been solving. Reuters