Several laptop companies have bragged about their glasses-free 3D rendering CES 2023. Turns out you don’t need that kind of force to pull it off — the ZTE Nubia Pad 3D tablet does exactly the same thing, and gets pretty impressive results!
echo Asus ProArt Studiobook 3DThe way an image pops out of the screen with eye-tracking technology, ZTE creates a window into your content with real depth. Additionally, the team has implemented some AI that converts standard 2D content into 3D with (mostly) good results.
But pretty much when everyone gets excited about contraptions like 3D TVs, watch symbol picture In 3D in a theater, one question is obvious: Does this party trick actually make for a good tablet? Or will this be another flash in the pan?
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D price and configurations
The first strike against it is the price. Nubia 3D panel (Opens in a new tab) Available for $1,199 / £1,149, it’s quite a price tag for an Android tablet.
Sure, you get free 3D for the glasses, but when you look at the actual spec sheet here, the remaining 90% of the time you’ll be using this 2D tablet, that cost starts to show.
For context, that’s $100 more than the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 and the 12.9-inch M2 iPad Pro. While we reviewed the Surface Pro 8 And M1 iPad ProDimensions and experience remain largely the same, along with the big performance increases in these two that leave the Nubia Pad 3D in the dust (more on that later).
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D design
The slick, utilitarian aesthetic makes the ZTE Nubia Pad 3D feel like a prototype. But beyond that, it translates to a heavy, chunky chassis for what you get.
Of course, at 10 x 6.5 x 0.3 inches, and weighing 1.14 pounds, it’s just a bit smaller and lighter than the Surface Pro 9 (11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches, 1.9 pounds), and the M2 iPad Pro (11.05 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches, 1.5 pounds). ). But when compared to tablets with similar specifications such as Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (10 x 6.5 x 0.25 inches, 1.1 pounds), the Nubia Pad 3D is quite the meat bun.
Thankfully, the weight is evenly distributed across the tablet, so you won’t feel too tired to hold it—though you might want to put it on your lap anyway.
But to its credit, this looks like a premium, high-end device with an aluminum casing and a sheet of glass across the top, with power and volume buttons across the top edge, and the only bump being the tiny camera enclosure.
For tablets, I prefer a curved edge to flat edges, so you don’t dig into your palms with that clean, angular edge. It’s a solid look, but we have a ways to go here.
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D screen
Within that slightly top-heavy bezel (to house the dual selfie cameras) is a 12.4-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1600 x 2560 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate. In the first two weeks of testing, I noticed that while the screen looked nice and vibrant, the brightness couldn’t keep up with direct sunlight.
So while Spider-Man: No way home Looking great on the inside, with the depth emanating from the dark scenes and Doctor Strange’s bouts shining off the screen, the impressive effects quickly dissipated on the outside.
But let’s be honest. That’s only half of the story here. This has a 3D lightfield view. Translation: 3D is devoid of stereoscopic glasses, and the effect is really impressive. It is capable of both on-screen images and content that shows depth within the screen.
Using LeiaViewer shows how you can manipulate models floating in the air in front of you. A visual demo of Dungeon gives you a taste of what 3D tablet gaming can look like. None of these resulted in real eye strain during extended use, but the obvious question is, how much 3D content is there? The answer is a little more than I expected. Sure, there are other apps for viewing 3D content like LeiaPlayer, LeiaFlix, and LeiaChat, but chances are you hardly use them due to the very limited libraries.
But the one I spent most of my time with was LeiaTube, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to convert 2D YouTube videos into 3D. At first, I was skeptical – surely this effect would end badly, right? Well, surprisingly, it did better than anyone expected. For about 80% of the videos I tested, the 3D effect efficiently handled objects at multiple levels of depth in a scene, and didn’t blend in much. However, it should be noted that there are few DLSS 3.0– The masterpiece is about fast moving objects towards the foreground of the scene.
Overall, the 2D experience you’ll spend most of the time using is pleasant enough (except for the low brightness), and the 3D experience shows early signs of being little more than a gimmick.
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D audio
A tablet needs solid sound for on-the-go listening without earphones, and the quad speakers provide a decent social listening experience befitting the ever-scrolling of TikTok and falling down YouTube’s wormholes.
Sure, you can make it distort a little bit at higher volumes. When pushed hard with heavy bass-heavy metalcore like The Ghost Inside’s “Mercy,” they can crackle a bit. But most of the time, everything is clear and the finer details can be picked out.
For the best audio experience, you’ll need to get some The best wireless headphonesBecause this board lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack.
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D performance
The second blow comes in a part where you’ll start to think, “Wait, I paid how So much for this!? Under the hood, you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset with Adreno 660 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
Not that you need to see this in black and white (I actually expected it), this setting was completely wiped out in testing by the M1 iPad Pro and Surface Pro 8 – whether in CPU tasks or anything graphically intensive.
|standard||ZTE Nubia Pad 3D||M1 iPad Pro (12.9-inch)||Microsoft Surface Pro 9|
|Geekbench 5 is single-core||1114||1722||1633|
|Geekbench 5 is multi-core||3655||7298||8541|
|3DMark Wild Life||5864||16990||unavailable|
Fortunately, this doesn’t always translate into a slow experience. When you put it through the stress of standard multitasking, like opening Chrome with a few tabs, and playing YouTube while Real Racing 3 plays in the background, I didn’t see a hint of slowdown. Additionally, the 3D apps didn’t seem to cause any frame rate drops either.
But with more CPU intensive games like Genshin Impact, or CPU-stressing apps like Premiere Rush rendering, you can start to feel a slight lag in touch response. Not the end of the world – until you realize you paid $1,200 for this thing.
I’m all for releasing a proof of concept to the public. It drives the market forward and increases competition with invention, but doing so with substandard specifications at a price like this is really unacceptable.
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D battery life and charging
One upside to the lackluster specs is the fact that the 9,070mAh battery lasts relatively long on a charge. Although we haven’t run any lab testing on this tablet’s endurance, I was confident in the Nubia Pad 3D’s worry-free battery life.
I got up at 8am, spent the whole day until 10pm with my usual work/entertainment (emails, calls, social media, snapping some quick pics, Spotify By day, games and Youtube for the night) and finished with a good 40% remaining. Furthermore, when I left it on standby at 100% and went to New York for a week, I came back to see it had about 35% charge.
The 33W wired charging means you’ll have to wait a few hours for the backup boost to 100%, but overall, it’s a rosy picture for power tablet users.
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D cameras
So we can talk about the quality of the 16MP rear camera (good, but a little noisy in low light), but the party trick here is that there are extra photographers.
correct! The Nintendo 3DS gimmick has arrived on a tablet with stereoscopic 3D imaging, using machine learning to measure the depth of the scene in front of you and apply a 3D effect.
The overall look from the front and back is a colorful and contrasting one that seems more reminiscent of Samsung’s color science hyper reality. And the 3D effect works fairly well – accurately judging depth most of the time. In more complex scenes, they create some blurring between certain objects, but in simpler scenes (say, a portrait), you’ll get a shot that’s fun to look at.
Video capture, however, is problematic. In 2D, the 1080p capture is nice enough to catch a quick family clip (if it’s a little too richly colored for my taste). The 3D effect is very blurry and causes eye strain after a few seconds of trying to view it.
And finally, what about the dual 8MP selfie shooters? Well they just don’t work… I don’t know what else to tell you! This is a huge red flag in terms of the program’s operability, but we’ll get to that below.
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D software
The third whammy comes with the software — Android 12L with a rather unsightly skin on top that makes it act more like a giant smartphone than a tablet by turning off any of the side-by-side multitasking.
There is, thankfully, a decent level of customization to the icons, system fonts, and colors to tweak some of the default options. But we have two major problems, bugs and crashes are rife. On a regular basis, I would experience a Leia 3D app freezing, or just a complete crash taking me back to the home screen. For a tablet at any price, this is unacceptable, but for a high-priced tablet, it’s ridiculous.
However, there is a lingering question about software support. ZTE did not say how long they intend to provide software updates for the Nubia Pad 3D. Beyond past experience, ZTE devices typically only receive a one-year software version update, along with a few years of security improvements, but any other concrete information remains up in the air.
Compare this to up to five years of major OS updates for the iPad Pro, and Windows 11’s relentless update cycle on the Surface Pro 8, and this problematic situation looks even worse for the company.
ZTE deserves its roses to try something more “out there”. Nubia 3D certainly stands out among the sea of Android tablets with its well-executed concept of glasses-free 3D. Not only that, but LeiaTube means you’re not stuck with just looking at a predetermined set of templates – expand them to include content you can watch.
But every aspect of this tablet screams “prototype” to me, from the buggy OS and limited software selection to the bulky chassis and price tag that’s too high for the disappointing internals.
The company is working on something good here, but as a glorious proof of concept, only those in desperate need of a 3D tablet should buy it. For everyone else, wait for the Nubia Pad 3D 2, and let’s hope ZTE lowers that cost.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings