IconBIT NetTAB THOR ZX 3G tablet review: 9-inch Full HD hard worker

In this review, we will talk about the 9-inch iconBIT NetTAB THOR ZX 3G tablet, which is remarkable for how trivial, as well as the “working" formula of a good-quality device with an adequate price. The metal case fits, among others, a Full HD display and a 3G / GSM module. The resulting "all inclusive" is sold for about 10,000 rubles (~ $ 285) - let's see how successful the new product turned out to be.


You can’t say anything special about the packaging of the tablet - the usual (even too) design in the iconBIT style. The set of accessories is limited to a microUSB cable, a charging unit, an OTG cable (a nice addition), a brief instruction and a headset. Given the ability to receive calls and make calls, the latter came in handy.

This is the second time I’ve encountered an Axelvox headset in an iconBIT tablet, a manufacturer who likes to produce low-cost analogs (and by design, sometimes almost copies) of musical equipment from studio monitors to MIDI keyboards. I’ll note right away that the sound is not “music lover”, but I didn’t have a desire to immediately use alternative “ears” during the tests.

Completes the list of "key" with a small pin, to remove from the holder of the SIM-card. The thing is very compact, it can easily get lost. Fortunately, finding her an alternative in the form of a straightened paper clip is not difficult.


It is difficult to say something new about the appearance of the model. Apparently, iconBIT for a long time chose for the majority of its tablets a combination of such “exterior” features as a white frame around the screen and an almost completely metal cover. This is not the first time I have seen it, and again I can only greet. The black “front” in the tablets seems a little boring to me, variations of varying degrees of soiling of the plastic of the back cover also do not impress me.

Ergonomics generally similar to the 9-inch iconBIT NETTAB THOR IZ, but it’s much more convenient to keep the current guest - there are no right angles between the ends and the back. A slightly rounded surface allows you to get rid of an unpleasant "stubbornness" in the palm of your hand, regardless of what orientation you hold the model in. On 9-inch tablets, I like the fact that from time to time I enjoy working with them in the porter position and can read while holding the iconBIT THOR ZX 3G in question with one hand.

For the quality of the assembly I put a four - when squeezing, barely audible creaks may appear, but in some places the lid could better resist pressure. The materials used once again pleased, the metal from the rear is much stronger than plastic, and it is more resistant to scratches. Although, personally, from a tactile point of view, I am still not enthusiastic about the slightly rough matte finish. But there are no more fingerprints than completely.

Two eyes are visible on the front side, one from the camera, the second from the light sensor. The presence of the second at the same time directly confirms the presence in the screen settings of the ability to automatically adjust the brightness level. There is no proximity sensor - we are waiting for the installation of a speech speaker in 9-10-inch tablets from the front. I could call it humor, yes 7-inch, and for some time even 7.85-inch tablets do not give me such a reason.

The control buttons are installed most competently - on one end, on the right. The volume rocker and the power button are a classic set, I do not consider the lack of an optional home button to be a serious omission. By the way, like the back cover, the keys are made of metal.

On the same side there are slots for microSD memory cards and SIM cards.

The audio output is attached on top, although I would prefer to see this connector at the bottom for a large tablet. However, this is my nit-picking, because no one canceled the dynamic change in the orientation of the picture in Android.

On the opposite side, we observe stereo speakers and a microUSB connector. I praise the speakers for a decent volume and, as far as possible, good sound quality. Scolding for ambiguous placement. If you hold the device in landscape position, the palm will always overlap one of the two sources of sound.

The back side due to the characteristic plastic insert, as well as the location of the camera on the left and the audio output on the top right, makes the tablet very similar to the fresh model of one well-known manufacturer with headquarters in Cupertino. Good or not, let everyone decide privately. I myself am not against such borrowings, if the device is generally performed at a high level.


The main characteristics I indicated before the kata - 9 inches with a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels, a wonderful combination. I admit, I do not have trepidation about the value of PPI and still remember that a couple of years ago I did not experience mental anguish when working with both TFT readers and 7-inch tablets with WVGA resolution. Be that as it may, the sharpness of the image in iconBIT THOR ZX 3G left a good impression both in 3D games and when working with text content, in particular in PDF magazines and web pages.

The screen cover is plastic, so you should handle the tablet carefully. In a good way, I would recommend not to remove the protective film pasted by default. Only the protruding part of the paper "spine" should be cut off :) I held this opinion until I removed the film with the sticker - it turned out there was ... Another copy of the screen's film protection. Display - capacitive type, with multi-touch support. The sensitivity is high, if there were delayed operation or there was a need for a second touch, then only through the fault of the system.

On the official page of the tablet, it is first said that the PLS matrix is ​​installed, and then IPS. Interestingly, at the time of testing, I had on hand a new tablet of one of the B-brands. The model is equipped with exactly the matrix that was used in the first generation iPad mini. So, the iconBIT THOR ZX 3G screen turned out to be no worse, in some images, with a “head-on” comparison, the picture of the “torus” seemed a little more saturated to me. As expected in the IPS-matrix, at an angle the picture may acquire a bluish tint.


In terms of a set of camera modules, tablet manufacturers in the bulk prefer to be limited to "eyes" with a more or less acceptable level of shooting. Although, in my opinion, this is not entirely justified. In the end, if a device like iconBIT THOR ZX 3G is designed to replace a smartphone, then I would like to see photography just above the observed “tablet” level. However, these are just thoughts out loud - the reality is that the main 5 megapixel camera here is at least not lost against competitors. First of all, there is autofocus. Not the smartest, but still. In fact, the user himself chooses whether to patiently prepare the frame or immediately press the “shutter” for an instant shot. I didn’t really like the fact that sometimes “haze” is visible in the pictures. But the camera does not literally seek to denigrate any object in low light conditions or in frames with contrasting light. The real surprise for me was focusing with a distance of 5-7 cm, and even without much loss of detail.

I think the shooting program needs no introduction - we all saw it more than once in devices with the latest MediaTek chipsets. My opinion regarding the application has not changed: a great solution with a double shutter / start button for video recording and the annoying lack of customization of the panel on the left. In the context menu, I would like to group the items in a slightly different way, although even in this form they do not cause special questions.


The tablet is based on last year's Mediatek MT8389 - a budget chipset for 28 nm process technology, with four Cortex-A7 cores and a PowerVR SGX 544 graphics accelerator. The processor runs at a frequency of 1.5 GHz that is the most affordable for this model. RAM - 1 GB (DDR3). In principle, some conclusions are immediately obvious - for example, iconBIT THOR ZX 3G should not have problems with tasks such as web surfing and video. But demanding games can become a serious test for the tablet, with its high resolution screen.

Previously, I did not work with devices on the Mediatek MT8389, the more interesting it was to get acquainted with its capabilities. To get started, I used the IXBT test video set. The results are standard positive. That is, a pair of videos that did not start equally refuses to play on most smartphones and tablets I have tested. I checked the 4k video "optionally," because the work with it was not documented by either the chipset or this tablet. There were no problems with the personal video archive, unless I used mostly software decoding - sometimes the sound disappeared with the hardware.

  • watch-1920x1080-60p.mp4 - HW * / excellent
  • watch-1920x1080-50p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-1920x1080-30p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-1920x1080-25p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-1920x1080-24p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-1280x720-60p.mp4 - could not play
  • watch-1280x720-50p.mp4 - could not play
  • watch-1280x720-30p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-1280x720-25p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-1280x720-24p.mp4 - HW / excellent
  • watch-4k-30p.mp4 - HW / noticeable frame skipping
  • watch-4k-25p.mp4 -HW / noticeable frame skipping
  • watch-4k-24p.mp4 - HW / noticeable frame skipping

* HW - hardware decoding

“Dental” in terms of graphics, “Iron Man 3” is a difficult test for a graphic chip, starting with a high-poly figure of the hero right in the menu. I look forward to when Gameloft will add flexible graphics settings, but for now we are playing with about 15 FPS. In Robocop, the tablet handled the load well, only in scripted scenes there were sometimes frame drops. It worked wonderfully Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour - it was a pleasure to watch and play. Riptide GP2 “flew” when the graphics settings were set to the maximum, with the exception of the “Shader Complexity” item - here, using the trial method, the “Low” value came up best. Strange, but Google Play flatly refused to show the presence of Dead Trigger 2, and Shadowgun: DeadZone chose to hide. It’s good that GLU games did not fall under “censorship”.

The speed of the system is normal - just like that, no more. Occasionally, but still leisurely menu transitions, task switching, etc. meets. I would like to see a higher performance, but if a person acquires a tablet for the first time, it is unlikely that he will have serious questions about the "feasibility" of the tablet. And the observed rare delays are critical to the overall comfort of using the model did not affect. However, I hope that future firmware updates will be able to slightly speed up the iconBIT THOR ZX 3G.

System, calls and 3G

The tablet uses Android 4.2.2, not burdened with an abundance of additional applications. But there are such important things for the set of “out of the box” as the file manager and Flash Player. In principle, iconBIT could not skimp on useful utilities - in the tablet, after all, 16 GB of memory. No special interventions were carried out in the system, except for the iconBIT wallpaper with colored pencils, which was mandatory for each tablet and smartphone.

The settings clearly show that the Mediatek MT8389 allows you to use two slots for SIM-cards. The interface of call and text messaging programs is in no way adapted for tablets; exactly the same organization of programs can be observed on smartphones. There is no inconvenience in this - on the contrary, I was much more comfortable typing text or a phone number on the big screen.

Force majeure with a cellular signal did not arise - if necessary, I always called the subscriber, and the callers also did not receive information about my “disappearance”. When making calls, I used the complete headset. Of course, she lacks a few low frequencies, because the interlocutor’s voice sometimes sounded “dry” depending on the timbre. However, I did not feel any discomfort, by and large, I also interlocutors, and they heard me normally.


The capacity of the built-in battery is 5,300 mAh. I did not engage in synthetic tests and preferred to test the iconBIT THOR ZX 3G in a purely practical plane. HD video was played 5 hours 10 minutes (average brightness, maximum volume), music - 43 hours, a telephone conversation through a headset took almost 19 hours, 3G Internet - 4 hours 50 minutes, Wi-Fi - 7 hours 20 minutes. I myself used the tablet exclusively with Wi-Fi at home, I used the browser ten times a day, periodically launching Asphalt 8. On average, I charged it once every three days.


I can’t single out any leading features of this model - this is not the case when emphasis is placed on a certain “trick”. IconBIT turned out in every way a balanced (no matter how cloying it sounds) tablet, which will replace the netbook at home and come in handy due to the presence of a SIM card slot. All important parameters of the model are normal, both “on paper” and in reality. Probably, I would like to see less obvious borrowing of design elements, and a slightly better build. However, both points are uncritical and, if I were considering buying a model like iconBIT THOR ZX 3G, they would hardly have affected the final choice.

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