IconBIT THOR ZX review: “lonely” 9-inch tablet

    In the fifth season of The Big Bang Theories, Sheldon Cooper was indignant that at the meeting in the train model store, instead of discussing the benefits of different scales, it all came down to advertising products at a scale of 1:87. And after a couple of hours he said: “How wrong I was all these years. The smaller the engine, the more concentrated the pleasure. ” Approximately the same feeling happened to me after meeting the iconBIT THOR ZX tablet with a 9-inch screen. By a strange coincidence, such “pills” generally fell out of my sight. I’ll immediately explain the name of the review - simple searches on the totality of parameters showed that iconBIT THOR ZX has no direct rivals in official retail in Russia. Such is the "spoiler", now I ask under the cut for details.

    Contents of delivery

    A box with a black background, multi-colored pencils on the tablet screen - this style of iconBIT brand often adheres to the packaging of its tablets and smartphones. On the back, the characteristics of iconBIT THOR ZX are described, in addition, the picture shows the purpose of the keys, slots and connectors on the device.

    In the box we find instructions, headphones, an OTG cable and a network charger.

    The headphones surprised me for two reasons. Firstly, in principle, this accessory is not customary to offer complete with tablets, and even without 3G support. Secondly, pay attention to the manufacturing company. Yes, the same Axelvox that I remember with its budget studio monitors, as well as the inexpensive Axelvox KEY49j MIDI keyboard. I can’t say that the complete “ears” of the iconBIT THOR ZX are really music lovers, but this is a cut above what I’m used to hearing from such plain-looking headphones.


    It is difficult to come up with something fundamentally new in the design of the tablet, taking the rectangular case as the basis. Therefore, iconBIT did not begin to reinvent the wheel by issuing a concise tablet with a “cinematic” aspect ratio and rounded corners. The white frame around the screen, in my opinion, seriously enlivens the appearance of the device. In any case, compared to dull black colleagues.

    The thrill of working with a tablet is the very best. The device itself is thin - 9 mm, such an indicator in another 5-inch smartphone can not be found. I will not compare the weight with anything to 475 grams, as I personally was comfortable working holding the model with even one hand. Of course, all management operations were entrusted to the other hand.

    An interesting situation came out with protective films. By and large, I was more than satisfied with the presence of the “original” film, except that the text, with an appeal to remove it, could be cut out.

    Having removed the film ... I found another of her "colleague." Yes, so glued to the edges that it was possible to pry it only after some effort. In general, I welcome such protection for the display on smartphones and tablets.

    There are predictably no light and proximity sensors or a number of touch keys; only the lone peephole of the camera is visible from the front side.

    All kinds of connectors, buttons and slots are located on the upper end: volume and power keys, microUSB, microHDMI, DC, 3.5 mm audio output and a slot for microSD memory cards. The location of the keys is great if you primarily use the tablet in landscape orientation. In portraiture, I want to see the volume rocker on the side to flip through pages when reading books.

    The back side (like the ends) is made of brushed metal. The probability of keeping fingerprints on the lid tends to zero. Only metal is tactile for an amateur, I don’t really like the sensations. However, if you wear a tablet in a case, you don’t think about it at all. By the way, at the bottom of the back side at the bottom is a plastic insert.

    Both speakers are mounted on the bottom, which is not good - no matter how you hold it in landscape orientation, you will still cross one of the slots. Although I will not find fault, the speaker is more likely to hide behind without a particularly serious loss of volume.


    The 9-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 1920 pixels. According to Yandex.Market, such a bunch of parameters boasts only two tablets, in addition to the one in question: Barnes & Noble Nook HD + and Cube U39GT. Both, of course, are not officially sold in Russia.

    After my own 10.1-inch tablet (800 x 1280 pixels), I did not feel any inconvenience. On the contrary, due to the higher resolution, the picture on the iconBIT THOR ZX looked sharper, and when viewing web pages or PDF magazines, there were no “losses” due to the physically smaller display (again, recall the resolution). At the same time, intuitively, I was much more willing to use the iconBIT THOR ZX in portrait orientation.

    IPS-matrix has wide viewing angles, good color reproduction - it was not expected otherwise. A little upset by the margin of brightness, I would like to see a greater limit value. On average, I was in a position of 60-70% of the maximum. I recall with great warmth the iconBIT NetTAB Space Quad RX - everything with brightness was in perfect order.


    There are only two modules - 2 megapixels and 5 megapixels, it is clear where what “eye” is located. The shooting program interface was taken directly from Android 4.2. Strange as it may seem, it looks fresh after my endless series of acquaintances with MediaTek-based devices and the same non-standard interface.

    During the testing period, it often rained outside, and the sky was covered with gray clouds all day. In such far from ideal conditions, the photographs were not particularly impressive. But against the background of colleagues, the iconBIT THOR ZX looks much more presentable: there are no explicit blockages of the exposure and a stably blurry picture, regardless of the shooting distance.


    The hardware base of the tablet is a 4-core processor with the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture and an impressive frequency of 1.8 GHz. I confess, after I gave the device away, I realized that a specific chipset model was not specified in the specifications. With high probability I can assume that we are talking about the Rockchip RK3188, which appeared this year and is made according to the 28 nm manufacturing process. IconBIT THOR ZX also comes with a 533 MHz 4-core Mali-400 graphics accelerator. Completes the picture of 2 GB of RAM (DDR3). Built-in memory - 16 GB. A good-looking picture emerges, you can’t really find fault with such a set of characteristics. We look what the tablet shows in tests.

    In the video playback test, the model performed well. I borrowed the test methodology from IXBT, taking sections of the “omnivorous” test for formats and checking the playback of clips of different frame rates and image resolutions. The tablet also reproduced 4k videos. The three inaccessible videos are hardly a significant disadvantage; in my memory, many devices didn’t “digest” them even in IXBT tests.

    I liked the behavior of iconBIT THOR ZX in games. The opening scene of the Front-line Commando: Normandy tablet showed so smoothly that I even restarted it several times in search of delays. The same with other titles up to Real Racing 3, gamers can safely recommend this model. In Epic Citadel, the “tablet” did not help either, without falling FPS, large-scale scenes of flying over the tents were also scrolled.


    The tablet has Android 4.2.2 installed, which is equipped with a couple of additional programs: the APK installer, the RKMultiPlayer video player and file manager.

    This section could be completed if it were not for one hefty “but” that I discovered was almost by accident. In the settings, you can enable a special multi-window mode, which allows you to work almost like in desktop Windows. Honestly, I couldn’t fully understand window management. So, it was far from always possible to change their size. Otherwise, everything is wonderful: the programs can be cascaded (and then change their position on the screen) or ordered by four (two, three) rigidly along the boundaries of the display. In active mode, a button works on the right side, which, when pressed in the program, places the application in a multi-window environment. Something like parallel web surfing with watching the latest series of the series - no problem.

    Yes, there is still a WiFiDisplay program with a talking name, but due to the lack of an appropriate display, I could not test it.

    Offline work

    AnTuTu autonomy test gave 753 points, which is a very, very good result for a tablet with a battery capacity of 5,600 mAh. Other results: HD-video (average brightness, maximum volume) - 5 hours 20 minutes, music - 39 hours, Wi-Fi web surfing - up to 7 hours. I would not want to give vague wording about the "mixed mode", which each user still has his own. Subjectively, for three days when using up to two hours a day, one charge is enough.


    The considered iconBIT THOR ZX is an attractive device and, what is most interesting (for iconBIT), which claims to be a “monopoly” among 9-inch tablets with a resolution of 1280 x 1920 pixels. That is, if you are trying to find a PCT tablet with the above characteristics, then available to retailers you will be shown only Barnes & Noble Nook HD + on Android 4.0 with TI OMAP4470 (only 2 cores at 1.5 GHz) and much less attractive overall parameters.

    I can say that with great pleasure I would exchange my home 10.1-inch tablet for such a device. Because of the negative sides, only a moderate maximum screen brightness rushed into the eyes. In other matters, whether it was performance or build quality, I did not find any special reasons for discontent. According to preliminary information, the retail price of iconBIT THOR ZX will be 7,990 rubles (~ $ 249), the model is about to go on sale.

    Also popular now: