After getting my hands on a Lenovo Tablet 11 Pro, I was pleasantly surprised, while also slightly disappointed. For a student, this tablet does many things indeed but still falls short in the certain criterion where the high-end iPad and Samsung S7 tablets clearly ace ahead.
Tablets for Android are an uncommon breed. Even rarer are genuinely good Android tablets.
Samsung has the higher-end of the Android tablet market pinned down with its Galaxy Tab S7+ and S7, while Amazon Fire tablets are at the other end of the spectrum. There’s a void in the centre, which Lenovo hopes to fill.
The Lenovo P11 Tab Pro is the newly launched slate, and although it’s light years ahead of a Fire tablet, it lacks the capacity of Samsung’s S7 series. It does, though, have a stunning screen and a far more affordable price tag, making it ideal for viewing movies on the go. Since Android on a tablet isn’t great for anything else, that’s the only use case here. Before we do a deep dive, let’s look at its specs
- Display: OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 11.5 inches, 383.5 cm2
- FRONT camera: 13 MP, (wide), AF 5 MP, (ultra-wide)
- SELFIE camera: 8 MP 8 MP
- Storage & RAM:128 GB Storage & 4/6 GB RAM
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Po, 8600 mAh
- Cost: ZAR 11833 In South Africa.
Let’s begin with the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro’s display as it’s one of the best features, but also one of the biggest flaws. The display is 11.5 inches in height, which is significantly larger than the more popular 10-inch tablets.
It is one of the few tablets with an OLED screen, which offers a variety of benefits such as deep blacks and vibrant colours. In comparison to the P11 Pro, the blacks on the more expensive Apple iPad Pro seem a little washed out, which is a lot, given their price difference. This is an excellent display for viewing YouTube and Netflix, thanks to the large 16:10 aspect ratio. It also supports HD Netflix playback, which was previously unavailable on Lenovo tablets. I’m relieved that Lenovo has resolved this problem.
This might not be for you if you usually listen to music or videos with a wired headset. However, the speakers are good.
The quad speakers have performed admirably. They can get very noisy without distortions, and they do a good job of stereo separation. The bass, in particular, stands out, but there is also clarity in the mids and trebles, making them sound especially well suited to action films.
The lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack would disappoint audiophiles; on a tool that would mainly be used at home or in the workplace, the failure to use wired audio is an inconvenient annoyance.
Software and UI shortcomings
The main issue with the P11 Pro is that Android on a tablet isn’t very good. The tablet’s form factor is still used for only a handful of the apps. About half of the applications I use daily are simply phone-sized interfaces resized to accommodate a larger device. In landscape mode, many of them didn’t fit at all.
Lenovo, like Samsung, designed a UI to fit around Android’s tablet limitations. Lenovo calls it Productivity Mode, and it comes on automatically when you connect the keyboard. (You could turn it on and off manually in the pull-down menu.)
Samsung’s DeX mode for Galaxy Tablets was clearly an inspiration for Lenovo’s Productivity Mode. It’s almost identical in layout, with a Chrome OS-style taskbar.
Overall, it isn’t meant for any real work or note-taking. If you wish to spend on something for watching lectures, this is great. But for a real workflow, you’ll have to look at higher-end tablets.