The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 are two very similar tablets. With both, we’re getting 11-inch screens, four speakers, fingerprint scanners, active pen support, and even similar-looking keyboard covers. So, which one is better? That’s what you’ll learn in this comparison.
Let’s quickly compare prices. The cheapest version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage costs 650 US Dollars. Here, the S Pen stylus is included. If you want to get the cheapest Lenovo Tab P11 Pro with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, you’ll have to pay 500 US Dollars. For the Lenovo Precision Pen 2, I paid just under 70 Dollars extra. Prices can vary a lot, so make sure you compare your local prices.
Due to their full metal bodies, both tablets are very premium-feeling. The built quality is great and I like their designs a lot. With just 5.8mm, the P11 Pro is a bit slimmer than the 6.3mm Tab S7 and you can feel that difference. And the P11 Pro is bigger overall due to the slightly larger screen.
On their sides, both are lacking a headphone jack and both feature a USB C 3.2 port. That means you can attach USB C hubs and external monitors to both. And in both cases, there’s a fingerprint scanner built into the power button which seems to work about the same. They have microSD card slots as well.
Speakers & Cameras
Both tablets have four speakers in total, with two each on their shorter sides. The sound quality is about the same too. Both are fantastic for watching movies and listening to music. I couldn’t tell a real difference.
On each, we get an 8-megapixel webcam, a 13-megapixel main camera on the back, and there’s even a 5-megapixel wide-angle camera on both. Don’t worry, we’ll get to major differences very soon.
The photo quality is similar. While selfies look a bit sharper with the Lenovo, the two back cameras of the Samsung take better pictures.
By the way, next to the webcam of the Lenovo sits an IR camera which allows you to securely unlock it using facial recognition. You can use that in addition to the fingerprint scanner. Samsung supports facial recognition as well but it doesn’t have the extra sensor so it’s less secure.
You can get official keyboard covers for both tablets. They look very similar and I do like the Samsung one a lot. But I can’t compare them yet because even though I’ve preordered the P11 keyboard weeks ago, it still didn’t ship. But it looks promising.
Display: OLED Against LCD
Their screens are very different. Even though Samsung is famous for Amoled screens, the Galaxy Tab S7 has an 11-inch LCD. The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro has a bit larger 11.5-inch OLED panel.
OLED screens are often better than standard LCDs. And with some aspects, that’s the case here. Blacks look much deeper on the Lenovo while Samsung’s blacks look a bit washed out. So, the contrast is quite strong.
With that being said, the S7 is much brighter and in direct comparison, the P11 looks a bit blueish. The saturation is great on both.
The biggest difference is sharpness which is surprising because both have the same resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The screen of the Tab S7 looks super sharp but texts and icons on the P11 Pro look a bit fuzzy. It’s very obvious if you compare them side-by-side.
That seems to be because Lenovo is using a pentile display which needs a higher resolution to look equally sharp as a standard LCD. I’m very disappointed by that.
Samsung also uses a 120Hz screen so that animations and especially the S Pen look much smoother than the 60Hz OLED.
Lenovo Precision Pen 2 vs. S Pen
The Lenovo Precision Pen 2 is more premium-feeling than the S Pen because it has an aluminum body. Besides that, they’re similar. Both support 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity which means that you can draw a thicker line by pressing the pen down harder.
While the S Pen works without having to be charged, you’ll need to charge the Lenovo pen using the USB C port on its top. The S Pen can be charged too which happens inductively by the tablet. But it needs the battery for gestures only – you can write and draw without the battery.
On the software side, the stylus is much better supported by Samsung. We get the Samsung Notes app which works fantastic for lots of things including taking notes and annotating PDFs. The so-called Air Commands are built-in, there’s a Screen Off Memo feature and you can even use the pen as a remote when giving a PowerPoint presentation. There are many more features and some are useless – but some can be useful.
Lenovo has very few software features. Bamboo Paper and Squid are pre-installed but that’s pretty much it. And with these, the pen does not work that well. I noticed that my handwriting doesn’t look as clear as with the S Pen and Samsung Notes. That changes a bit with the note-taking app Nebo – here the Lenovo pen performs fine but overall, the Samsung is clearer.
For handwriting and drawings, the Galaxy Tab S7 is a much better choice at the end. But that’s not because of the S Pen itself or just software, but because of the 120Hz screen. With it, it looks like the stylus reacts instant – just like on paper. But on the Tab P11 Pro with its 60Hz screen, the writing lags behind the pen a bit.
Hardware: Snapdragon 730 vs. 865+
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro ships with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and a 128GB internal storage. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, we’re getting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and between 128GB and 512GB of internal storage. In both cases, I’ve got the 6GB RAM version.
It’s very clear: The Galaxy Tab S7 destroys the Lenovo in all benchmarks. No matter if you look at the CPU or GPU performance, the Samsung tablet is much more powerful.
My gaming test confirms this. While you can play Fortnite well with medium graphics on the P11 Pro, it runs very smooth on the S7 with graphics set to epic. That looks much prettier. Something similar goes for other games like PUBG Mobile. While you can play that one with HD graphics on the Lenovo, the Samsung supports Ultra HD settings.
With everything else, the performance is very similar. Multitasking with Chrome and YouTube works well and their desktop modes run great too. With standard Office work or video chats, you won’t notice a difference. That changes if you want to edit videos or so – the S7 is the clear winner here.
Software: What About Updates?
Out of the box, both tablets are running Android 10. Samsung promises to update the S7 for at least three years. In the past, they usually did release at least two big updates for their S tablets. Lenovo hasn’t been as good in the past, though. I’m expecting at least one but I’m not sure about two.
The software is a bit different because both customize Android with their UI. Lenovo’s is much closer to vanilla Android and most of the pre-installed apps are the Google ones. I like that a lot.
Samsung’s OneUI is much heavier and it has tons of more features. Some are useless and some can be very handy. Samsung Notes is one of them because I think it’s one of the best notes apps in general for Android.
Both tablets have a desktop mode. Samsung’s is called DeX and it’s a quite heavy desktop mode with lots of customizations. I think it works well. Lenovo has the so-called Productivity Mode which is a lighter-weight desktop mode. It doesn’t customize Android that much but it also has fewer features.
I wouldn’t fully replace my laptop or desktop with either, but both desktop modes can be useful when working a bit while sitting in a café or train or so.
With a runtime of 10.25 hours, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro has the best battery life of any tablet I tested recently. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 got 8 hours in my standard test. I’m always looping an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro vs. Galaxy Tab S7: Final Verdict
That’s the end of my comparison between the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Lenovo Tab P11 Pro. My final verdict is very clear. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a much better tablet. Yes, it has an LCD instead of an OLED screen, but it looks sharper, is brighter, and supports 120Hz. The performance of the Tab S7 is much better, the S Pen has more features, and I think it’s very likely that it’ll get updates longer.
Now, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is not a terrible tablet, of course. In fact, it’s pretty good except for the pentile screen. And the weaker performance would be fine if it would be much cheaper. But in most countries, it’s not that much cheaper – especially if you factor in the pen.
So, if prices are similar, I would always pick the Galaxy Tab S7 over the Tab P11 Pro. The Lenovo can be interesting if you can find a great deal and are fine with the compromise you’ll have to make. But prices do vary a lot, especially from country to country, so make sure you’re comparing your local prices to find the best value for you.
- Fantastic screens
- High-end build quality
- Fingerprint scanners
- Great speakers
- Android 10 with three updates
- Fastest Android tablets in 2020
- S Pen is included
- Good keyboard cover
- 2018 iPad Pro is faster
- No AMOLED for Tab S7
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