The Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is a 10.3-inch Android tablet that costs around 200 dollars. For this, we get a high-end design, a pretty screen and almost pure Android 9. I like that it offers 4GB of RAM and at least 64GB of internal storage. But the competition is very strong in this price class, so can it compete? That’s what you’ll learn in this Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus review.
Display & Speakers
Its display size is a bit unusual. With 10.3 inches the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is a bit bigger than the 10.1-inch screens of most competitors. You can see a noticeable difference when comparing both display sizes side by side. The 10.3-inch screen has a full HD resolution with 1920 x 1200 pixels. It’s not as sharp as most phones, but I always think that a full HD resolution is good enough on 10 inches.
That’s what I can say about other aspects of the screen too. It’s bright enough, color reproduction is good and it’s an IPS panel. That means you can easily see from the sides too. It’s also nice to know that it’s a fully laminated screen. It means that you won’t see an air gap below the touchscreen.
Games and YouTube videos look very nice. However, there is a problem with Netflix. The Tab M10 FHD Plus has a Widevine level of L3 which means you can’t watch Netflix with HD resolution. Instead, you’ve got to watch movies or TV shows at 960 x 540 pixels. While it would be possible, I don’t think that Lenovo will fix this with an update. All Android tablets from Lenovo that I reviewed in the last couple of month and even years had the same issue. Yes, that’s very disappointing.
I don’t think it is a perfect entertainment tablet for watching movies or TV shows anyways. While it has two stereo speakers with real stereo separation, the sound quality is okay only. I mean, its usable but I’m missing a decent bass and it just sounds a bit flat. Sure, you can’t expect too much in this price range. But direct competitors like the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 have noticeably better speakers.
Hardware & Performance
The Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus features a MediaTek Helio P22T octa-core processor. It has 4GB of RAM and a 64GB internal storage. Out of those, 9.72GB are used by the operating system. You might also find versions with 3GB RAM and 128GB of storage, depending on where you’re from.
Benchmarks like Geekbench 4 and 5 show that the multi-core performance of the Helio P22T is pretty good. It sits between the Amazon Fire HD 10 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1. The graphics performance in the Geekbench Compute and 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme Test sometime sits below and sometimes over Samsung’s competitor, but it’s always weaker than the Amazon one.
So, that shows that the graphics performance is not great but kind of standard in this price range. Games like Call of Duty and PUBG Mobile do run well most of the time. But in both cases, you can only select low graphics. That means those games don’t look as good. I noticed the same with Asphalt 9. It does run but you’ll see stuttering in-between and the graphics don’t look great at all.
On the positive side, most standard apps like Chrome, Microsoft Word, YouTube and Skype run very well. Chrome performs smoothly with lots of tabs that are opened at the same time and they are being saved in memory when switching between them. I guess that’s due to the 4GB of RAM which is quite a lot for a 200-dollar tablet. That should also be the reason why the split screen view runs well too.
The Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is not a great gaming tablet. But thanks to the 4GB of RAM I think it’s great for office work with some multitasking and similar tasks.
Software: Android 9 Pie
The Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is shipped with Android 9 and the security patch of October 2019. I always like that we’re getting almost vanilla Android with Lenovo devices – including all common features like the split screen view.
It does have some minor customizations, though. Some pre-installed apps and games like Candy Crush are annoying. But you can uninstall all of them. There’s also a so-called Lenovo Entertainment Center that sits on the home screen. I think it’s a totally useless feature but you can deactivate it in the settings.
The kids mode might be interesting if you have kids. Since I don’t, it’s always hard for me to evaluate how useful they really are. But if you don’t want that your children have access to the whole tablet, it might be useful.
Read: The Best Android Tablets
If you’re getting this tablet to get some work done with, you might want to use the productivity mode. Once you turn it on, those navigation buttons on the bottom get transformed into a kind of task bar. That looks similar to a desktop operating system and means you can navigate Android easier with keyboard and mouse. It’s not a real desktop mode like the ones Samsung or Huawei offer though.
The build-in facial recognition can be useful too. It’s not as safe and especially not as fast as Apples Face ID, but it does work most of the time in good lighting conditions. However, in the dark, it does not work at all.
Sadly, Lenovo is quite unreliable what updates are concerned. Sometimes they do publish updates for their tablets but sometimes they don’t. And if they do, we get one major update only. At least that’s what it was like in the last couple of years.
Design & Build Quality
I can only say good things about its design and build quality. That’s because the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus has a full metal body which makes it feel very high-end. In fact, it feels better build than the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 and is on a similar level as the standard iPad 7 is. But there are slim plastic parts on the top and bottom.
The M10 FHD Plus weighs 460g and is 8.2mm thin. I think that’s okay.
On the bottom sits a USB type C port that you can use to charge the tablet or to connect accessories like hard drives or a mouse. On the top, we get a headphone jack, and on its side are a power button and volume controls. Below those you can insert a microSD card that can be up to 256GB in size.
It has a connector for a dock on its left side. I’m guessing that one is for the version with the Google Assistant Ambient Mode that’s called Lenovo Smart Tab M10 FHD Plus. Besides that, both tablets are identical.
The 5-megapixel front-facing camera is usable for Skype video chats or simple selfies. But I think photos and videos of that webcam are sharpened too much. Lenovo overdid it a bit. With the 8-megapixel main camera, on the other hand, I’m wondering where those 8 megapixels are. Photos and videos are lacking detail and don’t look as sharp as they should. Here, again, I can describe it as barely usable only.
The battery life of the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is pretty good. In my standard test, it got a runtime of 14 hours. For this, I’m always looping the same HD video at medium brightness.
With that being said, the battery life is not as good in my YouTube test. When streaming an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness, it lasts about 4 hours only.
Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus Review: My Final Verdict
My final verdict of the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is twofold. It’s a very solid tablet on the one hand. It offers a premium design, a nice screen, almost pure Android 9 and a good performance for its price. The battery life is quite long and I like that we’re getting 4GB of RAM and a 64GB storage. That’s a good amount in this price range.
But on the other hand you can’t watch Netflix in HD and the speakers could be better. I think Lenovo disappoints with updates too. I wish they would guarantee at least two but they’re not. What’s the point of vanilla Android if you’re getting one update only, if you get one at all?
That’s why I can recommend the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus only if you prefer vanilla Android and want a good premium-looking design. It’s great to surf the internet with, to read news and blogs. Obviously, it can also be a great choice if you can find a good deal. Lenovo is reducing the price of their tablets quite often.
Let’s check out some alternatives.
I think the most interesting alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019. Many aspects of these tablets are very similar. The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 has a bit better speakers and you can watch Netflix with HD resolution. That’s why it’s the better entertainment tablet. I also like that the Galaxy Tab A series usually gets two major updates and Samsung announced Android 10 already. On the negative side, you’ve got to live with Samsung’s heavy UI customizations.
If you prefer a Lenovo tablet, I think the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab is the more interesting alternative. With that one you get a longer battery life, better speakers, a build-in kickstand and a unique design. You can’t use it to watch Netflix in HD with either, but thanks to its stand, long battery life and good speakers I think it’s a great YouTube tablet. Or to watch videos locally with. It also supports the Google Assistant Ambient Mode which means you can use it as a smart speaker.
Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus Accessories
Here are some of the accessories I’ve been using with the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus.
UGreen Tablet Stand
The UGreen Tablet Stand is a very simple stand. While its made of plastic, it is well build and I like it because it’s compact and can be folded up easily. That’s why it’s a great tavel stand.
TUTUO USB C Dongle
You can use the TUTUO USB C dongle to connect big SD card to your Tab M10 FHD Plus – if you want to edit photos in Adobe Lightroom, for instance. Or you can use the normal USB 3.0 type A port to connect hard drives, USB sticks, a mouse or other accessories.
Logitech K380 Keyboard
The Logitech K380 is an affordable Bluetooth keyboard. It’s a great choice if you want a keyboard that sits on your desk permanently. I’ve been able to type on it very fast without having to get used to it. It works great with Android, iPadOS, macOS and Windows.
KIZUNA Tablet Sleeve
The KIZUNA Tablet Sleeve is a generic sleeve that fits almost every 10-inch tablet. In the case of the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus, there’s a bit extra room which you can use to fit accessories and cables.
- High-end metal body
- Good 10.3-inch screen
- Lots of RAM
- Almost pure Android 9
- Solid performance
- No Netflix HD support
- Bad speakers
- Updates uncertain
- Blurry cameras
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