The 2nd Generation Lenovo Tab M10 HD is an Android tablet that costs just 130 Dollars which means it can be an interesting choice for many looking for an inexpensive family tablet. In fact, the kids’ mode is advertised in particular and you can get a Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen with a Smart Dock and the Google Assistant. In this Lenovo Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen review you learn how good the newest iteration really is.
Let’s take a look at the different versions first. There is a Lenovo Tab M10 which I reviewed almost two years ago. Then there’s the new Lenovo Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen that I am reviewing here which is the direct successor. In addition to that, Lenovo is selling a Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen. While the internal hardware of the two is identical, that one comes with a Smart Dock and you can use the tablet as a smart display.
There’s also a Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus that I reviewed at the beginning of 2020 which has a Smart Tab version as well. Yes, that’s a bit confusing, so if you see a deal or so, double-check if you’re buying the tablet you want.
Design & Built Quality
I’m starting this review with the design. The Lenovo Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen looks pretty. We’re getting a metal body with two plastic sides which are housing the speakers and a couple of ports. It weighs 420g and is 8mm thin.
You charge it using a USB C 2.0 port which you can also use to connect lots of accessories but external monitors are not supported. On the other side, there’s a headphone jack and on the top sits a microSD card slot. There’s a connector for the Smart Dock since the hardware is the same as the Smart Tab, but it seems like you can’t buy the dock separately.
When holding it in landscape orientation, we get a speaker on each side, so two in total. I think the sound quality is pretty good for its price. But compared to the Apple iPad 8, the bass is much weaker. To be fair, that one costs more than twice as much.
Sadly, the webcam is not placed in the middle but on one of the sides and it has a 5-megapixel resolution. The main camera on the back offers 8 megapixels. Photos and videos look fine for this price class.
I like that you can unlock the tablet using facial recognition which works as it should in a good light. However, it’s using the webcam alone which means it’s not as secure as Apple’s Face ID.
Display: HD Without Netflix HD
As the name suggests, the Lenovo Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen has a 10.1-inch screen with an HD resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. For this size, I think that’s a bit too low. Icons and texts look a bit blurry compared to screens with a Full HD resolution. Sure, in the past we were all fine with such a low pixel density. But it’s not ideal.
Besides that, it’s a good display. Colors seem accurate and viewing angles are wide. With 400 nits it’s quite bright for a cheap Android tablet but it’s not as bright as the iPad 8. That’s to be expected, of course.
According to Lenovo, the screen is especially gentle to your eyes. It’s certified by TÜV Rheinland and it’s reducing blue light.
I’m very disappointed that you can’t use the tablet to watch Netflix with HD resolution. Since it has a Widevine Level of L3 it does not support the necessary DRM standards. That means you’re stuck with standard definition movies and TV shows.
This has been an issue for a couple of years now with Lenovo’s Android tablets. I reviewed almost all of them that have been released recently and none of them are capable of Netflix HD playback. That’s very disappointing since many want to watch Netflix and other streaming services on their tablet. Well, you can watch YouTube and local videos in HD, of course.
Hardware & Performance
Inside the Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen runs a MediaTek Helio P22T octa-core processor with eight cores that clock at up to 2.3GHz. You can get versions with 2GB or 4GB of RAM, as well as 32GB or 64GB internal storage. I have the one with 4GB and 64GB because it’s not much pricier and that’s lots of storage for this price range.
Benchmark tests from Geekbench 5, 4, and 3D Mark show that the performance of that Helio P22T is below the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 which is a bit pricier. And it’s weaker than the Amazon Fire HD 10. Test results are very similar to the Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus – no wonder because the internal hardware is the same.
When surfing the web in Chrome and watching YouTube, I didn’t notice any major performance lags. It’s certainly fast enough for that. I noticed that multitasking works surprisingly well which might be due to the 4GB of RAM that my version has. With the 2GB one, it might not work as well.
The benchmarks suggest that this is not a gaming tablet and that’s true. You can play PUBG Mobile with the lowest settings which doesn’t look great but it runs fine. You’ll have to live with occasional stutters and you can’t even select HD graphics.
I noticed the same with Asphalt 9. The graphics look terrible compared to higher-end competitors and there are some heavier lags. Simpler games run great, of course. I played Evolution 2 and didn’t encounter any hiccups or so.
Software: Android 10 & Kids Mode
Lenovo ships the Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen running Android 10 which is great. In the past, most tablets from Lenovo have gotten one big update. So, while I can’t promise anything, I’m guessing that it’ll get Android 11 next year.
I always like that Lenovo is shipping their tablets with almost pure Android. The interface is much less customized than Samsung’s, Huawei’s, or Amazon’s, which often can seem a bit overloaded. Google’s apps are preinstalled, as well as an FM Radio and a Video+ app but that’s it.
Among the preinstalled Google services are YouTube Kids and Google Kids Space. The latter one is a kids mode. You can set up different users on this tablet including ones for your kids. Since I don’t have any, it’s always hard to judge for me how good these kids’ modes are. But Google Kids Space seems much better to me than Samsung Kids, for instance.
The Google Assistant is preinstalled too and works just as it does on your phone. If you love the Assistant, it makes sense to get the Smart Tab M10 HD with the Smart Dock because it allows you to use this tablet as a smart display.
I like that we get a work mode, too, which was called productivity mode in the past. You can activate it in the settings. It’s not a real desktop mode as you might be familiar with from Samsung or Huawei. But it’s a more work-friendly view with a taskbar where you see opened apps and the three buttons get pushed to the side. It’s easier to navigate Android using a mouse and keyboard that way.
In my battery test, the Tab M10 HD got a runtime of 6.5 hours. For this, I’m always looping an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness. That’s not an outstanding result but a fine mid-range one.
Lenovo Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen Review: Final Verdict
Well, that’s the end of my review of the second-generation Lenovo Tab M10 HD. I like that we’re getting a premium-feeling body and almost pure Android 10. The software makes a great impression in general because of the work mode and Google Kids Space. I also like that we can get an unusually large amount of RAM and storage.
The performance of the MediaTek processor is not perfect, but fine for most use cases. You can’t expect a great gaming performance. And it’s a bit disappointing that the screen has an HD resolution only, but besides that, it’s a good one. That you can’t watch Netflix with HD resolution is a bummer too. I wonder what’s going on there.
Whether I can recommend the Lenovo Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen depends on the price mostly. It’s fine starting at 130 US Dollars, but in most countries, it’s a bit pricier. There are lots of competitors in this price range so make sure that you compare prices. I think this can be an excellent value if you can find a good discount. The good thing is that Lenovo tablets often are heavily discounted during events like Prime Day and at other times too.
Let’s check out its competitors.
The Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus is a fantastic alternative because it’s almost the same tablet but its screen has a Full HD resolution. It’s running Android 9 but it should get an update to Android 10 soon. If prices are the same or similar, I think it’s worth it to get the higher resolution one. Otherwise, their advantages and weaknesses are the same.
A more powerful competitor with a Full HD resolution is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. Usually, it costs a bit more but I think it’s a better gaming tablet. Here, you can watch Netflix in HD resolution. I like that Samsung usually released two big updates. If you want to have 64GB of storage, you’ll have to pay quite a bit more though.
If you’re fine with a heavily customized interface and are capable of installing the Google Play Store yourself, it’s worth it to check out the Amazon Fire HD 10. Depending on the version, it can be cheaper or about the same price. Here, we do get a Full HD screen and you can watch Netflix in HD. You’ll have to be happy to live in Amazon’s universe, though. That means Alexa instead of the Google Assistant.
- Pretty metal body
- Pure Android 10
- Solid speakers
- Google Kids Space
- Lots of RAM & storage options
- Low resolution
- No HD-Netflix
- Performance okay only
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