The Lenovo Tab M10 is a lower-middle-class tablet with a 10.1-inch full HD screen and almost pure Android 8.1 Oreo. Its internal hardware is almost identical to the much pricier Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 and Lenovo Tab P10 – but this one has fewer features. However, it is much cheaper with a price tag of just under 200 US Dollars. Is that worth it? That’s what you’ll find out in my Lenovo Tab M10 review.
One quick note at the beginning: In a couple of countries including the US and most of Europe Lenovo is also offering a Lenovo Smart Tab M10. Both tablets actually are the same tablet. However, the Smart Tab M10 comes with built-in Amazon Alexa and a speaker dock. It costs around 200 US Dollars as well. Usually, you can get the normal Tab M10 for a little bit less. Alright, let’s start this Lenovo Tab M10 review.
Design & Build Quality
You can get the Lenovo Tab M10 in black and white. As you might expect at this price point, it features a full plastic body. While it does look quite nice and similar to the pricier Lenovo Tab P10, that one is made of metal and glass. Well, the Tab M10 is made of plastic but seems to be well built. It’s 8.1mm thin and weighs 480g.
Above the screen, we get a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a status LED. On the right side, there is a standard headphone jack and a USB C 2.0 port. Underneath sits a microSD card slot. All the way on the bottom is a connector for a dock and on the left side are the power button and volume controls.
The tablet has a 5-megapixel camera on the back. Sadly, both cameras are not that great. That’s not unusual in this class though. In good lighting conditions, the quality is fine for snapshots and video chats. But you can’t make good photos with it.
Two speakers are placed right above the screen and are angled towards the front. I’d say the sound quality of those stereo speakers is acceptable but not really good. A real bass is missing and it sounds a bit flat.
The Lenovo Tab M10 has a 10.1-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10. It is a full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. Like always, I think a full HD resolution on 10 inches is totally fine. And that is the case here too. Texts and photos look sharp enough.
It is an IPS panel with wide viewing angles. Color reproduction and contrast are good. And that goes for its brightness too. It is bright enough to use inside and outside in the shadows. However, it is way too dark to use under direct sunlight. The Tab P10 is a bit brighter.
Lenovo is not offering an active stylus for this tablet. That is the standard for devices like this though.
Hardware & Performance
Lenovo is shipping the Tab M10 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor. Depending on the version, you can get it with 2GB or 3GB of RAM. You can also choose between a 16GB or 32GB internal storage. If you want, you can also get it with LTE built-in. My review unit is the cheapest option with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. Out of the box, you can use just over 8GB out of those 16.
We know the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 from tablets like the Lenovo Tab P10 and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 already. Both are a bit pricier. Since all three tablets have the same processor, benchmark results are almost identical. In Geekbench 4 it gets around 770 and 3895 points. The Tab M10 scores around 70700 points in AnTuTu.
I should also mention that the Huawei MediaPad T5 gets a bit better results. That one is a direct competitor with similar features and prices. Another thing to note is that the performance is not much better than the one from the older Lenovo Tab4 10 Plus. So, if you own that one already, it’s probably not worth it to upgrade.
During everyday use, the performance is good enough for most tasks. I’ve had no issues with the operating system itself and apps like Chrome, YouTube, and Word run very smoothly as well. Another app I tried is Adobe Lightroom. While it does work, it’s not as smooth as with pricier tablets. Well, that’s to be expected.
I also noticed that when switching between several apps it can happen that some apps get closed in the background. That’s probably due to the 2GB of RAM of my review unit. While that is totally normal in this price range, it is something to note if you are used to high-end smartphones with much more RAM. If you want to do a lot of multitasking, you should probably go for the 3GB RAM version.
Lenovo Tab M10 Gaming Test
The performance of the Lenovo Tab M10 is good enough, especially for simpler games. For example, Shadow of Death runs very nicely. Other games like Assassins Creed Rebellion work without any heavy stutters as well. That game runs pretty well on here.
Another game I tried is PUBG Mobile. And yes, even that one is playable at lowest graphics settings. However, especially when setting the graphics to balanced, I noticed some minor stuttering while fighting. That’s what I experienced with the ego shooter Shadowgun Legends too.
So, if you want, you certainly can play games with the Lenovo Tab M10. And that includes more demanding games. However, it’s not a perfect gaming tablet. In case you’re into graphics intensive games, you probably will have to play those at lowest settings.
Let’s get to its software. That is one of the major highlights of the Lenovo Tab M10. Out of the box, it is running Android 8.1 Oreo. I’m not sure if it will ever get an update to Android 9 Pie. Since it did get one software update while I’ve been reviewing it, Lenovo apparently is improving the software even after its release. That’s a good sign.
I really like that Lenovo did not customize Android Oreo that much. In fact, we’re kind of getting vanilla Android here. At least almost and that is awesome. Pretty much all direct competitors like Huawei, Samsung, and Amazon use heavy UI’s and those can seem overloaded. Again, here, we kind of get vanilla Android.
Some special features do exist though. For example, in the settings, you can specify whether you would like to use the app drawer or not. Another feature you can turn-on is tap-to-wake. That’s quite useful since we don’t get a fingerprint scanner.
An interesting feature is the productivity mode. That is a kind of desktop mode. Once you turn it on, you get a taskbar at the bottom with apps and the navigation buttons slide to the right side. That kind of looks like a desktop operating system and it’s a bit easier to use with keyboard and mouse. But it’s not as complex as Samsung Dex. It’s quite simple and I don’t think I’ll ever really use it.
Using the multiuser-mode, you can set up an account for children and active the kid’s mode. Since I don’t have any kids, I’m not sure if I can really evaluate how good it is. I think a lot of kids will be totally fine with standard Android. Anyways, the kid’s mode does work but also features a lot of annoying ads.
On the positive side, Lenovo is shipping it with very few pre-installed apps. We get some standard ones, the ones from Google, and Skype and Outlook from Microsoft. You can adjust the sound using a Dolby Atmos app. And Netflix is pre-installed too.
Since we’re talking about Netflix: The Lenovo Tab M10 does not support the necessary DRM standards to play Netflix in HD. You can watch it in standard definition only. Tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 and Lenovo Tab P10 have the same issue. With that being said, the Huawei MediaPad T5 10 can play Netflix in HD.
The Lenovo Tab M10 features a battery with a capacity of 4850mAh. In my standard battery test, that lasted for a runtime of just over 8 hours. For this test, I’m always looping the same HD video at medium brightness and turned-on WiFi.
Sadly, those 8 hours are pretty weak. As you can see in my comparison chart, all direct competitors get better results.
If you use the Tab M10 occasionally or just at night before sleep, I don’t think you’ll have to charge it more often than every two days or so. It is not losing much energy while in standby. But still. The battery lie is far from ideal.
Lenovo Tab M10 Review: Final Verdict
That’s my Lenovo Tab M10 review. Is it a good tablet? Considering its price, the build quality, its display, and performance are good. The screen features a full HD resolution and the performance is good enough for most apps. I really like that we’re getting almost pure Android here. That is something no direct competitor is offering.
On the negative side, the battery life is pretty short. And it’s also disappointing that you can not watch Netflix in HD.
Still. I think the overall value is not bad. Especially when you can get it at under 200 US Dollars. I can recommend it if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and want a tablet with almost vanilla Android. Again, that’s a major highlight and something no direct competitor is offering.
Let’s take a look at a couple of alternatives.
A very direct competitor is the Huawei MediaPad T5 with similar features and a similar price. The Huawei tablet features a metal back and a bit better performance and yes, even better battery life. However, the UI is heavily customized and seems overloaded compared to Lenovo’s one.
You can get similar hardware but additional features with the Lenovo Tab P10. While the processor is the same, it has more RAM and a brighter screen. The Tab P10 also features four good speakers and a fingerprint scanner. Its battery lasts longer and the body feels higher-end. Depending on the deal, it usually costs around 100 US Dollars more.
A cheaper alternative could be the Amazon Fire HD 10. It depends on the deals Amazon is running. That one offers a longer battery life and more storage out of the box. However, it feels cheaper and the performance can be a bit weaker. Again, the interface is heavily customized here and you even have to install the Google Play Store yourself. I can recommend it if you can get it as a much cheaper price. Otherwise, the Lenovo Tab M10 is better suited for most.
- Good full HD screen
- Solid performance
- Pretty design
- Vanilla Android 8.1 Oreo
- Short battery life
- Weak speakers
- Bad cameras
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