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Lenovo Tab M9 Unboxing: These Are Our First Impressions

The Lenovo Tab M9 is a new entry-level 9-inch tablet running Android. In this unboxing video we share our first impressions.

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The Lenovo Tab M9 is a brand-new offering from the Chinese manufacturer. We got our hands on the new tablet that has just been available in Europe. Other countries should get this model real soon with a starting price of 160 euros.

Inside the box, we see right away a screen protector so you can immediately cover the screen. No need to purchase it separately so that’s a bonus. Lenovo also added a clear case with a built-in kickstand. Now this is another bonus because you don’t have to spend extra on accessories.

Further inside, we see a standard charger with a USB Type-A to Type-C cable. The usual eject tool is also present so you can easily put in your SIM card or a microSD card. More standard stuff are found inside like a warranty guide and a quickstart guide.

Great Small Tablet
Lenovo Tab M9

The Lenovo Tab M9 is better than other up-to-date and widely available 8-inch Android tablets on the market right now. Sure, with 9 inches, it's a bit bigger, but not much. It's fast enough, the display is quite bright and the battery lasts long. Sadly, there's no high-end competitor running Android right now.

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Lenovo Tab M9 Design

The Lenovo Tab M9 is quite similar to the previous model–the Lenovo Tab M8 we got to review three years ago, but is slightly bigger. You can see the symmetrical black bezels around the screen. On the rear of the Lenovo Tab M9, there is an 8MP camera. You can find a 2MP camera in front. There is no earpiece above the webcam but the LTE version might have it.

In the video we made a mistake. The body is mostly metal and just the top and bottom are plastic. You can see the Lenovo logo at the back which can’t be removed because it’s imprinted. The speakers are on the top and bottom of the tablet when held vertically. When held horizontally, the sound comes from both sides. The headphone jack and USB type-C 2.0 port are placed on the bottom as well. The microphone is on one side.

We already got to use the tablet for a whole day. Surfing the web is a breeze while watching Netflix and YouTube is smooth. The sound quality is pretty good and loud, but bass could be better. Overall, audio is decent and loud enough for a small tablet.

This Lenovo Tab M9 is 7.9mm thin and weighs 344 grams. It’s not the thinnest nor the thickest but the size is just right. It’s lighter than most 10-inch tablets available in the market. Placed side by side the Amazon Fire HD 8, you can see the Lenovo tablet is taller but the difference is not that huge. When compared to the Lenovo Tab M10 3rd-Gen, the Lenovo Tab M9 is obviously smaller.

Lenovo Tab M9 Display

The Lenovo M9 tablet boasts a 9-inch display. That’s larger than what most 8-inch tablets have. The tablet is just the right size to hold with one hand. The fully laminated IPS display offers good viewing angles. Expect 400 nits of brightness which is good enough to use outside and in bright rooms. You can probably use it under direct sunlight but not really recommended because it can be a bit too dark.

Resolution is low at only 1340 by 800 pixels. You may see some pixelation on the text and icons. The screen isn’t super sharp but you can watch Netflix on HD.

Lenovo Tab M9 Performance

Inside the tablet, there is a MediaTek Helio G80 processor running with 3GB to 4GB of RAM. Built-in storage can be 32GB up to 128GB and more with an SD card.

We ran a Geekbench 5 benchmark comparison and discovered the CPU performance is close to what the Nokia T10 and realme Pad mini offer. The two are direct rivals of the Lenovo Tab M9 for coming in the same price range. The graphics performance is better. Interestingly, the benchmark results are similar to the results of the Lenovo Tab M10 and the M10 Plus Gen-3.

Lenovo Tab M9 Geekbench

We used the Lenovo Tab M9 to play Apex Legends with graphics set to “normal” which sometimes can result in a framerate of below 20. That’s not ideal but if you want better FPS, you simply need to lower the graphic settings. Regular video playback is great. Multitasking is possible but we don’t recommend heavy multitasking.

The Lenovo Tab M9 runs on Android 12 OS. There is no custom interface so expect the standard Android experience–the native apps, pre-installed freebies, Google KidSpace, WPS Office, etc. The tablet is said to receive Android 13 in the future and may get up to three years worth of security updates.

Final Thoughts

The Lenovo Tab M9 may not compete with an ebook reader with an e-ink screen but we like the Reading Mode which is basically turning the screen black and white. Overall, the display is decent for reading and entertainment. We have yet to test the battery life but the general performance is fine. What’s notable is the improved graphics performance compared to the competition. For a $160 Android tablet, this is already good. Not great, just good!

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Bruno Grant

    February 15, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Could you please do a review on the Lenovo Legion Y700 tablet, I know it has a very limited release, but it very close to competing with the iPad mini 6. Its considered a gaming tablet and has really good performance numbers.

  2. Brian Squires

    August 2, 2023 at 10:25 am

    I bought the Tab M9 a few weeks ago and I am quite pleased with it so far.
    The positives for me are: I like the stock Android operating system with very little bloatware or interference, it’s fast enough for for normal browsing and watching YouTube etc, I like the protective case and screen protector being supplied as standard, the 4/64 Ram memory is good (system and basic apps use up 28GB of internal memory so I wouldn’t recommend the 3/32 version) and the face unlock works well and will probably be less prone to failure than the finger print recognition that I had on my previous Lenovo Tab4.
    The negatives for me are: the screen is at best average and not very inspiring (the screen on my 5 year old Tab4 was better), the speakers are good for their size, the battery life is okay and lasts all day but I wonder what it will be like when the battery gets older, the charge time is slow and the tablet is on the heavy side compared to my old 8″ tablet.
    I haven’t watched any streaming services so can’t comment on that experience and I don’t use a SIM card or memory card.
    I spent a long time trying to find an equivalent or better replacement for my Lenovo Tab4 Plus 8 that I bought back in 2018 (it was running quite happily on Android Nougat but the battery was giving up the ghost and I didn’t want to use a 3rd party replacement) unfortunately there didn’t seem to be anything on the market that matched the screen quality, processor speed, internal memory size, stock Android or price. This Tab M9 is the closest I could find which makes me wonder about the state of the small tablet market sector. The only aspect that has significantly improved is the price, I paid £225 back in 2018 for my Tab4, I paid £119 for the M9. I hope this information helps anyone who is looking for a small tablet.

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