The Lenovo Tab P11 is an entry-level tablet that, even though it starts at just 230 Dollars, you can get with a keyboard cover and a pen. Another unique feature is the 11-inch screen which makes it bigger than all competitors. Is it worth it? That’s what you’ll learn in this Lenovo Tab P11 review.
Display: 11-Inch LCD
Let’s start with the screen. It’s exactly 11 inches in size which makes it bigger than all other tablets in this price range which usually have 10-inch displays. It’s an LCD that is fully laminated and has a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels.
This is not the best screen ever. But it’s sharp, saturated, and bright enough – on a similar level as others in this price class. But compared to pricier alternatives, it’s a bit blueish.
It can be a good Netflix tablet because you can watch it with HD resolution. Sounds normal, but that wasn’t the case with many Lenovo tablets in the past.
We get four speakers in total, two on each shorter side. Again, for this price, the sound is good and I like that it comes from all sides. That isn’t the case with the iPad 8, for instance. But don’t expect too much. The pricier Lenovo Tab P11 Pro has four speakers as well and offers a much more pleasing sound.
Lenovo Precision Pen 2
If you want, you can get the Lenovo Precision Pen 2 which is a pressure-sensitive stylus that supports 4096 levels. You can use it with the P11 Pro too. Prices vary by market, I paid around 70 dollars.
Thanks to its aluminum built it feels very well made. It has two buttons on its side and you charge it using a USB C port on the top.
On the software side, Lenovo doesn’t support the pen well. If you touch the screen with the tip and press the upper button, you get to the start screen. And if you press the lower button, a smart bar opens. That’s it.
Apps like Bamboo Paper and Squid are pre-installed and while they work fine, you can get them in the Play Store anyway. So, Lenovo offers much fewer features than Samsung and Apple do.
I think the Precision Pen 2 is fine for handwritten notes and drawings. But in a direct comparison with the S Pen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, my writing doesn’t look as clear with the Lenovo. And Samsung Notes is a fantastic notes app for Android.
Yes, it’s fair to compare the two, because prices are about the same if you factor in the pens.
Lenovo Keyboard Cover
Another optional accessory is the official keyboard cover. The tablet has a special connector for it on its side. So, unlike with Bluetooth ones, you don’t have to charge it separately. I paid over 100 Dollars in Germany, but prices vary by market. And compared to other official keyboard covers, it’s quite affordable.
I like the keyboard a lot. If you’re looking for an affordable Android tablet with a good keyboard, I think this is one of the best options. The keyboard cover consists of a back with an integrated kickstand that’s attached magnetically. You can use that kickstand separate from the keyboard.
The keyboard is attached using the magnetic connector. Folded up, the cover protects the tablet and I like this fabric-like texture.
The keyboard itself is smaller than your standard laptop keyboard. But it’s bigger than the ones for most 10-inch tablets. You might have to get used to it a bit, but once you are, it’s great to type on. It does not have premium features like a background light but a couple of shortcuts are built-in.
A touchpad sits below the keyboard. Sure, it’s a bit small, but that’s always the case with tablets. It works fine. So, overall, I think the keyboard cover is a good one.
Hardware & Performance
The Lenovo Tab P11 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 octa-core processor with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, depending on the version you’re getting. You can choose between 64GB and 128GB of storage. I’ve gotten the cheapest one with 4GB and 64GB.
Benchmark results are almost identical to the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. That’s to be expected because both have the same CPU. Keep in mind that Lenovo offers more RAM and storage. It’s also important to note that the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite has a better graphics performance. And the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is quite a bit faster.
You can’t expect high-end performance in this price class. But I was able to surf the web, watch YouTube, and use two apps side-by-side just fine. Thanks to that 4 GB of RAM multitasking is possible without too many hiccups. When using the productivity mode, I often used Microsoft Office and YouTube at the same time and that runs well.
When playing games, the P11 shows that it’s more of an entry-level device. You can play PUBG Mobile with balanced settings only and you can’t even select HD. But it runs fine.
I was able to install and play Fortnite as well. With the lowest graphics settings, it’s kind of playable and I even managed to win a match. But I can’t recommend it as a Fortnite tablet, that’s for sure. There are too many stutters especially when fighting. And with the lowest graphics, it doesn’t look great.
So, yes, most games do run on the P11. But you’ve got to play demanding ones with low graphics settings.
Design & Built
The built quality of the Lenovo Tab P11 is good and I like the design. It has a mostly metal body with a blue plastic cover on the back, but I think it looks nice. Compared to the Tab P11 Pro, the transition from the body to the screen is not as good. But that’s to be expected with a cheaper device.
With 7.5mm, it’s far from thin and the weight of 490g is not super light. But again, something that probably has to be because of its bigger design. There’s no headphone jack, which is a bummer. But it does have a microSD card slot and you can use a memory card to expand the internal storage. Using the USB C 2.0 port you can connect lots of accessories except external monitors.
There is no fingerprint scanner. But you can unlock it using facial recognition using the webcam. It’s not as secure as on the Pro, which has an additional sensor for that, but it works fine in good light.
Selfies of the 8-megapixel front camera are usable. And the 13-megapixel main camera takes okay photos too. It’s lacking detail, but it’s fine for snapshots. As usual, pretty much every phone takes better photos.
Software: Android 10
Lenovo is shipping the tablet running Android 10. I’m expecting it to get one update. But sadly, Lenovo isn’t as reliable with this as Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft are.
The interface is customized a little bit only. That’s great. With a couple of exceptions, we get Google’s apps for the most part. For kids, the Google Kids Space is pre-installed. You can open a smart bar with a gesture to take screenshots or to open Bamboo Paper. That’s useful.
A unique feature in this price range is the productivity mode. That’s quite rare in cheaper tablets.
Once you turn on the productivity mode, you kind of get a desktop operating system. It’s still Android, of course, but you get a taskbar with apps, and apps open in free-floating windows. That works well. Now, it’s useful if you connect a keyboard and mouse, otherwise, there’s no reason to use it. It doesn’t have to be the official ones. You can connect pretty much every keyboard and mouse.
In my battery test, the Tab P11 got a runtime of 7 hours. For this, I’m always looping an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness.
Lenovo Tab P11 Review: Final Verdict
So, is the Lenovo Tab P11 a good tablet? That depends on what you’re looking for. But yes, generally, I think Lenovo did a great job here and I can recommend it. The value is good.
Considering its price, it has a pretty design, a good screen, and a decent performance. I think it’s very interesting if you’re looking for an affordable Android tablet with an official keyboard. The stylus is a nice additional feature. But if the pen is most important for you, I wouldn’t recommend it specifically for that.
Let’s get to the possible alternatives.
If you care about a pen, I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the most interesting competitor. The S Pen is included here and that’s why both cost about the same. While the pen doesn’t feel as high-end, the handwriting looks clearer and there are more software features. It should get two more big software updates as well and is better built.
A cheaper alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. You can save some money here and are still getting the same processor. Many aspects of the two are very similar. But keep in mind that the cheapest version of the A7 has 32GB storage only. And you can’t save apps and games to a memory card here.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is a possible alternative too. It has a bigger 11.5-inch OLED screen and supports the same pen. This tablet is much faster and you can connect it to an external display which works fantastic with the productivity mode. Sadly, it has a pentile display which means it’s not as sharp as you would expect from a pricier device.
- Good display
- Metal body
- Good-enough performance
- Excellent keyboard
- Optional pen
- Long updates unlikely
- Pen okay only
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