With the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, we’re getting a very interesting and cheaper alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. This Lenovo premium tablet features a 12.6-inch AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 870 processor, an included stylus, as well as an optional keyboard cover. How good is this 700-dollar tablet? That’s what you’ll learn in this Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review.
Design & Built Quality
The design of the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is as high-end as its competitors from Apple and Samsung. We’re getting a full metal body that’s very premium-feeling and is just 6mm thin. It weighs 656g which is comfortably light for such a large tablet.
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is a high-end Android tablet with a great design, a pretty 12.6-inch AMOLED screen, and a powerful Snapdragon 870 processor. We get cool features like the Precision Pen 3 and the keyboard cover which can be used separate from the tablet. While it's cheaper, it can't reach Samsung and Apple in all aspects.
Built into the power button is a fingerprint scanner that works fast and precisely. We get a microSD card slot, as well as a USB C 3.1 Gen 2 port which allows you to connect external monitors as well. Even though a headphone jack is missing, Lenovo is including a USB C to 3.5mm audio adapter.
On the front, we get an 8-megapixel webcam with a TOF sensor which allows you to unlock the tablet using facial recognition. The front-facing camera is fine for selfies and good for video chats.
The 13-megapixel main camera on the back takes great photos and videos. We also get a 5-megapixel wide-angle camera but because of its low resolution, it’s lacking some detail and sharpness.
Display: 12.6-inch AMOLED
A big highlight of the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is its 12.6-inch AMOLED screen. It has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels which means it’s very sharp. As is common for an AMOLED, the contrast is quite high and colors look saturated. Overall, it’s a very good display.
I compared it with the 12.4-inch AMOLED of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, and in direct comparison, the two screens look very similar. They look almost the same and both support 120Hz so animations look very smooth.
The Tab P12 Pro does support HDR content and since it has a Widevine Level of L1, you can watch Netflix in HD and HDR 10.
I think it’s pretty cool that you can use the tablet as an external monitor for your laptop. Lenovo calls it Project Unity and for that, you just have to install another app on your notebook. Compared to a wired monitor, there is a small visible lag, but overall, I think it works great. And I love that the touchscreen can be used too.
On its sides, the tablet has four speakers. The sound quality is fantastic and on a similar level as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus. In a direct comparison with the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro, however, that one has a bit more pleasing sound.
Lenovo Precision Pen 3
Let’s get to the active stylus. Usually, Lenovo makes us buy their pens separately, but this time, the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 is included. That’s great because Lenovo makes lots of pens that are not interchangeable.
The Precision Pen 3 is made of plastic and is as thick as a standard pen. It has one button on its side. You can charge the pen inductively by placing it on the back of the tablet – just as we’re used to from Samsung and Apple.
We get a hard pen tip which is similar to the Apple Pencil. On Samsung’s S Pen and the standard Microsoft Surface Pen, the tip is a bit softer which I like more. But opinions on this vary a lot.
The pen reacts very well and is precise. However, I did notice that it’s not as fast as other 120Hz tablets usually are. When drawing something very fast, the writing lags behind the pen a bit. That looks much better on the 120Hz tablets from Samsung and Apple.
Lenovo did built-in a couple of nice software features for the Precision Pen 3. With those, you can quickly start a new note and take a screenshot and annotate it. You can also use handwriting in most text fields which works okay but is not as good as Apple’s Scribble feature. It does not work when writing an email in Gmail, for instance.
Hardware & Performance
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. You can get a version with 5G as well.
Benchmarks like Geekbench 5 and 3D Mark Wild Life show that the performance of the Snapdragon 870 is a bit below the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series. You can also clearly see that the Apple iPad Pro with its M1 chipset is not just a bit, but a lot more powerful. Regarding performance, no Android tablet gets even close to the iPad.
My gaming test confirms that the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is among the fastest Android tablets out there. You can play PUBG Mobile with graphics set to UltraHD and it looks great and runs great just as with the premium devices of the competition. With Fortnite, you can set the graphics to epic and the frame rate to 60 fps and it runs very well with just some minor occasional stutters in between.
Other apps like Chrome, YouTube, and Adobe Lightroom run fantastic, and fast and demanding multitasking is possible too. The system itself feels very snappy. When using the P12 Pro, you feel like using a premium tablet. It’s very powerful.
Software: Android 11
Out of the box, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is running Android 11 with its own UI. An update to Android 12L is planned and Lenovo is promising updates until 2024. That sounds great and is much better than Lenovo has been in the past. However, usually, Samsung is a bit better with updates and Apple delivers updates much longer anyways.
While the interface is customized a little bit, it’s vanilla Android, for the most part. Tons of Google apps are pre-installed and among those are a kids mode and the Google Entertainment Space. That one gives you a quick overview of your entertainment content. In the settings, you can deactivate it.
As usual, you can open apps in a split-screen view. If you’re using the keyboard cover and want more efficient multitasking, you can activate the productivity mode. This is a kind of desktop mode that makes it easier to navigate the tablet using a keyboard and mouse. More importantly, it allows you to open apps in free-floating and overlappable windows. That can be very useful.
If you want to get some work done with your Tab P12 Pro, you can get an official keyboard cover that costs around 150 Dollars and is much cheaper than its competition. Just as with the Book Cover Keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S8+, the keyboard cover consists of two parts. There’s a back cover with an integrated kickstand that’s connected magnetically and can be used without the keyboard.
On the back, there’s a protective cover for the Precision Pen 3, and the stylus is also charged while being in there. The magnets of the back cover are pretty strong so that you can comfortably grab the tablet by the kickstand without having to fear that it’ll drop.
The keyboard part is connected magnetically as well. Since we’ve got a 12-inch screen here, the keyboard can be pretty big and it’s much more comfortable to type on than on keyboards meant for 10 or 11-inch devices. The keys have a proper travel and I was able to touch type fast immediately.
Below the keyboard sits a touchpad which works well. For a tablet in general and for an Android tablet in particular, the touchpad is pretty big. That’s great. And once you turn on the productivity mode, it makes sense to use a trackpad.
The keyboard cover has one very cool feature that I’ve only seen with some Lenovo Windows tablets before. Built into the keyboard are a small battery and a Bluetooth module. That means that you can not only use the keyboard while it’s attached to the tablet but also while it’s detached. That can be super useful. For instance, you can place the tablet on a table and use the keyboard on your lap. Really cool.
Overall, the keyboard cover is a good one. Especially once you consider its price. It’s similar in quality to the Samsung Book Cover Keyboard. Yes, the Apple Magic Keyboard feels much higher-end but it costs more than twice as much.
In my battery test, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro got a runtime of 11 hours. For this, I’m always looping a YouTube HD video at maximum brightness.
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro Review: Final Verdict
So, is the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro a good tablet? Yes, it is for sure. The built quality is fantastic, the 12.6-inch AMOLED screen looks great, it’s very powerful, the battery life is long, and we get a solid stylus and an optional keyboard.
On its own alone, the Tab P12 Pro is a fantastic tablet and the best I’ve seen from Lenovo so far. I love that you can use it as an external monitor. And that you can use the keyboard while it’s detached from the tablet, is very cool as well. However, my comparison with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ shows that the S Pen is a bit better and Samsung usually updates its tablets longer and has more software features.
Depending on the country, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro can be between 100 and 300 dollars cheaper and the keyboard is less expensive too. Because of that, my final verdict is that it is a fantastic premium tablet if you want to save some money compared to the S8 Plus. The pen and software are not as good as Samsungs, but you can save a lot of money.
It’s also important to point out that often the 8GB RAM and 256GB storage version is not much pricier than the 6GB / 128GB version. So, if you need more RAM and storage, you can save even more money.
Let’s check out the alternatives.
I mentioned the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ along the way already. It’s very similar to the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro but should get a couple of years longer updates and the S Pen reacts faster. On paper, the performance is a bit better too, but you won’t notice it in real life.
A much better performance offers the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. The M1 chipset is much, much more powerful which means the Apple tablet will feel up-to-date much longer. It should get much longer software updates as well. The price difference is huge, however, as the Apple tablet can cost between 500 and 700 dollars more including the pen, which varies by country.
- High-end design
- Pretty 120Hz AMOLED
- Fingerprint scanner
- Very powerful
- Cool keyboard cover
- Stylus is included
- Lenovo Project Unity
- Long battery life
- Small pen lag
- Updates until 2024 only
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