The world of smartphones and tablets continues to evolve as the ecosystem is integrated with various other technologies to offer a more seamless and enhanced experience. While the earlier versions of the tablet were simply large-screened smartphones, the modern, high-end variants are more of a design tool for creators or entertainment hubs for your youngsters. The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro offers a solution for both these objectives.
RELATED: Huawei MatePad T 10 Review – A Tablet Designed for Kids
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed the latest tablets with the recent push for 2-in-1 laptops. However, there is still plenty of room at the top of the tablet ecosystem, especially for content creators, designers and more. This is precisely the space where the Tab P11 Pro fits in. I take a look at how it performs as a creative tool.
Build and Design
The tablet’s overall design hasn’t changed significantly over the past few years. Its most significant design changes lie in the positioning and housing of the rear-facing camera and how rounded its edges are.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro has a squared approach to its edges, which feels great. It has a metallic frame and rear cover panel. The latter features a two-tone Storm Grey colourway. The top section has a matte finish with the Lenovo logo off to the left-hand side, with the bottom having a shinier finish in contrast. This gives it an aesthetic and premium overall feel, which is excellent.
Staying on the rear, a small frame is at the top centre. This magnetic strip is used to house the Lenovo Precision Pen 3. Although this is an optional extra, I did receive it with the review unit, with the magnetic strip working quite well. The Pen has a flat side, which is the portion that faces down on the rear of the tablet that connects to the magnetic fixture.
There are three buttons of note on the frame of the device. All of these are positioned on the top left-hand side corner. The power button is fitted to the left-hand side with the volume rocker on the top in two separate buttons. I didn’t quite like the positioning of these, with it not being very intuitive. My first reaction was to press the top of the screen to turn the screen on or off, which was the lower volume toggle. It takes some getting used to.
The right-hand side of the frame features the Type-C USB port for charging, which also includes two speakers, one on the top and one on the bottom of the USB port. There are an additional two speakers on the left-hand side of the frame, which has the SIM tray in the middle. The bottom features the magnetic strip for a case and docking station.
Given the size of its screen (more on that later), it is pretty lightweight and relatively thin. It measures 6.8mm thick and 480g in weight. These are good numbers – roughly the weight of two smartphones. Overall, the design isn’t breathtaking, although it isn’t bad either. It feels premium and resembles the part with its two-tone metal and glass rear. However, it does have a few notable omissions, such as the 3.5mm auxiliary jack. It also lacks an IP rating, so you must be wary of spills or dust around the tablet.
RELATED: Huawei Mate Xs 2 Review – A Beautifully Crafted Smartphone
Screen and Display
I was impressed by the device’s large 11.2” screen, which had an OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. Additionally, it featured a 2,560×1,536px resolution display with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. These are significant numbers on paper and, thankfully, a good representation in actual tests.
The overall size of the frame is 263.7×166.7×6.8mm, which is excellent given its large screen. It’s a touch smaller than the previous iteration of the P11, but with the added 120Hz support, it makes up for the reduced size. Its bezels are also relatively thin, giving it a screen-to-body ratio of 85%.
The screen is great to work with. It’s bright and bold, and with the OLED panel, it also features true black. Designing on this screen is an excellent asset, given its colour reproduction. With the 120Hz refresh rate and use of the Precision Pen 3, it offers a smooth and speedy reflection of what you’re working with, so it doesn’t feel too unnatural.
At the same time, it also doubles nicely as an entertainment hub. Streaming videos on the P11 Pro gives you a complete sense of emersion.
RELATED: Huawei MateBook X Pro Laptop Review – Performance but Pricey
There are several specifications to list, and although I won’t be able to cover it all, it is sufficient for the sake of the review. Firstly, we start with the chipset. The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro features a modest MediaTek Kompanio 1300T SoC. As such, it sports an Octo-Core CPU (x4 2.6GHz Cortex-A78 and x4 2.0GHz Cortex-A55), along with an ARM Mali-G77 GPU.
Additionally, it runs Android 12, which isn’t the latest OS but only one generation back. Hopefully, we will see an update to the firmware and not fall even further behind when the new Android OS launches later this year. That said, it features all the valuable features of the Android ecosystem for tablets, including the Google Entertainment Space, which I found very useful with its four tabs: Watch (Google, Netflix, YouTube, etc.), Games, and Read and Listen (YouTube Music).
I also found the other pre-installed software generally helpful. This included apps like Instant Memo, Lenovo Freestyle, Tablet Centre, MyScript Calculator 2 and Nebo for Lenovo, which allows users to take notes and draw a few sketches quickly. These apps work well with the Precision Pen 3 (optional), which I found easy to use.
The unit has an 8,000mAh battery. Again, this has been changed from the previous generation, which had a larger 8,600mAh battery.
RELATED: ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED Hands-On – First Impressions Last
Performance and Battery Life
With its MediaTek SoC, I wasn’t expecting the tablet to reach the top of the charts regarding performance ratings. That being said, accurate world testing delivered good overall performance and very little lag.
Its 120Hz panel works excellently at providing smooth visuals, which is backed up by snappy performance. I ran many apps, and everything checked out as desired. Switching to a few multitasking tests, it also quickly passed almost everything I could throw at it. However, there is a notable drop-off in performance when running split screens to work while switching between other apps. It won’t hinder your overall work efficiency, but with a few seconds to switch every so often, it is noticeable.
Regarding battery life tests, the P11 Pro faired very well. It may be down a few mAh over the previous iteration but it delivers roughly nine hours of continuous streaming at full brightness. In a more standard work setting, the unit can easily last two days, even as a power user.
For those who may want to use the device as their primary driver, the SIM tray allows you to connect to your mobile network and work remotely efficiently. It will impact the power consumption a little, but, again, there is no significant drop off compared to WiFi-only usage.
If there is one aspect of the tablet that hasn’t changed much over the years, it’s the poor camera quality. Yes, tablets have never been known for their levels of photography especially given their size and awkwardness to use as such, but it’s still a talking point. This is especially true for the front-facing cameras that would be key in modern all-in-one devices and remote working. Both cameras aren’t ideal and can just about get a pass here.
I made plenty of use of Google Entertainment Space and other included apps. Knowing that the included software supports its use is always a nice-to-have when you’re provided with a Pen to use with a device. Searching for and downloading compatible software is a waste of time and often a general frustration, primarily when many of its features lie behind a paywall.
An unexpected surprise on the device was its great sound quality. Having four speakers (two on either side) provided a quad array configuration supporting Dolby Atmos. It was loud, with great clarity in its sounds, including quite a heavy bass. It’s not often I get to praise the sound quality on portable devices, but the quality here is great, adding to the entertainment value of the device.
The tablet is more than capable of performing what it needs for content creators, whether it be posting and downloading assets, editing images and video, or creating new content using the option Precision Pen 3.
RELATED: ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo (UX8402ZE) Review – Everything Enhanced
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is an excellent tablet with plenty of features. Its showpiece is its large OLED screen, which is great for both design work for content creators and just relaxing with some entertainment. It may not be the most powerful tablet, but you can still perform tasks and run all the required apps and games without any lag or disruption.
At a retail price of R8,999, it’s also very well-priced compared to other modern laptops. For those looking for a larger screen and more powerful tablet, Lenovo offers a 12” variant in the P12 Pro (per its naming convention). However, with the enhanced specifications, you’re considering doubling the price over the P11 Pro. That’s a significant price jump when considering the P11 Pro has a great price point for its feature set.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
- 11.2", 120Hz OLED panel
- Solid design and build quality
- Excellent sound
- Good battery life
- Missing 3.5mm jack
- No IP rating
- Weak camera
Ease of Learning
Ease of Use
Value for Money