Lenovo’s Tab P11 Professional is the corporate’s top-tier Android pill. With an 11-inch OLED display, quad audio system, and snap-on keyboard, it’s meant to go face to face with Samsung’s Tab S7 and Apple’s iPad Air. However whereas the Tab P11 Professional is superb for watching films — that OLED display and the Dolby Atmos audio system are fairly good — it’s significantly much less spectacular if you try to make use of it for productiveness.
Pricing for the Tab P11 Professional is aggressive, significantly if you add up every thing you get. The record value for a base mannequin with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM is $499.99, however because of Lenovo’s frequent reductions, you should purchase one for $375 proper now. The mannequin I’ve been testing has 6GB of RAM and comes with a removable keyboard and lively stylus pen within the field. That one’s record value is $599.99, but it surely’s presently discounted to $460 on Lenovo’s website.
Contemplating the equally sized iPad Air begins at $599 earlier than you add a pen or keyboard to it, the Lenovo has lots of worth on its aspect. Irrespective of which mannequin you go for, you get the identical 11-inch 2560 x 1600 OLED display; Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor; quad JBL audio system with Dolby Atmos tuning; 128GB of storage with the flexibility to increase it with a microSD card; and premium aluminum unibody design.
The display and audio system are actually the celebs of the present right here. The OLED panel isn’t as vivid as you may get on an iPad, so it isn’t pretty much as good in direct daylight. However in nearly each different state of affairs, together with outside within the shade, it seems to be implausible. Colours are wealthy, blacks are deep and inky, and the decision is sharp. It offers an amazing expertise for watching films or any video, actually.
Equally, the quad audio system are loud, punchy, and immersive. The Tab P11 Professional’s audio system outclass the iPad Air’s twin audio system and simply dangle with the superb sound system on Apple’s higher-end iPad Professional. Sadly, Lenovo is taking the identical route as Apple and omitting a headphone jack, so you’ve got the choice of utilizing a USB-C dongle (not included) or wi-fi headphones for private audio.
Mixed, the OLED display and quad audio system present the most effective movie-watching expertise on a pill wherever close to this value. To get one thing higher, you’re going to need to pay much more cash.
However Lenovo isn’t pitching this as only a sofa potato pill — it’s following Apple and Samsung’s lead in presenting the P11 Professional as a pill you can additionally get work carried out on. And that’s the place the P11 Professional falls on its face.
Beginning with the keyboard and pen equipment which might be included with the top-end bundle, there’s as a lot to dislike as there’s to love. The snap-on keyboard has a pleasant material cowl and is available in two items: a again cowl with a built-in kickstand that attaches through magnets and the keyboard itself that communicates with the pill via pogo pins on the underside fringe of the P11 Professional. It’s an analogous design to what Samsung makes use of on the Tab S7 line, and I like the flexibleness it affords. I can use simply the again cowl to prop the pill up for film watching with out having to have the keyboard in the best way on a regular basis. It’s nice to have this flexibility if you’re utilizing the pill on a cramped airplane tray desk.
Sadly, the typing expertise on the keyboard itself leaves a bit to be desired. The format is as cramped as anticipated with an 11-inch pill, and there’s no backlighting accessible. The trackpad is small and has palm rejection points — even simply utilizing the keyboard to write down this comparatively quick draft was an train in persistence, as my cursor would randomly soar round any time my left hand brushed towards the trackpad as I typed. There’s additionally little or no software program assist; I can’t modify the scrolling path on the trackpad as I can do with a laptop computer or different tablets.
The bundled stylus is sweet to have, but it surely, too, falls behind the competitors. It has many ranges of stress sensitivity, and it writes easily sufficient for my fundamental note-taking wants. Nevertheless it doesn’t cost on the again or aspect of the pill like Apple or Samsung’s pens (you as a substitute must plug it in through a USB-C port on its finish), and there’s nowhere to securely retailer it on the pill. Lenovo features a rubbery holster for the pen that you just’re supposed to stay to the again of the P11’s case with adhesive. However the adhesive is weak, and the pen holder falls off very simply. All of it simply seems like an afterthought.
Equally, the software program assist for the pen is weak. Lenovo consists of the Squid notes app (the fundamental free model, not the complete model) for jotting down notes, and you’ll obtain many different choices from the Play Retailer. However the pen doesn’t combine into the system prefer it does on Apple or Samsung tablets. You possibly can’t use the pen to take fast notes from the lock display or simply seize screenshots and mark them up like you’ll be able to on the iPad Air or Tab S7.
Once you connect the keyboard to the pill, Lenovo’s customized productiveness mode launches. That is designed to supply a desktop-like interface, much like Samsung’s DeX characteristic. Nevertheless it’s a multitude: few apps could be launched full-screen with it, and each app opens in a tiny, windowed field that you must resize every time. I used to be capable of efficiently create a split-screen between a Google Doc and one other window, equivalent to Slack or the browser. However typically, the productiveness mode seems like a tacked-on afterthought, similar to the pen, and actually isn’t an amazing expertise.
Elsewhere, the software program is normal Android (model 10; there’s no replace to Android 11 as of the date of this evaluation, although the P11 Professional does have the newest safety patch accessible), which works finest if you’re watching a full-screen video or taking part in a recreation, and doesn’t have as many tablet-oriented apps as iPadOS. The Snapdragon 730 processor isn’t as highly effective as you get in Apple or Samsung’s tablets, but it surely’s probably not a bottleneck right here. You’ll be restricted by the shortage of tablet-optimized apps method earlier than you hit the efficiency ceiling of the chip.
In all, the Tab P11 Professional is the pill to get in case you are searching for a wonderful film watching expertise and don’t wish to spend greater than $400. You gained’t discover a higher show or audio system for this value. I’d personally skip the pen and keyboard bundle fully (though that does imply you surrender the helpful again cowl and its kickstand) and simply use this pill for what it does finest: leisure.
Images by Dan Seifert / The Verge