Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: A strong refresh
Although it won't replace your laptop, the Lenovo Tab P11 is an affordable on-the-go work companion that holds up well against the competition
Although Lenovo might be better known for being number one when it comes to PC sales, the brand has plenty of monitors, desktops, and tablets to offer too. One of these is the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen), the pro version of the Tab P11 and the updated version of the Tab P11 Pro, and currently the most expensive Lenovo tablet. This is the company's higher-end offering, where it's really hoping to show off its technology.
Compared to the first generation of the device, it has a different processor, 2GB more RAM, a slightly smaller screen, double the memory, and is 15g heavier. As you can see, Lenovo has given it a firm boost, hoping to attract new buyers with its revamped offering. At £439.99 it's less than half the price of other premium tablets out there, but can this glowing rectangle compete with its rivals?
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Design
The P11 Pro offers a smooth, thin, tablet design, which feels secure in your grasp. It's comfortable enough to hold with one hand, with its rectangle edges providing just the right amount of grip but not enough to make it feel bulky at all. It's incredibly light, weighing just 480g, and only 6.8mm thick, so be careful if you're setting it down on a table.
The back is divided up into thirds: two-thirds comprises of its glossy case, while the remaining third acts as a magnetic strip should you wish to purchase the pen that comes with the device which can be attached here. One thing to bear in mind is that its back will quickly fill up with your fingerprint marks so it might be a good idea to buy the case along with the tablet, which neatly snaps onto the back magnetically and even includes a hollow space for the pen to sit, helping to prevent you from misplacing it. The case also has a flap at the back which will help the tablet stand up by itself, and makes it almost look like a laptop once the optional 2-in-1 keyboard is attached.
Similarly, the screen will fill up with fingerprints very fast too and it might be worth getting a screen protector to keep it clean. There's a short black bezel around the edge of the screen, which is the right size and not big enough to put you off using the device. Since the device's case snaps onto the back, it doesn't take any space from the front which is a positive. Additionally, if you connect the keyboard to the base of the device, it folds into the screen when you're not using it which helps to protect it.
As for the buttons on the side of the device, it has two for raising or lowering the volume, and a lock/power off button. It also has a microSD card slot if you want to add more memory as well as a USB-C 3.0 connection which is used for charging the device. Be aware that there's no headphone socket on this tablet, so if you want to connect your headphones they need to have a USB-C 3.0 connection or connect via Bluetooth.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Display
The Tab P11 Pro has a stunning screen, with a 2560 x 1536 OLED display. The colours on the screen are very accurate and it produces smooth and natural movements. If you're worried about it being a little too powerful, the Android 12 operating system also comes equipped with an eye protection mode if you need to change the colour temperature. This could be useful to set at specific times of the day, such as the evening if you need to rest your eyes. This will be extremely useful for getting the most out of the tablet, whether it's day-to-day work, watching films or TV series, or even mobile gaming if you fancy it.
When it comes to our display benchmarking, the Tab P11 Pro scored a 100% sRGB gamut colour coverage, confirming our suspicions that it's a powerhouse of a display. For comparison, this is better than the 2021 iPad, which scored a coverage of 91.4%, the Nokia T20, which scored 74%, and the first-generation Tab P11 Pro, which scored 99.6%.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Specs and performance
Below the surface, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro makes use of a MediaTek Kompanio 1300T octa-core processor with an Arm G77, as well as up to 8GB of memory and up to 256GB of storage. This enabled the device to score 824 in GeekBench 5's single-core test and 2,893 for the multi-core performance. This is more than the P11 Pro first generation managed, netting a 533 in the single-core and 1,698 in the multi-core tests. For comparison, the regular Tab P11 scored 309 and 1,325 in the same tests while the Apple iPad (2021) scored 1,330 and 3,336.
This should mean the tablet should be able to handle most things you throw at it fairly easily. It was great for watching films and carrying out day-to-day work, as well as some mobile gaming.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Battery life
One thing that is absolutely key for tablets is to ensure they have a decent battery life since usually people tend to use them on the go and need them to be reliable. Fortunately, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro does not disappoint in this area. Lenovo claims that its battery can last for 14 hours, and in our video playback battery tests it lasted for 14 hours and 21 minutes. This means you can get through a working day without needing to charge the device.
However, its predecessor, the P11 Pro, managed to last for a little bit longer, scoring 17hrs 6 minutes in the battery tests. Meanwhile, the Nokia T20 managed to last for 15hrs while the 2021 iPad lasted for 13hrs 11mins.
With its 8000mAh battery cell, we didn't find an issue with the battery life and could work comfortably. The only perplexing issue is that the device tells users it can last longer than it has battery life left. For example, the battery icon displayed it had low battery, but it said it had 16 hours left of life on the device. After entering a video call, the device shut down mid-way through, clearly having less battery life than it claimed to. Obviously, this isn't a huge error and should hopefully be patched in the future, but is something to be aware of.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Features
The P11 Pro runs on the Android 12 operating system, bringing a range of features to the hardware that works great for the tablet. You've got all the usual stuff you can expect to find on an Android smartphone, like Bluetooth 5.1, smart rotate, and eye protection mode, as well as notification mode, productivity mode, and sound from Dolby Atmos.
As soon as you connect the additional keyboard to the tablet, which snaps onto the base very easily, the tablet can be set to automatically enter productivity mode. This will bring up a productivity bar on the base of your screen, like a PC's taskbar, where you can see the apps you have open. It will also move the battery information normally displayed in the top right to the bottom right of the screen, mimicking a Windows laptop. This helps to help you swap between apps easily when using the keyboard, and is extremely useful. It basically means you can be writing a document in Google Docs, switch to Chrome to look something up, and then switch back to your work, all navigating from the bottom of your screen.
The keyboard itself also makes working on-the-go even easier. It has a dedicated back button, which makes navigating easier. It has volume controls, a mute button, brightness, a button for screenshots, and a button for resizing the window you're working on. It also had a button you can hit to immediately lock the device, which is great if someone is snooping around and looking at your screen. Lastly, there's a dedicated button for split screen mode, which is extremely useful when working between two tabs or apps at once. You can see all the information you need, side by side, without having navigate to other apps or flip between them through the taskbar.
Just bear in mind that if you tend to have numerous tabs open at the same time, or want to flick between Google Docs, Sheets, Gmail, and Chrome constantly, it can get a little bit frustrating and interfere with your work rhythm. Obviously, this is a downside when it comes to all tablets and the split screen function helps ease this frustration. This is why the tablet is useful if you're on the go or need it for a short period of time, and we wouldn't recommend it as a full-time working device.
The keyboard itself is great for a snap-on tablet keyboard and even comes with a trackpad. It feels firm and there's a fair bit of space available to stretch out your fingers and type comfortably. The trackpad is decent too and responds well.
The Lenovo Precision Pen 3 that you can purchase to come with the device also works well and is very responsive. If you want to get in touch with your arty side, it's also good to download a Paint-like app and try your hand at digital drawing.
However, we found it tricky when navigating with the pen and using the keyboard. At times, if you navigate with the pen and then go to type with the keyboard it wouldn't respond to the keyboard input. Instead, a little pop-up box appears every time you type after navigating with the pen and you have to touch the keyboard icon for it to work. This was annoying and essentially means that you will end up not using the pen when the keyboard is attached. Instead, you either use the trackpad or get the screen grubby with your fingerprints.
Also, sometimes standard keyboard shortcuts don't tend to work. If you highlight a word and then Shift+Click to another word lower down in a paragraph, usually the device will highlight the section for you. However, this doesn't occur on the tablet. Moreover, if you want to highlight words, you have to click on a little blue label that appears at either end of a highlight and drag it to the words you need highlighting. Additionally, we tried to paste without formatting (Ctrl+Shift+V) in Google Docs which brought up a microphone search input. It turns out that pasting into Chrome automatically removes the formatting on the tablet. Overall, this isn't especially frustrating, but once you get used to the device it's probably fine.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Camera
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro has two cameras, an 8MP one on the front with fixed focus and a 13MP one on the back with autofocus. As you can probably guess, the quality of the cameras is fine, but nothing to write home about. Essentially, the front camera is just what you need to spend the whole day on video calls, while the back one might be used for taking a quick snap if you happen to be out and about. From a functionality point of view, they're fine, but don't expect to be taking any extremely vivid pictures.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) review: Verdict
If you're looking for a quick, seamless, reliable tablet that doesn't break the bank, then the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro might be the one for you. That's as long as you're happy getting comfortable with the Android operating system since it might be a little frustrating at the start.
Since the only thing holding back this device is the operating system, you'll soon forget about these annoyances once you stare into its rich, beautiful screen and flawless operations. It's easy to work from but make sure you get the additional keyboard to do so since it will help you type faster. Although it won't be able to fully replace your laptop, the device is sure to be a loyal, dedicated, travelling companion.
This device is a steal, especially when you compare it to the price tag of other higher-end models like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Pro for Business (£1,316 exc VAT) or Apple iPad Pro 12.9in (£1,107 exc VAT). If you need something cheaper that will work extremely well, then make sure you consider the Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen).
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen) specifications
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