Lenovo Sensible Tab P10 assessment
As Google and Amazon started to introduce good shows to the market, just about the primary query anybody requested was: why not simply use a pill? It appears that evidently Lenovo not less than has taken the criticism to coronary heart, utilizing CES 2019 to unveil the Sensible Tab P10: an Android pill that boasts Alexa assist and is bought along with a speaker dock.
Designed to supply the simplicity of the Echo Present or Google Residence Hub – or Lenovo’s personal Sensible Show – whereas pairing it with the comfort and portability of a pill, this looks as if an apparent win, although it faces apparent competitors in Amazon’s Fireplace tablets, which include the choice of a charging dock that accomplishes the identical factor.
Value & availability
The very first thing to concentrate on is that there are two fashions of the Sensible Tab: the M10 and the P10, with differing designs and costs to match. We have reviewed the P10, however a whole lot of this assessment will equally apply to the cheaper M10.
The P10 is the extra premium mannequin, with a glass again, sooner specs, a fingerprint sensor, greater battery, higher digital camera… you get the concept. Within the UK it prices £249.99, coming with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, however within the US there is a selection: $299 for the 3GB/32GB mannequin, or $349 for 4GB/64GB.
One sudden choice we have additionally seen within the UK is to purchase the P10 pill by itself – with out the dock – for £199.99. That may maintain some attraction as a finances Android pill, a market which has been virtually fully dominated by Amazon’s Fireplace tablets for the previous few years.
If you happen to’re trying to spend rather less, the M10 is the cheaper mannequin, obtainable for £179.99 within the UK with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. If you happen to’re within the US it prices $199 for that mannequin, leaping to $249 for a 3GB/32GB model.
Probably the most perplexing a part of the entire package deal is that as of now Lenovo has no plans to promote the dock individually – which implies you’ll be able to’t drop a couple of docks round your own home and use the identical gadget docked within the kitchen for recipes, then in your bed room for YouTube.
By comparability, you should buy an Amazon Fireplace HD 10 pill along with a dock for round £200/$200 with 32GB storage – or £230/$230 for 64GB – so Lenovo’s pricing is lagging behind considerably. Although within the P10’s favour, the Fireplace HD 10 was final up to date in 2017, so is an older mannequin, and the Amazon dock would not embrace a speaker, whereas Lenovo’s does.
Alternatively, Amazon additionally permits you to purchase the dock by itself for £50/$55. You may also spend much less by choosing the smaller 8in mannequin, an choice Lenovo doesn’t supply.
Design & construct: Surprisingly slick
The simplest manner to consider the Sensible Tab P10 is that it’s really a bundle of two merchandise: a 10-inch Android pill along with a charging dock and speaker.
The pill itself is not something too outlandish from a design perspective, however it’s surprisingly enticing for the worth. It is a pretty typical black Android pill, with a 10in LCD display, USB-C, and a headphone jack. The entrance additionally contains a fingerprint sensor and a digital camera, each constructed into the lengthy edges of the pill – reflecting the truth that you are largely anticipated to make use of this docked in panorama, slightly than in portrait.
There’s one other digital camera on the rear, which is encased in glass – on the cheaper M10 it is simply metallic although – with a black end that appears nice except for the inevitable fingerprints. One of the crucial enticing touches to the entire thing is a skinny strip of burnished metallic that runs all the way in which across the edges of the gadget – it is a delicate flourish, however one which elevates the entire package deal.
The one actual giveaway – externally not less than – that this isn’t an costly pill is the bezels, which stay fairly substantial all the way in which around the display. A bit extra bezelling is useful on a pill in fact – in contrast to a cellphone, you in all probability want some area on the entrance to relaxation your thumb as you maintain it – however the bezels listed here are nonetheless fairly onerous to overlook.
The P10 additionally boasts 4 front-facing audio system (the M10 solely has two), and whereas they sound pretty stable, they’re prone to matter even lower than they usually would in a pill, as many of the time once you wish to watch video or hearken to audio you’ll in all probability be doing it by the dock.
That not less than is an identical regardless of which mannequin you purchase. The squat dock has a darkish gray, cloth speaker that wraps all the way in which round, so you’ll be able to place it nevertheless you’d like from an audio perspective – although because the display can solely face a method, that’s actually going to dictate issues.
There are a couple of easy buttons – Bluetooth, quantity controls, and a mic mute – and somewhat plastic stand on the again to maintain it steady with the pill in, however in any other case the dock is, very like the pill, easy and useful. It’s not going to win any design awards, however it’s a clear, trendy design that ought to match into most properties.
Specs & options: Sensible-ish
So what do you get from the dock? The pill attaches utilizing easy pogo pins, which cost it whereas it’s within the dock, however all of the precise knowledge switch is dealt with through Bluetooth four.2. The pill will pair with the dock robotically each time you join it, so there’s minimal faff, and as soon as it is all setup this pairing solely takes a couple of seconds every time.
Along with pairing, when docked the pill switches into Present Mode – the identical software program mode that enables Amazon Fireplace tablets to double as Echo Present units too. This offers you a simplified view that allows you to entry Alexa providers like recipes, the climate, or Prime Video, with out combating by the entire of Android.
Whereas docked, that is primarily an Echo Present then, devoting the display to all issues Alexa. And sure, it’s Alexa, not Google Assistant – even if this runs Android, and that Lenovo partnered with Google on its earlier Sensible Show. Google Assistant remains to be baked into the pill itself because of the Android OS, however there is no dock-friendly Present Mode for it.
There are some benefits to the dual-assistant setup right here, although fewer than you may assume. The apparent one is YouTube – Amazon and Google’s ongoing feud has seen Echo units locked out of the video platform, relying as an alternative on utilizing workarounds to entry YouTube by browsers, slightly than a devoted app.
Since it runs common Android, the P10 does function the common YouTube app – however sadly Alexa cannot open it anyway. The Google Assistant can – however not whereas the gadget is docked in Present Mode, which locks Google out. So to observe YouTube whereas the gadget is docked you may should dock it, swipe down on the display to exit Present Mode and return to the common OS, after which use both voice instructions with Google or contact controls. It really works, however it’s awkward, and probably not any higher than the equal workarounds on Amazon’s personal units.
For the reason that dock additionally packs a speaker, sound high quality is stable not less than. Bass is of course restricted, however it’s pretty punchy, and loud sufficient for filling a kitchen when you prepare dinner – although naturally in case you have an even bigger residence speaker system round you may want to run the sound by that anyway.
So it is a fairly good good show for essentially the most half, however it’s a bit extra common as a pill. RAM starting from 2 to 4GB is low – although not fully unreasonably for the worth – whereas the 1.8GHz Snapdragon 450 processor is okay, however not quick. It’s even transport with Android Oreo eight.1, slightly than the more moderen Pie.
That every one interprets to noticeable lag when switching between apps (and even generally inside Present Mode), and sluggish efficiency loading net pages and the like. Graphical benchmark outcomes are additionally poor, which means this factor will wrestle to play something greater than primary video games. Principally, it’s going to be fantastic for checking your emails, searching the online, watching YouTube, or utilizing Alexa, however it’s not the pill for you in case you have any extra demanding wants than that.
Battery life is among the pill’s extra shocking strengths. The 7,000mAh cell lasts 15 hours based on Lenovo, and managed 13.5 hours in our continuous battery check – a severely spectacular rating. It is solely shocking due to all tablets, that is one which in all probability would not want such phenomenal battery life, as half the time you may preserve it docked anyway. It’s price flagging that the M10 will not final as lengthy although – it has a barely smaller four,850mAh battery, so is prone to cap out round 10 hours.
As for cameras, you may discover a 5MP shooter on the entrance of the pill, and 8MP on the rear. As all the time, we marvel who actually makes use of the rear digital camera on a pill in any respect, however the front-facing lens can be extra helpful for video calls and the like. Picture and video high quality is pretty crisp right here – it is not going to wow you, however it’s greater than sufficient readability for dependable video calls, which is actually all that issues.
That is finally a reasonably finances pill, with light-weight specs, outdated software program, and a easy function set, masked partially by slick-but-simple design that leaves the P10 feeling and looking extra premium than it truly is. If it wasn’t for the included dock, this could be pretty unremarkable, so it is actually solely price shopping for if the concept of a pill that doubles as an Echo Present actually speaks to you.
The issue is just that Lenovo didn’t get right here first. Amazon did with its Fireplace tablets, and with the added bonus you could purchase further Present Mode Docks for various rooms – versatility that Lenovo merely doesn’t supply – to not point out the choice of saving cash by choosing an 8in mannequin.
It’d nonetheless be price choosing the P10 if you need full entry to Android and YouTube – slightly than Amazon’s stripped again FireOS – or if you may make use of the dock’s built-in speaker, slightly than merely connecting it as much as one other sound system anyway. If these are price paying somewhat further for the and limiting your self to at least one dock, then go forward. If not, persist with a Fireplace pill – or only a plain outdated good show.