In terms of value, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is the best affordable Android tablet available, boasting solid performance, a vivid 11-inch display, and powerful speakers that are hard to beat.
- Display with excellent clarity
- Speakers that are loud and clear
- Performance that is upbeat
- Cameras that are unimpressive
After Android 12, there is no guarantee that the operating system will be updated.
LENOVO TAB P11 PLUS SPECS
|Operating System||Android 11|
|Dimensions||10.4 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches|
|Display Size||11 inches|
|Display Resolution||2,000 by 1,200 pixels|
|Storage Capacity||64 GB|
|Battery Life||7 hours, 58 minutes|
Android tablets are making a resurgence, and the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus (which starts at $259.99) is leading the charge in the low-cost segment of the market. A top-notch 11-inch display, excellent speakers, and enough battery life to get you through a long day of work and into a quiet evening of Netflix bingeing are all features of this stylish slate. Lenovo should commit to software updates beyond Android 12, but that’s about the extent of our dissatisfaction with the company. While the Tab P11 Plus doesn’t quite match the performance of the $329 iPad, it is an excellent alternative for non-Apple users and the winner of our Editors’ Choice award for affordable Android tablets.
What an Inexpensive Pill Ought to Look and Sound Like
On the surface, the Tab P11 Plus looks similar to its more expensive sibling, Lenovo’s Tab P11 Pro, which is a good thing. The device has an aluminum unibody design and appears to be slightly more polished than the majority of other Android slates in this price range. With dimensions of 10.7 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and a weight of 17.3 ounces, it is both slim and light enough to be held comfortably for extended periods of time. It’s also a good size for doing basic productivity tasks, taking online classes, and doing some drawing and painting.
If you’re willing to spend more money, you can add a keyboard case and a stylus to your tablet, though the pricing is confusing and varies depending on which version of the tablet you buy. Even though we didn’t receive any accessories with our review unit, the ones we did receive were very similar to those we tested with the Tab P11 Pro. Briefly put, they aren’t up to the same level as Apple or Samsung’s offerings, but they are adequate for the task at hand.
The P11 Pro’s 11-inch LCD with 2,000 by 1,200 pixels gives the $399.99 TCL Tab Pro 5G a run for its money with its 2,000 by 1,200 pixel resolution. With 400 nits of brightness, it’s bright enough to use in direct sunlight while maintaining vibrant colors. Viewing angles are excellent as well.
With the exception of a rubberized top edge, the tablet’s back is made of a semi-matte aluminum material that is susceptible to smudges and scratches. The Lenovo and Dolby branding appear in the center, toward the bottom, of the device’s back, with a small camera module located in the upper left corner of the device’s back. Holding the tablet horizontally, the top edge has a pair of volume buttons on the left and a microSD slot on the right. The bottom rail contains a set of pogo pins that are used to connect various accessories. Two speakers and a USB-C charging port are located on the right edge of the device, while two additional speakers and a power button are located on the left. As a result, there is no fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button, and you must either enter a PIN or type in a passcode to secure the tablet, or you must rely on Android’s mediocre Face Unlock feature to do so.
This venue’s Dolby Atmos-compatible speakers are a true pleasure to listen to. Because they can reach a maximum volume of 98dB, they’re loud enough to fill a room and create an immersive audio experience. PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake was demoed for us, and we were able to pick out subtle details such as a slight asynchronicity between the primary and backing tracks. Because most tablet speakers in this price range tend to push the middle frequencies forward, they are unable to compensate for thin bass and distortion in the higher frequencies; we cannot emphasize enough how much better the P11 Pro’s speakers sound. The tablet does not have a headphone jack, but it does support Bluetooth 5.1 for wireless audio, which is unfortunate.
Surprisingly Good Efficiency
The Tab P11 Plus is powered by a MediaTek G90T system-on-chip. The base model, which costs $259.99, has 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM; for an additional $20, you can upgrade to a 128GB/4GB model, or for $309.99, you can get the 128GB/6GB model that we tested. The microSD card slot allows you to expand your storage capacity by up to 512GB. Dual-band Wi-Fi is supported by all versions of the tablet.
Despite its low price, the Tab P11 Plus delivers excellent performance. Application launches quickly, there was no lag when switching between screens, and the tablet is capable of handling multitasking with ease. It also does a respectable job when it comes to gaming. Despite the fact that Genshin Impact was a little slow to load and that we noticed a few skipped frames over the course of an hour of gameplay, these issues were not too bothersome for us. In contrast, Alto’s Odyssey, a game that requires significantly less resources, ran smoothly and without any performance issues.
The Tab P11 Plus scored 500 points for single-core performance (SC) and 1,592 points for multi-core performance (MC) on Geekbench 5, a collection of tests that measure raw computing power (MC). When compared to more expensive competitors such as the Tab P11 Pro (565 SC/1,779 MC) and the TCL Tab Pro 5G (521 SC/1,762 MC), the difference in raw power isn’t noticeable when performing everyday tasks such as streaming video or scrolling through social media feeds on the Go.
The battery has a capacity of 7,700 mAh, which should be sufficient for a day of moderate use. After 7 hours and 58 minutes of screen time in our rundown test, which involves streaming HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness, the Tab P11 Plus shut down, falling just short of the TCL Tab Pro 5G’s record of 8 hours and 58 minutes of screen time (9 hours and 1 minute). When the battery is low, the tablet supports 20W charging, which allows you to add a few hours of power in just 15 minutes, depending on the situation.
Typical Pill Cameras
The cameras on the Tab P11 Plus aren’t particularly impressive, but then again, tablet cameras aren’t meant to be a replacement for your smartphone or a standalone camera. In addition to a 13MP primary sensor on the tablet’s back, it also has an 8MP front-facing camera that sits just above the display.
The rear-facing camera is adequate for quick reference shots and document scanning tasks. It’s also capable of taking decent photos in adequate lighting, though our test images appear a little soft and lack depth. – Images appear flat and blurry when taken in low-light environments.
However, while the front-facing camera is arguably more important for tablet users, the Tab P11 Plus only manages an acceptable performance here. The picture quality on video calls is poor, even in bright light, and the camera produces a very flat image with noticeable noise when used in low light.
A Lengthy Look ahead to Android 12
In addition to Google Entertainment Space and Google Kids Space, the Tab P11 Plus runs a mostly stock version of Android 11, with a few tweaks here and there. In addition, when you connect the tablet to a keyboard, Lenovo’s Productivity Mode UI is activated. Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to test the keyboard accessory with the P11 Plus, but we did cover it extensively in our review of the P11 Pro.
It’s important to note that if you are unfamiliar with Google Entertainment Space, it is Android’s equivalent of Apple’s tvOS. The interface, which takes the place of the Google Discover panel, provides a curated list of streaming shows, books, and games to choose from. Although it is a relatively new feature, Google is constantly updating it to include support for new streaming services.
Google suggests fun and educational games, books, and YouTube videos based on your child’s interests, and Kids Space makes it simple to add all of your child’s accounts to the tablet. Furthermore, a comprehensive set of parental controls allows you to restrict your child’s exposure to specific content as well as the amount of time they are allowed to spend on the tablet.
Google plans to release Android 12L in the coming weeks, which will feature a completely redesigned user interface that is optimized for larger screens and tablets. Unfortunately, the operating system will not be available for the Tab P11 Plus until May. Even though Lenovo promises two years of security updates, there’s no guarantee that the tablet will be compatible with Android 13 when it becomes available.
The High Android Pill for the Worth
Since their introduction, Android tablets have struggled to keep up with the industry-leading iPad, but Lenovo has persevered and built out a diverse portfolio of options to suit every budget and need. The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is a standout device at the lower price point of the lineup. In addition to delivering solid performance and long battery life, it has a sleek design, a bright, sharp display, and some of the best speakers we’ve heard on a tablet in recent memory. The fact that this is the best Android tablet you can buy right now for around $300 isn’t diminished by the fact that we’d like to see a better front-facing camera and the promised update to Android 13, but those are minor quibbles. Amazon’s Fire HD 10 is an even more affordable option at $149.99, and it’s a worthy alternative if you don’t mind the fact that it’s heavily influenced by Amazon’s content and user interface. Of course, the $329 iPad is another excellent option, but Lenovo’s Tab P11 Plus is a better fit for Android phone users and households that are heavily influenced by Google.