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Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review: A great-value laptop alternative

Tim Danton
18 Jan 2022
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
599
inc VAT

The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is a brilliant package of tablet, keyboard and pen for a price that puts Apple’s iPad Air into the shade

Pros 
Lightweight and portable
Exquisite colour reproduction
Competitively priced
Cons 
Minor annoyances in keyboard design
Performance can't match the iPad Air
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The obvious question when manufacturers offer these bundles of tablet, keyboard and magnetic stand is whether or not they can adequately replace a laptop, and – bar a few frustrations – the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro succeeds. Android automatically detects if a keyboard is attached and slips into Productivity mode, which is remarkably similar to Chrome OS. Your open apps appear as icons in the taskbar, and switching between them is as simple as a prod on the screen.

It’s a clever design. With everything attached, the Tab P11 Pro weighs a travel-friendly 920g. Lenovo even bundles a full-size stylus in this package, complete with a snug travel case. The keyboard works as well as any clip-on unit can. There’s enough travel on the keys for me not to curse, and once I became used to the relatively slim width I typed at close to my normal speeds. I found two minor annoyances: one is that the backspace key is tiny, the other that the trackpad is a little too sensitive to brushes with my palm.

Then there are the benefits created by Android, especially so if you buy the 4G-equipped version of the Tab 11 Pro (currently available for the discounted price of £480). You have access to the full power of the Google Play store, and while few of these apps are tuned for the big screen they typically adapt well – and you can always keep them in phone-size windows if you prefer.

Buy now from Argos


Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review: Design and display

The screen itself is an area where Lenovo has clearly lavished money. It’s an OLED panel with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels squeezed into its 11.5in diagonal. It romped through our technical tests with an average Delta E of 0.3 and a maximum of 0.64; in other words, its colours are perfect to the human eye. It’s a wide gamut panel too, tuned to the DCI-P3 space with 99.3% coverage. I measured a maximum brightness of 391cd/m², which is good for an OLED panel, but Lenovo claims it goes even higher to 500cd/m².

In practice, this wide gamut means that films and photos look amazing. Purely for the sake of research, I watched a portion of John Wick: Chapter 2 and the fire scenes popped through with such heat I could almost feel it. Dialogue is equally well handled, but what I found most surprising is how good music sounds; there’s even a stereo soundstage thanks to the pair of speakers mounted on either side (so four in total).

This quality is echoed throughout the build, with an aluminium chassis that feels just as well made as any Apple tablet. On the rare occasions you’ll use the P11 Pro without the keyboard, a dual-tone finish lends it style, and this feeling is only reinforced by its sleek 5.8mm depth. But for me this is merely reassuring, a sign that Lenovo has put effort into every element of the design, because shorn of the keyboard this becomes just a regular Android tablet.

Buy now from Argos


Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review: Performance and competition

It’s a nippy one, though. It includes a Snapdragon 730G processor, which sits in the middle of Qualcomm’s range. I feel the slavish need to reveal its benchmark scores – 544 and 1,784 in the Geekbench 5 tests, 41fps in the off-screen GFXBench Manhattan benchmark – but what actually matters is that this tablet never felt slow in use.

It’s true that the iPad Air, this machine’s obvious Apple competition, is significantly faster, but its pricing puts it into a different world: the 64GB version with a Smart Keyboard costs £579. If you want 256GB, to usurp the 128GB inside the Tab P11 Pro, that price jumps to £729. And that’s not including the Apple Pencil, which costs a further £84.

In Apple’s defence, the Air has the edge in a couple of areas unrelated to speed. Its cameras are superior, producing richer videos and more natural photos; but the Tab P11 Pro still offers above-average results. Use this tablet for a Zoom call and you will be among the leaders for quality, and that includes audio capture thanks to effective dual mics.

READ NEXT: See how the Air stacks up in our list of the best iPads

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review: Verdict

There is one final factor in the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro’s favour: battery life. Put through our standard video-rundown test, with the screen set to 170cd/m² brightness and Flight mode on, it lasted for 17hrs 28mins. That’s five hours longer than the Apple iPad Air.

I’m not pretending that the Tab P11 Pro series is going to knock the iPad off its pedestal. Apple’s ecosystem of accessories, OS and apps gives it an unassailable advantage. However, this is a more portable alternative that’s brilliant value – if that's what matters most to you, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is an excellent choice.