Lenovo's biggest and most powerful tablet ever is here alongside a costly Kindle rival
If Lenovo's final Android product announcement of 2022 left you feeling a little underwhelmed and hopeful for something bigger and bolder in the new year, the first 2023 launch is likely to come as a breath of fresh air for power users and folks looking to find the perfect iPad Pro alternative... not made by Samsung.
Despite what the name might suggest, you're not looking at a rugged device here, but rather a very direct rival to the razor-thin and decidedly elegant Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra behemoth. Interestingly, Apple and Samsung are not the only giants Lenovo is directly targeting today, with a 10.3-inch product cleverly dubbed Smart Paper clearly going after Amazon's most versatile e-book reader yet.
Going "beyond what's expected to deliver more of everything"
Yes, we know exactly how pompous that tagline sounds, but one thing the Lenovo Tab Extreme is definitely not is predictable.
While you'd obviously expect an ultra-high-end slate starting at a whopping $1,199.99 to sport a super-high-resolution 3K OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate capabilities and promise to deliver stellar battery life of up to 12 hours of uninterrupted video playback, the "purposeful design behind it" is certainly a nice little surprise and an ingenious way to stand out from the pack of Android-based iPad Pro rivals out there.
The Tab Extreme, which manages to squeeze essentially the same 14.5 inches of screen real estate into a very similar body as that of the aforementioned Tab S8 Ultra, comes with a "dual-mode" stand for an extra touch of versatility and a "dual-hinge" keyboard maximizing both your productivity and content viewing comfort.
The one-of-a-kind stand can keep Lenovo's Precision Pen 3 neatly stored when not in use, and although we're not 100 percent sure of this, the 14.5-inch mega-tablet is likely to ship alongside all three of these handy accessories at $1,199.99 starting in "late 2023" stateside.
That's a pretty distant release window, unfortunately, but the rest of the specs and features make it sound like the Lenovo Tab Extreme could absolutely be worth the wait, including 12 gigs of RAM paired with 256GB internal storage space, no less than eight built-in high-performance JBL speakers, a blazing fast 68W charging adapter included in the standard retail box, dual 13 + 5MP rear-facing cameras, one 13MP front-facing shooter, microSD support, and Android 13 software pre-installed with three, yes, three major OS updates guaranteed.
In terms of raw power, this bad boy will rely on MediaTek's Dimensity 9000 processor, which is not that far behind Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 beast in most popular benchmarks.
"Elevating the magic of note-taking"
Now that's some pompous marketing mumbo jumbo! Clearly, there was no magic involved in the making of the Lenovo Smart Paper, which doesn't appear to be advertised as either a tablet or e-reader.
But the $399.99 "digital notepad" will definitely go up against the $340 Kindle Scribe in the eyes of most prospective buyers when it eventually goes on sale at some point in "late 2023."
At 227ppi, the 10.3-inch anti-glare E-Ink display on Lenovo's market newcomer is not quite as sharp as what Amazon's priciest Kindle offers in that same department, although the Smart Paper does compensate with its generous 50GB internal storage (enough to hold more than 50,000 note pages) and fancy built-in pen capable of tilt detection and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Said Lenovo Smart Paper Pen never needs to be charged, which is always a plus, while the "digital notepad's" 3,550mAh battery promises to keep the (energy-efficient) lights on for more than 7,000 pages read or 170 pages of notes written.
That's obviously a little more specific than Amazon's blanket Kindle family battery life claim of "weeks" on a single charge, but to be honest, we have no idea which rating will prove to be higher in real-life use.
What's interesting about the Lenovo Smart Paper is that it apparently runs a (basic) form of Android at its core, although without Google Play access or many pre-loaded apps, the software's utility is... unclear. Still, this remains a pretty unusual product, especially for a company like Lenovo, and with a lower price tag attached to its name, we could definitely see it achieve at least moderate commercial success.