Lenovo unveils a couple of new Android tablets and an 'essential' Smart Clock
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
The world's fifth-largest tablet vendor as of Q2 2020 has been known to flood the market with many different options for different target audiences even when global shipments were on a steady decline, so it should definitely come as no surprise that Lenovo is unveiling two all-new Android models at this time of great and unexpected progress for the industry as a whole.
In addition to the Tab P11 Pro and Tab M10 HD Gen 2, the company is also taking the wraps off an "essential" variant of its existing Smart Clock while announcing pricing and availability details for the impossibly named Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen with your choice of built-in Google Assistant or Alexa support as well.
A "flagship" with a mid-range chipset
At first glance, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is a very serious rival for Samsung's recently announced and as-yet-unreleased Galaxy Tab S7. After all, the screen is larger, at 11.5 inches, and just as sharp, with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. Lenovo is even using state-of-the-art OLED technology, challenging the jumbo-sized and extra-pricey 12.4-inch Tab S7+.
Then you have what the China-based tech giant is calling "light productivity on the go", which is basically a fancy way of saying the Tab P11 Pro comes with support for an optional keyboard and pen. The "high-quality entertainment" experience, meanwhile, is powered by four JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos enhancements in addition to the aforementioned high-res display supporting both HDR10 and Dolby Vision technologies.
Impressively, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro promises to offer up to 15 hours of battery endurance between charges while measuring a measly 7.7mm at its thickest point, but that's only possible because the "flagship" employs an energy-efficient Snapdragon 730G processor. This is obviously nowhere near as fast as the Snapdragon 865+ SoC under the Tab S7's hood, and unfortunately, the memory and storage options are equally underwhelming, capping off at 6 and 128 gigs respectively.
All in all, this clearly feels more like an upper mid-ranger than a true flagship, which is why it's disappointing to see Lenovo slap the Tab P11 Pro with an arguably exaggerated starting price of €699 for a November release across the EMEA region.
A family-friendly Fire HD 10 alternative and another two familiar 10-inchers
While Amazon remains the heavyweight champion of the US low-cost tablet scene, Lenovo claims its second-gen Tab M10 HD "packs a wallop" at a very competitive price of €159. That may well convert to $150 stateside for a commercial debut in time for the holiday season, which would match the affordability of the latest Fire HD 10 edition.
With a focus on "family-first education and fun", the Lenovo Tab M10 HD Gen 2 is the world's first slate to integrate Google's Kids Space functionality, delivering content specifically tailored for the needs of children aged 9 and younger. Unfortunately, adults might not be happy with the content playing prowess of a 10.1-inch tablet sporting an LCD panel with a modest resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
The rest of the specs are also far from remarkable, even for the sub-$200 segment, including an octa-core MediaTek P22T processor, 2 and 4GB RAM variants, up to 64GB storage space, a 5,000mAh battery capable of providing up to 8 hours of uninterrupted video playback, a single 8MP rear-facing camera, and a 5MP selfie shooter. On the bright side, the relatively thin slate is made entirely from premium aluminum while boasting a more than respectable 85 percent screen-to-body ratio.
Shortly after this "standard" mid-ranger, the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen with Google Assistant and the Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen with Alexa built-in are set to go on sale in October and November at €179 and €199 starting prices respectively. If the convoluted name happens to ring a bell, that might be because there are already Smart Tab M10 FHD (Gen 2) and Smart Tab M10 Plus (2nd Gen) versions on the market with built-in smart speaker functionality.
The "ultimate" low-cost smart clock "for every room"
Speaking of smart speakers, Lenovo is technically unveiling one of those as well ahead of a commercial release later this month, but as the name suggests, the Smart Clock Essential is a pretty rudimentary device. Instead of competing against Amazon's Echo Show 5, as the regular Lenovo Smart Clock already does, this "essential" model goes directly for the jugular of the awkwardly named Echo Dot (3rd Gen) with clock.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential does come with an "easy-to-read" LED display, but apart from showing you the time and other basic information like the temperature, this is essentially (no pun intended) useless.
Of course, the built-in Google Assistant can still do a lot of stuff, from setting timers and alarms to checking the weather, making hands-free calls, and even controlling compatible smart home devices from over 5,000 brands, while the stripped-down smart clock itself also comes with a nightlight, a few handy buttons, and an integrated USB port for charging other gadgets at a fairly reasonable price of €59.99.