The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 is the follow-up to the company’s 2020 flagship tablet. The Gen 2 is a bit of a mixed bag because it improves some aspects over the Gen 1 while also eliminating a number of others.
In addition to a 120Hz display and a faster MediaTek Kompanio 1300T processor than the preceding Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, the Gen 2 now supports memory configurations of up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. The new edition, on the other hand, is made of plastic rather than aluminium, lacks the ultra-wide camera on the back and the fingerprint sensor, has a 400mAh smaller battery, and has a display that is also just a little bit smaller and has a little lower quality.
The top-of-the-line device we are reviewing today has 8/256GB RAM and comes with a 2-in-1 keyboard and a Precision Pen 3 stylus. This should transform the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 into a fully functional mobile workstation.
Like its predecessor, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 boasts an aesthetically pleasant and relatively simple design. A rounded, uniformly thin bezel surrounds the display on the front. The two-tone finish on the rear, which is actually the same colour but appears different because of how both parts reflect light, is there.
Even though they share a similar appearance, the Gen 2 model does not have the aluminium body of its predecessor, choosing instead to use plastic for the back and sides. Although it doesn’t appear any worse, altogether, we believe that this is less stiff. The back surface is also prone to emphasising smudges and fingerprints.
The power button is on top right and the volume buttons are close to the top of the right side. The three physical buttons are still in the same place. There is no fingerprint sensor on the Gen 2 model anywhere, therefore if you want to safeguard your smartphone, you must use passcodes instead of the fingerprint sensor present on the Gen 1 model’s power button.
The 2-in-1 keyboard, a two-part accessory that consists of the keyboard and a back cover, was installed on our model. The keyboard connects to the tablet’s base using a physical link and magnets, so it may still be used even if Bluetooth is turned off.
The keyboard’s layout is similar to that of a Thinkpad, with moderately spacious keys that provide pleasant tactile sensation. The backspace key and the tab keys, for example, are smaller than you might think, but this wasn’t a big problem. Unfortunately, the matte surface of the keyboard is easily smeared.
The trackpad is located underneath the keyboard. The trackpad is a little on the small side, but it performs admirably thanks to excellent tracking and comprehensive gesture support, which enables access to a wide range of functionality with simple swiping motions.
You can angle the display whichever you like using the bottom flap of the back cover that comes with it. The hinge is strong and flexible, with a range of motion of around 140 degrees. On top of the back cover, there is a second flap that lifts to show the stylus.
While the tablet’s keyboard adapter greatly enhances typing, there are a few drawbacks that make the experience less enjoyable overall. Unless you have really long legs that can support the edge of the hinged flap on the back, using the device on the lap isn’t particularly pleasant. Otherwise, there is a very real risk that the display would simply drop off and take the keyboard with it, which is impossible with a conventional laptop.
1Second, when closed, the keyboard aggressively and magnetically adheres to the display. Because there isn’t much of a lip to grip onto and pull, and the keyboard clings on seemingly for dear life, opening the keyboard to access the display is frequently a hassle. Your life may have been made easier by using a weaker magnet system, a longer lip to grip on top, or a tab close to the edge to pull on.
The exterior surface of the keyboard and the rear cover is soft to the touch, has a leather-like finish, and is generally pleasing to the touch. When the keyboard is flipped behind the screen, the on-screen keyboard becomes active and the physical keyboard is instantly disabled.
Make sure to take care of them because the tablet and keyboard accessory aren’t resistant to water or dust.
OLED display on the 11.2-inch, 2560×1536-resolution Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 is 120Hz. Although the display resolution is a little lower than the Gen 1 model’s 2560×1600 panel, the 120Hz refresh rate is new. Additionally, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and DCI-P3 coverage are supported by the device.
A wide colour gamut and good brightness characterise the display’s good quality. By switching to the Standard mode in the settings, the display may be instantly configured to use the sRGB colour space and a standard white point. When playing games or browsing the web, the 120Hz refresh rate makes a huge impact. Since the tablet’s display is intended to be used in landscape mode, there is some warping when scrolling although it is not particularly visible.
One of the two problems with the display is a software one, and it is simple to remedy. The viewing angle problem, which is more difficult to resolve, is that the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 display exhibits a visible green shift when viewed from an angle, similar to other less expensive OLED panels on the market. On phones, this is typically not an issue, but on tablets, where the display can be fairly wide, staring at the screen directly in landscape mode results in a pronounced green tint on the left and right edges. This isn’t a problem, though, as it only stands out on screens that are white or grey.
HDR is the problem that is simpler to fix. While viewing Dolby Vision and the extremely seldom HDR10+ video, the display performs well, although HDR10 was broken during our testing with the current software. Raised blacks resulted from this, which seemed grey and gave the entire image a washed-out, low-contrast appearance.
Additionally, it appears that dynamic tone mapping is always enabled for HDR10 video, which is never acceptable because it defeats the purpose of the creator. Hopefully Lenovo will take note of the problem with elevated blacks, address it, and either disable dynamic tonemapping or give users the option to do so.
Additionally, the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 pen, which functions exceptionally well, is supported with the display. Both hover support and pressure sensitivity are provided. At least for the fast tests we ran, the latency performance is good and ought to be sufficient for the majority of drawing and taking notes use cases.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 comes pre-installed with Android 12. Lenovo has stated that it will support Android up to version 14, however we haven’t heard anything about when Android 13 will be released. Additionally, the review unit was stuck on the July 2022 security patch, and as of the time of writing, no new upgrades were available. This gives us little hope that Lenovo will release software updates on schedule in the future.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2’s software experience was largely comparable to using plain Android on a Pixel smartphone, with a few extra capabilities. For the majority of us, this is the best situation since it enables you to take advantage of both the standard Android experience that Google has carefully managed and some of the extra features that the manufacturer has included.
Unfortunately, using Android in tablet mode is still not very enjoyable. Many programmes still don’t offer a suitable tablet mode for their user interface, and those few that do frequently misuse it. With Twitter only displaying the smartphone landscape view on tablets and Instagram locking itself in portrait mode, apps from major firms like Twitter and Instagram frequently leave you with a foul taste in your mouth.
Naturally, Lenovo is not to blame for all of this, but it is the truth of the matter and something you should be aware of if you want to get an Android tablet, especially to use as a temporary laptop. The closest alternative to having an iPad is using iThe closest thing to having a real laptop is using iPadOS, which is years ahead in this area. PadOS, which is lightyears ahead in this area.
In an effort to improve the overall “tablet as a laptop” experience, Lenovo has added a few features. The Productivity mode, which can be activated using the dropdown notifications, allows you to open apps in smaller windows rather than fullscreen mode and activates a taskbar at the bottom that looks like it belongs on a desktop operating system. Unfortunately, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2’s display size and density are not ideal for this application, since the taskbar merely further reduces the already slender display height in landscape mode and the windowed apps feel challenging to use.
As a result, the overall experience feels compromised, either as a result of the lack of adequate support from third party developers or occasionally due to Android itself, which still frequently gives the impression that it was only designed with smartphones in mind and does not function as it should on larger devices. Due to a vastly superior app ecosystem and iPadOS simply being a much more developed and well-thought-out operating system, the iPad continues to provide the best experience if you want to use a tablet for work.
The latest MediaTek Kompanio 1300T chipset, which houses a quad-core CPU and the Mali-G77 MC9 GPU, is the one that powers the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2.
Our tested unit’s performance with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage was respectable. It was a pleasant experience using the device as a productivity tablet because tasks like web browsing, emailing, working on documents, editing images, and video conferencing were simple to complete. Another skill the device excels at is media consumption, with excellent performance even when streaming high resolution 4K 60fps HDR videos encoded in AV1.
Gaming is one area where the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 falls short. Even with the settings reduced, demanding titles like Genshin Impact struggle to keep a steady 60 frames per second or even 30 frames per second. Less demanding games can be played pretty well, and games like Alto’s Odyssey can run natively at 120 frames per second without too many problems. Since they were never intended for it, the keyboard and trackpad, unfortunately, do not function in the majority of games. However, using a controller is an option, and it functions in a lot of games.
Since we’re talking about media, the four speakers in each corner do a good job. By default, Dolby Atmos processing is activated, and compatible video benefits from some excellent audio quality. The speakers provide adequate loudness and music quality even in the absence of appropriate content. You are forced to use wireless audio or purchase your own analogue or digital adaptor for wired headphones because there is sadly no headphone jack.
As a side note, we wanted to draw attention to the Wi-Fi, which while functioning well when connected, took a very lengthy time to initialise once the device had booted up. After booting up, it took 23 seconds on average for us to measure an automated Wi-Fi connection, which is far longer than the average for most other devices.
More so than the device from the previous generation, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 includes a camera system that is fairly barebones. The Gen 2 loses the 5 megapixel fixed focus ultra-wide camera seen on the Gen 1 and instead includes a single 13 megapixel camera with autofocus on the rear. Similar to how the rear lacks the second ToF camera of the Gen 1 model, the front has a single 8 megapixel fixed focus camera.
As would be anticipated of a mid-range tablet, both cameras are of middling quality. The front camera is adequate for making video chats while on the go, while the back camera is adequate for scanning documents, which is what it would (and should) be used for most often.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 is an extremely light and thin tablet with excellent speakers and a lovely display, making it perfect for watching movies and other media. Although they might substantially increase the cost of the gadget, the optional keyboard and pen also deliver excellent performance. The MediaTek Kompanio chipset offers decent performance. Additionally, Lenovo’s software interface is incredibly streamlined and user-friendly.
The tablet feels noticeably poorer than its predecessors because of the numerous concessions it makes. Particularly in this price bracket, the absence of a fingerprint scanner is unacceptable. The starting price of $300 is for a device with 128GB of storage and a pitiful 4GB of memory, which is by far the greatest offender. With the keyboard accessory, the price of the adequately equipped 8GB model with 256GB storage increases to over $500.
If your goal is to have a laptop-like experience without really purchasing a laptop, you might as well simply get an iPad at that point. The quality of third-party applications is in an other league altogether, and iPadOS is much better equipped to that purpose. On the other hand, the third-party app situation is appalling on Android, where the OS itself feels like it was jerry-rigged to function on tablets.
We might make a case for the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 if it were an all-around exceptional tablet, but since it isn’t, we advise you to think about the standard iPad instead. Only if your only goal is media consumption does the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 make sense.
Pro’s & Con’s
- light and thin.
- excellent display qualityExcellent stereo speakers.
- tidy softwaregood output in terms of both media consumption and productivity.
- Keyboard and pen are optional but useful.
- Plastic casing, no fingerprint sensor, and a smaller battery than the previous model.
- Better display viewing angles might be possible.
- The Android tablet experience continues to be poor.
- In 2023, the base model’s 4GB RAM is inadequate.