1: Versatile Android tablet
In recent years, the development of Windows-based tablets has progressed considerably, and the best Windows tablets are now comparable to iPads and good Android tablets, and also as powerful as real notebooks. That Ipads are still popular is Apple’s merit, as they worked hard to make IOS powerful in the slightly larger format with better notebook-like functionality.
But can Android tablets survive the onslaught from Windows, without the loyalty to the system that iOS users have? Lenovo makes a valiant attempt here with the Tab 4 10 Plus, a thin and light 10-inch Android tablet that wants to be both a portable cinema, handy portable surfing station and a thin and light alternative to a portable PC.
The Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus has a flat front and back covered in glass with a white or black finish behind, and an aluminum frame all around. With a thickness of seven millimeters and a weight of 485 grams, it is thinner and lighter than Apple’s latest iPad, but not as slim and light as a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 or Asus Zenpad 3S 10
Meanwhile, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus has wide margins around the screen so it may not be quite as compact as it could be. On the other hand, it means that we don’t have to be careful when we grab it and there is no risk of accidentally accessing the touch screen. Despite the rounded sides, the plate has some sharp angles that cut into the hand a little uncomfortably when we carry it around.
The tablet does not have a physical home button, instead there is a fingerprint reader under the screen. On one short side we have the on/off button and volume, and on the other all connections, headphone output, usb-c for data and charging and an sd card reader behind a cover.
Little or a lot of memory
The Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus is available in two versions: one with 16 GB of storage and one with 64 GB of storage. The difference in price is minimal, and regardless of which one you choose, the plate ends up at around SEK 3,000. That’s about what you’d pay for a mid-range mobile phone, and it’s also the same level on the tablet as on such a mobile in terms of display and performance. Here sits a Snapdragon 625 processor with eight cores. It is a little disappointing that it is not the successor Snapdragon 635, but the 625 gives us stable and perfectly good performance for everyday use. Even simpler games flow well, but heavier 3d and some demanding apps give us a tough and choppy experience.
The battery life is clearly approved. A tablet with a large screen area to light up cannot be compared to a smartphone, so the fact that the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus has a 7,000 mAh battery may sound like a lot, but here it’s about completely different power consumption. However, we get around eight hours of movie streaming before we have to plug in the charger. And at full brightness. However, intensive work in various apps during a day seems to drain that bit faster.
However, Lenovo wants a little more with the Tab 4 10 Plus than its hardware can handle. It comes with mobile Microsoft Office and Outlook pre-installed, as well as Skype and its own file manager. It is also possible to switch to a special work mode that rearranges the interface, making it more adapted to keyboard and mouse. It’s something you’ve been able to do for a long time in Android, but which few tablets and phones take advantage of.
Lenovo also has a separate case with a built-in keyboard and mouse pad and the ability to fold into a support for notebook mode. At the time of writing, however, we cannot find anyone selling it, not even Lenovo’s own webshop.
There’s also the exact opposite, a kids mode with a simplified interface and parental controls so you can only allow kid-friendly apps. You easily switch between these modes with an icon on the home screen.
Bright but pale
The screen is an ips screen in 16:10 format with 1920x 1200 pixels and a brightness of approximately 400 cd/m2. It is not as high-resolution as the best plates, but full-HD at ten inches gives us a sharp enough image most of the time. However, the color reproduction is a bit off, and ends up a good bit below the srgb standard in color space. It works fine for office work and surfing, but is noticeable when we look at movies and photos or play games.
It’s a shame the screen isn’t better for movies as its speakers would otherwise be perfect for that. They are placed on one long side of the plate and are directed upwards and diagonally forward. They give us a surprisingly clean and powerful sound image with a nice balance between treble and midrange and a bass that doesn’t disappear completely.
Above all, we get excellent stereo dispersion and nice surround effect with Dolby Atmos drivers in the background. This is one of many mobile devices we’ve seen with Atmos technology, and in fact the first where we think we can discern the 3d spread of sound (even in height) that Dolby’s new technology makes possible. Of course, we don’t get a real Atmos feel here, you need a purpose-built home theater for that, but this is probably as close as we can get in this small format.
2: Review and rating
For a little over 3,000 kroner, we don’t expect any miracles, and Lenovo delivers here a perfectly acceptable, albeit slightly uneven tablet. Its biggest disadvantage is precisely that Windows tablets have become so much thinner and lighter that it feels silly to try to profile an Android tablet for office work. Lenovo would have won by skipping that part and investing some resources in a better screen instead. Then this would have been a great media disc instead of just a half-decent one.
Facts Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus ZA2M 64GB
Processor: Snapdragon 625 MSM8953, 2 GHz octa core
Graphics: Adreno 506
Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 64 GB, space for micro sd
Screen: 10.1 inch ips, 1920×1200 pixels (224 ppt)
Cameras: 8 megapixel rear, 5 megapixel front
Connections: Usb 2.0 type c, headset
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, bluetooth 4.2, gps
Operating system: Android 7.0
Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader
Battery: 7,000 mAh, approx. 8 hours web video, approx. 7h 20min mixed use
Size: 24.7 x 17.3 x 0.7 cm
Weight: 485 grams
Award: approx. SEK 3,200
Antutu Benchmark 6: 59,965 points
Geekbench 4: 4,205 points
3dmark Ice Storm Unlimited: 13,823 points
Thin and light
Faded colors in the monitor
A bit uncomfortable to carry around.