Award: SEK 7,199 at Elgiganten
When Huawei is out of the picture due to the ongoing US blockade, only Samsung and Lenovo seriously sell tablets with full-fledged Android in Sweden. And they don’t release most of them per year. So when Lenovo releases one of its most ambitious tablets to date, it’s well worth checking out. The Tab 11 Pro is out now and it’s a feature-rich 11-inch tablet.
The plate is available in two versions, with or without mobile broadband modem built-in and then costs either SEK 6,399 or SEK 7,199. Here we have tested the model with a mobile connection.
It is not an extremely powerful tablet, nor can it compete with a modern iPad or Samsung’s best Galaxy Tab, both of which have top processors from Apple and Qualcomm. Here sits a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, which delivers brisk performance for all everyday surfing and simpler app use, but which clearly has an upper limit to what it can handle. Heavy productivity apps and games make it go to its knees, but for example the mobile Office apps flow well.
You also don’t get the latest in connectivity. It is a 4g modem that applies instead of 5g, and wifi 5 instead of wifi 6. In any case, you get plenty of storage, 128 gigabytes of ufs memory, and the option to expand with a micro SD card up to a whole terabyte. However, the storage could have been faster.
Stylish design, good accessories
The Tab 11 Pro is elegantly designed with right-angled edges, slim form and a solid back in dark, matte aluminum, with minimal shiny bevels all around and discreet plastic inserts in the casing to let Wi-Fi and mobile signal through. The buttons on the sides are of impeccable quality and as the plate is both thin and relatively light, it is comfortable to wear.
Especially the included back cover, which has a nice, easy-to-grip textile surface. It snaps on with a magnetic closure and sits firmly, has a fold-out stand, like the Microsoft Surface, which becomes a necessity if you’re going to use the next included accessory, a keyboard that snaps on and turns your tablet into a mini-laptop.
It is a fully mechanical keyboard with high quality, Swedish characters and a mouse pad. You don’t get niceties like backlit buttons and some of the keys are compressed to fit everything, but for a compact design in the old netbook style, it’s not bad at all. With a little training, it is possible to write and navigate quickly and smoothly on it.
Promising interface that needs more work
With the keyboard in place, the interface switches to a desktop-like “productivity mode” with floating, scalable windows instead of Android’s usual full-screen apps. It mostly works fine, but not all apps yet adapted for it and some apps give us error message that they only work in full screen mode.
Then they still work sometimes to run as a window. Sometimes. It’s a bit confusing at this point. This isn’t as slick as Samsung’s Dex interface, which has been completely redesigned and also gives you a bunch of desktop-friendly apps, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. However, Lenovo needs to work more on making all the parts fit together.
On the side of the tablet sits a fast and reliable fingerprint reader built into the power button and the front-facing selfie camera is joined by a 3d camera to give you secure biometric facial recognition. As the latter is something that few Android apps support, it feels less important, but it is of course nice that the possibility exists and it makes unlocking the tablet smooth.
The camera on the back is a simple but well-functioning 13-megapixel with autofocus, plus a wide-angle camera with fixed depth of field and five megapixels in the sensor. They do an acceptable job but not much more. The main camera delivers images with slightly faded colors. The focus is not exactly fast either.
Approved pen, excellent screen
You also get the Lenovo Precision Pen 2 stylus, with a luxurious design made entirely of aluminum and a comfortable grip. It provides good precision and pressure control, but there are pads that provide better direct response. Here you have to count on lags of about a tenth of a second, so that perfectly direct feeling never occurs.
The screen is an 11.5-inch AMOLED panel, with high resolution and good reflective treatment. With OLED technology, it naturally has excellent contrast and deep shadows. The maximum brightness is approximately 350 cd/m2, which is not huge but is good enough for all everyday use at home. It has the usual 60 Hz frame rate and a color gamut that Lenovo says matches the srgb standard, but in reality appears to have higher color intensity than that, if not with perfect color accuracy.
It’s not a professional screen for those who want perfect colors for creative work or the tablet to take out in the summer sun, but it has the right qualities for surfing, office work and watching movies at home. With support for both hdr10 and Dolby Vision, it manages to do a lot, despite its limitations, and a Netflix evening will still be thoroughly enjoyable.
Especially since the screen is matched by four good speakers that deliver powerful, full sound with good space. It’s not quite the clarity and level of detail that Apple’s latest iPad generation delivers, but it’s hard to complain. If you want to connect headphones, however, you have to find a USB adapter or run Bluetooth, because we don’t see a glimpse of a headphone port.
Be careful with the grip
We encounter an annoying moment with the screen. Tablets in recent times have become increasingly compact with thinner screen edges. The manufacturers handle how the system reacts to involuntary thumbs on the edge of the screen. Lenovo seems to handle it unusually poorly. The tiniest bit of thumb sneaking into the side of the screen, when grasped, causes other touch and swipe gestures to stop working. It’s something that should be easily fixed with updated software, but it’s clearly annoying.
Finally, the Tab 11 Pro has an 8,600 mAh battery. This gives it an active operating time of between 10 and 13 hours in our measurements. It streams media more efficiently than it runs Office and social apps. Overall, battery life is respectable, not exceptionally good, but passable.
If this is for you, be careful where you buy the plate. It appears to be sold both with and without a pen and keyboard. In Lenovo’s own webshop, it says that the accessories are not included, but if you buy it through stores, you can get it in a package with all the accessories. And actually at exactly the same price. There also seem to be packages where the keyboard is included, but not the stylus.
Product name: Lenovo Tab 11 Pro TB-J706L
Tested: April 2021
System circuit: Snapdragon 730G
Processor: 2 pcs Kryo 470 Gold 2.2 GHz + 6 pcs Kryo 470 Silver 1.8 GHz
Graphics: Adreno 618
Memory: 6 GB
Storage: 128 GB storage, space for micro sd up to 1 TB
Screen: 11.5 inch amoled, 2560×1600 pixels
Cameras: 13 megapixel + 5 megapixel wide-angle with led rear, 8 megapixel + ToF front
Connections: Usb 3.2 type c, pogo connector
Communication: 3g, 4g, wifi 5, bluetooth 5.0, gps
Operating system: Android 10
Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader, face login, stylus, support, keyboard
Battery: 8,600 mAh, 13h 50min streamed video (wifi, high brightness), approx. 10h web and office work (wifi, medium brightness)
Size: 26.43 x 17.14 x 0.58 cm
Weight: 485 grams
Rec. Award: SEK 7,199
Award: SEK 7,199 at the Elgiganten
Antutu Benchmark 9: 341,982 points
Geekbench 5: 1,764 points
Geekbench 5, a core: 545 points
3dmark Wild Life: 738 points
Storage, reading: 482.6 MB/s
Storage, writing: 244.2 MB/s