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Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review: Close to the whole package
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is an Android tablet that bridges the gap between entertainment and productivity machines, says Lenovo — and it does so in style. With a huge 2K screen, Dolby Atmos speakers, and an optional keyboard, the P12 Pro is ready to both work and play. The Tab P12 Pro lines up against some high-end Android tablets feature for feature, but it is a pricey option when compared to some convertible Chromebooks. Is it the right style of device for you? Find out in the Android Authority Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review.
What you need to know about the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro
- Lenovo Tab P12 Pro (6GB/128GB): $699 / €799 / £749
- Lenovo Tab P12 Pro (8GB/256GB): $729
Lenovo hopes the Tab P12 Pro will appeal to a variety of users, though it is perhaps targeting those who prioritize a solid entertainment experience over anything else. The company says the P12 Pro can handle “light productivity,” particularly when paired with its keyboard accessory. That might be underselling it a bit. That said, this is an Android tablet, not a Chromebook, and that makes the Tab P12 Pro its own kind of animal.
Lenovo is selling two basic versions of the Tab P12 Pro and they come with most of the same core specs. The tablet packs a near top-of-the-line processor with solid memory and storage numbers, a generously-sized display with plenty of pixels, as well as high-quality audio and biometrics to round out the experience. Only one color option is available: Storm Grey.
At the moment, the Tab P12 Pro is available in the US from Lenovo.com and the price, which includes a bundled stylus, starts at $699. The UK price is €749, while other European regions get a price of €799. The optional keyboard accessory, which turns the Tab P12 Pro into more of a convertible computing device, goes for $65. The keyboard doesn’t appear to be available online just yet, however, so if you want it you’ll need to grab the bundle with it included for $809.
A 5G-capable variant of the Tab P12 Pro is being sold in select markets across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia for approximately €899. Lenovo has confirmed it currently has no plans to make cellular version available in North America.
What’s it like to use the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro?
Given the competition in the ~$700 tablet space, Lenovo had little wiggle room with respect to the hardware. It had to churn out a high-quality slate in order to keep tabs (pun intended) on what’s available from Apple, Samsung, and others. Good thing for Lenovo that it got the job done.
Everything about the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is manufactured to the highest quality.
The P12 Pro is an attractive glass-and-metal tablet that’s thin, light, and demonstrates Lenovo’s engineering chops. It measures 285.6 x 184.5 x 5.6mm, which makes it one of the thinnest tablets out there, though it is fairly large overall. The P12 Pro weighs in at 565g, respectably similar to competing tablets. The aluminum chassis is solid and holds the large glass panel in place snugly. Like offerings from Apple and Google, the Lenovo has flat side edges, giving it a professional bent. The two-tone shading to the rear metal lends the tablet a bit of personality that other slates don’t have.
Premium components abound. You’ll find no polycarbonate or cheap glass here — at least to the touch, we’ve asked Lenovo to confirm what type of glass we’re dealing with and will update accordingly. The tablet feels strong and rigid, and everything about it is manufactured to the highest quality. The Tab P12 Pro goes toe-to-toe with its peers.
There’s a lot going on around the outer edges of the tablet. On top, for example, you’ll locate the two volume buttons on the left corner. These keys have great profiles and excellent travel and feedback. The power button is on the left edge of the tablet and it doubles as a fingerprint reader. The reader is recessed a bit below the metal framing, which makes it a little hard to find by feel. That said, training and using the fingerprint reader was quick. You’ll also find a slot for microSD cards (up to 1TB) on the left edge. The bottom edge has copper pogo pins for connecting to the optional keyboard accessory. The right edge holds the single USB-C (3.1 gen 2) port.
Last, there are holes drilled on both sides for the JBL-tuned quad-speaker array capable of Dolby Atmos sound. These side-firing speakers actually do a fair job of pushing out clean, balanced sound. Music had clear highs and lows, and movies generated just enough boom to boost the experience. There’s good Bluetooth codec support on board if you prefer headphones, though there’s no headphone jack. This is a common detractor to tablets in this price range, but at least the Lenovo ships with a USB-C-to-3.5mm dongle.
The Tab P12 Pro’s rear surface is mostly flat metal, though it still contains a few functional elements. First and foremost, the camera module, which is a dual-lens job with an LED flash, is positioned in the upper right corner. A small magnetic tab is placed just a bit to the camera’s left. This tab holds the stylus that ships with the P12 Pro in place.
Thankfully, Lenovo is including the Precision Pen 3 with the tablet itself. For those of you who enjoy using a stylus, it works well. It handily snaps onto the rear of the tablet, though the magnetic connection could be a bit stronger. The Pen charges when attached to the tablet and gives you close to 100 hours of use before requiring a recharge. Lenovo says the Precision Pen 3 offers more than 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity and supports a greater range of tilt detection for a more realistic writing experience. It does about as well as any other stylus I’ve used on a tablet.
See also: The best Chromebook tablets you can buy
Accessories really go a long way in boosting the usefulness of tablets, and that’s no different with the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro. At the very least, a tablet needs a folio cover or something to protect the screen when you’re toting it about. The official Lenovo Keyboard Pack provides that and more.
For $65, the Keyboard Pack gives you a fabric-y panel that adheres magnetically to the rear of the tablet and covers the stylus. It also includes an adjustable kickstand so you can set the tablet up on a table or desk. Similar to the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, the keyboard itself connects to the bottom edge of the tablet via pogo pins. The pogo pins charge the keyboard, but it still connects via Bluetooth. Thankfully, the tablet and keyboard do this automatically. In addition to protecting the screen, the keyboard gives you a solid typing and navigating experience thanks to the full-sized keys and touchpad. I particularly like the dedicated buttons for killing the microphone, taking a screenshot, or entering split-screen mode. It’s absolutely worth the extra money.
Overall, Lenovo put together an attractive slate in the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro that matches its competitors in terms of quality and features.
What’s the 2K screen like?
If there’s one reason you should buy the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, the screen should be it. This panel impresses in almost every way.
To start, it’s a large screen. It stretches 12.6 inches to keep pace with the larger screens of the Apple iPad Pro (12.9 inches) and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus (12.4 inches). Lenovo opted for a 16:10 aspect ratio, which gives the Tab P12 Pro a bit more vertical space for working on documents. Lenovo kept the bezels very thin, and the single user-facing camera is buried in the border between the display and the frame.
The Tab P12 Pro's smooth and crisp screen makes it an excellent device for editing photos or getting other productive tasks done.
The screen pushes 2,560 x 1,600 pixels for 2K resolution, which may be a step up from the FHD or FHD+ resolution common to many mid-range tablets, but is in line with the best tablets in the ~$700 price range. This resolution makes the Tab P12 Pro an excellent device for editing photos or getting other productive tasks done. It renders everything crisply, with fine details that are readily visible to the eye.
The AMOLED display is Dolby Vision and HDR10+ capable, the contrast is excellent, brightness is outstanding, and color accuracy is spot-on — as long as you view the display straight on. Unfortunately, viewing angles for this display are shockingly bad and the screen generates a distinct red shift when viewed from any steep angle. This means whites turn an obvious shade of pink when you move the tablet around. It’s a distraction, but only really matters if you’re trying to watch a movie with someone else at the same time.
Last, the screen has a 120Hz refresh rate. Scanning up and down in apps is a great experience and makes everything smoother when scrolling through websites or apps such as Twitter. You can reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz to improve battery life if you wish, too.
Like most modern tablets, the Tab P12 Pro has plenty of modes, controls, and settings for managing the screen’s appearance. A small selection includes night mode, dark mode, several color profiles, and such.
See also: Display types and technologies explained
When it comes to browsing media-rich websites, streaming YouTube or Netflix, or playing games, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro’s screen gets the job done. Sure, there are a few detractors, but these don’t take too much away from what is otherwise a great display.
How long does the battery last?
Lenovo tuned the Tab P12 Pro to deliver better battery life than many other tablets in the price range. That means it easily gets through a day of school or work with plenty of life left for kicking back in the evening.
If you were to tear open the Tab P12 Pro’s chassis, you’d find a 10,200mAh battery inside, which is about the same capacity as competing tablets. Despite the large, pixel-rich screen, the battery pushes through 11 full hours of web browsing over Wi-Fi. Moreover, it reached an impressive 14 hours during my testing when used to stream video content, such as the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett or The Witcher. Those are some really good numbers, and better than what you’ll get from any of Apple’s iPads.
When it comes time to charge the tablet, you’ve got support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 45W charging but the P12 Pro ships with a brick limited to just 30W. If you want to reach the full 45W you’ll have to pick up an additional charger at your own expense. With the supplied 30W charger, it took the Tab P12 Pro a bit more than two hours to reach a full charge from empty.
This Lenovo slate bests much of the competition in terms of battery life, and that’s a good thing.
How powerful is the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro?
Lenovo didn’t opt for the top-of-the-line processor, but it came really close. The company selected the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 system on a chip to power the P12 Pro and paired it with an Adreno 650 GPU, 6/8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 128/256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. This is a healthy arrangement for a tablet at this price point, though it doesn’t come close to Apple’s custom silicon. Instead, think of the Snapdragon 870 as a hot-rodded Snapdragon 865 Plus — the top Qualcomm chipset from 2020 found in the main Galaxy Tab S7 series.
In terms of everyday performance, the P12 Pro felt fluid and fast and that bore out in benchmark scores.
In terms of everyday performance, the Tab P12 Pro felt fluid and fast. The tablet was quick to download and install apps from the Play Store, it was exceptional at running games and heavy-duty streaming apps such as Netflix, and it absolutely breezed through basics such as Chrome and Gmail. The tablet never felt slow or sluggish and was always up for a challenge. We tested the 8GB/256GB version. It’s possible the 6GB/128GB model would test slightly lower.
Its benchmark scores reflected the everyday goodness. We ran AnTuTu, Geekbench, and 3DMark, and it equaled the scores of other Snapdragon 870- and 865 Plus-equipped devices.
You won’t have to worry about the P12 Pro’s processor slowing you down, as it delivers more than enough grunt for your entertainment and productivity needs.
- Software: The Tab P12 Pro ships with Android 11 on the November 2021 security patch. Lenovo kept its treatment of Android 11 fairly light as far as tuning the looks is concerned. The fonts, for example, are Lenovo’s, which means the settings menu looks different from Google’s version of Android. There are a handful of Lenovo apps on board, including Instant Memo for scribbling out notes with the included stylus, and Tablet Center for activating enterprise features of the P12 Pro, such as ADP One for payroll stuff. Most regular people won’t bother with those, though it’s worth noting that they cannot be deleted. Because it’s an Android tablet, you’ve also got Google’s Kids Space and Entertainment Space. The former is a segregated user mode that keeps kids away from sensitive parts of the software and the latter is a dashboard to manage all your video subscriptions and other online content on one screen. Kids and Entertainment spaces have their uses. Overall, Android 11 ran really well on the tablet.
- Support: Lenovo says the Tab P12 Pro will receive one major OS upgrade, to Android 12, approximately in March of 2022. After that, it will receive security updates through September of 2024. That doesn’t match what Samsung offers for its devices, nor does it come anywhere close to Apple’s extensive support for its iPads.
- Android 12L Beta: The Tab P12 Pro is one of the only tablets in the market capable of running the Android 12L beta. Android 12L is a newer version of Android intended to work better on big-screened devices such as tablets. It is easy to sign up for the beta program to test if you wish. Hopefully this means the Tab P12 Pro will be one of the first in line for Google’s tablet-optimized software when a stable build rolls out.
- Project Unity: Lenovo’s Project Unity software allows you to extend the display of your Windows PC to the Tab P12 Pro. The software is mostly straightforward to use when pairing the tablet with a PC and the tablet adopts some Windows-like UI elements to make sure the experience of using the tablet and PC together is as seamless as possible.
- Cameras/Webcam: The slate features two cameras on the rear: a 13MP main shooter and a 5MP wide-angle camera. These cameras are serviceable for a tablet. They aren’t going to replace the cameras on your smartphone, but they suffice in a pinch. I found them to generate good exposures that were sharp if not slightly grainy. The user-facing camera is an 8MP shooter that can record FHD video for video chats. It does a fairly good job, though video suffers from grain in poorly-lit spaces. The Tab P12 Pro also boasts a user-facing time-of-flight sensor, which allows the webcam and sensor together to provide secure face recognition for unlocking the tablet. That’s something few tablets feature these days and it worked well.
- Haptics: If there’s one area Lenovo messed up, it’s haptics. The haptic motor of the P12 Pro is horrible. I mean, horrible. It rattles around roughly rather than spinning subtly. I had to turn haptics all the way off.
- Connectivity: The Tab P12 Pro has the right stuff in terms of wireless radios. To start, Wi-Fi 6 is on board. This isn’t the absolute latest spec, but it’s the next best thing and ensures the tablet delivers speedy Wi-Fi. Further, the tablet supports Bluetooth 5.2 for your headphones and other accessories.
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro specs
|Lenovo Tab P12 Pro|
2,560 x 1,600, 16:10
HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Adreno 650 GPU
256GB UFS 3.1
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
WiFi 802.11ac/ax, Wi-Fi 6
45W rapid charging
285.6 x 184.5 x 5.6mm
Value and competition
Lenovo has carved out a nice little spot in the market for the Tab P12 Pro. It has clear ambitions to take on certain tablets from Apple and Samsung, and it garners just enough praise to make the Tab P12 Pro a compelling option.
One thing the Lenovo has going for it is the Precision Pen. Lenovo was smart to include the stylus in the box with the tablet (though some regions aren’t as lucky as the US — check before you buy). Apple forces you to spend an extra $129 on its Apple Pencil. That gives the P12 Pro an immediate leg up in the value department, but the tablet also ticks a lot of the other necessary boxes. It’s got a great screen, speedy performance, class-leading battery life, and lots more to appeal to entertainment seekers and work-minded folks. The $699 starting price tag is right where it needs to be for this class of device.
There are several obvious Android-based competitors to the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro. First, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 ($729) and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus ($849). The Tab S7 has an 11-inch screen like the iPad Air, though the Tab S7 Plus has a larger 12.4-inch screen that matches the huge viewing space of the Tab P12 Pro. Both include the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and solid RAM/storage options. The only potential drawback here is that Samsung recently replaced the Tab S7 series with the Tab S8 series. The Tab S8 family looks great, but won’t be available until late February. That said, you may be able to score a deal on the Galaxy Tab S7.
Lenovo has carved out a nice little spot in the market for the Tab P12 Pro.
Keeping it in the Lenovo family, there’s the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 ($679). This tablet has a good screen and excellent battery life, but only comes in limited configurations, doesn’t have a rear camera, and might be too bulky for some.
Next up is the Apple iPad Air ($599). Apple’s mid-range slate has a smaller screen and shorter battery life, but it excels in performance, app compatibility, and imaging. Further, the iPad has access to an incredible ecosystem of first- and third-party accessories.
If you’re not entirely sold on the idea of an Android or iOS tablet, there’s always a Chromebook slate. You could look at the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook ($429), which has an almost identical form factor to the Tab P12 Pro, but runs Chrome OS instead of Android. Also, it costs a bit less and includes the keyboard in the box.
Last, you could skip Android, Chrome, and iPadOS altogether and go for Windows with the Microsoft Surface Go 3 ($629). With the Surface Go 3, you’re on the hook for all the accessories, such as the Type Cover, yourself.
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review: The verdict
Lenovo mostly hit the mark with the Tab P12 Pro. The tablet matches the quality, performance, and pricing of its main rivals and also offers a few things they don’t.
The Tab P12 Pro is a solid piece of hardware that’s well made, with a gorgeous display for consuming content or getting some work done. It pushes out plenty of speed and cranks out class-leading battery life. Biometrics ensure that the tablet is always secured and extras like JBL-tuned speakers and expandable storage give it a leg up.
Lenovo has clear ambitions to take on certain tablets from Apple and Samsung, and it garners enough praise to make the Tab P12 Pro a compelling option.
The tablet could have a better upgrade commitment from Lenovo. Two OS updates would be better than one. Moreover, the haptics are rather rough and the cameras could be better.
Lenovo comes close to delivering the whole package here. The included stylus helps offset the P12 Pro’s price when compared to some competing tablets, and the well-rounded software suite and optional keyboard accessory make the tablet an appealing option as a potential productivity machine.
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