May 10, 2022

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus review: Striking the perfect budget balance

By Michael L Hicks last updated February 05, 2022

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus sitting vertically

(Image: © Michael Hicks / Android Central)

OUR VERDICT

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a $300 Android tablet, the Tab P11 Plus makes a strong case as your first choice. From the display to the battery life, and especially thanks to the mid-range CPU, it offers a significant upgrade on the $100–$200 tablets most people buy. Do yourself a favor and make sure to snag the 6GB variant for the extra $50, which makes a big difference for performance.

FOR

  • Impressively long battery life
  • Bright, crisp display for this price
  • Reliable performance for streaming and gaming
  • Excellent speakers
  • Compatible with Lenovo stylus

AGAINST

  • No 3.5mm headphone jack or fingerprint sensor
  • Haptic motor is a bit much
  • Face Unlock can be inconsistent
  • Android software is polarizing (for now)

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US$274.99at Amazon

Lenovo is the one Android developer that has consistently released “stock” Android tablets over the past few years. With Google all but abandoning them, while Samsung and Amazon pushed their own OSs, Lenovo stuck to a UI that wasn’t exactly built for wide screens. Thankfully, Android 12L is on the way, meaning stock Android is no longer the warning label it used to be.

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus won’t receive Android 12 until May 31 (and 12L presumably sometime after). Still, with the 12L beta already available on the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, we know Lenovo is at the frontlines for testing and perfecting the new multitasking features we’ve been waiting for.

For now, the Tab P11 Plus running Android 11 joins the ranks of the best budget Android tablets, competing with tablets like the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and Fire HD 10 Plus. Solid performance, a bright 2K display, long-lasting battery life, and surprisingly rich audio add up to a respectable package for people who want a slight upgrade on a cheap tablet without a mid-range price.Sponsored LinksWhy Are Dubai Villas So Cheap? (Take A Look)Luxury Villas in Dubai

LENOVO TAB P11 PLUS: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Prime Video on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Lenovo announced the Tab P11 Plus at MWC 2021 and released it in July 2021. It sells three variants: a 4GB/64GB model for $260, a 4GB/128GB model for $280, and a 6GB/128GB model for $310. You’ll also find bundles available with the Lenovo Precision Pen 2 and/or an attachable Bluetooth keyboard ranging from $325 to $400.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.513.0_en.html#goog_12242087220 seconds of 59 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND

While it ships in both Slate Grey and Platinum Grey, only the Slate color appears on storefronts at the moment. As of publication, you’ll find it on Lenovo.com and Newegg; currently, Amazon only sells the tablet through a reseller.

LENOVO TAB P11 PLUS: WHAT YOU’LL LIKE

Minecraft Dungeons on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus with an Xbox Wireless Controller
Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

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The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus design is, for the most part, a dull slate complete with a Slate Grey color that smudges fairly easily. While I don’t love that, I do love the unique dual-material back that’s part-rubber, part-aluminum. Not only does it give the tablet a unique look, the Jekyll-and-Hyde design lets you decide whether you prefer a cold and metallic or warm and insulated feel on your fingers while you stream your favorite movie.

The rest of the design is pretty standard for a budget tablet, with a couple of exceptions. The top has volume buttons, mics, and a microSD card slot; the right side has the USB-C charging port and two speakers; the bottom has pogo pins to hold the Lenovo Precision Pen; and the right adds two more speakers along with the power button. Many budget tablets (like the Galaxy Tab A series) don’t work with a stylus, while many others only have bottom-firing speakers.

With the P11 Plus, you’re not just getting upgraded 2K resolution; you’re also getting exceptionally rich and clean surround sound audio for this price range. Backed by Dolby Atmos, the Lenovo Tab’s audio sounds exactly as it should, even at the highest volume. Whether you’re streaming or gaming, you can fully enjoy the experience without headphones.

The back of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus shown vertically to see its narrow thickness

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A close-up of the back camera lens on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
A close-up on the "Lenovo" label of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central

At 7.5mm thick and 1.1 pounds, the Tab P11 Plus weighs and measures about the same as other below-mid-range tablets like the iPad and Galaxy Tab A 10.1, making it comfortable to hold in my lap or rest against my stomach while laying down for long periods. And unlike the iPad, it has thin, uniform bezels on all sides that give it an attractive look. They may even be slightly too thin, as I encountered some occasional accidental touches picking it up, but I learned to adjust my grip and make it work.

It weighs and measures more than most of its budget counterparts, and many people will prefer an 8-to-10-inch tablet that’s lighter and easier to hold over your head, even if it means downgrading the performance and resolution. In my case, I prefer a long-lasting battery, larger display, and quality speeds for gaming over a compact package, but maybe look elsewhere if you don’t share my tastes.

Buy the 6GB model. The performance boost makes a difference.

Lenovo shipped me the 6GB/128GB variant of the Tab P11 Plus, so your experience may differ if you buy the base 4GB model. But its performance genuinely impressed me for this price range. Most people will buy this to stream and video conference with or for their kids to play games. Whatever your reason, you’ll find the P11 Plus capable of handling most tasks with ease.

CategoryLenovo Tab P11 Plus
Operating SystemAndroid 11
UpdatesOne (Android 12)
Security updates through 5/31/2024
Display11″ 2K (2000 x 1200) LCD touchscreen
400 nits
NTSC 70%
60Hz refresh rate
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G90T
Octa-Core, 2x A76 @2.05GHz + 6x A55 @2.0GHz
Memory4-6GB RAM
Storage64GB-128GB UFS
Up to 512GB extra with microSD card
Cameras13MP (rear)
8MP (front)
SecurityFace Unlock, PIN, passcode
ConnectivityWi-Fi only
Bluetooth 5.1
AudioQuad Dolby Atmos speakers
Battery7700 mAh
20W charging
Dimensions10.2″ x 6.4″ x 0.295″
258.4m x 163mm x 7.5mm
Weight490g / 1.1lbs
ColorsSlate Grey, Platinum Grey

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Testing out various Play Pass games like Dead Cells and Stardew Valley, they all ran quite smoothly. Genshin Impact on Medium graphics was technically playable but a bit too stuttery to really enjoy, while Low graphics worked perfectly.

Genshin Impact on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

As someone without kids who tends to ignore aggregated show recommendations from Google TV, I didn’t take full advantage of Google’s Entertainment Space or Kids Space, two new services for Android 11 tablets. But these services will appeal to buyers who primarily want a streaming tablet for themselves or their kids.

Instead, for the past week, I’ve mainly used my Tab P11 Plus as a portable gaming monitor for xCloud Game Pass games like Halo Infinite, Gears Tactics, and Minecraft Dungeons. Cloud computing ensures you can play Game Pass or Stadia on almost anything, but they look better on the P11 Plus thanks to its respectable brightness and 2K resolution.

Gears Tactics on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus with an Xbox Wireless Controller
Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Plenty of nits, pixels, and processing power makes the P11 Plus well suited for media streaming.

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In fairness, 2K running on 60Hz isn’t what I’d call a graphical marvel. You’ll undoubtedly notice some dropped frames due to the lower refresh rate, both for gaming and casual Chrome browsing. And at around 225ppi — same as the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite — you’ll still see some blurriness and slight lack of detail in graphically dense games like Gears Tactics. But despite all that, it’s leaps and bounds above any other budget offerings I’ve tested, and having a gaming-ready SoC helps for non-cloud gaming.

You might have some trepidations about the MediaTek Helio G90T, a 2019 chipset, but it’s better than you’d expect. The ARM Mali G76 GPU gives you great gaming performance at this price range, including MediaTek’s HyperEngine for enhanced gaming performance. It powered the Redmi Note 8 Pro, a gaming phone with excellent speeds and battery life held back by the brand’s poor, bloated software.

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