Thanks to its 5:3 (long) screen ratio, the Lenovo P11 Plus looks and feels like a smartphone that has been blown up to cartoonish proportions.
But, in the two weeks that we had the device for this review, we learned that a lot of thought has been put into every aspect of this MediaTek powered tablet.
Ready To Go In No Time
The initial setup of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus tablet is surprisingly easy. Without a complicated custom, self-branded user interface and a suite of unwanted apps, setting up this tablet is easier than most Android smartphones.
Preinstalled on our review unit is the full suite of Google apps including Kids Space (a specially curated space for kids), Google One (cloud storage subscription), and Fit, which we don’t often see.
There’s also Office and One Note from Microsoft, Netflix, and a Dolby Atmos app.
Points to the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus for having fewer unwanted apps than flagship smartphones many times its price.
But That Design Though
From the moment we took it out of the box and held it, we knew that the proportions of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus take some getting used to.
It measures 258.4mm wide and 163mm tall. When held vertically by an adult, it looks like a large screen smartphone in a toddler’s hand.
But turn it around and the elegant dual-tone finish with the tasteful Lenovo badge, says that this is a well-made tablet.
The display on the P11 Plus is an uncommon 5:3 ratio and the front-facing camera is located in the centre of the long side of the tablet.
This tells us two things: first, the tablet is meant to be used in its horizontal configuration and second, it is perfect for watching TV shows and Movies.
Made For TV & Movies
The display on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is an 11in IPS LCD panel capable of 2000 by 1200 resolution (2K).
Because It has a 5:3 aspect ratio, it works well with modern TV shows (16:9), old TV shows (4:3) and movies (21:9) but there’s always a black bar on top or the sides.
Its four speakers with Dolby Atmos complete the whole package. It sounds better than average.
Because of all that, we like watching Netflix and YouTube on the tablet.
But, the horizontal orientation does not work for all cases. For example, when we call up the keyboard to search for a TV show or movie, it takes up about half the display in horizontal mode and it’s difficult to type.
Vertical Mode For Everything Else
For almost everything else on the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus, like going through feeds, reading articles, and even word processing, we prefer the vertical orientation.
At about 490g, the tablet is not unwieldy, but in the vertical mode, it is top-heavy, especially for kids. So expect the tablet to do somersaults if not held securely in vertical mode.
In this mode, the touch keyboard is usable and the reading experience is more pleasant, but not for media like comics or manga, in our opinion.
The facial recognition does not work well in this mode, not that it works flawlessly in the horizontal mode in the first place.
We end up using the pin or pattern log-in most of the time. A fingerprint reader on the power button would have been nice.
Mixed Bag For Gaming
Power is not a problem for the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus. The MediaTek Helios G90T can handle modern and retro games, although some demanding emulation could pose a challenge.
For us, the issue is mainly with the display ratio. It works fine with most retro games and emulation but it feels a bit too wide for some modern mobile games.
Our solution was to pair it with a game controller.
Plays Well With Zoom
Of course, we had to test the camera as well. While the 13MP main shooter is alright, what we wanted to know is how the 8MP fixed focus selfie camera performs in a video call or conference.
Because of the screen ratio, and because the camera sits on the wide side of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus, it is a bit short. So stacking it on books to get it close to eye level is advisable.
The Dual Microphone Array with Smart Voice DSP works great, but we found that the camera works better on Zoom calls compared to Google Meet, which is weird.
The most technically impressive feature of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus has to be its ability to accept a SIM card. For a tablet at its price, it is a feature that is almost unheard of.
And yes, the Tab P11 Plus can make and receive phone calls too. Although you might want to use a pair of wireless earbuds for that. There’s no 3.5mm audio jack here.
A Buzzing Quirk
Finally, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus has a few quirks that feel worth mentioning.
The buzzing haptic motor can be annoying and loud, so we preferred it turned off and you need to get to know the “lift to wake” and “near to wake” features to see which one fits your use case.
Unbeatable Balance Of Performance & Price
All that said, none of the shortcomings of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus can beat its price. At RM1,399 we feel that it is a steal.
Adding the accessories like the Folio Case, Keyboard Pack, and Precision Pen 2 would add up, but the Tab P11 Plus looks great on its own and you don’t need all those other accessories (except maybe a stand or holder) to watch shows on it.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is now available On Lenovo Malaysia Official Online Store with a recommended retail price starting from RM1,259.
Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is also be available at Lenovo Exclusive Stores.