With the Tab M10 Plus for only 250 dollars, Lenovo is launching a serious competitor for the Apple iPad. In this test you will find out who will emerge as the winner.
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3. Gen.) im Test
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A tablet for almost everything
Well equipped, well designed, inexpensive: Lenovo manages to meet most requirements with the Tab M10 Plus. Together with the separately available stylus, the tablet outperforms the smallest iPad from Apple and saves money in a direct cost-benefit comparison. You only have to reckon with restrictions in terms of gaming and probably with the expected updates.
We liked that
- Attractive design
- Long battery life
- Price-performance ratio
We didn’t like that
- Only suitable for gaming to a limited extent
In the Tab series, the Tab M10 Plus from Lenovo represents the upper entry-level class. A bit larger, a bit more enduring and a bit more powerful than the cheapest M10 HD model, the tablet “dances” on the border to the middle class. So a real price-performance tip?
It is often precisely these border crossers who turn out to be a lazy compromise between strengths that are effective in advertising and weaknesses that emerge in everyday life. Which side does the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus belong to? We’ll tell you in our test.
Design and workmanship: copied from the upper class
The tablet is quickly freed from a colorfully decorated cardboard slipcase and I have a compact device in front of me. It measures 251.2 x 158 x 7 millimeters and weighs around 465 grams. If we compare DIN sizes, the tablet is exactly between DIN A5 and DIN A4 – a very practical format.
With a suggested retail price of 249 dollars, the Tab M10 Plus is one of the cheaper tablets. That doesn’t mean Lenovo skimped on the build, though. The tablet is mostly made of aluminum. There is also a rough plastic coating on the upper side of the case.
The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd gen.) in pictures
The design is visually reminiscent of the company’s top model, the Lenovo Tab P11. It stands out slightly from the otherwise flat surface of the case and makes the tablet easier to grip.
A total of three buttons are integrated in this area. The power button is on the top side, the two volume buttons are integrated on the side. All in all, I like the look and the clean workmanship very much.
Scope of delivery: Everything included
The scope of delivery of the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus offers you everything you need for commissioning. Which is not only commendable for an entry-level model, but also a good deal for the user.
In addition to the tablet, the scope of delivery includes a charging cable, a charging adapter, a SIM needle and the usual documents for instructions and warranty.
equipment and service
Externally, the Tab M10 Plus makes a very good impression. Can the entry-level tablet also convince in terms of performance? We’ll tell you here.
Display: High resolution but could be brighter
The tablet is equipped with a 10.61 inch IPS LCD display. This gives you a very “view-stable” panel that is easy to see from all viewing angles. In addition, the tablet covers a wide color space, which is advantageous for image and video viewing.
The downside is the brightness. I noticed the rather low luminosity and the reflective surface negatively. If you want to read the newspaper relaxed on the terrace, you should do that in the shade. Because the M10 Plus cannot withstand direct light.
Speaking of text content, the aspect ratio is specified as 16:10, making it perfect for displaying text in portrait format on the tablet. A comparatively high contrast and the low proportion of blue light make reading easier. Thus, the tablet also qualifies as a companion for school and work.
Processor and memory: Two variants, one recommendation
The Tab M10 Plus is available in two versions. It is offered either as an LTE or WLAN variant. They differ not only in the mobile phone options, but also in the chipset used.
The LTE version features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680. In the WLAN version that I have, however, a Helio G80 from MediaTek works. Both are located in the middle class and are accompanied by 4 gigabytes of RAM.
We advise you to choose the LTE version, even if you don’t want to use mobile communications. The Snapdragon 680 performs slightly better than the MediaTek chipset our review unit uses in independent benchmark tests. You’ll be better off with it in the long run.
For the data messies among you, there is 64 gigabytes of internal memory to fill. You can expand this further via MicroSD. This is not a problem for the LTE version. Because here you can install a nanoSIM in addition to a storage medium. So you don’t have to choose between more storage or cellular.
In many everyday situations, this equipment is completely sufficient. Changing images, leafing through larger PDF files and streaming is no problem for the tablet.
Gaming: Sufficient for casual gamers
However, when it comes to more demanding applications, and here games are of course the top priority for many users, the tablet shows clear weaknesses. Genshin Impact and Apex Legends Mobile only play well on low settings.
If higher settings are possible – Apex Legends Mobile blocks settings above “Normal”, for example – limitations become clear. As a result, the tablet gets noticeably warmer, the battery charge drains much faster, and in-game performance slows down to a jerky crawl.
Gaming quality tends to be inconsistent on the Tab M10 Plus. Challenging games in 3D environments and fast-paced shooters quickly reach their limits. However, smaller games for children are possible without problems.
In short: Gaming on the M10 Plus is no fun if you like graphically demanding games. If, on the other hand, you like genres that are visually less complex or if you use the device as an activity for small children, the equipment is sufficient.
Operating system and operation: updates only until 2023?
The tablet is factory-equipped with Android 12 and, according to the manufacturer, will receive an update to Android 13 in 2023. What it will look like afterwards is uncertain. In the past, Lenovo usually stopped after a system update – especially for mid-range tablets.
For the M10 Plus, however, Lenovo promises three years of security and “other updates” on the product page. What that means in concrete terms remains to be seen.
Audio: Good average
A feature that is now a real rarity is the integrated jack plug. Wired headsets and headphones can be connected here. Alternatively, you can also use Bluetooth headphones.
If you don’t like headphones at all, you can listen to music, films and video games over a total of four speakers. The quality is satisfactory. Dolby Atmos is active by default and we recommend leaving the mode activated. Without this mode, the sound loses any fullness and sounds very tinny.
The tablet does not have a fingerprint scanner, but unlocking via face biometrics does. The front camera also performs this task reliably and is a sensible alternative to the known unlocking methods. You can also use the tablet with the Lenovo Precision Pen 2.
This is optional and available separately for around 59 dollars. A recommended addition. This is how you can set up a practical, almost endless notepad for university and the office. With the Memo app, Lenovo also offers its own notes app with handwriting recognition.
The manufacturer is also competing with Apple. There, the entry-level model of the iPad costs around 380 dollars, the Apple Pen costs another 135 dollars. Anyone looking for a tablet for handwritten notes can save around 200 dollars with the Tab M10 Plus.
Battery and runtime: staying power for everyday life and work
The tablet has a 7,700 mAh battery. This makes it very well equipped compared to other devices in the price range below 250 dollars. For example, it surpasses the current Galaxy Tab A8 by around 500 milliampere hours.
You can feel that when you use it. It beats Samsung’s competitor by an hour on average and offers around 13 hours of mixed use.
If the battery charge does run out, you can quickly charge the tablet with up to 20 watts. Nevertheless, you should bring some time with you, because the tablet does not necessarily charge really quickly. On average, it takes about 1.5 hours to charge from 20 to 80 percent.
Camera: A weak point that can be neglected
The Tab M10 Plus is equipped with an 8 megapixel camera on both sides. Both are not intended for high-resolution photography. The main camera delivers mixed results even in perfect lighting conditions and is at best suitable for recording documents.
Sample Photos of Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen)
The same goes for the front camera. However, this camera is still used for biometric unlocking of the tablet and for occasional video calls. For both situations, you don’t have to splurge with megapixels, but convince with good software. The Tab M10 Plus manages this without any problems.
If you want to spend a little more money, the Xiaomi Pad 5 might interest you. For around 330 dollars you get more memory, a faster processor and a WGHD display with a full 11 inches. With a successor expected to appear shortly, the tablet could soon be available at an even lower price.
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3. Gen.)
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Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd gen): The best alternatives
Don’t you agree? Are you looking for suitable alternatives? Below are the best Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen) alternatives. You can find an even more comprehensive list in our tablet overview.
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd gen): Spec sheet
Here you can find the technical data for the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd gen.). You can easily compare size, weight and other properties with other products.
|screen size||10.6 inches|
|processor||MediaTek Helio G80 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 680|
|random access memory||4 Gigabyte|
|Dimensions||251,2 x 158 x 7 Millimeter|
|Internal memory||128 Gigabyte|
|Internal storage expandable?||✔ And|
|number of speakers||4|
|battery pack||7,700 milliampere hours|
|front camera||8 MP|
|SIM card type||NanoSIM|
|Stylus included||✘ no|
|Can be used with a pen||✔ And|
|Keyboard included||✘ no|
|Keyboard connectable||✔ And|
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