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Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen review: Affordable, but lackluster performance

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen Android tablet is probably best to use as a tablet for kids or someone who needs an entry-level tablet for basic tasks.

Techaeris Rated 8.6/10

Android tablets have become less commonplace over the past few years, but that doesn’t stop some manufacturers from producing them. Lenovo, one of those OEMs, recently released the second generation of their Smart Tab M10 Android tablet lineup.

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen comes with a 10.1″ HD display, 32GB of internal storage with a MicroSD slot for expansion, 2GB of RAM, Android 10, up to 8 hours of video playback, and more. Keep reading to see how the tablet did in the full review below.

Specifications

Display10.1″ HD (1280 x 800) IPS LCD, 400 nits 10-point touchscreen display
ProcessorMediaTek Helio P22T Tab, Octa-Core 2.3GHz
Storage32GB eMMC (expandable up to 256GB)
Memory2GB
CameraFront: 5MP (fixed-focus)
Rear: 8MP (auto-focus)
PortsUSB Type-C 2.0
headphone/mic combo
Connectivity802.11AC, 2.4GHz & 5GHz dual-band
Bluetooth 5.0
WiFi Direct
Audio2x side speakers, optimized with Dolby Atmos
SensorsAccelerometer (G) sensor
L-sensor
P-sensor
Hall sensor
Vibrator
SecurityFace unlock
BatteryUp to 10 hours (web browsing)
Up to 8 hours (video playback)
Operating SystemAndroid 10
ColorIron Gray
Dimensions (H x W x D)241.5 x 149.38 x 8.25mm (9.5 x 5.88 x .32″)
Weight420g (0.90lbs)
ColorIron Gray

What’s in the box

  • Lenovo Smart Tab M10 2nd gen
  • Smart charging station dock
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • Quick starter guide

Design

If there’s one thing that the Tab M10 HD carries from other tablets is its rectangular design. The front has some decent-sized bezels that, while bigger than you may be used to on other devices, don’t really get in the way during use. In fact, once you get used to the tablet, they are subtle enough to forget about. The tablet also has a front-facing camera for those who want to use Google Duo and video call with family or friends.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen front placed in dock
Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen placed in dock.

Flipping the M10 HD over, you’ll see the nice Iron Grey color back with the rear-facing camera and Lenovo’s logo. The right side of the tablet has a textured power/standby button along with the volume rocker. The bottom houses a USB Type-C port for charging the tablet and one speaker. The second speaker is located on the top, along with a 3.5mm audio connection. Finally, connector plates that allow you to use the tablet as a media device with the included dock are located on the tablet’s left long edge.

What makes this tablet smarter than other tablets is the dock that is included in the box. The dock is made from aluminum and is small enough to fit on a nightstand and barely takes up any space. There are two gold pins that connect with the bottom of the Tab M10 and a Micro-USB port on the back of the dock to plug it in. This is an odd design choice as the tablet itself has a USB Type-C connection. It would have been nice to see a Micro-USB port on the dock as well. In fact, it would have been nice to see the tablet connect to the dock via USB Type-C so it could charge through the dock itself.

Display

Lenovo has opted for a 10.1″ HD (1280 x 800) IPS LCD on the Tab M10. Coming in at a little over 720p resolution, the display is o.k. at best. However, colors are pretty good when it comes to reds, blues, greens, etc. Blacks are dark enough, but I did notice a little bit of a grey hue at times. White and lighter colors, on the other hand, were bright.

If you plan on playing some games, you’ll notice the extra vibrancy in colors. Videos on YouTube or any other video streaming service also looked decent enough but were also a little on the dull end. Being used to displays with FHD, FHD+, and QHD resolution, you tend to notice some pixels with the tablet’s smaller resolution (given the screen size) when watching videos or just sitting on the main home screen.

Software

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD ships with Android 10, which includes Google Assistant. Even though Android 11 has been out for a while, Android 10 is still the version that ships on most Android devices. Another feature that might attract some folks with this tablet is a dedicated kid’s mode.

I won’t bore you with every detail of Android 10, but some features that you do get are a full system dark theme, gesture navigation, smart reply, and more. Google Assistant can keep you updated on weather, what music is playing, show you pictures from your Google Photos, and more.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen Google Assistant
Google Assistant Ambient Mode when docked.

With there being a kids mode suite on the M10 HD thanks to Google Kids Space, children ages 3 to 8 will be able to learn, play games, or watch videos on YouTube Kids. Keep in mind you will have to create a whole new profile and set up a child Google account in order to actually use Kids Space.

Performance

Lenovo went with an octa-core MediaTek Helio P22T Tab SoC, 2GB RAM, and 32GB of internal storage inside the Smart Tab M10 2nd Gen Android tablet. Unfortunately, what this means is you’re getting a mid-range processor with entry-level RAM and decent storage that can be expanded with a MicroSD card.

Don’t expect to be doing anything too processor intensive with this tablet as your 2GB of RAM is pretty much gone when running the OS and an app or two. Loading up an app bogs down the performance of the tablet to where it starts to become slow and feel laggy. However, after roughly five seconds, the tablet “catches up,” so to speak, and runs just fine.

Switching applications works as well, but when you tap the recent apps button, it takes a second or so to show the other applications you have open. After you tap on a different app, it does the same thing — taking about a second or so to load said app and have it run again. As far as running the applications, they did fairly well with barely any lag once they did load up.

With the Helio P22T, the tablet runs decently, but if Lenovo added in an extra GB of RAM or two, performance would be less of an issue.

Sound Quality

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen comes with dual side-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos sound. When it came to listening to music, it sounded decent but nothing too special. Not much bass but the highs and mids were there. Sound can get loud but ends up sounding tinny after a certain point. Videos on YouTube and Netflix sounded fine when it came to voices and other sounds in the scene. If you’re listening to music or watching videos, you will be able to hear everything going on as long as there isn’t a lot of ambient noise in the room.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen USB C port and side speaker
Right side speaker with USB C charging port.

Camera

As I still don’t believe tablets should be used as cameras, the Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen Lenovo has an 8MP lens on the rear. While nothing to write home about, the tablet does take o.k. looking photos. Pictures in a well-lit room or outdoors turned out ok but sometimes ended up having too much exposure and grain even while using autofocus.

When taking pictures with the 5MP front-facing camera, the quality was about the same as the rear-facing camera. Photos taken in well-lit areas were good but, again, had too much grain.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen rear camera
8MP rear facing camera bump.

Honestly, if you already have a smartphone or a DSLR, you have no use in taking photos with this tablet. On the other hand, kids probably won’t really be able to tell the difference like you and I can.

Battery Life

As for battery life, this Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen has a 5,000mAh battery which is decent, to say the least. Heavy usage will drain the battery more if you’re using this as an entertainment device. Browsing the web and playing some games here and there throughout the day will offer a bit more usage before having to charge the tablet.

Price

Lenovo is offering the Smart TabM10 HD 2nd Gen for US$129.99. While it’s not the greatest tablet out there, the price to performance ratio is about equal. It offers an affordable price with o.k. specs, giving you an acceptable experience.

Wrap Up

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen Android tablet is probably best to use as a tablet for kids who will play games and watch videos or someone who needs an entry-level tablet for basic tasks before upgrading to something with better performance.

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Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD 2nd Gen

US$129.99

Design

9.0/10

Display

8.0/10

Software

9.0/10

Performance

8.0/10

Sound Quality

8.5/10

Camera

8.5/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Simplistic design
  • Used as a smart display
  • Google Assistant built in
  • Kids mode
  • Includes dock
  • Affordable price

Needs work

  • Can be slow or choppy
  • Camera
  • Decent speakers
  • Micro-USB port on dock (while tablet has USB Type-C)
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