LENOVO TAB P12 PRO
A lovely screen and highend features in a costconscious package make the Tab P12 Pro a great choice.
128GB, $449 | from lenovo.com/au
While Apple has been selling the 12.9in iPad Pro since 2015, the Android tablet manufacturers have largely shied away from such large-format devices. Now, buoyed by the acclaim for its Tab P11 Pro, Lenovo is entering the ring with a 12.6in version. The P12 Pro doesn’t get everything right, but it’s a formidable big-screen slate.
It’s big, but surprisingly not that heavy. With a tough but slim alloy shell under 6mm thick, plus understated 6mm bezels, it’s a manageable 565g in weight and well balanced for handheld use or propping up on a lap or knee. There’s a single USB-C port on the right-hand side for charging, which supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 for 10Gbits/sec connectivity. On the left-hand side, right at the top corner, there’s an inset power button with a built-in fingerprint reader, which worked flawlessly during testing. On the rear you’ll find a magnetic charging point for the bundled Precision Pen 3 stylus, which clamps on securely while it’s not in use.
But the P12 Pro is all about the screen. It’s a 12.6in AMOLED display with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and the image quality is nothing short of beautiful. It doesn’t actually go overly bright under normal conditions; we measured the maximum brightness at 404cd/m2, though with auto-brightness engaged and some sunlight it will hit 600cd/m2. Thanks to the perfect blacks, contrast is effectively infinite, while the screen covers 100 percent of both the sRGB gamut and DCI-P3. Colour accuracy is good rather than stellar, with an average Delta E of 2.9, but still fine for anything bar colour-critical photo and videoediting. For more casual work – and for streaming video and playing games – it’s superb.
This helps make the P12 Pro a brilliant tablet for entertainment, and it helps that the slender case also encloses a decent quad-speaker system. There isn’t a huge amount of bass and the sound at higher volumes can be brash, but at lower levels you get a surprisingly immersive way to binge the latest hits on Netflix or Disney+. Load up Call of Duty: Mobile or Diablo Immortal, and you have a strong mobile gaming platform – and an even better one for Xbox cloud streaming, despite the limited 1080p resolution of Microsoft’s service. The only worry you might have there is that the onscreen controls can involve huge areas of the screen, making it hard sometimes to move and aim quickly in fast-paced action games.
Lenovo manufacturers a keyboard case for the P12 Pro, and while it wasn’t available at the time of testing, we understand that it’s roughly the same as the one for the P11 Pro, only scaled up. We were able to test the Precision Pen 3 stylus, however, and while it can’t match the smooth, lag-free action of the Apple Pencil or Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 styluses, it’s still accurate and responsive.
The P12 Pro supports the same productivity software enhancements as the P11 Pro, including a more Windows-like desktop experience with floating windows and a taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
With the bigger tablet comes a step up in performance, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 processor, with one highperformance Kryo 585
Prime core, three speedy Kryo 585
Gold cores and four energy-efficient Kryo 585 Silver cores running at between 1.8GHz and 3.2GHz. It’s no longer the fastest processor in Qualcomm’s lineup, but it’s good by Android tablet standards. Were it not for Samsung’s superpowered Galaxy Tab S8 tablets, the P12 Pro would have been the fastest Android slate on test.
We didn’t have high expectations of the P12 Pro’s battery life, but in the end our expectations were confounded. The P12 Pro kept on running through 13hrs 39mins of Full HD video playback, making this one area where it can take on Apple’s finest and come out on top.
It’s tempting to see the P12 Pro as a second-fiddle tablet, not quite matching the performance and quality of Apple’s or Samsung’s high-end slates. Yet pause and see how much you’re getting for your money. It has a massive, high-quality screen, ample performance, good sound, a bundled stylus and the flexibility to transform into a laptop should you need it. It’s cheaper than the Samsung and Apple equivalents, without feeling in any way like a less capable device. And that’s why it walks away with an Editor’s Choice award.