In order for our reviewer to test the Lenovo Tab M10 HD (2020), we bought one. For the complete product review, keep reading.
One of the two Android tablets in Lenovo's second generation of reasonably priced M-series tablets is the Tab M10 HD (2020). It has a stylish metal body, a sizable 10-inch display, and the option to purchase it with a docking station that transforms it into a sort of smart display.
You must decide whether or not you want the charging dock before purchasing the device itself because it is regrettably not offered as a separate purchase. Support for Google Kids Space is the standout feature, enabling parents to essentially child-proof the tablet with thousands of pre-approved games, books, and videos.
The market for low-cost Android tablets is fairly crowded, but Lenovo's first generation of the M-series did enough well that I was curious to see where it would go with the second generation.
Recently, I unpacked a second-generation Tab M10 HD, which I used for about a week for everything from email and web browsing to video conferencing and streaming movies from apps like Netflix and HBO Max. To determine whether this low-cost Android tablet is worth the asking price, I tested the device's overall performance, video and audio quality, wireless speeds, and a number of other aspects.
The Lenovo Tab M10's initial release was in 2019. The MSRP was just under $200, and Android 8.1 was preinstalled. With the second generation of the hardware, Lenovo chose to target a more wallet-friendly market segment, as is immediately obvious.
Even with that option, the second generation comes with a faster and more power-efficient processor that is almost 10% faster. Additionally, the cameras are a little bit better, and the battery is a little bigger.
Unfortunately, the screen resolution of the Tab M10's second generation was reduced. The second generation Tab M10 only has a resolution of 1280 x 800, as opposed to the first generation's full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution.
The Lenovo Tab HD (2020), which has an MSRP of $129.99 for the 2GB version and $169.99 for the 4GB version, is priced right for a mid-range Android tablet. The 2GB version is a fantastic deal at just $129.99, especially as a children's tablet, even though I highly recommend the 4GB version.
This model is a fantastic choice that is definitely reasonably priced if you're looking for a family tablet that your children can use. Although the 4GB version is a bit pricey, the additional RAM makes a difference enough that I hesitate to call it overpriced.
Design: Attractive metal body and solid build quality
The Tab M10 HD has a large 10-inch display, solid metal construction, and a great look and feel for a low-cost tablet. The metal body is smooth to the touch, uniformly gray in color, and divided into cut-outs for various inputs and speakers on the top and bottom.
The bottom has a USB-C input and a second speaker grill, while the top has a speaker grill and a 3.5-millimeter audio input. If you choose a Tab M10 HD that has the extra feature, you'll find the power button, volume rocker, and a drawer on the right side that can hold a microSD card and a SIM card.
The docking port connector for Lenovo is located on the left. Unfortunately, if you don't purchase the tablet version that includes a dock, there is no way to use this connector.
The dock is not offered by Lenovo as an extra accessory that can be purchased later. It's possible that customers will be disappointed as a result of Lenovo's somewhat dubious choice.
If you purchased a used dock, it might function as a charging connector, but Lenovo actually ships the two versions of this tablet with different firmware, locking out the additional dock functionality in this version.
The bottom line is that you must purchase the Smart Tab M10 HD, which comes with the dock, if you want the docking functionality.
Aside from the aforementioned cut-outs, the tablet's back has few features. There is only one rear-facing camera, which is situated in the upper left corner. It looks and feels more luxurious than you might anticipate given the price because of the metal construction.
Audio: Decent stereo sound with support for Dolby Atmos
The Tab M10 HD has stereo speakers and is Dolby Atmos compatible. Although it doesn't have the best audio quality I've ever heard from a tablet, it sounds excellent for a device in this price range.
The stereo speakers are placed on the tablet's opposite sides, which I love because it provides a much better listening experience than devices that place both speakers on the same side.
Although the sound is a little tinny and lacks bass, that is to be expected. It is more than loud enough to fill a room, but I found that lowering the volume significantly made for a more enjoyable listening experience.
I actually didn't need to use headphones to watch Netflix movies before bed because I could hear the dialog clearly, and there was never any annoying distortion.
Regarding audio and headphones, the Tab M10 HD has an FM radio that is built-in and uses your headphones as the antenna. I loaded up an FM radio app, plugged in my preferred earbuds, and was able to receive a respectable amount of local FM radio stations.
Even though the hardware can technically support it, this is a feature that isn't always used, making it a convenient add-on you can rely on even if your internet connection is down.
Battery: It might be larger
The 5,000 mAh battery in the Tab M10 HD offers a respectable amount of battery life, but it could be bigger. A battery that works well for a small-screened phone simply doesn't last as long when it's powering a 10-inch display.
I've tested a lot of mid-range phones that manage to pack a 5,000 mAh battery into significantly smaller packages. Even though you could probably get two days of lighter use out of the tablet, I found myself always charging it.
I turned the screen brightness all the way up and played HD YouTube videos endlessly to test the battery. The Tab M10 HD lasted just over six hours in that condition.
This is clearly an area where Lenovo could improve if they make a third pass at the hardware because that's less than half the run time I've observed from phones with this size battery.
While it won't last all day, and you'll probably need to charge it every day, six hours is more than enough time to watch your favorite show in bed at night or keep the kids occupied in the backseat of the car on a long trip.
Is it worth to use
Display: It looks good, but it could use a higher resolution
For a low-cost Android tablet, the 10-inch screen is encircled by bezels that are relatively thin, with a screen to body ratio of about 82 percent. The aspect ratio, which is 16:10, is very similar to the 16:9 widescreen ratio. It strikes a good balance between being excellent for media and functional for email and web browsing.
Although the colors are nice and vivid and the display is bright and clear, the resolution is a little bit low for a screen this size. The original Tab M10 hardware featured a full HD display, but the current model's large 10-inch IPS LCD screen only offers a resolution of 800 x 1280, for a pitiful pixel density of about 149 ppi.
When held at arm's length, it appears fine, but as you get closer, you can see the individual pixels on the tablet as though you were looking through a screen door.
Depending on the configuration you purchase, performance
The Tab M10 HD (2020) has a Mediatek MT6767 Helio P22T processor, which is average for modern hardware but adequate for a low-cost Android tablet in this price range. Additionally, you can choose between 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM or 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM.
The version I'd suggest aiming for has 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, just like my test unit did. Although I wasn't able to use the other configuration firsthand, I have tested other tablets that had the MT6767 paired with 2GB of RAM and had a less-than-pleasant experience.
Remember that all of my benchmarks and personal observations only apply to the 4GB version of the hardware if you decide to purchase the 2GB version.
The second generation Tab M10 HD is generally quick and responsive when using menus and starting most apps. I had no trouble watching videos on Netflix and YouTube, browsing the web, sending emails, and even joining a few Discord calls.
Genshin Impact, my preferred test game for tablets and phones, couldn't be installed because the hardware wasn't really made for gaming.
Asphalt 9 played decently enough after I installed it and participated in a few races. I had no trouble obtaining nitro power-ups and winning the race against an AI opponent. I didn't experience any frame drops or other problems, and it sounded fantastic.
I ran a few benchmarks in addition to my personal experience to get some concrete data. To start, I downloaded PCMark, installed it, and ran the Work 2.0 benchmark to see how well the Tab M10 HD performed in work-related tasks. Its overall test score of 4,753 is respectable for a tablet in this price range.
While the writing score of 4,508 and the data manipulation score of 3,969 were both quite good, the web browsing score of 3,117 was a little on the low side. Although I didn't experience any significant problems while browsing the web, a score like that suggests you might experience some sluggishness if you have a lot of tabs or resource-demanding websites open.
I also used GFXBench to run a few graphics tests that measure how well a tablet should be able to run games. Their Car Chase benchmark, which is a game-like benchmark that evaluates physics, lighting, and other capabilities, was the first one I ran.
In that test, it received a terrible low FPS score of 3.4, which is lower than many other devices in this category that I have looked at. With a score of only 21 FPS in the T-Rex benchmark, it also performed poorly in the second benchmark I ran.
These results aren't all that surprising, but they do show that playing challenging games on this tablet is probably not going to be a great experience for you. The majority of those games will run on most tablets fairly well if you're looking for one to use with Google Kids Space.
Keep looking if you want to play anything that requires a lot of graphics power. Even Lenovo's Tab M10 FHD Plus performs noticeably better in this area despite having similar hardware.
Software: Google Kids Space and stock Android 10
Lenovo doesn't tinker around too much with stock Android, and the Tab M10 HD comes pre-installed with a very tidy, very stock Android 10 experience. It functions exactly as you would anticipate an Android 10 stock device to function, and the only additional apps it forces upon you are the Lenovo Tips app, an FM radio app, and Dolby Atmos.
The biggest news is that the Google Kids Space app, which is a great app if you have kids and turns the tablet into an entertaining source for them, is included with the second-generation Tab M10 HD.
You won't have to worry about selecting age-appropriate apps, books, or videos because it has a ton of pre-approved options. Additionally, it integrates with the Google Family Link app, giving you remote control over restrictions on screen time, bedtimes, and other things.
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