Speaking of tablets, the Apple iPad is probably the first thing that comes to your mind. But if the market is dominated by one player, isn’t it too boring?
The fact is that the iPad is getting better, and more professional for productivity, but at the same time, it’s also getting more expensive. So no doubt the market is calling for more alternatives. And today we have a powerful candidate that is very likely to spice up the Android tablet market — the Lenovo Xiaoxin Pad Pro 2021. By far it’s also the best budget tablet product that we’ve seen on the Android platform.
It features a 11.5-inch 90Hz OLED display with 2K+ resolution, while for performance, it’s powered by the Snapdragon 870 chipset, which is the latest powerful SoC that’s often seen on gaming phones. And more than that, the software is based on Android, which used to be considered a drawback before. However, on the Xiaoxin Pad Pro, this same software turns out to be a big surprise.
In this review, we’re going to follow its usage and divide it into three parts: First, we’ll talk about how it works as an audio-visual tablet, and then how it can be an educational or working pad. In the last part, we will show you how it works as a gaming pad or gaming PC.
So let’s start with its audio-visual performance. It’s rare to see a 90Hz 2K+ display on a tablet priced under 500 US dollars. By far, the other premium tablets that come with a high-refresh-rate display generally cost over 850 US dollars, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ and Apple’s iPad Pro. This makes the Xiaoxin Pad Pro an extremely competitive option for those who don’t want to pay too much money for an entertainment tablet. The 11.5-inch full-screen tab comes with four edges of equal narrow width, which no doubt boosts the immersive enjoyment of watching videos on the tablet. And this OLED display supports wide range of colors with around 100% DCI-P3 gamut.
So in terms of displaying vivid colors, it looks much better than most LCD displays. But at the same time, the color accuracy would be affected if you apply the default color setup. After testing, under the P3 color gamut, its delta E came to 4.6. But the Pad also offers a standard color mode with better color accuracy. Under the standard mode, the average delta E drops to around 1.3. But if shift to the standard color mode, users have to take the narrower color coverage with around 99% coverage of sRGB and 73% of P3.
And its peak brightness reaches 600 nits and supports a brightness-enhanced mode for use under strong sunlight for a short time.
If you only use it for watching films or TV shows, the issue of color accuracy doesn’t matter a lot. What really matters is that in addition to wide color gamut supports, the Pad surprisingly supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. So if you are looking for a mobile device with a bigger display than a smartphone for watching HDR or Dolby-vision content, basically it won’t disappoint you. Just note that though the actual effect of the display doesn’t really compare to those expensive tablets like Apple’s iPad Pro, it still looks much better than those that don’t support HDR or Dolby Vision. For audio, the tablet features 4 JBL speakers with 1.5W output with Dolby Atmos certification. As for its actual performance, just put on your headphones and listen to it here.
As a mobile device with an 11.5-inch display, it has excellent size control with a weight of 485g and a thickness of 5.8 mm. And the one-piece Aluminum body achieves a good cooling effect while enhancing the premium metallic feel. But the antenna design looks a bit strange and affects the neatness of the back.
So what features of this Pad can aid users in study or work? Let’s start with your kids’ education. I know some of you have been struggling with kids’ online classes in the past year. And a working device with a good selfie camera is really important for that. The new Lenovo tablet sports dual selfie cameras with a TOF sensor to achieve safe facial unlock. And the cameras are placed at the top middle position of the edge, which makes for a pretty good angle for online video calls, classes, or meetings when you place it horizontally.
However, a tablet could also be over entertaining. To help users or kids develop healthy digital habits and focus on study or certain usage efficiently, Lenovo has developed a feature collection called study assistant, including physical and mental health for children’s eye health care and risky website restriction, hardware-level anti-addiction, course management, and family guardian. But for the feature of family guardian, it’s only available for China’s social app, WeChat.
In study assistant, you can check the usage time of certain apps and set daily time limits for tablets and certain apps or categories. And it’s also available for parents or users to add course schedules with certain education apps. Even more, you can restrict the installation of non-education apps on this Pad, and restrict access to unsafe websites and also add permitted websites as well.
Or if you are looking for a convenient mobile device for basic work, this tablet could be a real surprise. In addition to providing great adaptability for wireless keyboard and mouse, Lenovo officially released a productivity case with an exclusive keyboard and a touchpad. What’s more interesting is that Lenovo has designed a well-functioning PC mode for all their devices, including the Legion game phones and the tab products. When entering the PC mode with the keyboard, the user interface and interaction is really no different from a laptop.
And thanks to its light and compact body, it’s even more convenient than carrying a compact laptop. And the 90Hz display powered by the Snapdragon 870 also brings a smooth experience when using all the apps shared with the Pad mode. Most apps are allowed to resize the window or use full-screen mode. For official work, there is a Microsoft Office collection available. And for basic creative work, I think you can still find your options on the Google Play Store, and most of them adapt the tablet or PC mode very well. But I have to remind you that the PC mode allows you to simultaneously open only up to 5 apps, probably due to the limits of 6 GB ram.
If you are an artist who’s looking to draw your artwork on a tablet, this pad could be a reasonable budget option. Lenovo has also released an official stylus for this pad, the Xiaoxin Pen. It features 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt detection.
Speaking of the PC mode, inevitably, a question arises. Can it work as a PC for gaming?
Of course! But note that it means you can play Android games but not the PC games launched on the Windows platform. About gaming on PC mode, we will talk about it later. First, let’s look at its general game performance.
We all know that the Snapdragon 870 is one of the top chipsets for Android smartphones so far. And compared to the Snapdragon 888, it’s even more efficient on power consumption and heating. The benchmarks results show that the Xiaoxin Pad can release the power of the chipset very well. And that’s also the reason why it’s really smooth on software response and animation without being laggy in our experience. As we mentioned earlier, the 6GB RAM probably is the only limit that may cause lag issues.
The actual gaming performance is also great. The large display no doubt gave us a different experience on gaming. In Genshin Impact, it achieved an average framerate of 56.8fps. But due to the in-game graphic settings for android devices, it’s only allowed to play at 720P resolution, which doesn’t look sharp enough on this 11.5-inch display. Well in another game, Nimian legend, we could apply the 1080P resolution with highest graphic settings, where it can run 55.2fps on average. Still not bad at all.
In PUBG Mobile, it stably runs at the highest frame rate allowed with the best graphics. Even when we unlocked the framerate limits in the China version, it still ran stably without any lags. A great thing about playing the game on a tablet is that you can enjoy the clear vision on a larger display, easily find the targets at a longer distance and better operate the game with multi-fingers as you want.
In addition to the PC mode and better adaption of Keyboard and mouse, the peripheral mode on the Legion phone can also be found on the Xiaoxin Pad. It allows gamers to use a keyboard, mouse or game controller to operate applications or games with button mapping. For example, you can customize the gaming of PUBG mobile to the keyboard-mouse operation, just like playing the PC version of PUBG.
In addition, the tablet also has a wide application of projection. You can project the Pad’s screen to another PC via WiFi, or to a monitor or TV via cable. So you can also choose to play games on a larger screen. And in this case, we suggest you use cable connection to reduce latency.
The Pad features an 8600mAh battery with support of Quick Charge 3 fast charge. In our battery test, it performs pretty well. Even for continuous heavy use, it’s estimated to last for over 5 hours.
To fully charge the pad, it took us over 3 hours with the included 20W charger, which isn’t really fast enough.
To conclude, the Xiaoxin Pad Pro really surprised us. This is the first time that we really felt the affordable Android tablet market had potential. And the Xiaoxin Pad Pro probably is the start of the trend.
In addition to what we mentioned, some other small details like the support of TF-card extension and the power button with fingerprint reader, also make this tablet more attractive. As for two rear cameras, most of us don’t bother much about a tablet’s image quality, so we just skipped the camera part.
So these were the things that we thought were interesting about the Xiaoxin Pad Pro. What do you think about this new Lenovo tablet?
You can get it for just $299 from Fondsale.com.