Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is also known as the Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6 in the Asia markets.
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro was released late 2021 and is a substantial upgrade to the 11.5-inch Lenovo P11 Pro released in 2020.
The main upgrade is Lenovo has dropped the pentile matrix OLED display and used a much better OLED display this time. There's no more image retention, jelly scroll and fuzzy text. Thank goodness.
There's also a new Precision Pen 3 (Lenovo BTP-131) designed to go with the tablet.
My review is the artist review so the focus is on drawing performance. I don't cover benchmarks, gaming (yes it's good at gaming), camera video and photo quality,
I paid SGD 1097 (~USD 810) to get the tablet (8GB RAM 256GB storage) together with the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 from AliExpress. Standard free shipping and delivery took seven days and I was happy I did not pay the extra SGD 60 for DHL 3-day delivery. I bought this tablet only for review purposes because there were numerous requests for its review on my Youtube channel (please support).
At the time of this review, Lenovo USA has listed the tablet (6GB RAM 128GB storage) at USD $629 and it comes bundled with the Precision Pen 3. So it looks like I may have overpaid for mine. Argh.
Just for comparison purposes, the Samsung Tab S7+ (8GB RAM 256GB storage) is currently USD 729 on Amazon USA. If you're familiar with the Samsung Tab S7+ (review), just note that the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro looks and feels very much like the Samsung tablet, but aren't as good in certain areas so maybe the Samsung tablet is worth the extra money. More on that later.
These are the official items in the box:
- Lenovo Tab P12 Pro
- 10V/3A charging adapter (30W)
- USB-C to USB-C (1.5 m) charging cable
- USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter
- SIM pin
- Quick-Start Guide & Safety, Warranty Card
The AliExpress seller I bought from included a screen protector, a cheap flip case and a USB-A to USB-C adapter.
There's the official Lenovo Keyboard Case and Stand for the P12 Pro (Lenovo KB-Q704-1) which is sold separately. Price is around US $200.
This is a good looking tablet with solid build quality and a premium feel. The body has flat sizes and rounded corners. It's 5.6mm thick and weighs 565g.
It's lightweight for a tablet this size but not so light that you can hold it for long periods of time for drawing by just holding one side.
The metal back has a two tone design with a shiny Lenovo logo at the corner. Just beside the 13MP wide and 5MP ultrawide camera is a spot for the pen to snap on magnetically, for charging and pairing of the pen.
At the top there are the power button, two sets of speakers and a microSD card slot.
At the bottom there are two more speakers, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port.
These are pogo connectors for the optional Lenovo keyboard case and stand (Lenovo KB-Q704-1).
These are the features for the keyboard case and stand:
- 2-in-1 keyboard and stand cover
- 16 productivity-enabling hotkeys for split-size/full-size windows
- Boasts an attachable keyboard at 105 x 61.5 mm
- The 4-point pogo-pin connectors or with a Bluetooth® connection
- Ergonomics and tactility, with the keyboard’s 19 mm, 0.2 mm on each key’s surface, and 1.3 mm key travel
- Adjust for the best viewing angles with the stand cover’s free-stop hinge (0° to 165°)
It's US $200. I didn't buy that. It's a LENOVO keyboard so typing experience should be good. The classic red trackpoint is missing though.
The 12.6-inch AMOLED display has 2560 x 1600 resolution with brightness up to 400 nits. Pixelation is not noticeable and all visuals appear sharp.
When used with Clip Studio Paint, the panels, tools, buttons and text will be on the smaller size, but still usable.
Lenovo did not advertise HDR on their product page but yes there is HDR effect when you're watching HDR videos. When you see lights in HDR videos, they will look like they are glowing.
Visual quality of the AMOLED display is excellent. Colours are vibrant, contrast is fantastic. Refresh rate of the display is 120Hz so OS animation such as zoom and scroll, apps opening will appear smooth. However, many Android apps are still locked at just 60Hz, and this includes most drawing apps. So pan, zoom, rotate within drawing apps will still have the choppy 60Hz animation.
You can get the tablet either with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage or 8GB RAM with 256GB storage. The processor is the Snapdragon 870, Octa-Core (up to 3.2 GHz) with Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU. It's a power processor capable of playing graphics intensive games without lag.
Lenovo Precision Pen 3 may or may not be bundled together with the tablet depending on your region. The Chinese text on the box actually says "2nd generation" but it's the Lenovo Precision Pen 3, model BTP-131.
It's beautiful pen with solid build quality.
The pen is almost cylindrical with a flat side for attaching to the back of the tablet with magnets. Pairing via Bluetooth is automatic. Battery life is rated at 15 hours and a 15 minute charge can get you 25% battery life.
The pen supports tilt and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. There's one side button with pre-configured shortcuts for taking notes, screenshots, etc. That button is not customisable.
The pen nib has some texture but overall it's still quite smooth on the glass surface. It's good for writing but slightly too slippery for drawing if you want more control. There's no movement to the pen nib.
The display is laminated so there's no gap between the pen tip and the line beneath.
You get better pen performance with the pen held more vertically. When the pen is held at an angle, just like how most people will hold the pen, there's cursor offset or misalignment. The line will appear a few noticeable pixels always from the pen tip contact point. This obviously will affect drawing and accuracy. More specifically it can make your lines overshoot at places since the line is not appearing directly beneath the pen tip contact point.
Also if you look at the photo above, you can see noticeable wobble. The misalignment/offset together with the wobble makes this pen and tablet not suitable for drawing.
There's no mention of Wacom AES and I can't find any info online regarding that. I watched the video review of the P11 Pro and it seems like the previous model has better pen performance.
Holding the pen this way will get you better pen performance.
And holding it this will will produce cursor offset. You shouldn't have to change how you hold the pen to affect the drawing performance.
The two main issues that affect drawing performance is the diagonal line jitter/wobble and misalignment when the pen is held more tilted than vertical.
Here's a line quality test using Medibang Paint Pro.
1. Initiation activation force seems low. You can draw lines easily.
2. There's slight wobble and jitter with diagonal lines drawn slowly.
3. Strokes can taper quite nicely.
4. It's not that difficult to maintain consistent pressure.
5. You can draw dots easily by tapping the pen.
Due to the misalignment or offset, there are several areas where the line overshoots.
There's slight wobble with the lines but it's difficult to tell since this is a sketch that's suppose to look sketchy.
CSP actually performs slightly better compared to other drawings apps because you can choose to apply some stabilisation to make the lines look smoother. I also find it easier to maintain consistent line widths with consistent pressure with CSP.
Many lines which are supposed to be smooth have wobble, such as line #1 and #2 where the wobble is quite obvious.
Since there's wobble, this level of drawing performance isn't going to be good enough for work that requires precision and accuracy. Just for comparison purposes, the Samsung S Pen can draw smoother lines with way less or no visible wobble.
This was drawn with Medibang Paint Pro. Drawing architecture and buildings require straight lines. The lines are straight enough however it's probably because I drew them fast. Main issue here is the glass display is quite slippery so it's difficult to control the pen.
The pen tip is quite slippery on the glass surface.
This was drawn with Huion Sketch which performed quite well.
When I was doing my line test, sometimes the lines would start with a dot. But thankfully while sketching, this is a none issue as it happens rarely.
Productivity Mode allows you to change the tablet UI into desktop UI where you can move Windows around, and there's support for external displays.
Currently the features are lacking. There's no way for you to choose the resolution or apply scaling for your external display. I connected to my 4K external display and the icons are too small. When I maximise the Windows, I can't minimise them because I can't find the minimise button. There's no feature to use your tablet as a touchpad to control the cursor.
The UI scaling looks alright when connected to a 1080P display.
Lenovo Project Unity
Lenovo Project Unity is an app and feature that allows you to extend your Windows desktop over to the tablet. In other words, you can use your tablet as an external display to your Windows computer with Lenovo Project Unity.
Connection is surprising fast. Once connected you can change display settings as you would with any monitor connected to Windows.
The limitations are colours aren't as good. In the photo above you can see colour banding for gradients. Refresh rate is limited to just 30Hz. The responsiveness is alright but you can definitely see the cursor moving in a more choppy manner.
The pen and touch features will work. You can draw with Windows apps opened on the tablet screen. There's slightly more latency but not too bad. The wobble/jitter and cursor offset issue is still there.
I was able to get around 10 hours of battery life with auto-brightness. That's decent for a tablet this size.
These are glitches I experience with the unit I bought from China with the global ROM.
1. I wasn't able to complete the system update. There's a error message that says OTA failed to install.
2. The Tablet Center app which should show warranty information under "Warranty & Services" shows no internet connection although there's clearly internet connection.
3. The search box on the settings page does not work.
Maybe these are due to the global ROM. I don't have to official English ROM to test so I can't say much.
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro definitely looks and feels like a flagship Android tablet with high-end specs to match. You can expect excellent visual and audio quality, and lag-free performance with this tablet.
The main downside is the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 performance which suffers for wobble and misalignment. The pen is good for taking notes but not good for drawing.
This is a tablet I can recommend easily for non-drawing related work.
I cannot end this review without a short comparison to the Samsung Tab S7+ (review | Amazon) which was released in 2020, currently priced at US $729 on Amazon. The Lenovo tablet's official retail is US $699, and is currently discounted at $629.
The Lenovo and Samsung tablets are very similar in terms of the user experience. The Samsung S Pen performance is better, and the Samsung Dex has slightly more features, that's all. So maybe the Samsung tablet is worth the extra money. You can decide. It's always good to have competition. The only thing I didn't quite like about the Samsung Tab S7+ is the 7-8 hours battery life which I feel should be longer.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful design
+ Compact and portable (565g)
+ Solid premium build quality
+ High resolution AMOLED display with vibrant colours
+ Sharp, no pixelation
+ Smooth lag-free performance
+ Capable of playing graphics intensive games
+ MicroSD card slot included
+ Excellent audio quality from 4-way JBL speakers
+ Pen and tilt, pressure sensitivity
+ Palm rejection works well
+ Base model with 6GB RAM, 128GB storage
+ Android 11
+ Desktop mode available
+ External display support available
+ Face unlock works fast
- Pen tilt sensitivity not that good
- Pen can suffer from wobble and misalignment
- Pen latency is no different on 60Hz display
- No headphone jack
? Lenovo Precision Pen 3 may be included