Now that Google is turning its attention to Chrome OS tablets, Android slates are kind of rare nowadays, but Lenovo's Tab 4 10 Plus is a pretty attractive value. Starting at $279, this 10.1-inch tablet provides a gorgeous display, comfortable design and superb battery life. However, the graphics performance could be better, and you get an older version of Android. Yet, the Tab 4 10 Plus is a great media tablet for the price, especially since you also get a nice pair of cameras and solid speakers. It's one of the best tablets and best kids tablets around.
The Tab 4 10 Plus emphasizes comfort over style. Its gray, soft-touch plastic makes the chassis easy to grip. However, due to the material, the case is a bit of a dust magnet. Unlike previous Lenovo tablets, this one does not include a kickstand, which I would have preferred for binge- watching.
While I was flipping it over, I noticed the elegant, gray-silver curves that led me to the display. The bezels are a decent size, providing enough space for the fingerprint reader at the bottom and the front camera at the top while not being very distracting. Above the webcam, on the curves of the tablet, lies two neatly dotted panels for the speakers on opposing ends.
At 1.09 pounds and 9.7 x 6.8 x 0.28 inches, the Tab 4 10 Plus is fairly easy to carry. The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) is a bit thicker at 1.1 pounds and 0.4 inches, while the Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018) is lighter and slightly thinner than the Lenovo at 1.03 pounds and 0.29 inches.
On the left side of the Tab 4 10 Plus is a volume rocker and a steel-dotted power button that looks cool and is satisfying to touch.
The right side houses a headphone jack, a USB Type-C port for power, the microphone and a combo SIM Card/microSD slot.
Display: Great but some glare
The 10.1-inch FHD 1920 x 1200 IPS display on the Lenovo Tab 4 Plus is plenty bright and colorful, but I noticed some glare as I watched the new trailer for White Boy Rick on this panel.
As Matthew McConaughey stood on the streets of Detroit at night, his fur jacket, facial pores and '80s mustache were illuminated by a yellow street lamp, creating a crisp, yet tonally dark image. There was still an immense amount of color, from the varying shades of his complexion to the backdrop that featured appropriately green bushes and teal icicle lights.
According to our colorimeter, the Tab 4 10 Plus reproduces 109 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which beats the tablet average (94 percent) and the Fire HD 10 (104 percent). The iPad is the most colorful of the bunch with 119 percent.
At 400 nits, the Tab 4 10 Plus' screen is a bit brighter than the category average. The Fire HD 10 is brighter by a hair at 405 nits, and the iPad takes the crown at 489 nits.
The Tab 4 10 Plus' speakers are pretty solid. As I listened to The Glorious Sons' "Everything Is Alright" I was drawn in by the soft acoustic guitar riff followed by Brett Emmons' powerfully gruff vocals. I could especially feel the intensity of the sound during the chorus, and Dolby's audio enhancements allowed the treble and bass to balance very well. However, the song didn't get as loud as I hoped, as the sound barely filled a small office.
Performance: Could be better
Inside that sleek body lies a 2.0-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8953 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage and a Qualcomm Adreno 506 graphics card. Those specs pushed the Tab 4 10 Plus through PUBG unhindered, but I noticed a couple seconds of lag when I had 10 Google Chrome tabs open and tried to open a new page. I was able to watch 1080p YouTube videos without a problem.
The Tab 4 10 Plus performed well on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, with a score of 4,097. That's better than the tablet average and the Fire HD 10, but the pricier iPad scored nearly 6,000.
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On the Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, which measures graphics performance, the Tab 4 10 Plus scored an unimpressive 13,801. While that surpasses the Fire HD 10's 13,435, this mark is well below the 15,229 category average. The iPad notched a sky-high 37,117.
Android OS: Where is Oreo?
Although the Plus is meant to be an upgrade from the Tab 4 10, it still runs the same Android 7.1 Nougat operating system, as opposed to the more recent 8.1 Oreo OS. The recently announced Android P (9.0) is coming this fall.
Everything in the OS is what you'd expect from any phone running Android, but Lenovo does include some of its own apps. A particular highlight is Dolby Atmos, especially since it's built into the control center. With this you can choose sound settings for movies, music, gaming, voice or even customize a mode yourself in the equalizer. Other apps include the Lenovo Weather App, which also doubles as an alarm/stopwatch, and the Interface Switch, which lets you create a separate account for a child.
The Tab 4 10 Plus absolutely killed it on our battery test. Surfing the web at 150 nits of screen brightness over Wi-Fi, the battery survived for an impressive 13 hours and 6 minutes. That crushes the 9:40 tablet average, and neither the Fire HD 10 (9:04) nor the iPad (10:07) come close.
The front and rear cameras for the Tab 4 10 Plus are actually not bad. The front 5-megapixel shooter captured the sharpness in my stubble, but lacked some color when distinguishing the shades of red and black on my flannel shirt. The contrast had some issues, too. The surrounding area of the office windows was a little blown out, but not completely washed out.
The rear 8-MP camera took crisp, clear photos, enough so that I could read the text from the books lined up behind me. It accurately reproduced the bold color of the red exit sign surrounded by yellowish lights, which would normally overcome it. Additionally, the area by the windowsill looks well balanced, and I could make out the vents attached to it.
Warranty and Support
The Tab 4 10 Plus that I tested costs $279 and comes with a 2.0-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8953 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage and a Qualcomm Adreno 506 graphics card. The more premium option bumps up those specs to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Lenovo's Tab 4 10 Plus provides a great multimedia experience with its bright 1920 x 1200 display and Dolby Atmos speakers. I also appreciate the long battery life and comfortable design. However, the performance could be a bit better, and I'm not a fan of Android Nougat at this stage of the game.
If you are willing to spend some extra cash, the iPad ($329) offers more speed, a wider array of top-notch apps and Apple Pencil support. You will be sacrificing the Tab 4 10 Plus' crazy battery life, however.
Overall, the Tab 4 10 Plus is marvelous considering what you get for the price.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Laptop Mag