Lenovo's Smart Tab comes in two different models, but the you get most of the same features no matter which one you get. Whether you choose to pay extra for the P10 comes down to just a few factors. Let's break it down.
Is the Smart Tab P10 worth the extra money over the M10?
Though Lenovo sells the Smart Tab in two different models and with a couple different spec offerings in each, the core functionality of these dockable tablets is actually the same. The actual dock apparatus included with the Smart Tab is the exact same with either one, which is a great thing. That means you get the same docked experience in terms of microphones, speakers, charging and the full Amazon Alexa "Show" interface on the tablet. Though some specs of the tablets differ, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference as soon as it's in the dock and more than an arm's length away.
In fact, most of the core parts of the P10 and M10 are the same as well. They have the same physical dimensions, 10.1-inch 1920x1080 display, and software experience. They run identical Android 8.1 Oreo software, with a relatively low-powered Snapdragon 450 processor, and both charge through the same pogo pins in the dock.
|Smart Tab P10||Smart Tab M10|
|Operating system||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Display||10.1-inch IPS LCD
|10.1-inch IPS LCD
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450|
|Speakers||4x front-facing||2x front-facing|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
Dock pogo pins
Dock pogo pins
|Dimensions (tablet)||242 x 167 x 7 mm
|243 x 168 x 8 mm
But the P10 has several improvements that make the extra $100 worth it. The back is a solid pane of glass, which just feels dramatically better than the plastic of the M10. Under that glass is a 7000mAh battery, 45% larger than the M10's 4850mAh, and a base of 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (optionally, 4GB and 64GB). All three of those specs make a huge difference in daily tablet usability, and will immediately make the P10 worth it if you plan to use it as a tablet much at all. It also has a fingerprint sensor for secure log-ins, and quad front-firing speakers for a better media experience than the M10's dual speakers.
The P10 is the better choice if you intend to use it more as a tablet than as a docked Amazon Alexa display.
Put simply, the Smart Tab P10 is the better choice if you intend to use it more as a tablet than as a docked Amazon Alexa display. The M10 will get the job done for basic Netflix watching and light browsing, but any intense apps will quickly bog down a system with such little RAM and you'll run out of storage for games and apps far sooner than you'd think.
You can split the difference in price by getting an M10 optioned up with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which is an intriguing option. We would absolutely recommend getting the most RAM and storage you can afford, because it will pay dividends down the road as you use the tablet. But as soon as you consider the $249 version of the M10, look long and hard at getting the P10 instead for its glass back, larger battery, fingerprint sensor and improved speakers.
The better choice for anyone who will use the Smart Tab as a tablet more than a docked display.
The Smart Tab P10 is worth the extra $100 if you or your family intends to remove it from its dock and expect any sort of a modern tablet experience. The larger battery, quad speakers, fingerprint sensor and improved specs make the entire tablet experience much better than the M10.
An Amazon Alexa display first, and a bare-bones tablet second.
As an Amazon Echo Show replacement, the M10 gets the job done. But with weak specs and a small battery, it isn't a great tablet. It'll be serviceable for media consumption and a little browsing, but anyone who wants a more complete tablet experience should pay extra for the P10 version.
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