Finding the right tablet shouldn’t be a chore. Inexpensive tablets are plentiful, though we certainly don’t recommend all of them. Moreover, finding a tablet that works well for kids can be a hassle. Enter the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD, which is a 10-inch Android tablet with a dedicated kids mode and Google Assistant display to boot. Find out if it’s the right cheap tablet for you in this Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD review.
See also: The best cheap Android tablets
What you need to know about the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD
- Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD (2GB, 32GB): $129.99/£149
- Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD (4GB, 64GB): $169.99/£199
This tablet comes in several different SKUs and those SKUs are available at different places and with different specs/prices. In the US, the model we reviewed is specifically available only at Walmart.com and your local Walmart store. Walmart charges a low $129.99 for this tablet, which is a great price.
The Walmart variant of the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD has a 10.1-inch display, a MediaTek processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, a 5,100mAh battery, and an 8MP main camera, and 5MP user-facing camera. Iron gray is the only color available, but it has an aluminum chassis. It also ships with a charging dock.
A variant sold by Lenovo directly has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with a higher price of $169.99. In certain regions, there is also a version of the tablet that supports Amazon Alexa home hub functionality instead of Google Assistant. Our version has the latter, which is activated via the dock.
For those that want a slightly sharper display, Lenovo also offers a Tab M10 FHD Plus with a 1080p resolution display which bumps up the price to $149 as standard. This model was released early in 2020 and ships with Android 9 Pie, but is otherwise fundamentally the same as the standard Smart Tab M10 HD.
Lenovo designed and built a solid piece of hardware with the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD. The 10-inch screen makes for a sizable device. Its aluminum chassis is strong and feels good. You’ve got plenty of amenities, too. Lenovo gave the Smart Tab M10 HD a USB-C port for charging and a tray for microSD memory cards to allow for expanded storage (up to 256GB). The tablet features stereo speakers, a headphone jack, good buttons, and pogo pins on one side for the included charging dock. The dock is sturdy and holds the tablet at a decent angle for watching content while it charges, though it’s not adjustable.
The screen technically packs high definition resolution at 1,280 x 800 pixels. The pixels are good sized and the screen is fine for everyday use. It looks a lot better than the same resolution 8-inch display of the Amazon Fire 8 HD Plus tablet. It’s plenty bright, and not overly reflective. I found I was able to use it in bright spaces without any visibility issues.
Lenovo designed and built a solid piece of hardware. You’ve got plenty of amenities.
Lenovo did a commendable job with the kids software. Whether you choose to activate the kids software at launch or with the dedicated app, the Google Kids Space software has child-focused content pre-loaded. This also allows kids to customize their experience and while parents maintain control over screen time, daily limits, and more. The one roadblock is that your child has to have a supervised Google Account, which not every parent will want to create.
The Google Assistant Display function is great. Just like a Nest Hub, the Smart Tab M10 HD gets its smarts from Google Assistant. When docked, it acts just like a Google Nest Hub smart display, allowing you to interact with the tablet via “Hey Google” requests. It worked well.
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What’s not so good?
Some might consider the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD to be a little awkward to use. First, the screen employs a 16:9 aspect ratio, so the tablet has an elongated shape when compared to the shape of tablets that have 4:3 or 3:2 displays. Further, it’s a bit top-heavy when using it in portrait orientation, which causes hand fatigue. This would definitely impact kids more so than adults.
It also feels underpowered. The octa-core MediaTek P22T just doesn’t have enough oomph sometimes. It could be the limited amount of RAM holding the tablet back. The Smart Tab M10 HD definitely got bogged down when multitasking or running multiple apps in the background. I tested Asphalt 9 and found gameplay to be choppy at best, but everyday tasks such as browsing the web or checking email are smooth enough.
Sound could be better and battery life is only so-so for a tablet.
Sound could be better. The tablet supports Dolby Atmos but the stereo speakers are limited in what they can reproduce. It’s not bad, but I’d prefer a bit more bass when watching movies. I appreciate that an FM radio is onboard, but you’ll need a pair of wired headphones to take advantage of it.
Battery life is only so-so for a tablet. It can handle 10 hours of regular browsing and up to 8 hours of video. I got just 7.5 hours of video viewing when I tested it. Amazon’s rival tablets (and many others we’ve tested) tend to hit 10 hours of video.
The tablet ships with Android 10 and there’s no word from Lenovo on how long the tablet will be supported from a software standpoint. Finally, the vibration motor is truly terrible. I suggest you turn off all haptics.
Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD review: Should I buy it?
If you’re looking for a basic tablet to enjoy Netflix or browse the web, then you’ll do fine with the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD. It covers the simple stuff with ease and has nearly all the features you could want. If you’re looking for something specifically for kids, the Smart Tab is also a solid choice. As long as you don’t mind creating a full-on child Google account to manage, it handles the tasks of controlling kids’ use with ease. I wouldn’t recommend the M10 HD for gaming or other hardcore uses.
With tablet and smart hub functionality, the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD feels like a steal.
With Google Assistant on board, a charging dock, and the Nest Hub-like experience tacked on as a bonus, at $129.99 the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD feels like a steal.