It’s official, Dr Frankenstein or one of his descendants, is officially working at Lenovo because they just announced a new hybrid Android Tablet / Amazon Alexa powered “show mode” device, and I think I want one. The Lenovo Smart Tabs Powered by Amazon Alexa come in two varieties, the P10 and M10, and they’re both coming to Australia.
What you’re looking at is two different SKUs of good looking Lenovo Android Tablets with a docking base. When the tablet is in the base it becomes an Amazon Echo Show, complete with Alexa Skills, Amazon Prime video and more.
Let’s start with the Tablets, the P10 and M10 are both mid-range Android tablets running Android 8.0 out of the box. The P10 is clearly the more premium of the two devices, the biggest difference between the models is the slightly higher RAM and storage, the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor and a significantly larger battery. The P10 also has 4 Dolby Atmos speakers instead of 2 and slightly better cameras.
Check out the full specs below.
|Lenovo Smart Tab P10||Lenovo Smart Tab M10|
|Screen technology||IPS LCD||IPS LCD|
|Resolution||1,920 x 1,200||1,920 x 1,200|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 450||Snapdragon 450|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 256GB||Yes, up to 256 GB|
|Battery||7,000 mAh||4,850 mAh|
|Connector||USB C||USB C|
|WIFI standards||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Android OS||Android 8||Android 8|
|Vendor skin||Lenovo UI||Lenovo UI|
|Dimensions||242 x 167 x 7 mm||242 x 168 x 8.1 mm|
|Colours||Aurora Black||Slate Black|
|Accessories||Alexa Show Dock||Alexa Show Dock|
The Frankenstein’s monster of a dock, however, is very interesting. This video starts to tell the tale.
The dock for the two models ‘appears’ to be the same model sporting three far field mics, two x 3W speakers, Bluetooth 4.2 and of course a charger for the tablet. It connects to the tablet via a pogo connector and once docked the tablet leaves Android and becomes a fully-fledged Echo Show device.
Thanks to the display, and just like with Google Smart Displays, the utility of Alexa would be significantly improved. There’s something about the combination of an ambient voice UI with a screen for visual feedback that enhances the overall experience.
Tie into that the ability to watch videos, browse photos and get visual content like recipes on the display and it’s a winning combination.
It will be interesting to see how the device handles the transition between Android and Alexa. If I’m watching a YouTube video on my tablet and dock it to charge and watch will the video continue? Will it stop and launch Alexa? These are the details that will make or break products such as this.
Both models are due for launch in Australia in late February 2019, and the prices are likely to make them my default tablet recommendation going forward. The Lenovo Smart Tab P10 will launch for $399 AUD and the Smart Tab M10 for $299 AUD. That’s reasonable pricing for the tablets, add in the Alexa Show Dock and it starts to be a great value proposition.
If you’re in the Android and Alexa world I’m kind of seeing one of these almost a no brainer. I for one am currently more invested in the Google Assistant ecosystem and would love to see this concept with an Android Tablet that converts into a Google Smart Display, because I would buy the hell out of those — an 8″ model for my bedside please Lenovo.