Robo & Kala Windows Tablet Review

My latest review is of a new Windows ARM device, the Robo & Kala tablet/laptop. This product is the only one this new company is currently manufacturing.

While they call it a laptop, it’s essentially a detachable tablet with an OLED display. The tablet boasts some intriguing features, but I couldn’t help but feel that the Windows ARM experience still has some way to go.

The tablet is priced at $799, which includes the keyboard and trackpad component. One of the standout features is its 12.6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2560 by 1600. The display is vibrant and offers a brightness of 600 nits. But it doesn’t support HDR video.

Under the hood, the tablet is powered by a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of solid-state storage. Weighing in at 2.34 pounds with the keyboard attached, it’s relatively lightweight and portable. However, I did notice an issue when using it as a tablet. Often, my hand resting on the tablet would result in inadvertent inputs due to its very thin bezels, which was a bit frustrating.

In terms of build quality, the tablet feels premium with its all-metal design. The kickstand at the back is reminiscent of the Surface devices, allowing for adjustable viewing angles. A unique feature is that the detachable keyboard switches to a Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad when detached, allowing for continued use.

The keyboard itself feels pretty nice. The keys are large, well-spaced, and offer a good amount of travel. The trackpad is responsive and offers a firm click. For security, there’s no fingerprint reader, but an infrared camera facilitates facial recognition for logging in.

When it comes to ports, the tablet is equipped with two USB Type-C ports. However, there’s no headphone jack, so you’ll need to rely on Bluetooth headphones or a USB dongle. The speakers, unfortunately, left much to be desired. They sounded tinny and lacked depth. The tablet’s webcam offers decent quality with a 5-megapixel camera on the front and a 13-megapixel camera on the back.

In terms of performance, basic tasks like web browsing felt smooth, especially on an ARM-optimized browser like Edge. Video playback on platforms like YouTube was also satisfactory.

Like most ARM devices battery life here is excellent. This tablet can easily hit the 10-12 hour mark for basic tasks and video watching if display brightness is kept low. The OLED does consume more power than LED displays so other 8cx Gen 3 laptops may do a little better.

When it came to gaming, the experience was mixed. Older games like Half-Life 2 ran smoothly, but more demanding titles like GTA 5 struggled to maintain consistent frame rates. This is a reminder that while the ARM architecture offers benefits like improved battery life, it still lags behind Intel and AMD in terms of raw performance at this price point.

In conclusion, the Robo & Kala tablet is a well-constructed device with a beautiful display. It’s ideal for basic tasks and offers impressive battery life. However, the ARM architecture still has compatibility limitations, especially when it comes to more demanding applications and gaming. If you’re looking for a device primarily for office applications and light tasks, this could be a good fit. But for more intensive tasks, you might want to consider other options.

Lenovo Tab M9 9″ Tablet Review

My latest video is of the Lenovo M9 tablet. With a nine-inch display, this compact device caught my attention, especially at its current sale price.

The Lenovo M9 tablet is a nice alternative to some of the “no-name” tablets available on the market. The display doesn’t have the highest resolution (800 by 1340), but its smaller size does provide enough pixel density to make it easy to read text and colors are vibrant.

Under the hood, the tablet is powered by a MediaTek Helio G80 processor, along with 3 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of storage. While these specs might sound basic, they are sufficient for typical Android tasks. There’s also an SD card slot to augment its limited amount of internal storage.

One of the things that stood out to me was the tablet’s build quality. It boasts a glass front and a metal back, giving it a premium feel that’s not often found at this price point. In terms of ports, it offers a headphone jack and a USB type-C port. The USB-C port only supports USB 2.0 data speeds and does not have a video output feature. The tablet also has stereo speakers that deliver surprisingly decent audio quality.

A feature I found particularly useful was the reading mode. This mode turns the display into a grayscale, mimicking the look of a printed page. It’s not quite e-ink, but it’s a comfortable reading experience that reduces eye strain.

When it comes to performance, the Lenovo M9 handles basic tasks like web browsing smoothly. However, if you’re into gaming, it’s a mixed bag. While casual games like Horizon Chase and Minecraft run well, more demanding games like Roblox can be a bit laggy. But for game streaming, such as Xbox cloud gaming, the experience is seamless.

One concern many have with tablets is the longevity of support. Lenovo has addressed this by providing a clear roadmap for updates. The M9, currently running Android 12, is slated to receive an Android 13 update by the third quarter of this year and will continue to get security updates until April 30th, 2026.

Battery life is another strong point. In my use, I found that it easily lasts 10 to 12 hours, which can be extended by reducing screen brightness.

The Lenovo M9 tablet is a solid choice for those seeking a compact, affordable tablet from a reputable brand. It may not be the most powerful device out there, but it is more than capable of running most of the tasks a tablet like this is typically used for.

Lenovo Tab P11 Gen 2 Tablet Review

My latest video is a review of Lenovo’s second-generation Tab P11 Gen 2 Android tablet. What intrigued me most about this device was its special desktop mode that transforms the tablet experience into more of a desktop environment.

We’ll be doing a giveaway on this one and another Lenovo tablet in the coming weeks so stay tuned! I’ll announce the giveaway plan on this email list.

Lenovo sent me the kit version of this tablet which also packs in a pen and a keyboard/trackpad case and stand. The price point for this entire kit is $299, which I found to be quite reasonable given the premium quality of the accessories.

The tablet is powered by a MediaTek Helio G99 processor. It has 4 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage. It has a wide 11.5-inch screen, with a resolution of 2000 by 1200, that can go up to a 120Hz refresh rate. This makes the visual experience smoother compared to other tablets that are limited to 60Hz. The display also supports 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, ensuring accurate colors for tasks like photo editing.

The sound quality out of the tablet is nice for the price point, featuring Dolby Atmos sound. It definitely sounded a lot less tinny than some of the lower cost tablets I’ve looked at recently from Walmart and Amazon.

For ports it has a USB Type-C and a headphone jack along with an SD card slot for augmenting its onboard storage. The USB-C port doubles as the charging port but it is not able to output video via HDMI. The more expensive pro version of the tablet does support video output. For biometrics, it lacks a finger print reader but it does offer facial recognition which worked just fine in my testing.

There are two cameras on board, a front-facing 5 megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video and a rear facing 13 megapixel camera. While the cameras are decent for a tablet, I believe smartphones might offer a better photography experience. But the front facing video quality looked great especially for doing web conferencing.

Running on Android 12, Lenovo promises an upgrade to Android 14 in the near future. I should note that I have heard from some viewers who were disappointed that prior versions of Lenovo tablets did not get promised OS updates. Performance-wise, it handled tasks smoothly, from browsing to video streaming. The Wi-Fi 6E radio ensures a seamless online experience.

One feature I particularly enjoyed was the reading mode. It offers a “chromatic” option that warms the display, reducing blue light. There’s also a Mono mode that turns the display black and white, almost mimicking the look and feel of a Kindle e-ink screen.

The included Lenovo Precision Pen 2 tracked nicely on the screen but did have a slight bit of latency. While it might not be the best for intricate artwork due to the slippery screen, it does work well for note taking and doodles.

The keyboard/trackpad case not only offers protection but also comes with a kickstand reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface design. The keyboard, although not backlit, provides a comfortable typing experience with good key travel and tactile feedback.

Lenovo’s “productivity mode” transforms the tablet into a desktop-like interface very similar to what it’s like to run Android apps on a Chromebook. Apps will turn into windowed applications that are layered on top of a desktop interface very similar to Windows. It makes using the device with the keyboard and trackpad much easier.

I also tested its gaming capabilities. Casual Android games like Roblox and Minecraft ran smoothly. For more advanced gaming or higher end PS2 or Gamecube emulation, you might need a device with a more robust processor. But for 99% of the population this is more than adequate. Of note though the performance on this tablet is identical to the 11″ Walmart Onn and Amazon Fire tablets I reviewed a few weeks ago.

In conclusion, if you’re considering the kit version of the Lenovo Tab P11 Gen 2, I believe it offers great value. The combination of premium features, a reasonable price point, and the versatility of both a tablet and a near-laptop experience makes it a worthy contender in the market.

Disclosure: Lenovo sent the tablet to the channel free of charge however they did not sponsor this review, provide any additional compensation, or review or approve this review before it was posted.

Walmart’s $159 Onn 11″ Tablet Pro Packs a Lot of Value

Last week I took a look at Amazon’s new 11″ Fire Tablet and was impressed by its performance and features for the price point. Viewers suggested that I also take a look at Walmart’s 11″ offering, the Onn 11″ Tablet Pro (affiliate link). It is the subject of my latest review.

Unlike the Amazon tablet that runs a custom Android derived operating system, Walmart’s offering runs Google’s official Android 13 operating system, allowing use of Google’s apps and the Google Play store for finding others.

The $159 tablet has an 11-inch display running at 1200 by 2000 resolution. The display is essentially 1080p, although a bit wider, which gives you a lot of screen real estate for browsing through web pages, documents, and books. The text looks very nice and legible on this display. I did find the color temperature of the display was a little on the colder side vs. the Amazon offering.

The tablet is well-constructed, weighing about a pound or 490 grams. It has a metal back and glass front, giving it a premium feel. Inside, it’s powered by a MediaTek MT8781V/N A processor, has 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Additionally, it has an SD card slot for expandable storage.

The tablet doesn’t have a fingerprint reader for unlocking, so you have to type your PIN code in every time. However, it does have a headphone jack, which is a nice addition. It also has a USB Type-C port for charging and data devices. But that port only runs at 2.0 speeds.

The tablet has two cameras, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. The camera quality is passable for the price point, but don’t expect it to rival more expensive tablets. The front camera is good enough for doing conference calls with Zoom and other apps.

The tablet supports split-screen, allowing you to have two apps open side by side. It also has a kids interface, which is age-appropriate and gives parents a lot of control over what kids can and can’t do on the tablet.

In terms of performance, the tablet handles basic tasks like web browsing quite well. It also runs games like Roblox and Minecraft smoothly, although the visual quality is reduced to ensure smooth frame rates. The tablet also does a great job of streaming games from services like Xbox Game Pass. I was also able to run some less demanding Gamecube games using the Dolphin emulator.

The battery life is decent, with Walmart claiming about 16 hours of battery life. In reality, you’ll probably get around 12 to 13 hours of battery life if you’re sticking to basic tasks.

After posting my review many viewers asked about whether or not it has GPS built in. In a follow-up that I posted as a YouTube Short I found that it does indeed have a GPS radio on board allowing it to pinpoint its location even when away from an active Wi-Fi connection. In the past many cheap tablets relied upon WiFi based geolocation vs. having dedicated GPS radio receivers on board.

Overall, I’m really impressed with what $160 can get you in 2023. This tablet feels more expensive than it is and is quite functional. It offers a very pure Android experience, with no unnecessary Walmart stuff thrown at you. If you’re looking for a budget tablet that’s functional and offers good value for money, the Walmart Onn 11″ Tablet Pro is definitely worth considering.

Amazon’s Fire Max 11 is Their Best Tablet Ever

In my latest video I take a look at Amazon’s newest tablet, the Fire Max 11, which is a significant improvement over previous models in terms of performance and quality. You can find it here (compensated affiliate link).

The tablet is priced at $229 for the entry-level model with 64GB of storage, subsidized by advertising on its lock screen. A version without ads costs about $20 more. It features an 11-inch IPS display with a 2000 by 1200 resolution. The display is bright and colors are vibrant.

The Fire Max 11 is powered by a MediaTek MT8188J processor and comes with 4GB of RAM. It has a metal backing, giving it a more premium feel over the plastic backs on prior models. The tablet is equipped with a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, although it doesn’t support high-speed power delivery and is limited to USB 2.0 speeds for data. The Max 11 also has a fingerprint reader integrated into the power switch for quick unlocking.

It supports an SD card for up to 1TB of additional storage. The battery life is around 12-14 hours for basic tasks, but it takes a long time to charge due to the lack of high-speed charging support.

The Fire Max 11 has a Wifi 6 radio on board but I found its bandwidth constrained to about 400 megabits per second. But I found it was good enough to maintain a 1080p game streaming session just fine.

The tablet has two 8-megapixel cameras, one on the front and one on the back. The picture quality isn’t spectacular but passable. Both cameras can shoot video at 1080p at 30 frames per second but the camera system lacks a stabilizer. But the high resolution video should look great on conferencing apps like Zoom.

The tablet also supports USI 2.0 compatible pens for note-taking and drawing, although there’s noticeable latency compared to more expensive tablets. Amazon’s recommended pen is very affordable and will work with other devices that support the USI 2.0 standard too.

The Max 11 can also function as an Echo device, with an always-on display in Show Mode or voice commands in regular tablet mode even when locked.

Performance is much improved over prior versions, putting this tablet on par with other mid-range Android tablets. I was even able to get some playable frame rates out of the Dolphin Gamecube emulator – something that wasn’t possible on prior Fire tablets.

The Fire Max 11 runs on Amazon’s version of Android, which doesn’t support the Google Play Store. There are ways to shoehorn Google Play and other Google apps onto the tablet but it’s not supported by Google or Amazon. However, it does support split-screen mode and has a decent selection of apps available from Amazon’s own app store.

Overall, the Fire Max 11 is a great value tablet with improved performance and quality, making it a good choice for basic consumption and some gaming. However, the lack of Google apps might be a drawback for some users.

New Video: HP Tablet 11 Review

This new 11″ Windows tablet from HP is a bit costly when factoring in all of its accessories but it does have one creature comfort that most tablets don’t : the ability to use its keyboard in portrait or landscape mode. You can see my review here.

It also has a single camera that can rotate from the rear of the device to the front as needed with a button push. Its angle can also be further adjusted via its software interface or manually.

Beyond that it’s a run-of-the-mill Windows tablet running with a lower end Intel N6000 processor. This is a “Jasper Lake” chip which is Intel’s family of low end processors that typically appear on devices like this along with Mini PCs and NAS devices.

For the sorts of things that most consumers use a tablet for the performance is adequate. The bonus here is that it is running Windows 11 so most Windows apps can be installed provided you take the machine out of Windows “S” mode.

At its current sale price of $399 (affiliate link) a fully decked out tablet with keyboard and pen will run about $587. This is competitive against a 9th generation iPad with a keyboard cover and Apple pencil. But the iPad will get better battery life, better performance for comparable apps, and has a much better camera system.

The optional keyboard attachment worked nicely. The trackpad is accurate and not too springy and the keys, while small, are well spaced with nice travel.

Pen support is here too but I found the pen to have more latency than I would like and the screen is a bit slippery when writing. The Apple pencil on the iPad is a much better experience.

But for those looking for a Windows device in tablet form this is one worth checking out. See my other tablet reviews here.