We love smart home tech, and we use all types of voice assistant devices, from smart speakers to smart displays, to give you the best recommendations.
Lenovo Smart Tab P10
- Doubles as a standalone tablet
- Dock is included
- Unimpressive specs
- No Drop In calling (yet)
The Smart Tab P10 is a generic and unremarkable tablet on its own, but once you slide it into the included dock, it becomes a fully fledged Alexa-powered smart display. When disconnected, the tablet runs Android 8.1 Oreo, and the dock doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.
Amazon Echo Show
- Significantly cheaper
- Fantastic audio quality
- Stationary design is less versatile
- Alexa still doesn’t feel optimized for a display
The Echo Show is meant to sit stationary on a counter or at your bedside, with an angled design, huge display, and killer speakers. It’s great for streaming Amazon’s Instant Prime Video collection and listening to music, but it’s less versatile than the Smart Tab P10.
Both devices work as smart displays with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built in, allowing you to ask questions, control your smart home, stream from Amazon and other services, and more. But while the Echo Show is a stationary display, the Smart Tab P10 can be removed from its dock and used as a tablet — so which solution works best for your home?
Smart Tab P10 vs. Echo Show
Out of Amazon’s vast selection of Alexa-powered Echo devices, the Echo Show stands on its own as a large smart display, perfectly suited for a kitchen counter, nightstand, or living room. You can stream music or video from a number of popular platforms, place video calls over Skype or Amazon’s Drop In service, and take advantage of the tens of thousands of Alexa Skills available.
The 10-inch display is bright and vibrant, and the speakers are shockingly good — especially considering how subpar the audio was on the first-generation model. It’s available in two different fabric finishes, and the wedged shape puts it at a nice angle for countertops.
A two-in-one smart display is exactly what people have been asking for, but if you already own a tablet, the Echo Show is a more sensible purchase.
Here’s the kicker: the Smart Tab P10 does all the same things when docked, save for Drop In calling (though Lenovo says that’s coming soon) — the software interface is more or less identical to that of the Echo Show. When undocked, the P10 also works as a standalone tablet, running a lightly customized version of Android 8.1 Oreo. Its specs are unimpressive, with a Snapdragon 450 processor and as little as 2GB of RAM, but it’s perfectly fine for casual media browsing.
The dock also works as a standard Bluetooth speaker when unoccupied, making use of the excellent stereo speakers. With the P10 docked, it’s angled similarly to the Echo Show, and the dock charges the tablet so that it’s always got some juice when you remove it. The downside is that because the Alexa services run off of the tablet, rather than the dock, you can’t call out to Alexa when you’re using the P10 as a tablet.
This means a less consistent voice assistant experience. Sure, you can still access Alexa from the tablet when undocked, but part of the convenience of Alexa is being able to shout commands when your hands are occupied — say, if you’re cooking or washing the dishes. Should you forget to dock the P10, it’s almost as if you don’t have a smart speaker at all. Meanwhile, the stationary Echo Show will always reliably be in the same place you last left it.
If you’re not a particularly forgetful person or would just rather have a standalone tablet for media browsing, the P10 is a great option. A two-in-one smart display is exactly what a large group of people has been asking for, and it works especially well for homes that don’t already have a tablet. That being said, the P10 isn’t a particularly exciting tablet on its own, and if you already have an iPad or higher end Android tablet, the cheaper Echo Show is a much better purchase.
Lenovo Smart Tab P10
A smart display that doubles as a standalone tablet.
The Smart Tab P10 is primarily marketed as a tablet, but it works as an Alexa-powered smart display when connected to its dock. If you don’t already have a basic tablet for media consumption, this is a great option.
Amazon Echo Show
A smart display that’s always where you left it.
The Echo Show isn’t as portable as the Smart Tab P10, but its consistent location is more convenient if you tend to shout commands at Alexa from across the room. It also supports Drop In video calling, if that’s your thing.
January 22, 2019 at 03:09AM