Lenovo Tab Extreme review: A good value proposition if you want to use your tablet as a laptop


Two weeks ago I wrote an editorial about how the foldable phone has replaced the need for me to use a tablet in handheld form, and that tablets seem increasingly better used attached to a keyboard on a desk. It may seem like I wrote that piece with the Lenovo Tab Extreme in mind, but that was not the case: I only got my hands on this beast of a tablet after I had finished that editorial.

However, the Lenovo Tab Extreme further makes my case. It works so much better sitting on a tabletop with its keyboard attachment than as a standalone handheld tablet.



Lenovo Tab Extreme

Lenovo’s Tab Extreme is a giant-sized tablet with a 14.5-inch screen and a very nice keyboard case that can prop up the tablet at various angles. With a MediaTek Dimensity 9000, it’s got enough power for both work and play.

256GB (with MicroSD support up to 1TB)
MediaTek Dimensity 9000
Operating System
Android 13
12,300 mAh
1X USB-C 3.2; 1X USB-C 2.0
Camera (Rear, Front)
13MP f/2.2 front; 13MP f/2.4 rear; 5MP depth sensor
Display (Size, Resolution)
14.5-inch 120Hz OLED, 3000×1876
Bluetooth 5.3
12.91×8.30×0.23-0.28 inches (327.8×210.8×5.85mm); 1.6 pounds (740g)
Headphone jack
Storm Grey (dark grey)
Aluminum and glass


  • Large immersive screen
  • Superb speakers
  • Excellent keyboard case


  • Multitasking capabilities fall short of Samsung and other Chinese brands
  • Useless secondary camera on the back
  • Unclear pricing and included accessories

Lenovo Tab Extreme: Pricing and availability

The Lenovo Tab Extreme will be available soon directly from Lenovo’s online store or at retailers like Best Buy. On Lenovo’s online store, the product is priced at $1,000 and includes the stylus and keyboard case accessory. On Best Buy, the price is $950, but the package does not include the keyboard case (instead, you get a folio cover). A Lenovo spokesperson said eventually Best Buy will also bundle the keyboard but wasn’t sure if that $950 price will stay the same.

Design and hardware: This is one gigantic tablet


Unless you are jumping over from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, you’ll likely be taken aback by the sheer size of the Lenovo Tab Extreme. With a 14.5-inch screen (almost the exact size as Samsung’s Ultra tablet) it towers over any iPad, and despite its thinness (5.3mm/0.23 inches) and modest weight (740g/1.63 pounds), you’ll likely find it difficult to hold it with one hand because the weight is spread across such a long and wide canvas.


Build and construction are fine: the buttons are clicky, the aluminum frame feels rock solid with no flex or give (it feels like it can survive being sat on, for example) and the large OLED screen is wrapped by an acceptable amount of bezels. There’s a raised glass island sitting at the top third of the device’s back that seems to be purely for decoration. The camera hardware is not high-end enough to necessitate a camera bump. This glass piece seems to be there just to give the tablet’s backside some texture and a place to put the Lenovo logo.

Lenovo Tab Extreme

The OLED screen looks great 3K (3000 x 1876) panel with a refresh rate that can cycle between 60Hz/90Hz/120Hz, and it supports all the standard features like Dolby Vision and HDR 10+. Color reproduction seems accurate, and there’s no color shift when I view it from off-angles. However, at 500 nits maximum brightness, the panel is a bit dim when used outside under the sun. This is a nitpick though because most tablets and laptop screens also suffer in this situation. I am just spoiled by the standards set by the best modern phones.


There are two interesting visible hardware features to note. The first is this tablet has two USB-C ports. Both can charge the tablet, but one is a USB-C 3.2 with DisplayPort Output capability so the tablet can double as a second monitor for computers. Lenovo also has its Freestyle software that allows the tablet to pull off second screen duty wirelessly. Freestyle mode only works with Windows and Android devices, however.

The second are the large speaker grills located on two sides, which house eight JBL speakers pumping Dolby Atmos sound. I am no audiophile, but the Lenovo Tab Extreme’s speakers are the best in any tablet I’ve heard (and yes, I have tested the highest-end tablets from Apple, Samsung, and Huawei).

The Lenovo Tab Extreme’s speakers are the best in any tablet I’ve heard.

Under the hood are components that are quite capable, but not the most top-notch (aside from the enormous 12,300mAh battery). The MediaTek Dimensity 9000 silicon is plenty capable, but about on par with last gen’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, not the newest 8 Gen 2, and the 256GB of storage still use UFS 3.1 standard instead of UFS 4.0. There is expandable storage via a microSD card, and the 12GB LPDDR5X RAM was enough.

The camera hardware isn’t too hot either if I use standards set by flagship Android phones, but I suppose that isn’t fair since this is a giant tablet. But even then, there’s a minor split-second lag anytime I switch between the 13MP main and 5MP ultra-wide camera on the back side of the device. I do like that the front-facing 13MP camera has an ultrawide field-of-view, and it supports an automatic framing feature similar to Apple’s Center Stage.


The aforementioned stylus, the Precision Pen 3, comes in the same box as the tablet, so it appears to be intended as part of the Lenovo Tab Extreme core experience (unlike the keyboard, which comes in separate packaging). The stylus attaches to the back of the tablet magnetically, but I’m concerned about that location. As someone who’s used an iPad with Apple Pencil for years, I can say that magnetically-attached styluses can easily be accidentally knocked off. At least with the Apple Pencil, I can easily notice when it’s not attached to the iPad because it sits at the top edge of the tablet in orientation mode. Lenovo’s placement on the back has me concerned that I won’t notice the stylus is not attached to the tablet until it’s too late.


It’s worth noting that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 series also use the same stylus placement, but Samsung’s back cover flap protects the stylus when not in use, so it’s much safer. Either way, the stylus itself performs fine. It can detect over 4,000 points of pressure, and latency is low enough to feel seamless. I doodle for fun occasionally, and I found the latency here to be acceptable, but not as good as the Apple Pencil. The Precision Pen 3 also can’t seem to “shade” in sketchpads by tilting on its side.


There’s also a button that allows the stylus to double as a Bluetooth remote control to control things like slideshows and the camera shutter. I mostly used the finer point when I was making precision cuts in photo editing apps. As a freebie accessory, there’s not much to complain about.

Keyboard: Changing the game


As mentioned, the tablet is best used tethered to its official keyboard accessory, which is included with the purchase if you buy officially from Lenovo, but does not come with the slightly cheaper Best Buy package. And it’s excellent — probably the best keyboard case design on any tablet. It comes in two pieces: a small kickstand flap that can prop up the tablet in both landscape and portrait orientations, and the actual keyboard, which is connected to a two-part hinge. Both connect to the tablet magnetically, and each piece can work independently of each other.

Both the kickstand and keyboard can prop up the tablet at a wide range of angles, and the keyboard case even lifts the tablet off the tabletop, just like Apple’s Magic Keyboard. The whole keyboard package does weigh 1.7 pounds, which means the entire setup tips the scales at 3.3 pounds.

The tablet is best used tethered to its official keyboard accessory, and it’s excellent — probably the best keyboard case design on any tablet.

The full-sized keyboard offers great travel, and there’s a whole row of F keys that double as shortcut buttons. You can, for example, press a single button to jump into split-screen mode. The trackpad, however, is below par. I’m not even going to compare it against Apple’s best-in-class Magic Keyboard trackpad, but even against the OnePlus Pad’s trackpad, it falls short. It feels too loose, with my mouse cursor constantly overshooting where I’m trying to go. I don’t have such problems with Apple’s Magic Keyboard or OnePlus Pad’s keyboard trackpads.


Things like trackpad precision may be a matter of personal preference, but there are some objectively bad things going on here, such as Lenovo’s trackpad gestures contradicting with Android’s gesture navigation system. On Android devices, including this very tablet, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to exit an app and go back to the home screen. On Lenovo’s trackpad? You swipe down with three fingers to do this same action. Anyone who cares about UX design knows the importance of keeping a consistent internal logic within the system. The fact you touch the screen you swipe up but swipe down on the trackpad to do the same action is strange.

Apple got this right, of course. But guess what? OnePlus did too. OnePlus’s trackpad gesture has no such contradiction.


I wouldn’t say Lenovo’s trackpad is bad. It just doesn’t live up to the high bar set by Apple’s (and surprisingly, OnePlus’) standards. But considering that Apple sells its Magic Keyboard for $350, Samsung sells its Tab S8 Ultra keyboard accessory for $300, and OnePlus’ keyboard costs $150, Lenovo’s keyboard being included with the $1,000 package is still a good deal.

Software and performance: Good, not great everywhere

Lenovo Tab Extreme with keyboard

The Lenovo Tab Extreme runs Android 13 with Lenovo’s ZUI software on top. Lenovo has added some welcome touches to optimize this software for large-screen productivity use. The typical Android dock at the bottom of the home screen has been redesigned to be wider, housing not just our core apps, but also a few rotating spots for recently used apps. The dock also can be pulled into view inside any app, so you can quickly switch to another app without needing to back out to the home screen first.

A screenshot of the Lenovo Tab Extreme's dock
The bottom dock can be shoved off screen or brought into view with a swipe anytime.

Whenever you’re inside an app, you’ll also see three dots at the top of the screen. When tapped, it opens a menu for multitasking; you can either shove the current app to one side of the screen for split-screen mode or launch the app in a small floating window mode if the app supports it.

Lenovo's UI

Two things to note, though. The first is that the three-dot UI is a direct ripoff of iPadOS. It’s too blatant not to call out. The second is that Lenovo’s list of apps that can go into floating window mode is smaller than other Android OEMs. For example, Slack can’t open in floating window mode here, but I can do it just fine on Samsung’s OneUI, Oppo’s ColorOS, OnePlus’ ColorOS, Xiaomi’s MIUI, Vivo’s FuntouchOS, and Honor’s MagicUI.

Opening three apps in floating windows

Opening three apps in floating windows. These apps can be resized.

There’s also no way to temporarily move a floating window off-screen, the way you can on all of those other Android skins mentioned in the last paragraph. On a Samsung tablet or a Xiaomi phone, for example, I can shove a floating app to the edge of the screen out of view, so I can do something else with the full screen, and I can bring that floating window back whenever I want without interrupting it. In Lenovo’s UI, the floating app must either be opened taking up space on the home screen or closed completely. If you want to bring the app back, you have to re-do the whole multitasking gesture.

These sound like little nitpicks, but they add up throughout the course of a workday. I am actually writing this review on the Lenovo Tab Extreme, and occasionally, I need to double-check a spec, so I’ll open Lenovo’s media kit (a PDF document) in a small window. But when I am done checking, I can’t just shove that document to the side to free up space to continue typing, I have to make the decision to either keep that PDF window on the screen or close it. On a OnePlus Pad or Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, I can just shove that doc off-screen, bringing it back into view with a swipe.

a screenshot of Lenovo's UI

I have XDA’s CMS on the left part of the screen, with Lenovo’s media kit on the right.

General performance is perfectly fine outside the cameras. The MediaTek chip is about on par with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, so it is a flagship chip, but not the absolute most tip-top one. Benchmark scores are on par with high-end tablets or late 2022 flagship phones, I’ve been using the tablet heavily as a work machine, with a dozen tabs on Chrome, Spotify playing in the background, and constantly switching to Twitter or Slack, and I’ve had no major issues.

I’m not much of a gamer, but I enjoyed playing Wreckfest on such a large screen. The superb speakers add to the experience. I was able to play at the maximum graphics settings and the framerate stayed at around 60fps, dropping to around 40 from time to time. It wasn’t enough to be visually jarring.

Cameras: Just enough to get the job done


Don’t be fooled by the triple circular layout on the back of the tablet. This is essentially a single rear camera system consisting of an average ultrawide 13MP, f/2.4 camera. The second lens is a 5MP “depth sensor” that does nothing, and the third module is a flash. I suppose the tablet can be used for scanning documents, hence why the flash is necessary, but I personally won’t be using rear cameras much as any phone above $300 is going to have a better camera system.

Around the front, there’s also a 13MP ultrawide camera, and while quality isn’t going to beat any above-budget phone’s selfie cameras either, I do think it’s perfectly fine for video calls. The Center Stage-like auto-framing feature will work well too.

Battery and charging: Acceptable

The 12,300 mAh battery is large, but it’s tricky to give a sweeping conclusion on battery life for a versatile device such as a tablet that doubles as a laptop replacement. If you’re using this as a handheld Netflix machine, you’re going to get 12–13 hours of continual use. If you’re gaming, you can expect that battery life to be cut by around two-thirds.

For my use, which is mostly as a laptop replacement for productivity tasks, I saw about a 18–22% battery drop every hour, so a fully charged device would last me a bit over five hours. Keep in mind this is with continual use and jumping between apps. I’d consider this acceptable battery life. The 68W charger takes about two hours to fully charge the tablet.

Should you buy the Lenovo Tab Extreme?


You should buy the Lenovo Tab Extreme if:

  • You enjoy the versatility of a single device that can be for work and play
  • You want a tablet with as large a screen as possible

You should not buy the Lenovo Tab Extreme if:

  • You won’t take advantage of the versatility of the machine
  • You’re on a budget
  • You already have the iPad Pro and aren’t necessarily yearning for a larger screen

I really enjoy using the Lenovo Tab Extreme, but this tablet is only worth it for people who will use it for both work and play. If you’re using this just purely as a handheld tablet that runs mobile apps, then any recent iPads will give you better silicon and a superior app ecosystem. The latter is out of Lenovo’s control: iOS apps are usually better than their Android counterparts, especially if it’s for a large tablet screen. I suppose the Lenovo tablet’s huge display is a selling point, but the largest iPad’s 12.9-inch one isn’t exactly small.

And if you’re planning to use this tablet purely attached to a keyboard as a desk-bound productivity machine, then why not just use a “normal” laptop? You’ll really need to get the most out of this device to justify the four-figure price tag.

The closest comparison to the Lenovo Tab Extreme is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, and while Samsung’s tablet has slightly better multitasking capabilities (it doesn’t have those quirks I mentioned earlier), Lenovo’s Tab Extreme has better speakers, a larger battery, and perhaps most importantly, it’s cheaper. If you buy either Apple or Samsung’s top tablet with a keyboard case, it’s going to run you at least $1,300. Lenovo’s giving you the whole package at $1,000. I think that $300 in savings should be enough to sway consumers.



Lenovo Tab Extreme


Lenovo’s Tab Extreme is a giant-sized tablet with a 14.5-inch screen and a very nice keyboard case that can prop up the tablet at various angles. With a MediaTek Dimensity 9000, it’s got enough power for both work and play.