Lenovo Smart Paper — is not just a very large e-reader with an e-paper screen, it is an Android tablet focused on taking notes with a stylus.


Lenovo Smart Paper specifications

Screen size 10,3”
Matrix type E Ink
Resolution 1872×1404
Screen features 24 adjustable temperature tones, two-color front light, 10-point touch screen
Chipset Rockchip RK3566
Memory configuration 4/64 GB
Camera no
Audio no
Connectors 1x USB-Type C 2.0
Wireless modules Wi-Fi 802.11 ac + Bluetooth 5.2
Battery 3550 mAh
Dimensions 195x226x5,5 mm
Weight 408 g


Package contents

In the box with the pen, you’ll also find a protective cover, a stylus, a set of spare stylus tips with an extraction tool, a USB cable, a power supply, and a user manual.



In terms of size, Smart Paper is a typical 10-inch tablet. Compared to traditional e-readers, it seems rather large and not as convenient for one-handed use or transportation (dimensions 195x226x5.5 mm, weight 408 g).

But if you compare it to similar devices, Lenovo Smart Paper is actually quite compact and lightweight – yes, another model of this plan, Kindle Scribe, is slightly larger and heavier. And this is despite the fact that the screen diagonal of the Scribe is 0.1″ smaller than that of the Smart Paper.

The dark gray body has the same thickness over the entire area and is made entirely of metal, except, of course, for the screen itself.

The body is not symmetrical, the left side is wider and has a groove for stylus storage – it can also serve as an ergonomic detail to make it easier to hold the pen with the left hand while you create notes with the right.

The protective cover-case has a magnetic attachment and a special niche for the stylus – at first glance, it looks a little strange when closed, but then again, it’s more convenient to hold the e-reader with one hand with it than without. As you might expect, closing the cover automatically locks the e-reader, and opening it unlocks it. Unfortunately, the cover doesn’t have a stand function.

On the sides you can find a power button, a USB Type-C connector and a dual microphone. Lenovo Smart Paper does not have a camera.

In general, Smart Paper has a very high-quality body: the device is pleasant to hold in your hands, it feels absolutely solid, does not bend or creak, even if you try to bend or twist it on purpose.



Lenovo Smart Paper uses so-called “electronic paper” (e ink) – a screen without its own glow that reflects light like regular paper. It also has no flickering and is generally considered to be better suited for long reading sessions than conventional LCD screens.

In addition, e-ink screens have much lower power consumption, so devices with them have much greater autonomy. However, due to low contrast, high inertia, and the ability to display only black and white images (color e-ink screens have not yet become widespread), such screens have a rather limited range of use, primarily in e-books.

The diagonal of the Smart Paper screen is 10.3″, the aspect ratio is 4:3, and the resolution is 1872×1404 dots. The pixel density is 227 PPI (dot size is 0.1118 mm), which is a very good result, not much less than conventional tablets (for example, the latest iPad models have a pixel density of 264 PPI). The screen is touch-sensitive, recognizing 10 touches simultaneously, and has a very high-quality anti-reflective coating.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry

Smart Paper has an additional screen backlight – for reading in the dark or simply if the gray background seems too dark. The intensity can be adjusted with a slider – at zero it is completely absent, at one the backlight brightness is 1.8 cd/m², at the maximum value it is 95 cd/m², which is already approximately on par with the brightness of conventional LCD monitors at below-average settings.

In addition, you can adjust the color temperature of the backlight in the settings to make the screen warmer or colder. At “zero” the temperature is 6400K – this is almost ideal for typical LCD screens on standard settings, but such “white” may seem a little cold for reading. The corresponding slider allows you to gradually lower the temperature up to 2800K – at the “maximum” setting, the screen looks frankly yellow.


Hardware platform

Lenovo Smart Paper uses a Rockchip RK3566 processor (4 ARM Cortex-A55 cores operating at frequencies up to 1.8 GHz) and a Mali-G52 video module. The RAM is 4 GB LPDDR4x, and the internal storage capacity is as much as 64 GB, which is unexpectedly large for a tablet that is not focused on multimedia use.

The Wi-Fi 802.11 ac + Bluetooth 5.2 module is responsible for wireless communication. The tablet is equipped with an accelerometer that allows it to automatically rotate the image when changing the screen orientation, and a light sensor for automatic backlight adjustment.

Multimedia capabilities are limited, to put it mildly: Smart Paper has no camera, neither front nor rear. The reader also has no speakers – you can listen to audio only through Bluetooth headphones. At the same time, there is a dual microphone for recording audio notes.

The 3550 mAh battery, according to the manufacturer, should last approximately 8,500 page turns or 170 pages of handwritten notes (without the backlight, of course).

The tablet comes with a Lenovo Smart Paper Pen. This is an EMR (electro-magnetic resonance) stylus that does not require charging or pairing with the device and supports pen tilt recognition and 4096 degrees of pressure.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry

It has an all-aluminum body and overall high quality, and the magnetic attachment to the side is so strong that you can lift the tablet into the air while holding it by the stylus. The Smart Paper Pen has standard nibs, a set of five interchangeable ones is included, and you can use other compatible options if you wish. The only drawback of the stylus that is worth paying attention to is that it does not have a button under the index finger.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry


Software, functionality

Lenovo Smart Paper runs on Android AOSP 11. The tablet has its own interface that hardly anyone will recognize as Android – the main menu is in the form of a ribbon of icons located on the left side of the screen.

The first item is “Notepad”, a section for creating notes. In it, the user can create various notebooks, keep handwritten notes, draw, and record audio. For manual input, text recognition is available, which works very well and is able to make out even very bad handwriting. Unfortunately, recognition is not available for audio recordings.

The second item is “Library”. It contains books and various documents downloaded to the reader. Unfortunately, the functionality of the built-in “reader” is not impressive: only pdf, epub, doc and txt formats are supported, and there is no option to display photos or any other jpg images. There are typical settings for text formatting, font selection, bookmarking, etc. The ability to create handwritten notes on top of the text is worth noting.

The third section is Programs. Smart Paper comes with a small set of system applications (Calendar, Clock, Calculator, an additional “reader” from eBooks.com, etc.). Unfortunately, the tablet doesn’t support Google Play services, so there’s no app store either. At the same time, the system has a File Manager and the ability to manually install programs from apk files downloaded to the device from a computer, so it is still possible to extend the basic functionality of the reader, for example, to install an alternative reader.

In the “My Device” section, you can find folders with user documents, and finally, the last item on the main menu is Google Drive. Unfortunately, Lenovo Smart Paper doesn’t have full support for Google’s cloud service: the user can download files from their “cloud”, but they can’t upload documents created on the device to the Internet. In fact, this is perhaps the biggest drawback of the Smart Paper software.

And finally, in the lower left corner, the gear opens the system settings – login to the Lenovo ID service, network, screen, etc. The system also has a typical Android “curtain” with quick settings, which can be pulled out by swiping from the top of the screen.


In use

Lenovo Smart Paper has typical performance for a device with an e-ink screen – its inertia makes navigating the menus rather leisurely, but it does not interfere with reading or taking notes. By default, the system has the Firefox browser installed – websites are opened in its mobile version, and in some cases they look too large in landscape orientation on such a large screen.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry

At the same time, the manually installed Chrome rendered the page in a more convenient way – although it warned me at the first launch that in the absence of Google services on this device, its functionality would be limited.

The built-in “reader” is quite convenient, despite the small number of supported formats. For ordinary texts, such as fiction, a 10-inch screen may even seem “too big” – especially if you switch to it from typical 6 or 7-inch readers.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry
Lenovo Smart Paper and 7-inch Kindle Oasis

But for technical documentation with small elements or graphs, or simply for PDF documents with A4 pages, this screen is very good. The only caveat is that if the documents contain very small elements that need to be looked at closely, the anti-reflective coating may make them a little blurry.

Writing with a stylus is convenient – you can put your hand on the screen and it won’t interfere with text input. The drawing speed is also quite sufficient, the process does not feel too inertial. If you look closely, you can see that there is a small gap between the line and the stylus tip, but this does not interfere with writing or drawing.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry

The bundled stylus lacks an eraser, and you have to switch between different tools on the notebook panel – but this can be solved by purchasing an alternative stylus: in the system settings, you can enable support for the side button of an EMR stylus that uses the Wacom protocol.

Lenovo Smart Paper review: 10-inch e-ink tablet reader with manual note entry

The front-facing backlight works well, as does its adaptive adjustment depending on the ambient light. It has a very good uniformity in general, in some photos you can see lighter or darker spots, but in reality it is very difficult to get into a situation in which the naked eye will notice uneven backlighting.

As mentioned above, Google Drive on Lenovo Smart Paper does not offer full integration with this service. For online document synchronization, the manufacturer offers its own cloud service, which requires you to create a Lenovo ID… and purchase cloud storage – yes, this turns out to be a paid service. You can’t do this from a tablet, you need to install an additional program on a PC or mobile device. There are two tariff plans available for Ukraine: 5 GB for 760 UAH/year and 10 GB (plus translation of 100 thousand characters) for 1,405 UAH/year. Audio recognition is also a paid service, which explains the lack of corresponding functionality in Notepad.