“Luxury in every millimeter” is how Lenovo itself describes the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i laptop. While the Yoga brand used to be somewhat experimental, where Lenovo tried new technologies and form factors, now Yoga is a fashion premium. In general, correct positioning, since before that, those who wanted to buy a cool ultrabook that combines compactness and modern technologies had to look at the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which was good for everyone, but too corporate and strict. In contrast, the Yoga Slim 9i is visually much more relaxed (there is even leather or fabric in the finish!). Judging by the promo photos, Lenovo sees the target audience of the product something like this (see pictures below). Perhaps the best way to describe the target audience is the phrase from the official website: work at the peak of productivity and stay in the thick of things. That is, this is a business laptop for those who want something more colorful than a strict ThinkPad.
As the main selling elements that should attract an audience, Lenovo highlights the following:
- 11th generation of processors from Intel, Intel Iris Xe graphics
- The latest smart technology and tools to bring your creative ideas to life (privacy alert if someone is behind you looking at your screen, automatic screen lock when you move away from your device, etc.) li>
- Long battery life (up to 12 hours for 4K screen and up to 20 hours for Full HD), fast charging
- 4K backlit touchscreen up to 500 nits with wide color gamut
- The body’s metal frame is bonded to a 20-step cutting and inspection process of hand-crafted black genuine leather
- 3x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6
- An all-glass palmrest with the latest Glass Sense touchpad brings added aesthetics and functionality, giving the model a luxurious look while providing 50% more active surface and crisp tactile feedback
- Dolby Atmos audio.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7, 4 cores, 4.2 GHz
- Graphics: Intel® Iris® Xe 1GB
- Memory: 8 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM (max 16 GB)
- Storage: SSD 512 GB PCI-E 3.0 x4
- Screen: 14″ VESA DisplayHDR 400 UHD (3840×2160) IPS touchscreen, 90% DCI-P3 color gamut, 500 nits
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 (2 x 2 802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.1
- Webcam: IR long-range imaging (TOF) camera with ambient light sensor (ALS), 2 microphones
- Battery: 63.5 Wh, 65 W power supply, which weighs 270 g with cable
- Keyboard: chiclet, short travel, backlit
- Touchpad: standard with gesture support, 10.5cm x 6.5cm
- Audio: 2 x 2W Dolby Atmos® Speaker
- 3 USB Type-C Thunderbolt™ 4 ports
- Microphone/headphone combo jack
- Materials: metal, leather (available with fabric upholstery)
- Dimensions: 13.9 – 14.6 x 318 x 200.9 mm, weight 1.2 kg (+270 g. power adapter with wires)
- Price: $3,300
When a laptop costs $3,300 (and i7 models go well over $3,400), subconsciously you begin to examine the device more closely. I even sniffed the leather trim first, and then licked it just in case. Who knows, maybe there are some additional effects. Suddenly, not only the appearance and performance of a laptop is able to cheer up its creative owner.
However, without irony, Lenovo has done a great job. The laptop looks amazing. The leather on the top cover, ultra-thin screen frames, and the glass panel of the wrist area, smoothly turning into matte metal, play here. Please read the photo captions.
Screen and webcam
There are two screen options to choose from:
- 14″ VESA DisplayHDR 400 UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS touchscreen, 90% DCI-P3 color gamut, 500 nits
- 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touch display, 72% NTSC, 100% sRGB, 400 nits
Before buying, it is worth seeing live both options. In my opinion, a Full HD resolution is also suitable for a 14-inch screen, thanks to which the laptop lasts longer on battery power. But the Full HD screen has less brightness – 400 nits. Brightness of 500 nits is a kind of standard that allows you to work with the screen even on the street. So it all depends on your preferences and work scenarios.
I had a 4K screen on the test. Of course, it’s hard to find fault with the screen. Minimal bezels, high brightness (485 nits measured), 90% DCI-P3 color gamut. The screen, by the way, supports Dolby Vision technology. A kind of holiday for owners of the latest generation iPhone, which can shoot in Dolby Vision.
The touch screen and in theory should support Lenovo’s proprietary stylus. Here, by the way, it is worth making a note that if the presence of a stylus is important to you, then you should pay attention to the Yoga 9i model (without the word “Slim” in the name), where a stylus is hidden in the case next to the power button.
The screen has nice features. They are tied to a webcam with a ToF sensor that determines the distance to the object. For example, the Yoga Slim 9i can be set to lock and dim the screen when you get up from your laptop. Another highlight is an alert that someone is looking at your laptop screen from behind you. The technology works ideally in a situation where you are sitting, and someone at a distance of 1.5-2 meters from the laptop stands behind you.
Well, as soon as you sit down, the laptop recognizes you and unlocks. Lenovo showed these technologies back in the fall at an exhibition in Berlin, and they began to appear in some 2020 models. Now it’s kind of the standard.
Perhaps, you can only find fault with the fact that the screen is too glossy. Accordingly, it can glare. But this is a minus only for those who will look from the side. When the laptop is in front of you, there is no glare.
The laptop has a webcam. I don’t know why, but for some reason it seems to me that at a price of $ 3,300, a webcam should shoot no worse than an iPhone. And she shoots like this, which, in fact, is very good quality by the standards of laptops. Just Next Gen!
Using the switch on the side, the camera can be turned off completely. Windows will simply stop seeing it. The camera is not equipped with a protective shutter, as there is a physical switch. And this is certainly better, because the shutter usually only covers the image, while the sound remains.
Keyboard and touchpad
Keyboard Yoga Slim 9i is notable for the fact that it has a shorter stroke and it is almost silent. I note right away that keyboard prints do not remain on the screen. Keys with minimal travel but responsive. After a regular keyboard, it takes time to get used to, as much less effort is needed, otherwise you will drum and your fingertips will get tired. I highly recommend trying the keyboard before buying.
A feature of the keyboard can be called a backlight, the brightness of which is adjusted depending on the ambient light. Function for an amateur. For example, if I use the backlight, I prefer to simply set it to the lowest value.
The laptop has an unusual touchpad. The wrist rest and touchpad are a single glass surface. The touchpad does not bulge. Instead, it reacts to pressure by giving a vibration feedback.
The technology is so good that if you don’t think about it, it’s hard to guess that the touchpad is not pressed. When I described my impressions of the touchpad in the selection of gadgets for December, I immediately received in the comments that Apple has been like this for a long time. Yes, not so. For my taste, Lenovo’s implementation feels more realistic. As a minus, the touchpad can be written down in size – 10.5 by 6.5 cm. If the height of the touchpad is no longer made, then it could be made wider (13-15 cm). Large touchpads are, firstly, fashionable, and secondly, practical, because Windows understands gestures better.
The 11th generation processor from Intel, made using the 10 nm process technology, is responsible for the performance in the laptop. One of the main advantages of the 11th generation is the powerful new integrated graphics. Introducing the 10th generation, Intel said it would now be possible to run AAA games at 720p. Now they said that you can run AAA games already in Full HD. Here it should be understood that the lowest graphics quality settings are meant.
However, the first thing to note is that in a laptop, only an SSD drive is available to the user for updating. However, before you upgrade the drive, you should think, because part of the rapidity of work (instantaneous sleep and wakeup, download and application speed) is due to a very good SSD drive. Accordingly, if you change, then the matter should be approached responsibly and not save.
It is absolutely obvious that the laptop is not designed for games, but still I really wanted to test the 11th generation of processors. World of Tanks is the best game for such experiments. Look at a few screenshots below. The corporate benchmark assures that tanks can be played even in 4K resolution. However, in my opinion, it is still better in Full HD, since 4K drops frames from time to time. In general, Intel does not lie. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 in Full HD at the lowest settings produces 19 fps. That is, you will not get pleasure from the game, but the fact itself is remarkable. But in Full HD, at about medium settings, you can play The Witcher 3 at 27-29 fps. In principle, Intel is on the right track. However, of course, after Apple’s ARM chipset, it seems that Intel is somehow in no hurry.
A few other results of synthetic tests.
Perhaps the main thing that can be said about the performance of the laptop is that it is fast (booting the system in 7 seconds) and silent. Even under the maximum load caused by synthetic tests, the noise level did not rise above 45 dB. In passing, it is important to note that the laptop remained cold. Even during stress tests and benchmarks, the CPU temperature did not exceed 85 degrees. The typical temperature is 60-70 degrees.
Battery life is a strong point of the laptop. Especially if you choose a model with a Full HD screen, which, as they promise, can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. I had a sample with a 4K screen. It is important to note here that the battery life is very dependent on the brightness of the screen. A 500-nit screen is a significant power draw. For example, at maximum brightness, the laptop can last 7.5 hours in office productivity mode. And this is an excellent result, since it is more likely that your eyes will flow out than you will sit at the screen at maximum brightness for 8 hours in a row. But if you set the screen to 50% brightness (this is 250 nits, in general, the average brightness for laptops), you can get 11 hours of work.
In promotional materials, Lenovo writes that the laptop is equipped with fast charging. Fast charging can be enabled in the proprietary Lenovo Vantage application. By the way, I also recommend limiting the battery charge there, if it is understood that the laptop will work from the outlet for a long time. I have questions about fast charging, because for some reason it is not too fast. And as I understand it, it only works if the battery is very low. According to subjective observations, it will not work to quickly recharge from 50% to 80%.
The main disappointment awaited me when I saw the 65W charging adapter. Such a beautiful laptop and such a terrible adapter. It also weighs 265 grams. When they talk about luxury in every millimeter in promotional materials, then, apparently, charging is not taken into account.
It is very good that the laptop is charged via Type-C, so you can take a neat charger from Xiaomi (which, by the way, weighs 100 g with the wire) and not know the troubles. At least it looks more elegant and fits the style better.
I was also surprised by the total charging time: 2 hours 20 minutes. Although the battery is not the largest, 63.5 Wh.
Overall, the battery life of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i is good. The complete adapter can be replaced with something more elegant. I suppose Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i can be taken with you on a day trip without charging and not worry.
Impression and competitors
Lenovo has made a great executive laptop. Compact body that fits a 14-inch screen, long battery life, impressive performance in everyday tasks. At the same time, thanks to the leather top cover, the laptop stands out visually. Definitely praise the laptop does not work. At least for the reason that Lenovo itself has more interesting models. For example, there is Yoga 9i (without the Slim subscript), which has a stylus in the case (the technical stuffing is similar).
Other brands are not far behind. HP Specter 14 x360, which has options with a 1000-nit OLED screen.