Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Laptop Review

By: Alex Chub | 17.05.2021, 17:51
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Laptop Review

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i is a flagship ultrabook, the creation of which was focused on the image component. And in terms of appearance, everything turned out great. The laptop really looks original and distinguishes itself. First of all, thanks to the genuine leather on the top lid, as well as a glass pad.

Although the advantages do not end with the design. Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i features an excellent quality bright 4K touchscreen with HDR support. The topical and efficient ultrabook hardware is inside, and the very quiet cooling system does a great job with it. The battery life is a pleasant surprise, especially considering the 4K resolution of the display. The only technical complaint was about the keyboard with a short and uninformative stroke of the keys. And, of course, an important aspect is the price. The laptop is not yet on sale, but at the time of the announcement Lenovo declared $1700 for the base configuration with a leather lid.

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i
  • Metal chassis with leather cover
  • Intel Evo platform
  • AI-optimized battery life
Check Price

Pros:

  • Original and stylish design with metal, leather and glass
  • Great display
  • Efficient and very quiet cooling system
  • High performance (considering the class of the laptop)
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Keyboard short stroke

What's in the box?

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i is packaged in the usual gray box with the YOGA logo. The set is minimal. Laptop, compact 65W power supply and detachable power cable:

Design

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Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i is positioned as a flagship image ultrabook. And the materials used are corresponding. The main part of the body is made of metal, and they decided to make the palm area glass. It has an oleophobic coating and is almost completely covered with small relief dots. Only the Glass Sense touchpad remains smooth, which is located under the same glass and is not physically separated from the whole glass area under the palm rest. But the most interesting thing is the lid. It's covered with genuine leather. According to the company, thanks to a special processing technology, the leather retains its original texture and appearance, while being resistant to wear and tear. It has an embossed YOGA logo in the upper left corner and Lenovo in the lower right corner.

The case has a wedge shape, which is usual for ultrabooks. The thickest point is 14.6 mm. The ends have an eye-catching finish with barely noticeable polishing that subconsciously gives a feeling of being expensive. Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has a limited number of connectors. On the right side there is only one USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4. Of the rest, there is a slider to disable the webcam and a power button. Quite a strange place, considering that it is not a transformer in front of us. On the other hand, the laptop has an auto power on function when the lid is opened, so in this case it is not crucial.

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Almost the entire width of the rear end is occupied by the hinge:

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On the right side there are two more USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 and a combined 3.5 mm audio jack. You can charge your laptop through any of the USB Type-C:

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On the front edge there is a small ledge engraved with the name of the series. Already a familiar design element of Lenovo ultrabooks. The same ledge will come in handy to open the laptop:

The stereo speakers were placed on the sides of the keyboard, which is not so common in such compact models. No problem for the keyboard in fact. It is quite standard in size:

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The bottom lid of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has a large perforated area for the cooling system, as well as rubberized feet for stability. At the same time, on the back there is an entire rubberized strip almost the full width of the laptop:

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The bezels around the perimeter of the screen are very thin, as befits a flagship model. In our configuration, the screen is protected by glass with rounded edges, just like on smartphones. The webcam is located in its usual place, it is complemented by two microphones, an IR camera and a light sensor. An IR camera is used to recognize the wearer's face. If you turn off the camera with the slider, then the recognition function will not be available, you will have to enter a password. The light sensor is used to automatically adjust the brightness of not only the display, but also the keyboard backlight (in the appropriate mode).

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i looks, feels, and is built exactly as the engineers intended. Very expensive and solid. A sort of equivalent of a luxury car. Everything is made very well. The only question is how durable the leather on the lid is. For a couple of weeks of use it is impossible to evaluate it.

How convenient to use?

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You can rotate the laptop by 180°. The hinge is very nice: the laptop can be opened with one hand. At the same time, the fixation in the right position is reliable, the display does not dangle. The keyboard is typical for most Lenovo laptops (except for the ThinkPad line). The shape of the buttons is familiar, with a rounded bottom. The layout is also familiar from the previous models. Long Shift, single-storey Enter, reduced height of the top row of function buttons, the arrow block is not separated from the main one, and the down and up arrows are reduced in height. Home, End, PgUp, PgDn are are aligned with arrows.

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The buttons have a very short and soft stroke. And it takes much less force to actuate them than in most modern ultrabooks. As a result, clarity suffers a lot: it is difficult to understand whether you pressed the button at all. In short, the keyboard takes some time to get used to. At the same time, there are a lot of comparable models with more comfortable keys.

Backlighting of the keys is white. It is even, has two levels of brightness (plus off) and a separate automatic mode, which is responsible for the aforementioned light sensor.

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We have reached the most interesting part of the laptop's work surface: the glass underlay with the built-in Glass Sense touchpad. In fact, it is a single piece of glass, on which the touchpad area was left smooth, while the rest of the area is dotted with small relief dots. It feels quite comfortable. But, even despite its oleophobic coating, traces of use remain. According to Lenovo, this solution allowed to make the touchpad larger. According to my personal feelings, there is no significant difference in size. However, the touchpad is sensitive and positioning precision is absolutely fine and does not cause any problems during use. Another feature is that there is no longer any manual buttons. Instead of them there is a system with tactile feedback, which imitates presses. It feels interesting and quite realistic.

Screen

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has a 14-inch IPS display. In the base configuration, it is 1920x1080 with a color gamut of 72% NTSC, 100% sRGB and a brightness of 400 cd/m². We also received a top-end configuration with a touchscreen 4K display. They promise a color gamut of 90% of the DCI-P3 color space, support for VESA HDR400 and Dolby Vision. The maximum declared brightness is 500 cd/m². Visually, the screen really impresses with both picture quality and brightness. You may switch to the maximum only in the bright sun. Of course, the viewing angles are maximum. The touch screen, respectively, is covered with protective glass, so glare cannot be avoided.

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Measurements showed that the maximum brightness is 475.13 cd/m², which is close to the declared 500. The brightness of the black field is 0.439 cd/m², and the static contrast is 1082: 1. With color rendition, everything is in order too. The color gamut is really wider than the usual sRGB. The rest of the indicators are close to the reference values. There is a bias towards cold shades, but it is minimal. Color temperature – 7000K with reference 6500K.

Performance, Battery Life and Sound

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Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has Intel Evo certification. According to the main idea, this certification should make life easier for a person when choosing a flagship laptop for work. A laptop must meet a variety of requirements. Specifically, it must have an 11th generation Intel i5 or i7 processor with Intel Xe graphics. At least 8 GB of RAM in dual-channel mode, NVMe SSD at least 256 GB, battery life – more than 9 hours (FullHD), screen with a resolution of at least FullHD, wake-up time less than a second, support for Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, and etc.

Our Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i configuration has an Intel processor 11th Gen Tiger Lake Intel Core i7-1165G7. It is manufactured using the 10nm SuperFin process technology, includes four cores, and supports multi-threaded computing (HyperThreading) eight threads. The base frequency can be from 1.2 to 2.8 GHz, depending on the TDP. The TDP can vary from 12 to 28 watts. In Turbo Boost mode, the frequency can reach 4.7 GHz per core and 4.2 GHz for all cores. The integrated Intel Iris Xe accelerator is responsible for the graphics, which includes 96 execution units, and the maximum frequency can reach 1300 MHz. It's certainly not discrete game graphics. But most popular games can be played with Intel Iris Xe without any problems. For example, DOOM 2016 at medium settings produces an average of about 60 fps. RAM 16 GB  LPDDR4X 4266 MHz. Of course there is support Wi-Fi 6 (2x2 802.11 ax), Bluetooth 5.1 and three  Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports up to 40 Gbps. 

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i demonstrates in the benchmarks a very good level of performance for its class of devices. And according to personal feelings, the laptop is very smart when working with office applications, a browser with tons of tabs does not give it any inconvenience, and there are no problems with Photoshop either.

 The drive is a 1 TB NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD. Samsung PM981a Model :

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Laptop Review-71 The drive is very nimble. Read speed – up to 3550 MB/s, and write speed – about 3000 MB/s:

The cooling system turned out to be extremely successful. In the AIDA64 stress test, even under prolonged loads, the temperature of the components is kept at 52°. At the same time, there is practically no noise. To hear how the fan works, I had to bring my ear close to the laptop. The case heats up a little in the area above the keyboard, everything else remains cold.

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Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has a 63.5 Wh battery. They promise up to 12 hours of operation (for a FullHD model, this figure is declared 20 hours), the function of fast charging from the included 65 W power supply is supported. In typical operating mode, with office-friendly brightness (about 30%), constant Wi-Fi connection, and using Chrome with a bunch of tabs, Photoshop and streaming music in headphones, the laptop lasted just over 8 hours. A very impressive figure for a 4K screen model.

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The stereo speakers sound very good and loud for this size. But you shouldn't expect deep bass and good detail: there are no miracles. For customization, there is a Dolby Atmos application with presets and the ability to adjust the equalizer.

The laptop screen supports Dolby Vision and there is a corresponding little utility with three presets for related content.

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For general configuration, monitoring and updating of the laptop, the Lenovo Vantage application is used, which common for all laptops of the brand:

3 things to know about Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i:

  • Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i is a image, expensive ultrabook with unique design
  • It is equipped with the latest hardware and a great 4K display, and the battery gives it an impressive working time.
  • The weak point of the laptop is not a very comfortable keyboard with short and very soft key stroke

Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i
  • Metal chassis with leather cover
  • Intel Evo platform
  • AI-optimized battery life
Check Price

Technical specification of Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i
Display 14 inches, 4K, IPS, touch, support for VESA HDR400 and Dolby Vision, protective glass
Dimensions (edit) 318x200.9x14.6 mm
Weight 1.2KG
Operating system 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
CPU Intel Core i7-1165G7, 4 cores, 8 threads, 1.2 / 2.8-4.7 GHz, 10 nm Tiger Lake
RAM 16 GB LPDDR4X 4266 MHz
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
Storage device SSD 1 TB NVMe PCIe 3.0x4
Communications Wi-Fi 6 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4 and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.1
Connectors 3хThunderbolt 4 (Type-C), 3.5 mm combo audio
Camera yes, HD, IR camera
Battery 63.5 Wh

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