Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Review: Leather trim and 11th Gen processors from Intel
Luxury in every millimeter” is how Lenovo itself describes the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i laptop. If the Yoga brand used to be somewhat experimental, where Lenovo tried new technologies and form factors, now Yoga is a fashionable premium. In general, the 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 to 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 trim!). Judging by the promo photos, Lenovo sees the target audience of the product as something like this (see the pictures below). Perhaps the best way to describe the target audience is the phrase from the official website: work at peak productivity and stay in the thick of things.
Lenovo identifies the following as the top selling points that should attract audiences:
The latest smart technologies and tools for creative ideas (privacy alert if someone is standing behind you looking at the screen, automatic screen lock when you leave the device, etc.)
Long battery life (up to 12 hours for 4K screen and up to 20 hours for Full HD), fast charging
Backlit 4K touchscreen up to 500 nits with extended color gamut
The metal frame of the body is connected with a covering of hand-crafted natural leather in black, which has passed 20 stages of cutting and testing
3 ports USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6
The all-glass palm rest with the latest Glass Sense touch panel adds aesthetic and functionality to the model for a luxurious look while providing 50% more active surface and clear tactile feedback
Dolby Atmos sound.
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 space, 500 nits brightness
OS: Windows 10 Home
Communication: Wi-Fi 6 (2 x 2 802.11 ax) + Bluetooth 5.1
Webcam: Infrared range-forming (TOF) camera with light sensor (ALS), 2 microphones
Battery: 63.5 W * h, 65 W power supply, which together with the wire weighs 270 g
Keyboard: island type, short travel, backlight
Touchpad: standard with gesture support, size 10.5 x 6.5 cm
Audio: 2 x 2W Dolby Atmos® speaker
3 USB Type-C Thunderbolt ™ 4 ports
Combo microphone / headphone jack
Materials: metal, leather (versions with fabric upholstery available)
Dimensions: 13.9 – 14.6 x 318 x 200.9 mm, weight 1.2 kg (+270 g power adapter with wires)
Screen and webcam
There are two screen options to choose from:
14 ” VESA DisplayHDR 400 UHD (3840×2160) IPS touchscreen, 90% DCI-P3 color space, 500 nits brightness
14 ” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touch display, 72% NTSC color space, 100% sRGB color space, 400 nits brightness
Before buying, you should see both options live. My opinion is that Full HD is also suitable for a 14-inch screen, thanks to which the laptop works longer on battery. But the Full HD screen has less brightness – 400 nits. The brightness of 500 nits is a kind of standard that allows you to work with the screen even outdoors. So it all depends on your preferences and work scenarios.
I had a 4K screen on my test. Of course, it’s hard to find fault with the screen. Minimal bezels, high brightness (485 nits measured), 90% DCI-P3. The screen, by the way, supports Dolby Vision technology. A kind of celebration for the owners of the latest generation iPhone that can shoot with Dolby Vision.
The screen is touch-sensitive and in theory should support the proprietary stylus from Lenovo. 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 the stylus is hidden in the body 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 configured so that the screen locks and goes blank as soon as you get up from behind your laptop. Another highlight is the alert that someone is looking at your laptop screen from behind you. The technology works perfectly in a situation when 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. And now it’s kind of a standard.
Perhaps, you can only find fault with the fact that the screen is too glossy. Accordingly, it may 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 190 thousand rubles 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 a switch on the side, the camera can be turned off completely. Windows will simply stop seeing it. The camera is not equipped with a privacy 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
The Yoga Slim 9i’s keyboard is notable for its short travel and virtually silent. Immediately, I note that no keyboard prints remain on the screen. Keys with minimal travel, but responsive. After a normal keyboard, it takes a while to get used to, since much less effort is needed, otherwise you will drum and your fingertips will get tired. I highly recommend trying the keyboard before purchasing.
A special feature of the keyboard is the backlight, the brightness of which is adjustable depending on the ambient light. Function for an amateur. For example, if I use highlighting, I prefer to just 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 squeeze. Instead, it responds to pressure by giving a vibration response.
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 a selection of gadgets for December, I immediately received in the comments that Apple has been doing this for a long time. So, but not so. For my taste, Lenovo’s implementation feels more realistic. As a minus, the touchpad size can be written down – 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 and better.
Battery life is a strength 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’s important to note here that battery life is highly dependent on screen brightness. The 500-nit screen is a significant energy consumer. For example, at maximum brightness, the laptop can last 7.5 hours in office productivity mode. And this is an excellent result, since your eyes will sooner leak out than sit at the screen for 8 hours in a row at maximum brightness. But if you set the screen to 50% brightness (that’s 250 nits, in general, the average brightness for laptops), then 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 Lenovo Vantage proprietary application. By the way, in the same place I recommend limiting the battery charge if it is assumed that the laptop will work from the outlet for a long time. I have questions about fast charging, because it’s not very fast. And as I understand it, it works only if the battery is very low. According to subjective observations, it will not be possible 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 cable) and not know the troubles. At the very least, she looks more elegant and fits better in style.
he total charging time also surprised me: 2 hours 20 minutes. Although the battery is not the largest at 63.5 Wh.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has good battery life. The supplied adapter can be replaced with something more elegant. I guess you can take Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i with you on a day trip without charging and not worry.
Lenovo has a great executive laptop. Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i has a compact body that fits a 14-inch screen, long battery life, impressive speed in everyday tasks. At the same time, thanks to the leather top cover, the laptop stands out visually. The laptop cannot be unambiguously praised. If only for the reason that Lenovo itself has more interesting models. For example, there is the Yoga 9i (no Slim), which has a stylus in its body (the technical stuffing is similar).
Other brands are not far behind. HP Specter 14 x360, which has options with a 1000-nit OLED screen. The price for Russia has not yet been announced, but in dollars, the model from HP offers more memory and a drive for similar money.