Next on my list is the Lenovo Yoga 9i. It’s not a laptop I’ve ever considered buying in the past, but it’s certainly piqued my interest at some point or another. The
2-in-1 concept is very niche, and it just was never something I “needed” in my lineup, and yet I commonly try to think how I can use a machine like this.
We’re nearly a decade after the first Yoga model was released – and boy has it matured. Today we have a polished model, with a 14” OLED display, a huge trackpad, face unlock, and a built-in soundbar. Pretty cool features, if you ask me.
At the same time, being a 2-in-1, there are a couple of things that make it a little less than ideal design, compared to a standard tablet or laptop. Jack of all trades and master of none might very well fit the case here. But after a few weeks of using this exclusively, I know this device will find a good home, especially with those that appreciate a competitive everyday laptop, but would also want the occasional tablet use, for multimedia purposes.
Specs as reviewed– Lenovo Yoga 9i
Lenovo Yoga 9i
Screen 14.0 inch, 2880×1800, OLED, 90 Hz, glossy, touchscreen, 100% DCI-P3
th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P, 12 core total, 4 perfomance+8 eco (2.1Ghz)
Video Intel Iris Xe
Memory 16 GB LPDDR5-5200 soldered
Storage 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 Micon MTFDKBA512TFH
Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi AX211 + Bluetooth 5.2
Ports 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2(PD 3.0, DP 1.4), 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4(PD 3.0, DP 1.4)
Battery 75 Wh, 65W charger
Size 318 mm or 12.52” (w) x 230 mm or 9.06” (d) x 15.25 mm or .6” (h)
Weight 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs)
Extras headphone/mic combo, HD Webcam with Windows Hello, quad speakers(2x tweeters and 2x sub)
Update: Here’s our coverage of the newer
2023 Lenovo Yoga 9i and Yoga Book 9i (dual-screen) updates.
Design and construction
When taking the Yoga 9i out of the box, I definitely got the feeling that I was dealing with a quality machine. The all-aluminum CNC design gives the device a sturdy look and a familiar feel. It almost feels like the laptop is made from two large tablets. No creaks in the chassis and the rounded edges make you feel like the device was just a single piece of aluminum. It’s a unique design too, which I really appreciate.
Handling was equally good. I typically picked up the device from the corners, while open. I never got the impression that the chassis was weak, and the laptop certainly is light enough to handle this way. The symmetry is also real, as the laptop is pretty well balanced, closed or open.
The only criticism I have with handling is that the finishes are a little too smooth to the touch for my taste. The matte finish coating of smooth aluminum on the top and bottom certainly makes the device look clean. But as a consequence, the device is a little slipperier to grab than others. Certainly could be worse, but it’s worth noting.
Let’s talk about the actual design now. The lid is a smooth matte finish, with the color being what Lenovo calls “oatmeal”. It’s appropriate. On one corner, there’s an embossed Yoga logo. On the other is your typical Lenovo badge. Both blend in and look nice.
Lifting the lid is a one-finger effort…usually. I say usually because of the feet. Fact is, they are just very small and don’t provide enough friction on smooth surfaces. Between this and the low weight of this device, it occasionally walks on you while lifting the lid, requiring a second hand.
Underneath is a large 16:10 QHD+ touchscreen. We’ll get more into the screen in a later section. Above it is a FHD webcam that has IR capability for Windows Hello face unlock. The panel is mostly glass and the bezels on the top and sides are reasonable. I’m a little disappointed in the bottom bezel though, especially since it’s partially plastic. This is a 16:10 screen so I expected a smaller lower bezel just like all the other 16:10 models out there.
Below all that is a keyboard and a large trackpad. We’ll cover these in more detail in the next section. But there’s also a fingerprint scanner on the lower right-hand corner of the keyboard. The hinge is pretty remarkable too because it also doubles as a soundbar, containing two tweeters.
The bottom is nearly as smooth as the lid. A bunch of Torx screws hold the bottom plate in place, but it’s a very clean fit. There are also intake grills for the fans down here and bottom-facing main speakers.
Let’s discuss the IO now. Being a thin 2-in-1, the IO is limited, but is still pretty decent. Starting on the right-hand side, there’s a power button and a single USB-C which supports DisplayPort and PowerDelivery. There’s also a headphone/mic combo jack. Not exactly the side I want my headphones, but at least it’s towards the back. Towards the front there are some holes for the speakers.
The left-hand side has a little more than the right. There are two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, one of which supports charging. There’s also a USB-A port. Finally, there are some more holes for the left speaker, towards the front. That’s it – no HDMI or SD card slot on this model.
To sum it up, the design is really good. But it falls short when you compare it to a traditional laptop. If that were the case, I would expect even smaller bezels and larger feet. But this is a Yoga laptop, so it deserves a small pass, due to the added features – the biggest of which being the 360-degree hinge.
The whole point of the Yoga lineup is that the hinge allows the screen to fold all the way back flat against the back of the laptop. Basically, it becomes a tablet.
Handling in this mode is just fine, as the device is still light enough to hold with one hand. I also didn’t find it overly thick, although an iPad is obviously thinner. Still, for a 2 in 1, it’s just fine. I haven’t used any of the previous Yoga models, but somehow I think the hinge design here is superior, as I found it to be perfect as is.
In a practical sense, I didn’t spend a lot of time using this device as a tablet. I just don’t think Windows is the ideal OS to be used in that way. I did use it for note-taking once in a while and it did the job fine. But for media consumption, I use it in laptop mode for the most part and occasionally in tent mode.
The only criticism I have against tent mode is you need to make sure your surface is clean. Resting your shiny round aluminum edges on rough surfaces will for sure make a mark on this device. That goes for “presentation mode” too, where you lay the keyboard face down with the screen upright. There are no legs on the palm rest to protect it, so this mode isn’t recommended imo.
Regardless of the limitations, I like the design as a whole. It just works as intended and Lenovo did a good job polishing it where they could. The added features of the soundbar and the 360-degree hinge make up for the shortcomings with the slippery rubber feet and the bezels around the screen, and this feels like a premium device no matter how you hold it.
Keyboard and trackpad
For the most part, I like the keyboard. It did take a little getting used to, though. The key travel is very shallow – which is about all you can expect with such a thin device that’s expected to flip into being a tablet. But the feedback on the keys makes up for the low travel.
Fact is, I can type just as fast as I usually do, especially after using it exclusively for the past few weeks. I’ve typed this review with a very low error rate. I wouldn’t say his keyboard is as stellar as I’ve seen on Thinkpad models, but it’s certainly above average compared to most thin and light models.
The keyboard layout is pretty normal to me. There’s no room for a Numpad, so they don’t even bother. But they did take up some space on the right with some useful media keys and a fingerprint reader. Peculiar layouts are a pet peeve of mine, so I really appreciate the attention to detail on Lenovo’s part to get it right here.
The keyboard is backlit, however, it’s a white backlighting on silver keys. Not my favorite, especially since the contrast between the keys and the keyboard deck is non-existent. But it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen. Especially since the backlighting sensor makes it so the lighting only happens in the dark. So leaving the feature on during the day isn’t a big hindrance as on other models.
There is a set of special keys on the right hand column. Under the delete key is the performance toggle, which functions the same as Fn-Q in changing the performance mode. Underneath is a dedicated button to blur the background for the webcam. Next is a button which changes the EQ settings between three presets. And finally a key for changing the theme between light and dark modes – pretty cool feature for OLED displays.
The trackpad is great on this laptop. It’s very large and made of glass, so tracking and touch gestures are super smooth and accurate. This is amongst the top trackpads on laptops and I wouldn’t change a thing with it. I feel like I’ve been saying that about a lot of laptops lately, but I guess that’s just a good thing.
The trackpad is a clickpad style, so right and left clicks can be actuated in the lower corners. The rest of the trackpad can be clicked as well for a left-click. The center is much firmer to press than the corners. Of course, by default, single and double finger taps also register as clicks.
This model includes a touchscreen input, so I want to talk about that as well. This is one of the main features of this model, as it’s a 2-in-1 design and you can flip the screen around to act more like a tablet.
Frankly, I didn’t use the touchscreen much at all. It’s ok, but it’s nothing compared to an iPad or Microsoft Surface when it comes to use. I just didn’t find the screen to be “touchable” as it seems to lack an oleophobic coating like most phones and tablets have. Perhaps a screen protector would fix this.
There is also a digitizer on the screen and my model comes with a pen to use as well. This is also a feature I tested, but didn’t use much. Mostly the same reasoning – the pen just doesn’t feel as good to write with on the glass as I’ve experienced on other tablets. It was almost sticky at times.
I suppose I could make it work if I had to. If I had this to keep, I most certainly would look for a matte screen protector that has a decent coating, to ease my concerns. Amazon sells one that’s similar to what I have on my iPad, so I bet that would improve my opinion.
One thing that’s not fixable about the pen, though, is there’s just nowhere to put it. Call me spoiled, but I expected magnets or something in order to store it when not used. It just makes it less convenient to use in practical office settings, as I had to keep it in my pocket. I actually lost it twice already, which is super frustrating…
All this stated, the pen still works ok. Writing with it, I can definitely recognize my already terrible handwriting. I was also able to draw a couple of things with decent accuracy. It’s no Apple pencil, but it’s good enough for note-taking.
The screen is a pretty good selling point for this laptop. The 14” 2880×1800 OLED panel is quite a sight to look at every day. I always love
reviewing OLED laptops because I get a break from the backlight bleed and IPS glow of my daily driver and get to enjoy the unlimited contrast ratio.
What’s weird though, is that after reviewing the Lenovo Slim 7 Carbon, I was totally expecting this laptop to have the same exact screen. It’s the same size after all. Turns out that the only difference in the panels is the refresh rate, which is only 60Hz on this model instead of 90Hz. Too bad, because the extra speed really makes a difference in my opinion.
My original findings stated that the screen was 60Hz, but upon further investigation, the screen is actually 90Hz. For some reason on my unit, it was set to 60Hz by default and there was no way to change it. I’m guessing it was a driver issue or something, because Lenovo now has the review unit back and can confirm it is 90Hz. Other reviewers have also confirmed 90Hz on their 2.8k models, so we can put stock in their findings. But you will see many many other reviews stating 60Hz, and they are probably just running into the same issue as I did. So even though I didn’t witness it myself, yay, 90Hz – much better.
I used my X-rite i1 Display Pro sensor to verify all the specs. Here’s what I got:
Panel HardwareID: Lenovo ATNA40YK01-1(Model SDC4152)
Coverage: 170.7% sRGB, 117.6% AdobeRGB, 120.9% DCI-P3;
Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 376 cd/m2 on power;
Contrast at max brightness: 1,000,000:1
Native white point: 6360 K;
Black on max brightness: 0 cd/m2.
I mentioned this with the
Slim 7 Carbon and the same applies with this screen too: there are some side effects to OLED that should be noted before you decide to buy. For starters, the extreme viewing angles just aren’t as stellar as they are with the top IPS panels. I noticed some rainbow colors when you get to the 60-degree angle mark. The text is still legible at least, but it’s just not as good looking.
Also, “black crush” can be an issue on this laptop. When watching shows on Netflix, dark scenes typically look pixelated. On IPS, these are kind of washed out by the backlight where the blacks look more grey at high brightness levels. But on OLED, the blacks are really black and the pixelation is WAY more obvious – even distracting at some points. The only solution is to lower the brightness so the contrast of the pixelation isn’t so bad.
Finally, there’s burn-in. I obviously haven’t had this laptop long, so there isn’t anything I can report. But I do worry with PCs how certain things (like the taskbar) could burn-in over time. These 3K panels are too new to make that kind of a conclusion yet, though.
It is a great panel though. My only gripes are minor and that’s with the glare. I just am not a fan of seeing reflections, but this could be resolved by adding a matte screen protector. There’s also this graininess to the panel or digitiser, which is mostly noticeable with white screens or light solid colors. It didn’t bother me much, but others may feel differently.
And then there’s the lowest brightness setting…1 nit. Seriously? It’s laughable – there’s absolutely no way to see your screen at this brightness unless the room is pitch black. I had to take a screenshot in order to record the screen brightness at that level, if that tells you anything. Easy enough to avoid though, just don’t go there.
I guess you could call it a feature? I did try to type some of this review at that brightness, while in a dark room. I got through about a paragraph before turning it up to 10%. 0% is strictly for when you just wake up I guess…
Regardless of that “feature”, this is still an excellent screen.
I would have preferred the 90Hz panel, but this is still just fine. There just aren’t enough OLED laptops available, so it’s definitely a major feature that would attract some.
Hardware and performance
This review sample includes an Intel Alder Lake i7-1260P. This is an
Intel Evo branded CPU because not only does it include 4 cores for performance processing, there are also 8 additional cores for efficiency only. So lower demand programs should use these lower voltage cores instead, which should save battery.
The overall performance is really good. It’s handled everything I used it for very well and would probably make a good work machine, even though I think the device is more appealing as a content-consuming computer.
Also included is 16GB of RAM, which should be plenty for daily use. It’s soldered, so make sure you check your configuration before you buy. There are also 8GB configurations out there which may not be enough for some.
Since I brought it up though, let’s talk about what’s upgradeable. Not much actually! The only thing that isn’t soldered is the SSD. And on this model, I have a 512GB PCIe 4.0 drive made by Micron. The speeds are excellent, but if you want more space, you’ll have to open up the back cover.
And that’s the tricky part. If you plan on opening this up to replace the SSD, I should warn you that it’s no easy task at all. In fact, I would almost call this laptop unserviceable unless you are patient and experienced in opening up laptops and tablets.
It looks like just 6 screws on the bottom, but there clearly needs to be more in order to hold the cover on. There are 3 “secret” screws under the top footpad, which really threw me off. The footpad is held on by adhesive and clips, so it’s completely unintuitive that those screws would even be there. For 20 minutes I was thinking the top edge was just held by clips, so I’m glad I didn’t try to force it before I finally figured it out…
Even with the screws on the top edge, there are still some stout clips between the screws, and all around, which makes getting this cover off a real pain in the butt. I almost gave up twice (and part of me wishes I had) – that’s how bad it was. The clip in the center was huge as well, and trying to figure out that it even was a clip made it worse. I hope I never have to take one like this apart again.
And yeah, once you get it open, not much to see here. A couple of fans and heat pipes, an SSD, and a battery. The rest is the motherboard with soldered ram and soldered Wifi. The Bowers and Wilkins speakers look pretty big and you can see how they are isolated to send the sound both down and to the side.
Let’s dig into the performance now. I took some synthetic benchmarks to get an idea of how well the CPU performs. Here’s what I got in Performance mode, which allows the CPU to start at 64W for a short burst, then 35W sustained, assuming the thermals hold up:
3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 4800 (Graphics – 5110, Physics – 17808);
3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 1890 (Graphics – 1677, CPU – 6759);
3DMark 13 – CPU Profile: Max-5726, 16T-4626, 8T-3337, 4T-2646, 2T-1658, 1T-915
Superposition: Medium: 3081
GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1759, Multi-core: 10074;
CineBench R15: OpenGL 105.73 fps, CPU 1534 cb, CPU Single Core 238 cb;
CineBench R23: CPU 10258 pts, CPU Single Core 1678 pts;
And now let’s see how it performs in “Intelligent Cooling” mode. In this mode the TDP starts at 64W but eventually levels off at 28W sustained:
3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 4311 (Graphics – 4621, Physics – 15140);
3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 1687 (Graphics – 1503, CPU – 5532);
3DMark 13 – CPU Profile: Max-5161, 16T-3814, 8T-3039, 4T-2411, 2T-1486, 1T-878
Superposition: Medium: 2900
GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1760, Multi-core: 9300;
CineBench R15: OpenGL 98.95 fps, CPU 1278 cb, CPU Single Core 232 cb;
CineBench R23: CPU 8847 pts, CPU Single Core 1646 pts;
Finally, these are the results in “Battery saving mode”. In this mode, the TDP starts at 43W and then shifts to 15.5W sustained. Here were my results:
3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 3517 (Graphics – 3932, Physics – 11667);
3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 1391 (Graphics – 1242, CPU – 4345);
3DMark 13 – CPU Profile: Max-3102, 16T-2476, 8T-2005, 4T-1798, 2T-1228, 1T-780
Superposition: Medium: 2394
GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1799, Multi-core: 6460;
CineBench R15: OpenGL 75.54 fps, CPU 691 cb, CPU Single Core 191 cb;
CineBench R23: CPU 6842 pts, CPU Single Core 1480 pts;
Good results, especially considering the ventilation is limited from having such small feet. The dual fans certainly help.
And here’s how the laptop handles sustained CPU loads on the three power profiles, in the Cinebench loop test.
These are consistent results and a major step-up from the previous Intel Core U platforms available in portable laptops. At the same time, the 12th-gen Core P hardware is not a proper match in this multi-threaded load for the top Ryzen U options or the Core H platforms available in other ultraportables these days.
If this were my daily driver, I think I would probably use Intelligent Cooling mode the most. It seems to get the most bang for the buck(in dB) as far as the fans are concerned. And by looking at just the benchmarks, those are solid scores.
I also took some benchmarks with a few games, varying in age, on the same Intelligent Cooling profile. See below for my results:
FHD+ (1920 x 1200)
Doom Eternal (Low settings) 25 fps avg, 17 fps low
Skyrim (Ultra, FHD+) 54 fps avg, 46 fps low
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (FHD+, low Preset, Hairworks Off) 36 fps avg, 30 fps low
Portal Reloaded 60fps
Some of these results are pretty good. Witcher 3 was very playable over 30fps and looked just plain excellent with the OLED screen. Older titles will do ok with integrated graphics, but don’t expect any of the newer AAA titles to play that well.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
The cooling module on this laptop does the job. Not that the CPU is putting out too much heat anyway, but with the limited space and the fact the screen flips around, the limitations are understandable.
During normal use, the fans don’t really kick on much. Streaming videos is normally an idle fan task, which is good. But eventually, if you surf the web enough, the fans will kick on to a medium-pitched whirl, at around 34dB(A). If you are in a quiet room, you will definitely notice the noise.
Heavier Internet demands resulted in the fans ramping up. I measured 38dB(A) of noise coming from the fans. But CPU temps hang out around 57C on average, which is just fine.
Even with my gaming sessions, the temperature averaged at 63C and only peaked at 79C. I’ll consider this scenario the highest the fans got, which was still only 42dB(A) on Intelligent Cooling. So all in all, pretty tolerable. Keeping your laptop on the Quiet mode will dampen these results.
Surface temperatures were also very good. I never found the laptop too hot to use on my lap, throughout my use. Check out the FLIR images I took while streaming on battery and again while gaming on power. Both not bad!
The Intel AX211 Wifi 6E module in this unit is fine. I don’t have a Wifi 6E router, but my connection was always stable and I experienced no unusual drops in connection. Taking my typical router test which is approximately 25ft from my router, I pulled over 500Mbps download speeds. Pretty good.
The Bluetooth 5.2 also worked just fine. I used my Airpods and my wireless glasses quite frequently, and both worked fine. That’s about all I tested on this unit.
Goodness, these speakers are something else though! This is clearly my favorite part of the device. There are two 3W “woofers” that are both downward and sideways facing and on both corners of the laptop. To complement these, there is a multi-directional soundbar built into the hinge, that contains 2x 2W tweeters.
When I first got the device, I really had a tough time figuring out where the sound was coming from. And that’s not a bad thing – the sound goes in so many directions, that it’s just hard to pinpoint. The result is just impressive, as the sound is full, loud, and clear, no matter how you’re using this 2-in-1.
Like I said, it’s pretty loud. Using my test song, I measured the amplitude to get as high as 83 dB(A). The bass test hit lows as low as 60Hz, which certainly supports why the sound is so much fuller on this laptop. Your typical laptop speakers hardly go lower than 100Hz.
The webcam is very good on this model. It’s an FHD shooter, with well-lit images looking very sharp. Really sharp actually, and it probably has to do with the autofocus. You do lose a little bit of detail in poorer lighting, but I’ve certainly seen much worse.
In a completely dark room, I expect the camera to be useless. Almost every camera is, but with this one, you have the advantage of a good brightness screen. So turning the brightness up all the way acts like sort of a flash. Probably not an intentional feature but I’ll take it.
You may notice that my camera has the pictures blurred. I wondered why too, because there’s no software button to do so in the default camera app. But there is a physical button for it, which is located on the right column. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before and you may never use it, but it’s there for you if you need it.
You do get Windows Hello with this one, both with the IR webcam and with the fingerprint sensor. Both worked fine for me, although I typically used the webcam. There’s also a privacy shutter though, so if you are using that, the fingerprint sensor is very handy. Kudos to Lenovo for including both – I wish everyone did this.
This model contains a 75 Whr battery. That’s about what I would expect for this size of a laptop. I took a series of battery life tests with the brightness at 60%, which is about 100 nits. Here were my results:
7.0 W (~10 h 43 min of use)– idle, Quiet mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi ON, backlighting off;
10.9 W (6 h 53 min of use)– text editing in Word with light internet use, Quiet mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
11.7 W (~6 h 25 min of use)– 1080p 60Hz Youtube fullscreen in Chrome, Quiet mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
12.2 W (~6 h 9 min of use)– 1080p Netflix fullscreen video in Chrome, Quiet mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
18.3 W (~4 h 6 min of use)– heavy browsing in Chrome, Intelligent Cooling mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
41.88 W (~1 h 48 min of use)– Gaming – Witcher 3, Extreme Performance Mode, 60fps cap, screen at 100%, Wi-Fi ON.
I won’t say these are stellar results, because there’s better out there. But they’re still alright. You can certainly get a lot done on a single charge. But don’t expect to go the whole day without your charger.
A lot of it probably has to do with the high-resolution screen combined with the touch panel. Turning the brightness down helps to a degree. The efficiency of the Intel platform bears the rest of the blame.
The power brick is 65W and is tiny. You can plug it into any of the USB-C ports and it’ll charge the same. Very convenient to carry around and use, which I really appreciate.
Price and availability- Lenovo Yoga 9i
The model I’m reviewing isn’t available yet. But it will be available soon, at the end of April, at $1729 for the tested configuration. It’s a lot for a laptop but, considering this is a premium 2-in-1 with a pen and touch-enabled OLED screen, it’s a fair price.
To save a few bucks, consider the lower tier model, which is currently on sale on Lenovo’s website for $1149. It has similar specs, but with 8GB of ram, a smaller SSD, and an FHD+ IPS screen. Also, a pretty good deal.
Neither of these is on Amazon yet, but here’s a link
in case they become available in the coming weeks.
Final thoughts- Lenovo Yoga 9i 2022 review
I’m a fan – this laptop is certainly intriguing. I still don’t think I’d actually get one, mainly because I’ve learned hard lessons in the past that I can’t combine my laptop/tablet or my phone/tablet. To me, each has its uses and I tend to get the best out of each world with separate devices.
But that is just me and I can certainly see the use for a device such as this one, especially if you’re trying to eliminate the need for a tablet. If you’re an iPad owner, this isn’t going to come close to replacing it – iOS is just too different than Windows.
But if you’re on that fence about trying to avoid an iPad and you mainly use your computer for just media consumption, I can certainly see the use in the Yoga. It’s portable and lightweight enough that I could use it to watch a movie or surf the web. But for taking notes, I still lean towards an iPad or even the Surface Pro ( the latter I no longer own, but had a lot of experience with).
As a laptop, this is a very capable device. The CPU is excellent and my current configuration has enough RAM to do pretty much anything a typical user would want to do. I do wish it had a bigger SSD though, especially since upgrading it is a nailbiter.
Additionally, all the important features are good with little to complain about: screen, keyboard, and trackpad. You use these every day, so why wouldn’t you want them to be the best they can be. Like I said before, this could easily be my daily driver and I meant it. And let’s not forget about those speakers – wow!
The only thing to legitimately complain about is the battery life. And that wasn’t really bad – it just wasn’t great. Intel is probably to blame here (as usual), but the screen probably has something to do with it as well. Had they used a Ryzen processor, perhaps we’d see a 20% improvement. Who knows? But it is what is it is here.
Besides that, my only other gripes are really minor. The non-oleophobic coating on the screen and the bezels could be better. The rubber feet could be a tad wider and grippier too. There’s also no SD card reader. But I think I could live with all that.
So that’s about it. Wish I could keep it longer, but in the end, I have to give it back. I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has on my experiences with it though. Please leave a comment below, especially if you got one and feel similarly to how I do.
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Navigation: Ultrabookreview.com » 14 inch
Derek Sullivan Derek Sullivan - Review Editor
. In addition to being a tech enthusiast, I have a career as a Biomedical Engineer. I enjoy taking things apart, figuring out how they work, and finding ways to make them better. My other hobbies include spending time with my family, "Do it yourself" projects such as home automation, and running.
April 20, 2022 at 7:15 am
I've really been appreciating (very much so) all of your latest reviews.
It produces a sensation similar to talking to a friend: good flow, interesting facts, accessible language. I really like it.
When you talked about that "white-coating-prejudice" on the G14, I was eating that up with a spoon! (I had a very similar opinion prior to never have seen the white G14 in person). Now you're talking about the sound and construction of this laptop and here I am, spoon in hand once again… :-p
I thoroughly enjoyed all the detailed information in this article. Overall, I only wish you could have done a slightly deeper coverage of the active pen included with this model, but we can't turn you into an illustrator overnight… :-)
April 21, 2022 at 5:18 am
Flagship laptop, newest processor, biggest 75Wh battery, sweet-spot resolution, yet only 4 HOUR battery life. Not too surprising based on what we've seen from 12th Gen H45 but still astounding.
Curious how same Asus ZenBook hardware with U-series Intel and Ryzen fare. It is certainly strange to see most manufacturers switching to Intel P & H-series on premium ultrabooks meant to "do-it-all", which includes portability from battery life.
Personally I'd like to see more battery-focused ultrabooks with 9 Watt chips (Intel i5-1230U and upcoming Ryzen Dragon-Crest CPU). Last year, Lenovo X1 Nano was the first laptop to successfully pull this off.
April 25, 2022 at 11:06 am
There seems to be something fishy about this system/config. Other reviews are saying the battery isn't stellar but 12 hour on video is way better than under 11 hours in total idle and 0% brightness.
7W on idle is something that I bet I can go in there and easily drop it by 2W. Something is preventing the CPU from kicking into package idle.
I speculate even 3W is possible and that 4W reduction will apply uniformly to all the tests Ultrabookreview has done.
You are talking going from 10 hours in idle to 20-something hours and 6 hours to 10 hours in video playback. Even the worst case scenario you'd get 6 which is a far cry from 4 here.
April 22, 2022 at 6:10 am
Any idea if Lenovo is planning on releasing a non 2-in-1 model of this? Like they did last year with the Slim 9i (with the poor touchpad)
April 22, 2022 at 4:10 pm
No idea at this point. They might. Why do you want a non 2-in-a version though? Matte screen?
May 2, 2022 at 3:33 am
Is there any chance you guys are reviewing a laptop with the i5 1240p processor, like the Acer Swift 3?
I am still hopeful of a more moderate battery performance with a smaller/simpler display and a lower speed/power CPU like the 1240p.
May 2, 2022 at 3:49 am
I don't have anything on my radar with that processor yet. Andrei might though. He usually reviews the Acer stuff anyways.
May 2, 2022 at 4:48 am
Thank you for the quick reply, Derek! :-)
I was wondering because Acer has a big global launch of their laptops on the 18th of this month, and I thought that maybe they were eager to have some reliable reviews to go with it.
May 6, 2022 at 6:53 pm
I've got a base MacBook pro 14 and an 11" M1 iPad Pro but I'd really like to switch to a 2-in-1. Do you think I should choose this over the Surface Pro 8? Thanks! I don't want to lose too much of the excellent screen/speakers of the MBP when I switch.
May 6, 2022 at 10:45 pm
I haven't reviewed the Surface Pro 8 yet so I can't make a full comparison between it and this Yoga. Being Oled, the screen on the Yoga is probably better than that on the surface pro 8, which is still IPS. If you have the latest MacBook pro 14, the mini led is very close to looking like OLED so the yoga would be closest to your Macbook. But the Yoga screen is not 120hz like the MacBook or Surface Pro is, so you'll have to weigh accordingly what you prefer.
Without even touching it, I can say without a doubt that the Surface Pro is a better "notepad" than the Yoga. The keyboard flips back better on the Surface models and is way more portable and "tablet-like". I'd only call the Yoga adequate in comparison. Take this with a grain of salt because I'm only speaking from experience from my year with the surface pro 3 & 4. I'm sure MS hasn't ruined it though – it's probably an even better experience than I had, which was already excellent.
The Yoga is a better laptop though. That's probably the biggest thing to get over with on the Surface Pro, which is the kickstand. It'll never "feel" like a laptop but it'll be close. In other words, it's good enough but there will be some points where a laptop would be easier to place on your lap. You really just have to pay attention to how you currently use your laptop and determine if a Surface Pro would fit your routine. If you have an ipad pro with the keyboard folio, it's a close approximation to what a Surface pro is like.
Hope this helps.
January 7, 2023 at 8:47 am
I scored the 4k 1260p 512GB 16gb model for $875 as a refurb, which I can't tell. I would say no. The trackpad is horrendous compared to the haptic of the Dell XPS Plus and Apple MBA/MBPs. The audio on this Lenovo 9i is also terrible comparatively. The chassis rattles with any decent volume, and the 3 eq curves do not sound good outside of their designed usage, where the Apple products sound good for music, movies, voice, this you HAVE to choose your mode otherwise it's obnoxious. I will use this for now but for me it's a throwaway laptop.
May 8, 2022 at 9:41 pm
do you have any info if PWM pulse width modulation is used when dimming the screen?
I was told all OLED screens use it and if so then next question is at what frequency?
I dont want to end up with headaches and/or eye strain after buying this.
May 9, 2022 at 8:50 pm
Unfortunately I don't have the equipment to check for PWM, sorry.
NBC has the 4k panel clocked at 239hz. They didn't get the 3k panel like I did though.
May 9, 2022 at 8:40 pm
Hi, is there a typical "graininess" that existed on older laptops with OLED Touchscreens?
May 9, 2022 at 8:45 pm
What do you mean by graininess? Like a texture on the screen itself?
May 9, 2022 at 9:43 pm
The other reviewer here mentioned it a few times being an issue caused by touch digitizer on OLED displays. I was wondering if Lenovo's implementation might be different from Asus.
May 10, 2022 at 8:34 am
we don't have the tools to test for PWM, but from what I'm seeing, this is no longer an issue with most of the modern Samsung OLED panels.
May 10, 2022 at 1:04 pm
Hi Kurt. It was present on my model but it I didn't find it that bad. I only noticed it when typing on Word where the screen is mostly white. It's hard to describe how bad it is though because my threshold is probably different than others. I pretty much wrote it off as being the digitizer.
May 10, 2022 at 11:11 am
Good to know, thanks!
May 10, 2022 at 11:59 am
Kurt, sry, I miss-replied earlier.
On what you asked, the graininess is still present on all the Asus touch OLED laptops, but the issue is with the touch/digitizer layer, not with the OLED panel. Derek has also noticed some graininess in Word on the Lenovo, but there's no way to tell for sure if it's the same as on the Asus laptops. I haven't seen other reviewers complaining about it, so perhaps it bothers me more than others.
Take it with a grain of salt, though, since neither I or Derek had both an Asus and Lenovo touch OLED side by side for a proper comparison. I had the Asus models, he had the Lenovos, and we're cross-checking impressions.
May 10, 2022 at 9:43 pm
Ahh okay thanks for a detailed answer!
I owned a HP Envy OLED touchscreen laptop few years ago that had this problem which made me return it because videos and text looked very pixelated despite resolution being "4K". And recently noticed Alex from Linus Media Group mentioning it a few times in their OLED laptop reviews.
I was considering buying new Lenovo Yoga 7 14 laptop with 2.8K OLED Touchscreen, which I guess is the same one on all the recent Asus and Lenovo laptops.
May 11, 2022 at 8:55 am
It's probably the same screen, yes. I'm keeping an eye on that one as well, when available, for a review.
May 12, 2022 at 1:12 pm
Hardware Canucks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFQuUcQ_tko) says the display it's 90Hz, are you sure 100% it is instead 60Hz? Did you check the settings? (reddit.com/r/Lenovo/comments/ueo8kt/the_lenovo_spec_was_wrong_the_yoga_9i_14_gen_7/)
May 12, 2022 at 2:51 pm
I originally thought this too because it appeared to be the exact same screen as what I saw on the IdeaPad Slim 7. But I checked everywhere for the settings and mine only allowed 60hz. Turns out after looking at the hwinfo specs, it wasn't the same screen after all. I even checked with Lenovo to confirm and they said 60hz only. The marketing literature they provided me also said 60hz.
There might be another option out there that's 90hz though. It's still not on Lenovo's site, so I don't know what options there are going to be. They still only have their base model on sale so who knows.
May 12, 2022 at 2:58 pm
I did just now reach out to Lenovo again to comment. We'll see what they say.
May 12, 2022 at 5:11 pm
Thank you very much for your consideration and availability! Lenovo is not really transparent because also notebookcheck.net claims: "Interestingly, the panel on our test unit was set to 60 Hz. Users may want to check the display settings to make sure 90 Hz is enabled." (https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Core-i7-1260P-debut-Lenovo-Yoga-9-14IAP7-convertible-review.616256.0.html)
Anyway, you are not the only one who says is 60Hz, even their website describes the display as 60Hz. This is really confusing.
May 13, 2022 at 1:02 am
That makes me feel a little less crazy – NBC is pretty thorough too. Hoo boy, and on top of that The Verge just got their review in and they have it as 60Hz. lol
May 12, 2022 at 6:56 pm
Lenovo just got back to me. Apparently it is 90 Hz and it was an error in the reviewer specs I got sent. It doesn't explain why I was only seeing 60hz, but they did do a factory reset on my unit and we're able to see 60 and 90 Hz options. So I wasn't going crazy when I first got it, but I must have just done something that removed it as an option…
Regardless, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I'll update the article/specs shortly.
January 1, 2023 at 6:39 am
Thank you for your article. I've just bought this same model you reviewed which is an upgrade for me from my Yoga 900 (13-isk). The 9i is fantastic and I'm glad I stayed with the Yoga rather than moving to a Spectre x360.
I'm getting the same refresh rate issue you had with the only value being 60hz. I've been looking for a way to change it to 90hz but haven't been able to find the process. I've been through the advanced settings and also tried Intel Graphics command center but this doesn't give me any further options.
I know you said you had sent yours back and Lenovo did a reset but I was hoping you might have a link to someone showing the process?
January 1, 2023 at 8:29 pm
I wish I knew for sure what the actual cause was. It must be an update or something that is disabling it somehow. Maybe try an older version of the Intel driver first to see if that fixes it? It can't be firmware otherwise a factory reset would have no effect. Also check the options while both plugged in and unplugged – maybe that has something to do with it.
If you have to do a factory reset, just hit the windows key and type in "reset this PC" and it should pop right up. Just follow the directions from there and hopefully it brings the option back. That doesn't mean it won't happen again though. Good luck
January 1, 2023 at 11:43 pm
last night after posting my original message to you I (randomly) had a look at the 'new functions' guide using the QR code sticker on the laptop itself (who would have though that was ever a useful thing to do? lol) and in there it showed that you can toggle between 60hz and 90hz using Fn + R.
When you do that a screen icon appears showing that you're either in 60hz or 90hz and then you can select either in the advanced settings.
Weird way of doing it but I can definitely confirm that mine is now in 90hz and I can toggle between the two.
Mystery solved I guess.
January 28, 2023 at 1:01 pm
Hi, thanks for this review, really very helpful. Between this and the Asus Zenbook S13 Flip, what do you think is a better bet for someone who wants a 2-in-1? I look the design of the yoga better but from the reviews on this site, it seems like the Asus performs slightly better on the same specs, and the weight makes tablet mode actually usable. the rest seems about similar, especially battery life. Thoughts?
January 28, 2023 at 2:48 pm
Both are good options imo. This Yoga is a little larger and heavier, but also a little more powerful (runs at higher sustained power with demanding loads – keep in mind we tested the Yoga much earlier in time, and the differences in software at the time might have caused the differences in benchmark results) and has better cooling (dual fan, 2x heatpipes), better audio, and a bigger battery. Plus an USB-A port. If you don't mind the extra bulk, I'd subjectively go with the Yoga.