Lenovo Slim 9i vs. Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 | digital trends

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Lenovo has one of the widest ranges of 14-inch laptops. Between its ThinkPad, Yoga, and Slim lineups, you can choose from a variety of different prices and features. The Slim 9i is the company’s premium consumer laptop, and the Yoga 9i is its premium 360-degree convertible 2-in-1.

They are different laptops but share the same DNA. In particular, they enjoy the same new rounded design that debuted on the Yoga 9i Gen 7, which is both beautiful and comfortable to hold. Is Yoga’s 2-in-1 flexibility the only thing that works? That is what we will see here.

specs

Lenovo Slim 9i Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
Dimensions 12.40 inches by 8.44 inches by 0.59 inches 12.52 in x 9.06 in x 0.65 in
Weight 3.02 pounds 3.26 pounds
Processor Intel Core i7-1280P Intel Core i5-1240P
Intel Core i7-1260P
Graphics Intel IrisXe Intel IrisXe
RAM 32GB 8GB
16 GB
Display 14.0-inch 16:10 UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED 14.0 inches 16:10 FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS
14.0-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED
14.0 inches 16:10 UHD+ IPS
Storage 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
1TB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
Play Yes Yes
ports 3 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1x USB-C 3.2
1 x USB-A 3.2
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
wireless WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p with infrared camera for Windows Hello 1080p with infrared camera for Windows Hello
Operating system windows 11 windows 11
Drums 75 watt-hours 75 watt-hours
Price $1,760+ $1,000+
Classification 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Price and configurations

To be honest, Lenovo pricing can be confusing and changes frequently. At the time of writing, the Slim 9i starts at a premium price of $1,760 for a Core i7-1280P CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch UHD+ OLED display. Boost that configuration to 1TB and you’ll pay a whopping $380 more, at $2,140.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 starts at $1,000 for a Core i7-1260P, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch FHD+ IPS display. The same configuration with OLED costs nearly $900 more, at $1,880. There are other configurations in between, including 1GB SSD and 2.8K IPS options. The entry-level price is in the mid-range, but beyond that, you’ll spend a premium.

Design

Lenovo introduced a new aesthetic with the Yoga 9i Gen 7, migrating from a traditional design with sharp angles to a rounded design that stands out in tasteful chrome. It has a sleek aesthetic and provides a comfortable feel, especially when in tablet mode. Speaking of which, the Yoga is a 360-degree convertible that supports four modes: Clamshell, Tent, Media, and Tablet. The laptop’s aluminum build quality is second to none among Windows laptops, and its hinge opens with one hand while holding the screen firmly in place in every mode.

The Slim 9i is a folding version that sports the same beautiful and comfortable design. It’s also solidly built with an excellent hinge. But the Slim 9i is not identical to the Yoga 9i. Its lid is covered in frosted glass, adding some density and an ultra-smooth surface that ups the slick factor. Both are beautiful laptops, but the case has a slight edge.

Both laptops use Lenovo’s reverse notch at the top of the screen to house webcams and 1080p infrared cameras, along with microphones that contribute to a great video conferencing experience. Windows 11 Hello password-free login is provided using facial recognition thanks to the IR camera, and each machine supports Lenovo’s Zero Touch Lock and Login. This feature locks laptops to sleep when users leave and wakes them when users return.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 has more convenient connectivity than the Slim 9i, with USB-A ports for legacy devices. Both use the latest wireless standard.

Finally, you’ll find essentially the same keyboard and trackpad on both laptops. It’s a solid offering, with plenty of room and big keys, and a light, snappy switch that isn’t as deep as the best keyboards in Dell’s XPS and HP’s Specter lines. The touch panels are the same size and offer a precise surface and buttons that are quiet and safe. Both laptops have touch screens, while the Yoga 9i Slim 7 also supports Lenovo’s active pen.

Performance

Side view of the Lenovo Slim 9i showing the lid and ports.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Slim 9i and Yoga 9i Gen 7 are built around 28W Intel 12th Gen CPUs. The clamshell is limited to the Core i7-1280P 14 core/20 thread running at up to 4.8 GHz, while the 2-in-1 offers a choice between the Core i5-1240P 12 core/16 thread running at up to 4.4 GHz and the Core i7-1260P running up to 4.7 GHz.

The two laptops scored similarly in Geekbench 5 and in our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265. The Slim 9i was significantly faster in the Cinebench R23 benchmark, thanks to more cores and threads and a higher clocked CPU. We used Lenovo’s Thermal Management Utility to test Balanced and Performance modes, and both results are in the table.

These are fast productivity machines that can handle the most demanding workflows. Neither is particularly fast at demanding creative tasks, mainly due to the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. Gaming is also not the laptop’s strength.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
geekbench 5
(single / multiple)
Bal: 1,720 / 10,115
Yield: 1,726 / 11,074
Bal: / 1,717 / 9,231
Yield: / 1,712 / 10,241
hand brake
(seconds)
bal: 114
Yield: 95
bal: 130
Yield: 101
Cinema bench R23
(single / multiple)
Bal: 1,795 / 9,467
Yield: 1,824 / 11,301
Bal: 1,626 / 7,210
Performance: 1723 / 8979

Screen and audio

The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7 laptop rests on a small desk folded like a tent.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Yoga 9i supports more display options than the Slim 9i, which comes with “only” a 14-inch 16:10 UHD+ OLED screen. The 2-in-1 also offers FHD+ and 2.8K IPS panels, which promise better battery life.

We tested both laptops with OLED panels and they provided almost identical quality according to our colorimeter. You can’t go wrong with either, thanks to the wide, accurate colours, good brightness and deep contrast provided by inky blacks. Whether you’re doing productivity work, editing photos and videos (performance aside), or consuming high dynamic range (HDR) video, you’ll find both laptops deliver spectacular experiences.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(OLEDs)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(OLEDs)
Brightness
(nits)
389 406
AdobeRGB gamut 95% 95%
sRGB gamut 100% 100%
Precision
(DeltaE, lower is better)
0.89 0.87
contrast ratio 24,310:1 28,380:1

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 incorporates the same rotating sound bar that Lenovo introduced in the 2-in-1 a few years ago. It includes two tweeters and two 3-watt woofers, providing quality sound no matter what mode you’re in. It’s not as good as we’d hoped, with some distortion at higher volumes. But it was slightly better than the four-speaker setup on the Slim 9i.

Portability

Connectivity features on the Lenovo Yoga 9i include a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, two USB-C 4 ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Slim 9i is slightly shallower than the Yoga 9i Gen 7, although it is slightly thinner and lighter. Both are good-sized 14-inch laptops that fit easily into a backpack.

Both of our review machines were equipped with 75-watt-hour batteries, and both were built around power-hungry OLED screens. The Slim 9i lasted nearly three hours less on our web browsing battery test, which was surprising given the nearly identical score on the PCMark 10 application test. higher clock speed, but the cover’s battery life when browsing the web was surprising. Both laptops took around 14.5 hours in our local video test, another surprise given the Slim 9i’s higher resolution UHD+ screen.

The PCMark 10 test is a good indication of battery life with a typical productivity workflow, and based on the results here, either laptop can approach a workday’s longevity. However, for more demanding users, both laptops will need to have their power adapters on hand.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
searching the web 6 hours, 28 minutes 9 hours, 10 minutes
Video 12 hours, 36 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes
PCMark 10 Applications 8 hours, 10 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes

Clamshell or 2 in 1, please choose

Lenovo Slim 9i and Yoga 9i Gen 7 are two of the best 14-inch laptops you can buy. The clamshell is slightly faster but has less battery life, while the 2-in-1 has slightly better sound and is slightly thicker and heavier.

The biggest difference is price, with the Yoga 9i Gen 7 offering a significantly lower base price. That’s important, but if you want a great folding machine, the Slim 9i won’t let you down either.

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