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The Lenovo Yoga 9i is a stylish 2-in-1 laptop that can adapt to both creativity and productivity.
About the Lenovo Yoga 9i 2-in-1 Laptop
We tested the 7th generation Lenovo Yoga 9i laptop with the following configuration:
- Processor: Intel Core i7-1260P
- Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
- RAM: 16GB DDR5- 5200 MHz
- Storage: 1TB M.2 2280 SSD
- Display: 3840 x 2400 OLED display
- Ports: 2 x USB-A, 2 x USB-C / Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x 3.5mm Headphone jack
- Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
- Webcam: 2MP 1080p with IR facial recognition and privacy shutter
- Battery: 75Wh
- Accessories: Lenovo E-color pen, carrying case
- Weight: 3.09 pounds
- Size: 12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches
- Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
The 2-in-1 laptop also comes in several other configurations, starting at $1,229. The starting configuration has 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, and a 1920 x 1200p display, while the top configuration includes 16GB of memory, 2TB of storage, and a 3840 x 2400p OLED display.
What we like
We’ve seen some great OLED displays pop up on laptops lately. The Dell XPS and the HP Spectre lineup have made some of the most gorgeous images we’ve seen on laptops, so the Yoga 9i had stiff competition to beat. For the most part, it succeeded.
When I watched Encanto on the Yoga 9i’s gorgeous 4K display, my first thought was “whoa.” The screen’s full DCI-P3 color gamut made the colors stand out remarkably, with the deep blacks adding to the immersive image the display produced. Professionals should have no trouble with color range or accuracy on this device, nor should they worry about their bright whites washing out their dark blacks on screen.
HDR content looks rich and detailed. While the display’s brightness slightly underdelivered at 376 nits, it was still bright enough to stand out in daylight and provide a contrast ratio of 12,500 to 1 (most LED displays are around 1,000 to 1). With 3840 x 2400 pixels to work with, the 16:10 aspect ratio screen is well-suited to split-screen viewing, as well.
Its touchscreen and stylus capabilities are no slouch, either. It can register light touches with accuracy, and the screen’s pressure sensitivity is well-tuned when you write with a stylus. Drawing on the Yoga 9i is, for the most part, an enjoyable task.
If you bring your favorite Windows-compatible stylus, the experience compares to that of an iPad with an Apple Pencil thanks to the Yoga 9i’s beautiful display and powerful processor.
Snappy processor can keep up with most tasks
The Yoga 9i’s 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor is not only powerful but it also runs cool, which keeps the fans from sounding like a jet-engine taking off. Multitasking on the web or having several Microsoft Office programs active was no sweat for this processor.
Medium productivity tasks like editing photos in Photoshop or putting together simple videos in Adobe Premiere were similarly snappy. To transcode a 12-minute 4K H.264 video file in Handbrake, for example, the Yoga 9i took eight minutes and seven seconds. The MacBook Pro 13 M1 was a little faster at 7 minutes 30 seconds. However, among 2-in-1 competitors, the MSI Summit E13 Flip took over 14 minutes—however, it was running on last generation’s Intel Core i7 chip.
The Yoga 9i retakes the lead for rendering power in 3D programs like Blender. The Yoga 9i took four minutes 43 seconds to render a scene in Blender using its central processing power, creaming the M1 MacBook Pro by over two minutes and the MSI Summit E13 Flip by over three minutes. Unless you plan to edit complex videos in 8K, the Yoga 9i will meet your productivity needs.
Its graphics power is no joke, either. It can’t compete with gaming or workstation laptops that have a discrete graphics card, but the Intel Core i7’s integrated graphics are great for casual gaming and light 3D workloads. In 3DMark Firestrike, one of our synthetic graphics benchmarks that estimates performance at 1080p, the Yoga 9i scored 5000 points. The MSI Summit E13 Flip laptop scored 4152 points, but some 11th-gen Intel laptops like the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (which scored 5164 points) do slightly outperform the Yoga 9i.
For reference, the budget HP Pavilion 15 Gaming laptop has an entry-level discrete graphics card (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650) and runs Overwatch at 117 frames per second on the Ultra graphics preset at 1080p graphics.
Meanwhile, the Yoga 9i runs Overwatch at 50 frames per second on the medium 1080p graphics preset. Don’t expect to play something like Cyberpunk 2077 on the Yoga 9i, but you can mock up a low-poly character model in Blender or play a couple rounds of Apex Legends with medium graphics settings at 60 frames per second.
Useful extra buttons, ports and accessories
The Yoga 9i comes with a lot of extra, enjoyable features. Out of the box, the laptop comes with a smooth and thick protective sleeve and a metal stylus about the size of a classic Parker pen. The stylus is pressure-sensitive, meaning your writing strokes can vary in thickness and opacity depending on how much force you use. The rubber tip is a little too grippy against the glass display surface, but it’s responsive and easy to hold.
The laptop also has a plenitude of useful ports and buttons—way more than you usually see on laptops these days. On the sides, the Yoga 9i has two USB-A 3.2 ports, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and a headphone jack. This is a refreshing change from the minimalist “two Thunderbolt ports or bust” mindset (looking at you, Apple and Dell ).
Meanwhile, the right side of the keyboard has a few extra media keys that go beyond the standard volume functionality. There are five extra keys, from top to bottom: a performance key to set the balance between power consumption and speed; a background blur button for video calls; a volume config/mute button; a screen brightness button; and a touchscreen sensor. The webcam up top also has a manual privacy shutter. The Yoga 9i feels like a laptop designed to adapt to the user’s lifestyle due to its versatility.
What we don’t like
Middling battery life
To test a laptop’s battery life, we simulate an average workday’s load by cycling through web pages with the screen set to 200 nits of brightness, starting from a full battery until it’s empty. With laptops like the MacBook Pro 13 lasting almost 14 hours and the MSI Summit Flip Evo lasting nearly eight hours, we were a little disappointed to see the Lenovo Yoga 9i’s battery come in at six hours and 51 minutes. However, the Yoga 9i does drive a more power-hungry screen than both of the above laptops (a 4K display instead of a 2K display).
Even compared to other 4K OLED laptops, the Yoga 9i’s 75 Watt-hour battery falls slightly short. The HP Vivobook 14 OLED and Dell XPS 13, for instance, each lasted about eight hours.
The audio, keyboard and trackpad are just average
Considering how much fanfare Lenovo had about its Yoga 9i’s “3D sound” I had high expectations for the laptop’s sound. Unfortunately, the audio quality is one of the most disappointing parts of this laptop.
When Lenovo says the Yoga 9i has a “3D sound,” it means the soundbar has a Dolby Atmos speaker system that can mimic a sound’s location in space. For a laptop, it does well—sounds do sound like they’re coming from left, right, front, or back.
While the laptop easily projects a wide, impressive soundstage, the speakers neglect the most important part: sound quality. The sound is muddled, with the instruments across various music tracks bleeding into each other. The treble sounded distorted, and the mids were notably recessed. It did sound fine for film and vocal-oriented pop, but that’s because the sound signature prioritizes vocals to the detriment of everything else.
Meanwhile, the trackpad and keyboard are fine, but ‘fine’ is disappointing at the $1,000+ price range. The keys are soft, with little feedback beyond the feeling of the key going down.
Considering the smoothness of Lenovo’s ThinkPad keyboards, it would have been awesome to see that quality ported over to the Yoga line. The glass trackpad doesn’t miss a beat, with good finger and gesture detection all around, but its acceleration and speed are too sensitive and hard to navigate with, requiring some tuning out of the box.
Should you buy it?
Yes, it’s a great 2-in-1 but try to find it on sale
There are a lot of things the Lenovo Yoga 9i gets right: the gorgeous 4K OLED display, the elegant form factor, the powerful processor, and the excellent stylus response. To top it all off, the Yoga 9i comes with a laptop sleeve and a good stylus out of the box. The base configuration with 8GB of RAM and a 1920 x 1200p screen starts at $1,449, however, there are better-value 2-in-1s out there.
The HP Spectre 14t offers a similar experience for a starting price of $1,499, but it’s often on sale for about $1,000, with the 4K OLED version often on sale for as little as $1,380—although you’ll have to bring your own stylus. The MSI Summit E13 Flip is on the pricier side at $1,600, but it trades performance for better battery life and has a brilliant stylus pen that rivals Microsoft and Wacom pens. Meanwhile, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is not only cheaper, but you can easily find the base configuration on sale for as low as $1,230—not to mention both the HP and MSI laptops have better battery life.
But Lenovo’s Yoga 9i is one of few 2-in-1 laptops to offer a 12th generation Intel processor (for now), a 4K OLED display, and a good stylus in the same package. It’s an enjoyable laptop to use, especially for stylus users. Should you find it on sale for $200 off or more, it’s worth the splurge.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Adrien is a staff writer for Reviewed, mainly focused on reviewing laptops and other consumer tech. During his free time, he’s usually wandering around Hyrule.
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