As the back-to-school season approaches, I will be exploring various sent to the channel on loan for review. The new Lenovo Yoga 9i is the first of a few you’ll see over the next couple of weeks and the subject of my latest review. This 2-in-1 laptop, powered by an Intel i7 1360p processor, offers the flexibility of flipping into a tablet or a display mode.
The upper-end configuration with a 4k display is currently $1,400 at Best Buy (affiliate link). The laptop I reviewed looks to be similar to the Best Buy configuration with a 14-inch 4K OLED display, 16GB of non-upgradable RAM, and a 1TB nvme SSD for storage. The display, with its deep blacks and vibrant colors looks great but is not as bright at 400 nits as other premium displays I’ve looked at.
The build quality of the Yoga 9i feels nice and premium. Weighing about 3 pounds, it has a sturdy metal design that feels very well balanced. The integrated speaker bar in the hinge delivers great sound quality, suitable for both music and spoken word. The keyboard, a typical Lenovo strength, is backlit and comfortable to type on, although the key travel is slightly shallow. The trackpad is responsive, and the laptop offers a decent array of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
The 1080p webcam will look nice for Zoom meetings and an improvement over 720p cameras in older laptops of this class. The camera also has a built-in physical shutter for privacy.
The battery life isn’t spectacular, however. Part of this is due to the high-resolution OLED display that will draw a lot of power. I estimate you’ll get about seven hours of battery life on basic tasks.
Performance-wise, the Yoga 9i didn’t disappoint. Web browsing was smooth, and it handled video editing tasks efficiently. The pen experience was also noteworthy, offering pressure detection and a natural writing feel. On the gaming front, I tried out Fortnite and Red Dead Redemption 2. While it’s not a gaming laptop, it handled these games decently.
I also experimented with Ubuntu on this laptop, and everything ran smoothly.
All in all, for someone heading to college and looking for a Windows laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is a solid choice. It offers a blend of performance, design, and versatility, although one might need to keep the charger handy.