The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 is the company’s high-end consumer all-in-one. This 14-inch convertible has the newest Intel 12th Generation Core processor and several interesting additions.
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 metal case measures 0.65 x 12.5 by 9.1 inches (HWD). Not the smallest 14-in convertible, but still decent. With charger and pen, the unit I tested weighed 3.95 pounds. The laptop’s rounded corners make it easier to hold.
It boasts a robust keyboard and a spacious touchpad compared to earlier models or ThinkPads. (Unlike ThinkPads, it lacks a TrackPoint) I wish the keys had LEDs to indicate sound and mic status.
The sound bar is incorporated into the hinge that connects the screen to the keyboard, so it always faces the screen. Bowers & Wilkins has two hinge-mounted speakers and two side subwoofers. The result is louder, cleaner sound with good base on tablets (and it gets pretty loud). I liked it.
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left (used for charging) and one USB-A port on the left, as well as a USB-C port, power switch, and headphone jack on the right. It’s great to have charging ports on both sides, but I miss a classic HDMI connector. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6E, like all computers in its class.
It includes a 65-watt charger and a laptop case.
The 14-inch 1920-by-1200 IPS display I used was bright and looked decent. I didn’t try 2880-by-1800 or 3840-by-2400 OLEDs. 8GB of memory and 256GB SSD were in my test unit.
The 9i’s right-side keys are unique. Top toggles performance, battery saving, and balanced power settings. The second toggles video call blur. Both Teams and Zoom worked. “vibe check,” optimises sound for music, video calls, or gaming. Again, with the Bowers & Wilkens speakers and rotating sound bar, it sounded great, albeit I didn’t use it much for gaming. The next button switches applications between day and night mode. A fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello completes the row.
This year’s model has a 1080p HD webcam with IR above the screen. The webcam made me uncomfortable. Lenovo’s “Smart Appearance” app allows you adjust blur, enable face framing (which centres your face in the video display), and add eye contact effects. These impacts were odd or distracting. Face framing zoomed in and out while I sat stationary. The video quality was poor. When I turned off all the effects and utilised the Lenovo Vantage app for brightness and colour, the camera was decent. It’s better than a regular 720p webcam, but not as excellent as those on top-end HP computers or an external webcam. It’s passable, but might be better. Software is very distracting.
The webcam has a privacy shutter and a keyboard shortcut for background blur. Windows Hello’s face recognition worked flawlessly.
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 included a touch screen and a pen for drawing. This variant contains a full-size pen, but it’s not dockable. (The X1 Yoga’s pen slides inside the casing.) Larger pens are better for drawing but less portable.
It had an Intel Core i7-1260p processor (Alder Lake). Four “power” cores (with hyper-threading) and eight “efficient” cores. It has a 28-watt base power, 18MB of cache, a 2.1GHz base frequency, and 4.7GHz power core turbo.
Alder Lake delivers a decent performance boost over 11th Gen Core, although it depends on apps. Like the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 7), the Yoga 9i improved in PCMark and multi-threaded apps like Cinebench R23. If I were a gamer, I’d still want discrete graphics, not Xe integrated graphics. My test system had 8GB of memory instead of 16 in the ThinkPad, therefore it performed slower in Excel and MatLab than the X1 Yoga. Most users don’t use such apps.
Good battery life. PCMag’s video playback test indicated approximately 15 hours, best-in-class.
Overall, I thought the machine was solid, however the webcam and bundled software might be confusing. Lenovo Yoga 9i stands out for its sleek style, outstanding battery life, and great speakers.