Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: Two-minute review
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 comes from a respectable pedigree. Its predecessor got a perfect score last year and there was really nothing comparable on the market.
Everything from the design, performance, screen and battery life to the feature set exuded excellence. Buyers with disposable money who wanted a hybrid laptop/tablet solution looked no further.
For the next generation of the Yoga 9i, Lenovo manages to improve on almost everything that made the Yoga 9i Gen 6 easily enter our best 2-in-1 laptop list last year. And while it takes some questionable side steps, that doesn’t stop it from being arguably the best laptop for most people who just need a 2-in-1 laptop that performs well and is a piece of cake to use. and simply looks fantastic.
The Yoga 9i features a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 and other hardware updates that are more than enough for general computing tasks. On the visual/audio front, the 1800p, 16:10 OLED touchscreen comes with Dolby Vision alongside Dolby Atmos-compatible Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
Watching YouTube videos or Netflix movies looks and sounds like top-notch experiences. Not to mention a 1080p web camera that can detect contextual commands when users walk away or step in front of it. All of this is packed into a device that literally weighs less than four pounds. Closed or open like a tablet, the latest Yoga 9i literally still manages to be as thin as a dime, too.
Everything about Lenovo’s new 2-in-1 device exudes quality when used as a laptop or in tablet mode. Even the included stylus pen has some useful purposes and can be customized thanks to the Lenovo Vantage app that handles maintenance tasks, among other things. That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues potential buyers might have with the Yoga 9i, though.
Regardless of the configuration, the Yoga 9i is going to be an expensive purchase, starting at $899. There are some affordable 2-in-1 solutions that can match what Lenovo’s flagship offers. Meanwhile, certain standards like an SD card slot are missing and the fan can spin loudly despite never getting hot on your lap. While the battery life is good, the Yoga 9i Gen 7 doesn’t come close to what the Gen 6 was capable of.
The Yoga 9i Gen 6 is such a high standard to exceed and for the most part, Lenovo does a more than admirable job with the Yoga 9i Gen 7, despite a few minor caveats. From general computing and media consumption to tasks such as light photo editing, the 2-in-1 laptop offers a quality experience that extends its versatility even more.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: price and availability
- How much is it? From $899 / £1,499 (about AU$2,655)
- When is it out? It’s now available in the US and UK
- Where can you get it? Available in US and UK, availability in Australia not announced
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 is now available in the US and UK, starting at $899 and £1,499. We have reached out to Lenovo regarding pricing and availability in Australia and will update this review if we hear from the company.
The starting configuration in the US Intel Core i5-1260P processor, soldered 8GB LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM, 256GB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD and a 14-inch 1080p IPS, 400-nit touchscreen with Dolby Vision.
The UK entry-level configuration comes with an Intel Core i5-1240P processor, soldered 16GB LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM, 512GB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD, and a 14-inch 2,880x1800p OLED 400-nits display with HDR500 certification and 100% DCI -P3 color coverage.
The configuration as reviewed is a US-exclusive Best Buy configuration, which will go on sale in June 2022 for $1,729.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: design
- Balances premium design with functionality
- Keyboard layout is ergonomic and intuitive
- Audio/Visual package is of the highest level
Despite all the praise in our latest Lenovo Yoga 9i review, one thing that didn’t work in its favor was its rather vanilla design. It was a nice laptop, but the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 9i Gen 7 takes it to the next level. There’s something wonderful about the rounded design and how it blends into every aspect of the 2-in-1.
Here is the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 configuration sent to Ditching for review:
PROCESSOR: 12th Gen Core i7-1260P Processor
Graphic: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5-5200MHz
Screen: 14-inch 2.8K (2880x1800p), Touch OLED, HDR 500, 100% DCI-P3, 400 nits
Storage: 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Ports: 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 † 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (Data, Power, DP 1.4) | 2x Thunderbolt 4 | 1x 3.5mm Combo Jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: FHD IR Hybrid with Dual Microphone
Weight: 3.09lbs | 1.4 kg
Dimensions (W x D x H): 12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 in (318 x 230 x 15.25 mm)
Whether you use the Yoga 9i Gen 7 as a traditional laptop, tablet, or something in between, everything about Lenovo’s new Yoga 9i is comfortable to use. Even the USB ports, headphone jack and power button are easily accessible no matter how they’re positioned. Again, between the lightweight and thin frame, it’s surprising how much is in this package.
The Yoga 9i Gen 7’s keyboard layout is one of the best in the 2-in-1 segment. For short Twitter outbursts or lengthy editorial writing sessions, there’s a tactile response to keystrokes that feels good and isn’t necessarily loud either. Lenovo describes the keyboard as using its “soft landing” switches for those comfortable results.
The dual-purpose function keys are intuitive enough to use, including the function key lock on/off button. As an added bonus, the keyboard also has some hotkeys for switching between performance modes, audio profiles, display profiles and blurring the background during video calls under a handy fingerprint reader. Lenovo has also made the touchpad 45 percent larger than that of the previous generation.
That immersion is enhanced by the Dolby Atmos-compatible Bowers & Wilkins speakers attached to the screen. The soundbar-style speaker below the screen has two tweeters and the bottom half of the keyboard has two woofers. Folded up like a tablet or open laptop, these speakers sound phenomenal.
For some general laptop users, the 16:10 aspect ratio might be a little off-putting at first, but it definitely makes sense given the Yogi 9i’s hybrid nature. Furthermore, there is a beautiful OLED screen no matter which option you use.
The 2.8K screen has a brightness of 400 nits and ensures that images can be seen in a dark room or outside in the sun. Add Dolby Vision compatibility to the mix and visuals when watching Disney+ or Netflix movies, among other video content looks great.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: Performance
- The performance of laptop and tablet mode is fast
- Fan can get a bit noisy
For common computing tasks such as surfing the web, watching video, word processing and the like, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 9i Gen 7 can handle it without any problem. Keep in mind that the internal fans can get a little loud, even on minor processing tasks.
While the fans aren’t a hindrance to the great speakers, they can be a little intrusive. During a week of testing, the Yoga 9i managed to handle a variety of workloads, such as photo editing, 4K video on YouTube, and Netflix worked flawlessly.
Here’s how the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 performed in our series of benchmark tests:
Cinebench R23 Multicore: 7.244
3DMark Time Spy: 1,736 Fire Attack: 4.440 Night robbery: 15.876
GeekBench 5: (single core) 1,758; (multicore) 9,650
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 5.764
Battery Life PCMark 10: 8 hours and two minutes
Battery Life (USA Health Reports Movie Test): 9 hours and 51 minutes
Our benchmark tests were in line with performance expectations. Cinebench R23 Multi-core test scored 7244 while GeekBench had a multi-core score of 9650. There wasn’t much noticeable lag, and thanks to the PCIe 4.0 SSD, apps loaded fairly quickly.
The only time the device started to stutter was when I tried some gaming benchmarks. All 3DMark runs borrowed scores of 1736 for Time Spy, 4440 for Fire Strike, and 15876 for Night Raid. More in line with common computer and tablet-centric tasks, don’t expect the 2-1 device to do a lot of gaming. Even at low settings at 1080p, the Yoga 9i averaged around 23 frames per second in Total War: Three Kingdoms.
When Lenovo designed the Yoga 9i Gen 7, it was clear that video conferencing played a role in design decisions, including the Full HD camera and the option for fast background blurring.
Using Zoom or other video conferencing software works very well on the 2-in-1 with clear picture quality even in low light. When you consider who the Yoga 9i Gen 7 is for, buyers will find that the specs offer plenty of power. Whether you use it as a tablet or laptop, this 2-in-1 doesn’t disappoint.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: battery life
- Battery life for the Yoga 9i Gen 7 is not as good as the Yoga 9i Gen 6
- Thanks to the quick charge function, you have two hours of use after a 15-minute charge
While we’re disappointed that the battery life of the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 9i Gen 7 isn’t quite as good as the Yoga 9i Gen 6, it’s still above average thanks to the improved 75Wh battery.
Both internal Windows 11 features and Lenovo Vantage do a great job of ensuring that battery management is efficient. In our PCMark 10 battery life test, the Yoga 9i Gen 7 lasted about eight hours, and in our FHD video loop test, it topped out at nearly 10 hours.
There’s even an upgrade to the Yoga 9i Gen 7’s fast charging technology, which gives you two hours for just 15 minutes of charge. This is more than enough for a trip along the coast in the plane or a long train journey.
Should you buy a Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
- First reviewed on May 2022