Lenovo Yoga 9i review
The Lenovo Yoga 9i doesn’t just exceed all the usual metrics for 2-in-1 laptop performance, it elevates the format through smart inclusions like an integrated soundbar, USB Type-C charging, clever material design and flush touchpad.
The Lenovo Yoga 9i is packed to the gills with extra features and while it is more expensive than the average entry-level 2-in-1 PC, you do get a ton of bang for your buck here that you might not be able to find elsewhere.
- Integrated soundbar
- Leather-laced design
- All-glass trackpad might not be for everyone
- Smaller stylus
What’s in the box?
The Lenovo Yoga 9i packaging includes the laptop itself plus a 65W USB Type-C charger. The stylus pen for the device is also included, but it’s housed within the laptop itself rather than the box.
Lenovo Yoga 9i design
Lenovo’s Yoga hardware has always sat on the cutting edge of convertible design, and the Yoga 9i is no exception. If anything, it’s the company’s most accomplished effort yet. It’s not as thin as an ultrathin laptop like the LG Gram, but it’s definitely lighter than most other 2-in-1 convertibles.
Where it plays things relatively safe when it comes to the specs, the Yoga 9i opts to play around with the form-factor in a number of unique ways. Even if that experimentalist attitude won’t be for everyone, the fact that Lenovo is willing to push in a direction at all does a lot to set their latest Yoga apart from the vast majority of its competitors.
To begin with, there’s the hand-crafted leather on the outside of the Yoga 9i. It gives the machine a grippy-er, more tactile feel when handled than most other 2-in-1s. It also adds a bit of character to the design.
Meanwhile, the 360-degree hinge on the Lenovo Yoga 9i doesn’t just allow you to use the laptop as a tablet when needed, it also doubles as the housing for a mini-soundbar. This inclusion alone would put the Yoga 9i ahead of its competition when it comes to audio playback and music consumption. However, when backed up by support for Dolby Atmos as it is here, the difference in the listening experience you can get from the Yoga 9i versus other comparable 2-in-1 PCs or laptops is genuinely flooring.
After the hinge, the screen is usually the thing that catches your eye in most 2-in-1 PCs. Lenovo offers up to 4K resolution for the Yoga 9i, but even if you opt for 1080p, you’ll still get thin bezels and support for Dolby Vision HDR content.
Another neat touch here is the touchpad. Rather than the usual wide glass touchpads that can be found on the Dell XPS 13, which have become increasingly common in recent years, the Lenovo Yoga 9i takes things one step further. The entire bottom edge of the keyboard is glass, with the touchpad integrated in a such a way that it sits flush within this wider surface.
Honestly, it does take your brain a minute to accept and internalise the absence of physical buttons here, but once you do, the trackpad on the Yoga 9i is a delight to use. This glossy partition also hosts an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that you can use to log into Windows 10 that much faster.
For situations where you want to use the Lenovo Yoga 9i as a productivity machine, the keyboard provides a moderate but not excessive level of press. If you’re looking to use it to edit photos or videos, you’re going to be a little bottle-necked by the lack of a discrete GPU but rest assured that your content will look as good on a display this cranked as anything else.
Finally, if you’re looking to make use of the Lenovo Yoga 9i as a tablet, the machine’s proprietary stylus is housed on the back-most edge and touts a nifty elastometer nib. Similar to something like the S-Pen on Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones, this digital drawing tool slides in and out of its garage with magnetically-assisted ease.
If you prefer a larger style of stylus, I suspect you might find it a little on the small side. Otherwise, the ergonomics here make it almost frictionless to transition from using the Yoga 9i as a PC or tablet to using it as a digital canvas.
Lenovo Yoga 9i specs
|Lenovo Yoga 9i||Specs|
|Processor||Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Display||Up to 14.0" UHD|
|Storage||Up to 1TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe|
|Ports||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Always On), 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 / Thunderbolt 4 (support data transfer, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4 and Always On), 1 x combo audio/mic jack|
|Speakers||Stereo speakers, 4 x 2W (2 x woofers, 2 x tweeters), Dolby Atmos|
|Weight||Starting at 1.37kg|
|Dimensions||319.4 mm x 216.4 mm x 14.6-15.7 mm|
Lenovo Yoga 9i performance
The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor you’re going to find inside the top-spec Lenovo Yoga 9i is the same one you’re going to find in comparably priced 2-in-1 PCs from Dell, HP and others. For all the differences on the exterior of the latest Yoga flagship, the underling guts of the thing aren’t all that unique.
Still, the baseline level of performance you’re going to find here is pretty good. It’s not the same as what a full-blown desktop setup could get you for the same amount of money, but it is a cut above the rest of the convertible crowd.
The Xe hardware inside the Lenovo Yoga 9i is also more than able to deliver a passable FHD gaming experience, particularly when it comes to older titles. Even if I had to crank the setting down a fair amount, games like Overwatch ran at a surprisingly stable 60 frames per second.
That being said, I really want to stress that the Yoga 9i is not really a gaming machine. Those who know what they’re doing will immediately spot the difference in performance, but it should be said that I’ve never seen an integrated graphics setup handle its end of the bargain anywhere near this well.
Burned down via streaming video content on YouTube, the 90Whr battery inside the Lenovo Yoga 9i lasted 9 hours and 42 minutes. In context, this is a really impressive result for a laptop with a form-factor as small as this one.
The Lenovo Yoga 9i supports not just charging via USB Type-C but also fast-charging via the power brick charger the machine is bundled with (or other high-performance USB type-C chargers).
Is it worth it?
The Lenovo Yoga 9i is the convertible 2-in-1 for those whom high-end specs are just table stakes. If you take this laptop and compare it to the alternatives, you’ll inevitably find a lot of overlap when it comes to processors, built-in storage, RAM and screen quality. The PC market is just like that.
On the other hand, the tangible inclusions here like the garaged stylus, the exceptional battery life, ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and the soundbar hinge work to set the Lenovo Yoga 9i apart from other 2-in-1 convertibles. The differences shine through here and serve to make this machine the obvious option for those who want to see what a more advanced or mature 2-in-1 laptop looks like.