Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: two-minute review
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 comes from a respectable pedigree. Its predecessor received a perfect score last year, and there really was nothing quite like it available on the market.
Everything from the design, performance, display and battery life to feature set just oozed excellence. Buyers with expendable cash who wanted a hybrid laptop/tablet solution had to look no further.
For the next generation of the Yoga 9i, Lenovo manages to improve on nearly everything that made the Yoga 9i Gen 6 an easy entrant into our best 2-in-1 laptop list last year. And while it makes some questionable side steps this go around, that doesn't keep it from being possibly the best laptop for most people who just need a 2-in-1 laptop that performs well, is a breeze to use, and simply looks fantastic.
The Yoga 9i features a 12th-Gen Intel Core i7 and other hardware updates that is more than enough for general computing tasks. On a visual/audio front, the 1800p, 16:10 OLED touch display comes with Dolby Vision alongside Dolby Atmos-compatible Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
Watching YouTube videos or Netflix movies look and sound like top-tier experiences. Not to mention a 1080p web camera that can detect contextual commands from when users walk away or get in front of it. All of this is packed into a device that’s literally less than four pounds. Closed or open like a tablet, the latest Yoga 9i literally still manages to be as thin as a dime as well.
Everything about Lenovo’s new 2-in-1 device screams quality when either using it as a laptop or in tablet mode. Even the included stylus pen has some useful purposes and customizability thanks to the Lenovo Vantage app which handles maintenance duties amongst other capabilities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any issues potential buyers may have with the Yoga 9i though.
Regardless of 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 provides. Meanwhile, certain standards like an SD card slot are missing and the fan can run loud despite never running hot on the lap. Though the battery life is good, the Yoga 9i Gen 7 doesn’t come close to providing 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 more than an admirable job with the Yoga 9i Gen 7 despite a few minor caveats. From general computing and media consumption to tasks like light photo editing, the 2-in-1 laptop offers a quality experience that adequately expands upon its versatility even more.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: price and availability
- How much does it cost? Starting at $899 / £1,499 (about AU$2,655)
- When is it out? It is available now in the US and UK
- Where can you get it? Available in US and UK, Australia availability not announced
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 is available now in the US and UK, starting at $899 and £1,499. We have reached out to Lenovo about Australia pricing and availability and will update this review if we hear back 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 touch display with Dolby Vision.
The starting configuration in the UK 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-nit display with HDR500 certification and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage.
The configuration as reviewed is a Best Buy exclusive configuration in the US, which is set to go on sale in June 2022 for $1,729. You can see our Lenovo coupon codes page for this month's best discounts at the official store.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: design
- Balances premium design with functionality
- Keyboard layout is ergonomic and intuitive
- Audio/Visual package is top tier
Despite all the praise in our last Lenovo Yoga 9i review, one thing that didn’t work in its favor was the fairly vanilla design. It was a good looking laptop, but the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 9i Gen 7 takes it to the next level. There’s something gorgeous about the rounded design and how it fits into every aspect of the 2-in-1.
Here is the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 12th-Gen Core i7-1260P processor
Graphics: 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 | 1.4kg
Size (W x D x H): 12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 ins (318 x 230 x 15.25 mm)
Whether using the Yoga 9i Gen 7 like 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 regardless of how its positioned. Again, between the lightweight and thin frame, it’s surprising how much is stuffed in this package.
The Yoga 9i Gen 7’s keyboard layout is one of the best available in the 2-in-1 segment. For short Twitter bursts or long editorial writing sessions, there’s a tactile response to keystrokes that feels good and isn’t necessarily loud either. Lenovo describes the keyboard as leveraging its “soft landing” switches for those comfortable results.
The dual-purpose function keys are intuitive enough to utilize including the function key lock on/off button. As an added bonus, the keyboard also has some quick keys for switching between performance modes, audio profiles, display profiles and blurring out the background during video calls underneath a handy fingerprint reader. Lenovo also made the touchpad 45 percent larger than the previous generation’s.
That immersion is enhanced through the Dolby Atmos-compatible Bowers & Wilkins speakers which are attached to the display. The soundbar like speaker under the display features two tweeters and the bottom keyboard half have two woofers. Folded like a tablet or open laptop style, these speakers sound phenomenal.
For some general laptop users, the 16:10 aspect ratio may be a bit off putting at first but it makes absolute sense due to the hybrid nature of the Yogi 9i. Beyond that is a lovely OLED display regardless of which option you use.
The 2.8K display features 400-nits of brightness and makes sure images can be seen inside a dark room or outside in the sun. Add Dolby Vision compatibility into the mix and visuals when watching Disney+ or Netflix films in addition to other video content looks fantastic.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7: performance
- Laptop and tablet mode performance is brisk
- Fan can get a bit noisy
For general computing tasks like web browsing, video watching, word processing and the likes, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 9i Gen 7 can handle that without problem. Be mindful that the internal fans can get a bit loud even when under menial processing tasks.
Though the fans don’t become a hinderance to the awesome speakers, they can be a bit intrusive. During a week of testing, the Yoga 9i managed to handle various workloads like photo editing, 4K video on YouTube, and Netflix worked flawlessly.
Here is how the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 7,244
3DMark Time Spy: 1,736 Fire Strike: 4,440 Night Raid: 15,876
GeekBench 5: (single-core) 1,758; (multi-core) 9,650
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 5,764
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 8 hours and two minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 9 hours and 51 minutes
Our benchmark tests were in line with expectations of performance. Cinebench R23 Multi-core test scored 7244 while GeekBench had a multi-core score of 9650. There wasn’t much noticeable slowdown and due to the PCIe 4.0 SSD, apps loaded fairly quickly.
The only time the device started to stutter was when attempting to try some gaming benchmarks. All of the 3DMark runs lent scores of 1736 for Time Spy, 4440 for Fire Strike and 15876 for Night Raid. More in line with general computing and tablet centered tasks, don’t expect the 2-1 device to do much gaming. Even at low settings at 1080p, the Yoga 9i averaged around 23 frames per second on Total War: Three Kingdoms.
When Lenovo designed the Yoga 9i Gen 7, it's clear that video conferencing played a factor in design decisions due to the Full HD camera and quick background blur option among others.
Using Zoom or other video conferencing software works really well on the 2-in-1 with clear image quality even under low lighting conditions. Considering who the Yoga 9i Gen 7 is for, buyers will find that the specs provide more than enough power. Whether using 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 isn’t as good as the Yoga 9i Gen 6
- Fast-charging feature gets you two hours of life with a 15-minute charge
Though we’re disappointed that the battery life on the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 9i Gen 7 isn’t as good as the Yoga 9i Gen 6, it’s still above average thanks to the upgraded 75WHr battery.
Both internal Windows 11 features and Lenovo Vantage do a great job in making sure battery management is efficient. In our PCMark 10 battery life test, the Yoga 9i Gen 7 lasted around eight hours and during our FHD video loop test, it topped out at almost 10 hours.
There’s even an upgrade to the Yoga 9i Gen 7’s rapid charge boost technology that gives two hours for just a 15-minute charge. This is more than enough for a bi-coastal trip on a plane or long train ride.
Should you buy a Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7?
Buy it if...
You want one of the best 2-in-1 hybrid laptops available
The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 remains a masterclass in 2-1 design from the wonderful build quality to thoughtful functionality.
You need a laptop with solid performance
General tasks like word processing, web browsing, visual/audio media consumption and video conferencing load and run like a breeze.
You require a significant feature set
Having Dolby Vision and Atmos makes sure the audio/visual package is rock solid. Meanwhile, the included stylus pen offers more usability.
Don't buy it if...
You need something a bit more affordable
Some may find the price of admission a bit too high for the Yoga 9i Gen 7.
You require an SD Card Slot
For how much the Yoga 9i Gen 7 cost alongside its form factor, an SD Card slot would have been nice.
You want a quieter fan
Even under menial tasks, the fan can become a bit noisy and intrusive
HP Elite Dragonfly G2
Similar in features and performance to the Yoga 9i Gen 7, the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 also features a separate HDMI port. Be mindful that it’s just as expensive so come with some deep pockets.
Read our full HP Elite Dragonfly G2 review
HP Envy x360 15 (2021)
Unlike many 2-in-1 laptops, this one allows for an AMD CPU and GPU combo configuration for performance that leans a little toward gaming.
Read our full HP Envy x360 15 (2021) review
Acer Spin 5 (2020)
Those turned off by the expensive price of 2-in-1 hybrids may find the Acer Spin 5 a better option though not as feature-rich as the other options.
Read our full Acer Spin 5 (2020) review
- First reviewed on May 2022