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Lenovo Slim 9i vs. Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7

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Lenovo offers one of the widest ranges of 14-inch laptops. Among its ThinkPad, Yoga, and Slim lines, you can choose from a variety of different price points and features. The Slim 9i is the company’s high-end consumer clamshell laptop, and the Yoga 9i is its top-of-the-line 360-degree convertible 2-in-1.

They are different laptops but they share the same DNA. In particular, they benefit from the same new rounded design that debuted on the Yoga 9i Gen 7, which is both beautiful and comfortable to hold. Is the 2-in-1 flexibility of Yoga the only thing to do? This is what we will see here.

Specifications

Lenovo Slim 9i Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
Dimensions 12.40 inches by 8.44 inches by 0.59 inches 12.52 inches x 9.06 inches x 0.65 inches
lester 3.02 pounds 3.26 pounds
Processor Intel Core i7-1280P Intel Core i5-1240P
Intel Core i7-1260P
Chart Intel Iris Xe Intel Iris Xe
RAM 32 GB 8 GB
16 GB
Display 14.0 inch 16:10 UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED 14.0 inch 16:10 FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS
14.0 inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED
14 inch 16:10 UHD+ IPS
Storage 512 GB solid state drive
1TB SSD
512 GB SSD
1TB SSD
To touch Yes Yes
Ports 3 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
2 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4
1 USB-C 3.2 port
1 USB-A 3.2 port
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
webcam 1080p with infrared camera for Windows Hello 1080p with infrared camera for Windows Hello
Operating system Windows 11 Windows 11
Battery 75 watt hour 75 watt hour
Price $1,760+ $1,000+
Evaluation 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Prices and configurations

To be frank, Lenovo’s pricing can be confusing and changes often. As of this writing, the Slim 9i starts at a premium price of $1,760 for a Core i7-1280P CPU, 32GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch UHD+ OLED display. Increase that configuration to 1TB and you’ll pay $380 more, to $2,140.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 starts at $1,000 for a Core i7-1260P, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch FHD+ IPS display. The same configuration with OLED costs almost $900 more, at $1,880. There are other configurations in between, including 1GB SSD and 2.8K IPS options. The entry-level price is in the mid-range, but beyond that you are going to spend a higher amount.

Design

Lenovo introduced a new aesthetic with the Yoga 9i Gen 7, shifting from a traditional design with sharp angles to a rounded design highlighted by tasteful chrome. It’s both a sleek aesthetic and a comfortable feel, especially in tablet mode. Speaking of which, the Yoga is a 360-degree convertible supporting four modes: clamshell, tent, media, and tablet. The laptop’s all-aluminum build quality is unmatched among Windows laptops, and its hinge opens with one hand while holding the screen firmly in place in every mode.

The Slim 9i is a clamshell version sporting the same beautiful and comfortable design. It is also solidly built with an excellent hinge. But the Slim 9i is not identical to the Yoga 9i. Its lid is covered in frosted glass, adding density and an ultra-smooth surface that ups the elegance factor. They’re both good-looking laptops, but the clamshell has a slight edge.

Both laptops use Lenovo’s reverse notch at the top of the display to house webcams and 1080p infrared cameras, as well as microphones that contribute to superb video conferencing experiences. Windows 11 Hello passwordless sign-in is provided by facial recognition using the IR camera, and Lenovo’s Zero Touch lockout and sign-in are supported on every machine. This feature locks laptops and puts them to sleep when users leave and wakes them when users return.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 has more convenient connectivity than the Slim 9i, with USB-A ports for legacy devices. Both use the latest wireless standard.

Finally, you’ll find essentially the same keyboard and touchpad on both laptops. It’s a solid offering, with plenty of spacing and large keys, and a light, fast switch that’s not as deep as the best keyboards in the Dell XPS and HP Specter ranges. The touchpads are the same size and offer a precise surface and quiet, safe buttons. Both laptops have touchscreens, while the Yoga 9i Slim 7 also supports Lenovo’s Active Pen.

Performance

Lenovo Slim 9i side view showing lid and ports.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Slim 9i and Yoga 9i Gen 7 are built around 28-watt 12th-gen Intel processors. The clamshell is limited to the 14-core/20-thread Core i7-1280P running up to 4.8GHz, while the 2-in-1 offers a choice of the 12-core/16-thread Core i5-1240P up to 4.4 GHz and the Core i7-1260P running up to 4.7 GHz.

Both laptops achieved similar scores in Geekbench 5 and our Handbrake test which encodes a 420MB video in H.265. The Slim 9i was significantly faster in the Cinebench R23 benchmark, thanks to more cores and threads and a higher clocked CPU. We used Lenovo’s Thermal Management Utility to test balanced and performance modes, and both results are in the table.

They are fast productivity machines that can handle the most demanding workflows. Neither is particularly fast for demanding creative tasks, mainly due to the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics card. Gaming isn’t the laptop’s strength either.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Geek Bench 5
(single / multiple)
Balance: 1,720 / 10,115
Performance: 1,726 / 11,074
Balance: / 1,717 / 9,231
Performance: / 1,712 / 10,241
Hand brake
(seconds)
Ball: 114
Performance: 95
Ball: 130
Performance: 101
Cinebench R23
(single / multiple)
Balance: 1,795 / 9,467
Performance: 1,824 / 11,301
Balance: 1,626 / 7,210
Performance: 1,723 / 8,979

Display and audio

The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7 laptop sits on a small desk folded up like a tent.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Yoga 9i supports more display options than the Slim 9i, which comes with “only” a 14-inch 16:10 UHD+ OLED display. The 2-in-1 also offers FHD+ and 2.8K IPS panels, which promise better battery life.

We tested both laptops with OLED panels, and they delivered nearly identical quality according to our colorimeter. You can’t go wrong either, thanks to broad and accurate colours, good brightness and deep contrast delivering inky blacks. Whether you’re doing productivity work, editing photos and videos (performance aside), or consuming high dynamic range (HDR) video, you’ll find both laptops to deliver spectacular experiences.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(OLED)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(OLED)
Brightness
(nits)
389 406
AdobeRGB Range 95% 95%
sRGB gamut 100% 100%
Precision
(DeltaE, lower is better)
0.89 0.87
Contrast ratio 24 310:1 28 380:1

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 incorporates the same rotating soundbar that Lenovo introduced to the 2-in-1 a few years ago. It incorporates two tweeters and two 3-watt woofers, providing quality sound regardless of the mode it is in. It’s not as good as expected, with some distortion at higher volume. But it was slightly better than the Slim 9i’s quad-speaker setup.

Portability

Lenovo Yoga 9i connectivity features including one USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, two USB-C 4 ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Slim 9i is slightly shallower than the Yoga 9i Gen 7, while being a little thinner and lighter. Both are nicely sized 14-inch laptops that will slip easily into a backpack.

Both of our review machines came with 75-watt-hour batteries, and both were built around power-hungry OLED displays. The Slim 9i lasted almost three hours less in our web browsing battery test, which was surprising given the nearly identical score in the PCMark 10 Applications test. Lower battery life was to be expected given the extra cores running at a higher clock rate, but the clamshell’s battery life when browsing the web was surprising. Both laptops took around 14.5 hours in our local video test – another surprise, considering the Slim 9i’s higher resolution UHD+ display.

The PCMark 10 test is a good indication of battery life running a typical productivity workflow, and depending on the results here, either laptop may be approaching workday longevity. . However, for more demanding users, both laptops will need their power adapters handy.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
web browsing 6 hours, 28 minutes 9 hours, 10 minutes
Video 12 hours, 36 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes
PCMark 10 Apps 8 hours, 10 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes

Clamshell or 2-in-1, take your pick

The Lenovo Slim 9i and Yoga 9i Gen 7 are two of the best 14-inch laptops you can buy. The Clamshell is slightly faster but has less battery life, while the 2-in-1 sounds slightly better and is a bit thicker and heavier.

The biggest difference is the price, with the Yoga 9i Gen 7 offering a significantly lower entry-level price. That’s important, but if you want a great clamshell machine, the Slim 9i won’t disappoint either.

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