Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch) review: High-quality 2-in-1 with 4K display and great audio Review

Convertible two-in-one laptops with 360-degree rotating screens are typical sufficient these days, but Lenovo’s Yoga 9i is a foremost example. It arrives in 14-inch and fifteen-inch measurements, with the fifteen-inch design starting up at an eye-watering £1,899.99 (inc. VAT). My review device was a 14-inch model which begins at a much more pocket friendly £1,299.99 (inc. VAT). In the US, the starting up value for the 14-inch Yoga 9i is $one,099.99.

There are several configurations readily available in the United kingdom and I was despatched 1 with an 11th-generation Main i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, sporting an optional leather include on the lid and a tempered glass wrist rest and touchpad. This prices a hefty £1,599.99 — but is it well worth the outlay? 

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The 14-inch Yoga 9i is readily available in Mica (earlier mentioned) or Shadow Black (best), with genuine leather cladding on the lid and a tempered glass wrist rest, haptic touchpad and ultrasonic fingerprint reader.


Images: Lenovo

Let’s begin with that leather-clad lid. This is the Shadow Black solution on the 14-inch design, and it really is genuine rather than fake leather, which may not be universally preferred. Lenovo’s press release notes that the leather is responsibly sourced, but for me it does not belong on a laptop. A different point  well worth noting about the leather: keys, sharp objects and even fingernails can scuff and scar it, so its pristine out-of-box search may well not final extended. 

With or without the need of leather cladding, the Yoga 9i has a substantial-top quality and quite tough metal chassis. I discovered it unachievable to bow the lid in my palms much more than a fraction, and the base is similarly strong. The lid is quite thick, and this is in significant part responsible for the sixteen.5mm depth measurement at the thickest part (the again), which tapers to fifteen.3mm at the entrance.  The desktop footprint of 210.9mm by 318.4mm is moderately compact. 

The 14-inch Yoga 9i has a starting up bodyweight of one.35kg, which is a touch heavier than the thirteen.5-inch HP Elite Folio two-in-1 I recently reviewed (one.32kg). People who choose for the leather-clad edition will doubtless increase further bodyweight with a protecting sleeve for that important bespoke material. 

There are two display options. My review device experienced a 4K (3,840 x two,160) IPS touchscreen that was sharp, distinct and brilliant. It has a remarkably reflective complete, 500 nits of brightness, DisplayHDR 400 certification and ninety% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. The two most inexpensive configurations have FHD (one,920 x one,080) screens, which best out at 400 nits of brightness. 

Major ZDNET Critiques

The display sits in somewhat slim bezels, with home for a 720p webcam, which has a sliding privacy include but does not support Home windows Good day, at the best. The base bezel is a tiny much larger than ordinary for laptops these days, but when the Yoga 9i is flipped into pill mode it presents a acceptable grip spot when the product is held in the criminal of an arm. On the other hand, the Yoga 9i’s bodyweight and over-all sizing tends to make this a a lot less at ease encounter than you’d get with a removable two-in-one. 

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The Rotating Audio Bar in the hinge homes 4 speakers, and provides substantial-top quality audio in laptop, tent and pill modes.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

A key function of the Yoga 9i is the Rotating Audio Bar that is developed into the display hinge mechanism. It’s intelligent thought, mainly because it means seem flows outwards in the direction of the person irrespective of no matter if the Yoga 9i is being utilized in laptop, tent or pill mode — in the latter orientation the speaker sits facing outwards together 1 extended edge. There are 4 speakers — two subwoofers and two tweeters — which pump out superb-top quality seem. You will find a lot of bass, and no distortion even at best volume. The subtleties of orchestral audio reproduce properly, and spoken term content material also arrives throughout properly. If only all laptop makers took a tip from Lenovo. 

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The bundled stylus has a ‘garage’ on the laptop chassis.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Yoga 9i consists of a stylus as standard. Limited in duration and slim in circumference, it really is a lot less grippy than some, and not anyone will discover it straightforward to use. On the plus aspect, it has a housing on the chassis and so need to be harder to mislay. That said, the housing is a tiny awkward to get at, being on the again appropriate edge of the base portion. When doing work in laptop mode you can expect to require to lift the Yoga off a desk to get at the stylus housing, despite the fact that it really is a lot much more obtainable in tent and pill modes. 

The keyboard is a pleasure to style on. The significant, pot-bellied keys have a agency motion, and emit a mixture of ‘thunk’ and ‘click’, neither of which is significantly loud. The lessen fifty percent of the Enter key is a tiny narrower than I might like, but there is no difficulty if you aim for the higher fifty percent. 

The tempered glass wrist rest and touchpad on my Shadow Black review device is just not on each and every 14-inch Yoga 9i design — just these which also have the leather lid. It seems to be rather pleasant and is surely a welcome visual modify from the much more usual wrist rest and touchpad spot. I’ve found very similar on Asus laptops with an more display under glass, these types of as the Zenbook Duo 14. Below, the obsidian black complete is visually startling — despite the fact that despite Lenovo’s assertion that it has a fingerprint-resistant coating, I discovered it attracted fingerprints conveniently and expected typical cleansing.   

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The tempered glass wrist rest on Shadow Black versions has a haptic touchpad and an ultrasonic fingerprint reader in the best-appropriate corner. The etched corners delineating these features are tough to see, and the glass surface is prone to amassing fingerprints.


Image: Lenovo

The fingerprint sensor developed into the higher appropriate corner has an etched, shiny and reflective border, but I discovered that quite challenging to see without the need of shifting all around to get the mild to hit the border just appropriate, and it was near-unachievable to locate by touch on your own. Lenovo is obviously mindful of this, as a sticker points out its place. The fingerprint sensor is ultrasonic and will recognise digits that are damp — or, states Lenovo in a nod to latest occasions, freshly sanitised. 

The touchpad also has an etched, shiny and reflective border, which is also challenging to see, despite the fact that it really is not as tough to locate as the fingerprint sensor. 

Because it are unable to transfer to accept urgent of the left and appropriate clickable regions, the touchpad provides haptic responses alternatively. Lenovo finds a constructive listed here, declaring that the clickable spot has been amplified by nearly fifty percent, and in fact left and appropriate clicks can be created a bit further in the direction of the centre of the touchpad than usual. But the haptic responses occurs any where the touchpad is pressed, and this left me puzzled as to no matter if I might created a left or appropriate button press. Because the border of the touchpad is tough to discover, this was frustrating until I developed an automatic mini-sweep in from the base edge of the chassis ahead of urgent. This is not just an ergonomic solution as it negated the further clickable spot.  

My Shadow Black review device, like all the readily available pre-configured options, ran on Home windows 10 Household, despite the fact that Home windows 10 Professional is also readily available. It experienced an 11th generation Intel Main i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD together with its 4K (3840 x 2160) display. This design retails for £1,599.99 (inc. VAT).  

The entry-degree configuration has a standard chassis (no leather or tempered glass), a Main i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and and FHD (one,920 x one,080) display for £1,299.99 (inc. VAT). The best-finish Shadow Black (leather and tempered glass) design has a Main i7-1185G7, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 4K display, and prices £1,799.99 (inc. VAT). 

While it may not be the similar for each and every configuration, I discovered that the Yoga 9i ran a tiny heat even when idling, and the heat from the underside was recognizable when doing work with it sitting down on my lap. 

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Yoga 9i ports: USB-A 3.one, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm combo audio in/out.


Image: Lenovo

Lenovo equips the 14-inch Yoga 9i with a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, 1 of which will be occupied when it really is charging, and a solitary USB-A port, together with a 3.5mm combo audio in/out jack. These are all ranged together the left edge. For wireless connectivity, there is Bluetooth 5.one and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). 

The battery daily life on my 4K review device was not the finest — but that is normally the trade-off for substantial-resolution screens. Performing for 3 hours in a standard session such as streaming audio and doing work into internet apps, the battery fell from one hundred% to 58%, suggesting battery daily life of all around 7 hours. For the history, Lenovo promises nine hours for the 4K design and 18 hours for the FHD design. 

Luckily rapidly charging is spectacular. On 1 event with the battery at 25%, a fifteen-minute cost elevated it to 38% following fifty percent an hour it was at fifty three%, and following forty five minutes it experienced arrived at sixty nine%.

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The 14-inch Yoga 9i in laptop, tent, presentation and pill modes.


Image: Lenovo

Conclusions 

Lenovo’s 14-inch Yoga 9i has a superb 4K display and superb speakers that established a substantial bar substantial for other laptop-makers. Establish top quality is solid, and there are a lot of configurations on supply. If the leather-clad Shadow Black solution does not appeal, you can expect to have to forego the tempered glass wrist rest, touchpad and fingerprint sensor, but that is no wonderful reduction. Specifying an FHD display may well enhance battery daily life — but if you make all these sacrifices, it may well be well worth searching at much more inexpensive versions in the Yoga array.

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