Lenovo Yoga 9i Review - Luxury laptop packing performance and versatility

We were able to use the premium Lenovo Yoga 9i laptop for a while. Today, we have the full review for it. Were we impressed? Read on to find out!
Lenovo Yoga 9i Review - Luxury laptop packing performance and versatility
Lenovo Yoga 9i Review

As a quick overview, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is a 2-in-1 premium laptop with a 14-inch FHD IPS touch screen, 11th Geb Intel Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 60WHr battery.4 with Rapid Charge Express technology.

Unboxing/Accessories

The Lenovo Yoga 9i has a pretty box
The Lenovo Yoga 9i has a pretty box

The Lenovo Yoga 9i came in a brown cardboard box with Lenovo branding and information about the specs. Inside, it has a more premium box with a grey finish. Opening that box, it contains the laptop itself and some paperwork.
What's in the box?
What's in the box?

The cardboard box has a compartment housing the 65W USB-C power brick and the power cord. Lenovo also included a 3-in-1 USB-C hub.

Build Quality/Design

It has European Leather on its cover
It has European Leather on its cover

The Lenovo Yoga 9i is as premium as it can get. It has a European leather material for its cover that is smooth to the touch. The chassis is made out of precision-machined, aerospace-grade aluminum. Lenovo said that each Yoga 9i model goes under a 20-step inspection process before being approved for distribution. It is said to be tested to endure everyday wear and tear that includes UV light exposure and tension.
It has a slim and streamlined look all-around
It has a slim and streamlined look all-around

The screen has minimal bezels all-around for a more streamlined look. It also features a rotating soundbar along its hinge to accompany the 2-in-1 capabilities. It has a low-profile keyboard that is comfortable for typing. The large touchpad is precise and responsive as well. It also has a dedicated ultrasonic fingerprint sensor along with a 720p HD webcam for Windows Hello.
The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is responsive and snappy as well. I prefer using it rather than the Windows Hello facial recognition feature.
Here are all the I/O ports
Here are all the I/O ports

For the ports, everything is found on the left-hand side. It has a 1X USB-A port, 2X USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Two notable ports missing are the Ethernet port and SD card slot. With the aforementioned USB-C 3-in-1 hub, you just get another USB-A port, an HDMI port, and a VGA port.

Underneath, there is a substantial amount of vents for cooling the laptop. It does not get that warm when under load. If you do push it to its limit with some AAA games or heavy video editing, it does get hot.
You can lie it flat for collaborations
You can lie it flat for collaborations
Tent mode for multimedia
Tent mode for multimedia
Tablet mode
Tablet mode

Of course, as with any 2-in-1 laptop, you can use this in multiple configurations including the traditional clamshell laptop mode, flat mode, tablet mode, and tent mode for collaborations and multimedia.
The keyboard and large touchpad
The keyboard and large touchpad

The keyboard is worth highlighting as well. The chiclet-style low-profile keys provide a great typing experience. It has tactile feedback but still manages to keep it relatively quiet. It is also backlit if you need to work in dimly lit areas.

Overall, the build quality and design are superb for a premium laptop. However, the omission of the Ethernet and SD card slot may be a deal-breaker to some. It could be remedied by third-party dongles but still, it could be better if it was included.

Multimedia Experience

Great FHD screen with DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision
Great FHD screen with DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision

The Lenovo Yoga 9i features a 14-inch IPS screen with up to a 3840 x 2160 UHD resolution. What we got to use was the 1920 x 1080 FHD resolution variant. It features VESA DisplayHDR 400, 500 nits, 90 percent DCI-P3 color gamut, and Dolby Vision support. It also has Super Resolution 2.0 that uses machine learning to automatically upscale content from 1080p to 4K. It only goes up to 60Hz though.

Since this is an IPS panel, viewing angles are great. The 500 nits brightness is good enough for indoor use but with sunlight or outdoor use, it still struggles a bit. HDR content is a feast for the eyes here with VESA DisplayHDR. Some content creation can also be achieved here with the good color accuracy it has.
It has stylus support too
It has stylus support too

It also has touch capability with support for the Lenovo Integrated Pen. With this, you can do some creative graphic work as well as do fast notetaking if you don't have a chance to use the keyboard. Using it with the free sketch app Medibang Pro, we were able to do some art and text graffiti. It came clear to us that talent is still needed to produce a worthy art piece though. Kidding aside, we were happy with the stylus performance overall.
Rotating Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
Rotating Soundbar with Dolby Atmos

For audio, it has a Rotating Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos support. The soundbar delivers great audio in both tablet and laptop modes. It delivers clear sounds with deep bass. In movies, Dolby Atmos was able to improve our immersion with the emulated surround sound it provides. In total, there are 4 speakers with 2 Woofers and 2 Tweeters.

The built-in microphone along with the 1MP HD webcam is also decent. It performed well for our tests in Zoom, Messenger, and Discord calls. As expected, photos from the webcam are grainy and have dull colors. This is pretty common in laptop webcams. A privacy shutter is included for the webcam as well.

Performance

It packs a great deal of performance as well
It packs a great deal of performance as well

The Lenovo Yoga 9i features the 10nm 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 quad-core processor with a base frequency of 3.0GHz and a max turbo frequency of 4.80GHz. It also has Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 1TB of m.2 SSD storage, and a 60WHr battery with 65W Rapid Charge Express.

We used it mainly for our daily tasks of writing, web browsing, YouTube, Spotify, and some light Photoshop. It was able to provide a smooth and responsive performance even with multiple apps open. You can also open multiple Chrome tabs at once without worrying about running out of memory due to its ample 16GB of RAM.

It can also do some light gaming on the side. Most of the esports titles such as League of Legends, CS:GO, and Valorant can provide a 60fps experience with a mix of High and Medium settings. However, when we tried some triple AAA titles, the frames start to chug. Even the relatively older GTA V only managed a choppy 45 fps performance on normal graphics settings. This is due to the lack of a dedicated discrete GPU. If you can accept a locked 30fps experience for some older AAA titles then yes you can play some.

Lenovo said that it features a dual-fan and pipe design for thermal management. On full load, especially when gaming, it tends to get a bit hot. Enough to be uncomfortable when used on your lap. If you plan on playing or some intensive work, we highly suggest tabletop usage. You can press Fn + Q to ramp up fan rotations for better cooling as well. 

When we tested real usage battery life, we managed to get around 8 hours with max brightness and 75 percent volume on speakers. We were using it while working on some of our articles and listening to music. Photoshop is always running in the background as well. So, overall impressive battery life. Note that we changed the power profile to High Performance as well. You can squeeze out more battery life at the expense of performance if you choose the Balanced power plan.

The 65W Rapid Charge Express will be able to charge it from 10 percent to 100 percent in just around 45 to 50 minutes. 

There are other efficiency features as well such as Modern standby mode which enables sync for critical Windows update even in sleep mode. This also allows for instant wake-up when you open the laptop. It does not drain the battery as it uses low power to maintain this standby feature.

There's the Glance by Mirametrix AI-powered attention-sensing software that blurs on-screen content when users are not looking at the screen.

Overall, we enjoyed our experience with the Lenovo Yoga 9i. It maintained a good and responsive performance with every task we threw at it. The only place we can see room for improvement in thermal management. 

For a slim and light laptop, this is already impressive, don't get us wrong. The 65W Rapid Charge Express is the main culprit for the heat being unbearable. Using it while charging, the heat seeps through to the keyboard as well. It is worth noting that we did not feel any performance throttling though. Kudos to Lenovo for that!

The Lenovo Yoga 9i comes with Windows 10 Home. We are almost sure that it will be in line for a FREE upgrade to Windows 11 Home but we have to confirm that with Lenovo. It also comes with FREE Microsoft Office Home and Student.

Pros - Premium build and design, great screen with touch, good sounding speakers, no-compromise performance, 65W Rapid Charge Express via USB-C, stylus included, versatile modes
Cons - Too high temp when charging, I/O ports are lacking, no dedicated GPU

Lenovo Yoga 9i Specs

Display: 14-inch IPS touch screen w/ FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 157 ppi
CPU: 4.80GHz 10nm 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 quad-core processor
GPU: Intel Iris Xe graphics
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 1TB M.2 SSD
Selfie Camera: 1MP w/ TrueBlock privacy shutter
Battery: 60WHr w/ 65W Rapid Charge Express technology
OS: Windows 10 Home
Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 1X USB-A 3.1 Gen2, 2X USB-C Thunderbolt 4.0 port w/ DisplayPort and Power Delivery, 3.5mm headphone jack
Others: Side-mounted power button, 360-degree Hinge, backlit keyboard, built-in microphone, quad-speaker Rotating Soundbar w/ Dolby Audio, USB-C, Colors: Shadow Black with Leather Cover
Dimensions: 319.5 x 216.7 x 15.3 mm
Weight: 1.44 kg
Price: PHP 99,995

Verdict

Lenovo markets the Yoga 9i as a "Luxury Laptop". For the PHP 99.995 price tag, it shows.

The European Leather, all-aluminum chassis, and slim bezels give it a premium yet streamlined look. It also has a powerful CPU, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 1TB M.2 storage, long battery life, and fast charging.

The only thing left to improve is the thermal management, I/O ports, and maybe a discrete GPU.

Overall, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is a good option for a work laptop with some performance to spare for the occasional light gaming. It is a modern laptop with up-to-date features such as WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt 4.0.

Build/Design - 4.75
Multimedia Experience - 4.5
Performance - 4.25
Average - 4.5/5
Lenovo Yoga 9i Review - Luxury laptop packing performance and versatility Lenovo Yoga 9i Review - Luxury laptop packing performance and versatility Reviewed by Telenor Editorial on December 05, 2021 Rating: 5

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