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

Lenovo has one of the widest ranges of 14-inch laptops around. Among its ThinkPad, Yoga, and Slim lineups, you can choose from a variety of different prices and features. The Slim 9i is the company’s premium consumer clamshell laptop, and the Yoga 9i is its premium 360-degree convertible 2-in-1.

They’re different laptops but they share the same DNA. In particular, they enjoy the same new rounded design that debuted on the Yoga 9i Gen 7, which is both gorgeous and comfortable to hold. Is the Yoga’s 2-in-1 flexibility the only thing going for it? That’s what we’ll look at here.

Specs

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
Weight 3.02 pounds 3.26 pounds
Processor Intel Core i7-1280P Intel Core i5-1240P
Intel Core i7-1260P
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Intel Iris Xe
RAM 32GB 8GB
16 GB
Display 14.0-inch 16:10 UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED 14.0-inch 16:10 FHD+ (1,920 x 1,200) IPS
14.0-inch 16:10 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED
14.o-inch 16:10 UHD+ IPS
Storage 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
1TB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
Touch Yes Yes
Ports 3 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2
1 x USB-A 3.2
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-hours 75 watt-hours
Price $1,760+ $1,000+
Rating 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Price and configurations

To be frank, Lenovo’s pricing can be confusing, and it changes often. At the time of writing, the Slim 9i starts at a premium price of $1,760 for a Core i7-1280P CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch UHD+ OLED display. Up that configuration to a 1TB and you’ll pay a whopping $380 more, at $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 midrange, but beyond that, you’re going to spend a premium amount.

Design

Lenovo introduced a new aesthetic with the Yoga 9i Gen 7, migrating from a traditional design with sharp angles to a rounded design that’s highlighted in tasteful chrome. It’s both an elegant aesthetic and provides a comfortable feel, particularly when 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 second to none among Windows laptops, and its hinge opens with one hand while holding the display firmly in place in each mode.

The Slim 9i is a clamshell version sporting the same gorgeous and comfortable design. It, too, is solidly built with an excellent hinge. But the Slim 9i isn’t identical to the Yoga 9i. Its lid is covered in frosted glass, adding some density and an ultrasmooth surface that ups the elegance factor. These are both beautiful laptops, but the clamshell has a slight advantage.

Both laptops use Lenovo’s reverse notch at the top of the display to house 1080p webcams and infrared cameras, along with microphones that contribute to great videoconferencing experiences. Windows 11 Hello passwordless login is provided by facial recognition thanks to the IR camera, and Lenovo’s Zero Touch Lock and Login are supported on each machine. This feature locks the laptops and puts them to sleep when users walk away and wakes them up 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 keycaps, and a light, snappy switch that’s not as deep as the better keyboards on Dell’s XPS and HP’s Specter lines. The touchpads are the same size and offer a precise surface and quiet, confident buttons. Both laptops have touch displays, while the Yoga 9i Slim 7 also supports Lenovo’s active pen.

performances

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 Intel 12th-gen CPUs. The clamshell is limited to the 14-core/20-thread Core i7-1280P running at up to 4.8 GHz, while the 2-in-1 offers a choice between the 12-core/16-thread Core i5-1240P at up to 4.4GHz and the Core i7-1260P running at up to 4.7GHz.

The two laptops scored similarly in Geekbench 5 and our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as 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.

These are fast productivity machines that can handle the most demanding workflows. Neither is particularly fast at demanding creativity tasks, mainly because of the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics. Gaming is also neither laptop’s strength.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Geekbench 5
(single / multi)
Ball: 1,720 / 10,115
Perf: 1.726 / 11.074
Prom: / 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: / 1,712 / 10,241
Handbrake
(seconds)
Ball: 114
Perf: 95
Ball: 130
Perf: 101
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
Ball: 1,795 / 9,467
Perf: 1,824 / 11,301
Ball: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1.723 / 8.979

Display and audio

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

The Yoga 9i supports more display options than the Slim 9i, which comes with “just” 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 provided almost identical quality according to our colorimeter. You can’t go wrong with either, thanks to wide and accurate colors, good brightness, and deep contrast providing inky blacks. Whether you’re doing productivity work, editing photos and video (performance aside), or consuming high dynamic range (HDR) video, you’ll find both laptops to offer spectacular experiences.

Lenovo Slim 9i
(OLED)
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(OLED)
Brightness
(nits)
389 406
AdobeRGB gamut 95% 95%
sRGB gamut 100% 100%
Accuracy
(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 on the 2-in-1 a few years ago. It packs in two tweeters and two 3-watt woofers, providing quality sound no matter which mode it’s in. It’s not as good as we expected, with some distortion at higher volumes. But it was slightly better than the four-speaker setup in the Slim 9i.

Portability

Lenovo Yoga 9i connectivity features including a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a 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 bit thinner and lighter. Both are nicely sized 14-inch laptops that will fit easily into a backpack.

Both of our review machines were equipped with 75-watt-hour batteries, and both were built around power-hungry OLED displays. The Slim 9i lasted for almost three hours less in our web browsing battery test, which was surprising given the almost identical score in the PCMark 10 Applications test. Less battery life was to be expected given the extra cores running at a higher clock rate, but the clamshell’s battery life when web browsing was surprising. Both laptops came in around 14.5 hours on our local video test — another surprise, given 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 according to the results here, either laptop can approach a working day’s longevity. However, for more demanding users, both laptops will need their handy power adapters.

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 Applications 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 gets less battery life, while the 2-in-1 has slightly better sound and is a bit thicker and heavier.

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

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