Lenovo Yoga 9i in the test: mobile travel cinema with lots of computing power

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Lenovo Yoga 9i in the test: Mobile travel cinema with lots of computer power and top sound

Cuts a fine figure, even as a laptop: the Lenovo Yoga 9i in its beautiful aluminum case simply looks smart.

© star / Christian Hensen

Lenovo has been building hybrid computers for years, which can be used either as a laptop or tablet. With the latest addition to the Yoga series, the versatile computer has been wrapped up in a really smart way for the first time. Unfortunately, the Yoga 9i still has weaknesses.

At first glance, a convertible looks like a good idea: a tablet and a laptop in just one device. But experience has shown that not many manufacturers manage to package this blend in an appealing and meaningful way. With the new one Lenovo Yoga 9i is it different: compared to its predecessor, the Chinese manufacturer has completely revised the case and made many small adjustments. You can feel it in everyday life, because the seventh generation of Yoga 9i is literally a round thing. It can be used as a notebook, tablet or simply as a stand-up display. The test shows where the device has its strengths and what is missing to make it the perfect companion in everyday life.

Really nice design

First of all: Yoga 9i is not square, it is round. Similar to what is known from older iPhones, such as the iPhone X, the edges of the case are rounded. Yoga especially benefits from this in tablet mode as it lies more naturally in the hand. The device uses a 14-inch OLED panel, possibly with a 4K resolution (3840 x 2400 pixels). The screen looks good, the colors are bright and the screen is razor sharp. The maximum brightness is 400 nits, which is equivalent to the current Macbook Air’s performance and is sufficient for everyday use.

The device of course supports touch control, as it must also function as a tablet without input peripherals. Two pens are available for the device, but there is no way to store them on the Yoga 9i itself – the risk of loss is therefore high. As is typical of glass screens, the OLED screen on the Yoga 9i is also highly reflective outdoors or in direct light. It is difficult to work outdoors. Tablets like the current iPad Air are a little easier to read under the same conditions.

Lenovo Yoga 9i in sunlight

As you can see, you see nothing: the glass pane of the Lenovo Yoga 9i takes revenge outdoors, with backlighting (as with most laptops) not much can be seen.

© star / Christian Hensen

Lenovo sets the tone

The Lenovo 9i is hard to beat when it comes to media playback. The hinge, which enables the various modes of folding the screen, is also part of the speaker system. Together with the sound experts from Bowers & Wilkins, Lenovo installed two tweeter speakers that, together with the two subwoofers at the bottom of the case, provide a powerful sound. The Lenovo 9i surpasses most Macbooks in this regard, and iPads even more. Rarely has the bass been as noticeable when played on a mobile device as with Yoga.

The rest of the hardware is impressive and up-to-date in every way. An energy-saving Intel Core i7 1260P is used as a processor, and the integrated Intel Iris XE graphics chip is used to compute the graphics. Coupled with 16 gigabytes of RAM and a terabyte of SSD storage, this results in a laptop that can easily handle most tasks. The device has difficulty with complex games, but the graphics performance is simply not enough. The two fans in the Yoga 9i rarely start up, but they can get annoying under high system load.

tablets or laptops

The device weighs a total of 1.4 kilos and can therefore be used on the go without any problems. But: Conventional tablets weigh only half as much. If you primarily want to use the Yoga 9i in this mode, you may be better served with another device. The same goes for endurance. While most tablets easily get through the day, Lenovo’s 75 Wh battery weakens after a few hours, depending on the load. The test ended after six hours of continuous viewing of high-resolution web videos. This is pretty weak, especially since the manufacturer talks about up to 20 hours, which the Lenovo 9i will hardly achieve in reality.

Lenovo Yoga 9i tablet

Simply fold the screen and the Lenovo Yoga 9i is a tablet. Of course, the keyboard is disabled in this mode to prevent incorrect entries.

© star / Christian Hensen

The device cuts a good figure like a computer, with a total of three USB-C ports (2x Thunderbolt 4) and a USB-A port, an adapter is not always necessary right away. The trackpad is huge and easy to use. Lenovo does not compromise when it comes to the keyboard, the keys are large enough and the typing feel is great. Only the special keys to switch between the energy-saving modes, a rather malfunctioning privacy filter, sound profiles and dark mode could be omitted by Lenovo in favor of other keys – they did not seem really useful in the test.

Lenovo Yoga 9i connector

On the left side there is a USB-A port and two USB-C ports in the Thunderbolt 4 standard, the device can be supplied with power via one of the ports.

© star / Christian Hensen

A slight annoyance awaits buyers after the initial installation: With trial versions of McAfee LiveSafe and Microsoft Office 2019, two comprehensive application collections are installed that should not have been installed on the device. McAfee in particular immediately attracted negative attention due to unsolicited update installations and the accompanying howling fans.

Conclusion: Lenovo Yoga 9i 2022

The new Lenovo Yoga 9ihas become a really nice device that is second to none, especially when it comes to media playback. The screen’s flexibility paired with the impressive sound makes the device a real multimedia bulwark. The Yoga 9i is fast enough for other work, the Intel processor is convincing across the board, especially as it theoretically ensures longer battery life. The system is hardly suitable for games.

In terms of endurance, however, the Yoga 9i showed clear weaknesses in the test. The battery melted mercilessly away during Netflix streams or YouTube videos with a medium screen brightness, and more than six hours could not be achieved. However, it could also be because programs like McAfee stole resources in the background without being asked. Lenovo would, like any other Windows laptop maker, do itself a favor by uninstalling unwanted trial versions.

Laptops tend to overheat due to rising temperatures.  A piggy bank can help with that.

To startest unit costs 1999 euros at the time of this review, the cheapest entry is 1779 euros. And that’s a problem. For this price is really only worth it if a combination of tablet and laptop is explicitly desired. In itself, there are better alternatives to both tablets and notebooks, which are also significantly cheaper. But if you really want a convertible, Lenovo offers a quite well-rounded overall package with the seventh generation of Yoga 9i, despite the mentioned weaknesses.

There are options in this price range HP Specter X360 15to LG Gram 16, Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 or that Acer Spin 5 Evo. The smart hinge design with integrated speaker is currently offered only by Lenovo.

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