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Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch) assessment: Excessive-quality 2-in-1 with 4K show and nice audio

Convertible 2-in-1 laptops with 360-degree rotating screens are frequent sufficient today, however Lenovo’s Yoga 9i is a number one instance. It is available in 14-inch and 15-inch sizes, with the 15-inch mannequin beginning at an eye-watering £1,899.99 (inc. VAT). My assessment unit was a 14-inch mannequin which begins at a extra pocket pleasant £1,299.99 (inc. VAT). Within the US, the beginning worth for the 14-inch Yoga 9i is $1,099.99.

There are a number of configurations accessible within the UK and I used to be despatched one with an 11th-generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, sporting an non-obligatory leather-based cowl on the lid and a tempered glass wrist relaxation and touchpad. This prices a hefty £1,599.99 — however is it well worth the outlay? 

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The 14-inch Yoga 9i is on the market in Mica (above) or Shadow Black (high), with actual leather-based cladding on the lid and a tempered glass wrist relaxation, haptic touchpad and ultrasonic fingerprint reader.

Photographs: Lenovo

Let’s begin with that leather-clad lid. That is the Shadow Black choice on the 14-inch mannequin, and it is actual quite than fake leather-based, which will not be universally in style. Lenovo’s press launch notes that the leather-based is responsibly sourced, however for me it would not belong on a laptop computer. One other level  value noting concerning the leather-based: keys, sharp objects and even fingernails can scuff and scar it, so its pristine out-of-box look may not final lengthy. 

With or with out leather-based cladding, the Yoga 9i has a high-quality and really powerful metallic chassis. I discovered it unimaginable to bow the lid in my fingers greater than a fraction, and the bottom is equally sturdy. The lid is sort of thick, and that is largely liable for the 16.5mm depth measurement on the thickest half (the again), which tapers to 15.3mm on the entrance.  The desktop footprint of 210.9mm by 318.4mm in all fairness compact. 

The 14-inch Yoga 9i has a beginning weight of 1.35kg, which is a contact heavier than the 13.5-inch HP Elite Folio 2-in-1 I lately reviewed (1.32kg). Those that go for the leather-clad model will probably add additional weight with a protecting sleeve for that valuable bespoke materials. 

There are two display screen choices. My assessment unit had a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) IPS touchscreen that was sharp, clear and vibrant. It has a extremely reflective end, 500 nits of brightness, DisplayHDR 400 certification and 90% protection of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The 2 most reasonably priced configurations have FHD (1,920 x 1,080) screens, which high out at 400 nits of brightness. 

High ZDNET Critiques

The display screen sits in comparatively slim bezels, with room for a 720p webcam, which has a sliding privateness cowl however doesn’t help Home windows Howdy, on the high. The underside bezel is just a little bigger than regular for laptops today, however when the Yoga 9i is flipped into pill mode it gives an affordable grip space when the system is held within the criminal of an arm. Nonetheless, the Yoga 9i’s weight and total measurement makes this a much less comfy expertise than you’d get with a removable 2-in-1. 

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The Rotating Sound Bar within the hinge homes 4 audio system, and delivers high-quality audio in laptop computer, tent and pill modes.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

A key characteristic of the Yoga 9i is the Rotating Sound Bar that is constructed into the display screen hinge mechanism. It is intelligent thought, as a result of it means sound flows outwards in direction of the person no matter whether or not the Yoga 9i is being utilized in laptop computer, tent or pill mode — within the latter orientation the speaker sits going through outwards alongside one lengthy edge. There are 4 audio system — two subwoofers and two tweeters — which pump out superb-quality sound. There’s loads of bass, and no distortion even at high quantity. The subtleties of orchestral music reproduce nicely, and spoken phrase content material additionally comes throughout nicely. If solely all laptop computer makers took a tip from Lenovo. 

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

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Yoga 9i features a stylus as commonplace. Quick in size and slim in circumference, it is much less grippy than some, and never everybody will discover it simple to make use of. On the plus aspect, it has a housing on the chassis and so must be tougher to mislay. That mentioned, the housing is just a little awkward to get at, being on the again proper fringe of the bottom part. When working in laptop computer mode you will have to raise the Yoga off a desk to get on the stylus housing, though it is far more accessible in tent and pill modes. 

The keyboard is a pleasure to sort on. The massive, pot-bellied keys have a agency motion, and emit a mix of ‘thunk’ and ‘click on’, neither of which is especially loud. The decrease half of the Enter key’s just a little narrower than I would like, however there is no downside in the event you goal for the higher half. 

The tempered glass wrist relaxation and touchpad on my Shadow Black assessment unit is not on each 14-inch Yoga 9i mannequin — simply these which even have the leather-based lid. It appears quite good and is actually a welcome visible change from the extra standard wrist relaxation and touchpad space. I’ve seen related on Asus laptops with a further display screen beneath glass, such because the Zenbook Duo 14. Right here, the obsidian black end is visually startling — though regardless of Lenovo’s assertion that it has a fingerprint-resistant coating, I discovered it attracted fingerprints readily and required common cleansing.   

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The tempered glass wrist relaxation on Shadow Black fashions has a haptic touchpad and an ultrasonic fingerprint reader within the top-right nook. The etched corners delineating these options are laborious to see, and the glass floor is vulnerable to accumulating fingerprints.

Picture: Lenovo

The fingerprint sensor constructed into the higher proper nook has an etched, shiny and reflective border, however I discovered that very troublesome to see with out shifting round to get the sunshine to hit the border good, and it was near-impossible to find by contact alone. Lenovo is clearly conscious of this, as a sticker factors out its location. The fingerprint sensor is ultrasonic and can recognise digits which might be damp — or, says Lenovo in a nod to present instances, freshly sanitised. 

The touchpad additionally has an etched, shiny and reflective border, which can be troublesome to see, though it isn’t as laborious to find because the fingerprint sensor. 

As a result of it may’t transfer to acknowledge urgent of the left and proper clickable areas, the touchpad provides haptic suggestions as a substitute. Lenovo finds a constructive right here, saying that the clickable space has been elevated by practically half, and certainly left and proper clicks will be made a bit additional in direction of the centre of the touchpad than standard. However the haptic suggestions occurs anyplace the touchpad is pressed, and this left me confused as as to whether I would made a left or proper button press. As a result of the border of the touchpad is difficult to search out, this was annoying until I developed an computerized mini-sweep in from the underside fringe of the chassis earlier than urgent. This isn’t precisely an ergonomic answer because it negated the additional clickable space.  

My Shadow Black assessment unit, like all of the accessible pre-configured choices, ran on Home windows 10 House, though Home windows 10 Professional can be accessible. It had an 11th era Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD alongside its 4K (3840 x 2160) display screen. This mannequin retails for £1,599.99 (inc. VAT).  

The entry-level configuration has a typical chassis (no leather-based or tempered glass), a Core i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and and FHD (1,920 x 1,080) display screen for £1,299.99 (inc. VAT). The highest-end Shadow Black (leather-based and tempered glass) mannequin has a Core i7-1185G7, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 4K display screen, and prices £1,799.99 (inc. VAT). 

Though it will not be the identical for each configuration, I discovered that the Yoga 9i ran just a little heat even when idling, and the warmth from the underside was noticeable when working with it sitting on my lap. 

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Yoga 9i ports: USB-A 3.1, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm combo audio in/out.

Picture: Lenovo

Lenovo equips the 14-inch Yoga 9i with a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt Four ports, one in every of which will likely be occupied when it is charging, and a single USB-A port, together with a 3.5mm combo audio in/out jack. These are all ranged alongside the left edge. For wi-fi connectivity, there’s Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). 

The battery life on my 4K assessment unit was not the best — however that is usually the trade-off for high-resolution screens. Working for 3 hours in a typical session together with streaming music and dealing into net apps, the battery fell from 100% to 58%, suggesting battery lifetime of round 7 hours. For the document, Lenovo claims 9 hours for the 4K mannequin and 18 hours for the FHD mannequin. 

Happily quick charging is spectacular. On one event with the battery at 25%, a 15-minute cost raised it to 38%; after half an hour it was at 53%, and after 45 minutes it had reached 69%.

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

Picture: Lenovo

Conclusions 

Lenovo’s 14-inch Yoga 9i has an excellent 4K display screen and improbable audio system that set a excessive bar excessive for different laptop-makers. Construct high quality is stable, and there are many configurations on supply. If the leather-clad Shadow Black choice would not attraction, you will should forego the tempered glass wrist relaxation, touchpad and fingerprint sensor, however that is no nice loss. Specifying an FHD display screen may enhance battery life — however in the event you make all these sacrifices, it is perhaps value taking a look at extra reasonably priced fashions within the Yoga vary.

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