The Yoga 9i, Lenovo’s newest flagship two-in-one, combines the company’s well-known flip-and-fold 360-degree hinge with a fresh, rounded, and polished look. The portable Yoga 9i, which runs on Intel’s Alder Lake 12th-generation P-series CPUs, claims to accomplish the majority of daily chores without issue and then smoothly switch from work to leisure. This Windows 11 notebook competes with Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro at a starting price of $1,319 ($1,449 in testing), but can a clever hinge and touchscreen give it the upper hand?
Lenovo definitely does the design justice. Both in laptop and tablet form, the Yoga 9i is easy to grip thanks to the aluminum chassis’ smooth, rounded corners. A touchscreen with a wider 16:10 aspect ratio and a 45 percent larger touchpad provide plenty of space for gesture controls and easy viewing in all lighting circumstances, respectively. On the right side of the spacious keyboard, a column of one-click function buttons provides rapid access to a variety of recent innovations, like background blurring for video conferences.
A new Intel Processor
The high-performance H-series at the core of gaming and mobile workstations is not the 12th generation P-series CPU used here. Instead, it’s a tradeoff that forgoes some top performance in order to guarantee strong power efficiency. In fact, this i7 P-series processor uses only 28 watts of power, compared to 45 watts for processors designed more for demanding gaming and high-end graphics processing. Although this is fantastic for energy efficiency, it does imply that programs will run more slowly; the Yoga only received a 1,120 on the Geekbench 5 single core test.
As you might anticipate, the battery’s increased capacity—from 60 watt-hours in the previous generation to 75 watt-hours—improves runtime. With Lenovo’s Rapid Charge Boost technology, a quick fifteen-minute charge can provide up to two hours of usage. I never feared that I wouldn’t finish my work when unplugged, even though my range anxiety tends to prevent me from running any gadget too low.
After all, switching between power profiles can be done quickly with one of those one-click function keys rather than navigating through Windows 11’s countless menus. The anxiety of a work session, a lengthy travel without access to power, or even that “just one more episode” can be reduced with quick access to a power-saving mode.
A Trio of Bright Displays
The Yoga 9i offers three 14-inch 16:10 ratio touchscreens, starting with the 1920 x 1200 LCD display on my review device and moving up to a 2.8K OLED and finally a 4K OLED. All panels, regardless of type, measure up to 400 nits of brightness. With the Yoga 9i, I went outside a few times. Neither when working at an outside cafe table or while tending to a few burgers on the grill, I had any issues with the screen’s clarity.
There isn’t a discrete GPU option, thus Intel Iris Xe Graphics is used by everybody. That is typical for the type of notebook in question. A 2-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capabilities is located above the screen; with the help of an IR camera, Windows Hello biometric login can be used in place of a password. At least 16GB of dual-channel LPDDR5-5200 memory and 1TB of M.2 2280 PCIe storage are present internally.
Ports And Airports
The airplane tray table, especially in coach, is one spot where the Yoga and other two-in-ones excel. I’m constantly concerned of someone reclining and unintentionally damaging my laptop, so I’m reluctant to take out a more conventional laptop with a more rigid hinge while in the air. For viewing media content in this case, flipping the Yoga 9i into tablet or tent mode improves the viewing experience.
Though I hope you’ll pick headphones when flying, the Yoga 9i thankfully still has the standard 3.5mm headphone port, which is being phased out of so many of our gadgets. Of course, Bluetooth 5.2 is also incorporated. A single USB-C 3.2 port, two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 connectors, and a single USB-C Type-A port are all nice improvements. For those of us who are still using older devices that haven’t transitioned to the newest standards, there is also a single USB 3.2 Type-A port. My old but reliable wireless keyboard and mouse are still functional here.
I’ll add my voice to the throngs of people who miss having an SD card slot in their gadgets because it’s been rudely removed from this Yoga 9i as well. When transferring pictures and videos, that’s just one more dongle to juggle (and one you’ll need to supply yourself, as Lenovo doesn’t offer an adapter in the box). In addition, I frequently fill a spare card with downloaded movies when I travel to preserve space on the internal hard drive. These days, it’s remarkable how quickly a 1TB SSD can be filled. That’s no longer a simple choice.
A clever protective sleeve that fastens with a little magnet is included with every Yoga 9i shipment. The accompanying stylus has a specific loop inside the sleeve; I’m sure some people may find this attachment handy, but because I’m not an artist, I won’t be performing any digital illustration. I’ll leave text entry to my trusty friend QWERTY and add that to my prescription-writing penmanship.
Beauty More Than Skin Deep
I type far too much throughout the day, whether on a wireless keyboard or a laptop. Lenovo is known for its QWERTY skills, and the keys on this keyboard are no exception. They have a nice feel to each stroke, made even more pleasurable by a soft, matte texture to each button that somewhat dampens the keypress. A seemingly insignificant difference results in a fantastic sensation that actively motivates me to write more. Furthermore, unlike some rubber-coated keys I’ve used in the past, the material feels like it won’t degrade with time, so this should last for a long time.
The matte surfaces on the Yoga 9i’s top and bottom, as well as the 135mm x 80mm touchpad, are all equally pleasant to the touch and to the eye, but they do appear to draw fingerprints and skin oils. This can be kept looking new with a healthy, routine rubbing with a microfiber cloth.
Improbably Great Sound
After a hard day, clicking over to Netflix is a pleasure thanks to the Bowers & Wilkins three-watt woofers buried on the keyboard panel’s leading edges and the odd two-watt tweeters installed inside the hinge. They are positioned such that you will always have speakers facing you rather than a table, regardless of how you are looking.
Additionally, the system functions fairly well. I was able to replay one of my favorite movies while pacing back and forth to the kitchen to prepare dinner thanks to the Yoga 9i’s integrated Dolby Atmos technology.
The Lenovo cooling fan, on the other hand, can occasionally become quite noisy and distracting. The Yoga 9i unlocked and then cranked up the fan for a good minute or two before settling down to the more customary quiet mode upon startup following an overnight Windows 11 update cycle. Although some programs, like Adobe Lightroom Classic, do tend to tax the processor a little more, especially when exporting larger photographs, it doesn’t get noisy very often, but when it does, you’ll definitely notice it.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Verdict
Despite the fact that modern laptop, notebook, and ultrabook devices have significantly increased durability, I do regret the absence of one aspect from the low-cost laptops of my youth: the plastic case. Modern metal chassis, like the CNC-machined aluminum used here on the Yoga 9i, are undoubtedly wonderful for durability and aesthetics, but they may also be quite cold. I spend a lot of time working in my basement office, which is kept at a comfortable 63 degrees all year round. Pants are typically abandoned relatively fast, as we’ve discovered from a few years of working from home, but these chilly metal machines are shocking against bare thighs. I apologize to everyone who was just startled by the thought of my legs.
With the exception of its pasty quads, I feel comfortable recommending the most recent Yoga 9i to almost anyone searching for a versatile portable computer partner. For individuals who frequently work with heavy graphics, it won’t be a suitable substitute for a desktop computer, and it goes without saying that those who want to conduct video editing or play games should opt for a device with a more powerful CPU and GPU. However, this Lenovo will submit to the demands of almost any other work you can throw at it for daily tasks, travel, and hotel distractions.