Lenovo Slim 9i review: glass on prime, high quality beneath

Lenovo Slim 9i

MSRP $2,070.00

“The Lenovo Slim 9i is quick, extremely well-built, beautiful, and sports activities a spectacular 4K+ OLED show.”

Execs

  • Class-leading productiveness efficiency
  • Distinctive construct high quality
  • Attractive aesthetic
  • Spectacular 4K+ OLED show
  • Glorious audio high quality

Cons

  • Keyboard is just too shallow
  • Restricted connectivity

I’d forgive you in case you haven’t heard of the Lenovo Slim 9i. Amongst Lenovo’s many traces and sub-brands of laptops, the identify hardly stands out.

However as reviewed, it is perhaps one of the vital compelling 14-inch clamshell laptops I’ve ever reviewed. That’s because of the beautiful OLED display screen, nice efficiency, and a webcam ok for video conferencing. It is perhaps much less adventurous than final yr’s mannequin, but it surely checks each field for what a premium laptop needs to be in 2022.

Specs

  Lenovo Slim 9i
Dimensions 12.40 inches x 8.44 inches x 0.59 inches
Weight 3.02 kilos
Processor Core i7-1280P
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
RAM 32GB LPDDR5 RAM
Show 14-inch 16:10 WQUXGA (3,840 x 2,400) OLED
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Contact Sure
Ports 3 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wi-fi Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p with infrared camera for facial recognition
Working system Home windows 11
Battery 75 watt-hours
Worth $2,070+

Cohesive designs price extra

Lenovo Slim 9i front view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

For me, what units a premium laptop aside is the cohesiveness of its design, together with its match and end. Midrange and even price range laptops might be enticing, however additionally they are usually distracted of their designs and don’t exhibit the polish you get from premium machines.

The Apple MacBook Professional 14 is probably the very best instance of this — its design is easy and blocky, but all of it works collectively to create a horny aesthetic. And there’s little question that once you decide up a MacBook, you’ll be able to really feel its high quality. The Slim 9i displays those self same traits, aided by the glass masking on the lid that (actually) provides one other visible and tactile dimension.

Lenovo Slim 9i side view showing lid and ports.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Think about the Slim 9i’s newly rounded edges. They not solely look nice, however they make the laptop extremely snug to carry and deal with. The lid’s angled edge serves as a pleasant distinction when the laptop is closed, and the constant shade scheme all through, with none extraneous bling, creates that cohesive design I discussed above.

Then, attempt to bend the lid and press in on the keyboard deck and also you’ll discover that there’s zero give, creating the feeling of a stable piece of metallic and glass. And the hinge permits the lid to be opened easily with one hand whereas holding the show firmly in place. General, it’s an exquisitely premium construct, rivaling the MacBook Professional 14 and the Dell XPS 15, two different extremely well-made laptops.

Premium laptops aren’t at all times the thinnest and lightest, however they shouldn’t be chunky or heavy, both. The Slim 9i is simply 0.59 inches thick and weighs 3.02 kilos, each good numbers. I’m positive the glass masking provides further weight, or the laptop could be lighter.

Lenovo Slim 9i top down view showing speaker.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Due to skinny bezels throughout the highest and sides, with a barely thicker chin on the backside, the Slim 9i can also be properly sized in width and top. General, the laptop is compact and barely dense, which just like the MacBook Professional 14 lends an air of high quality.

The Lenovo Slim 9i’s design isn’t good, although. To start with, whereas the keyboard has properly sized and sculpted keycaps and loads of key spacing, the switches lack depth. They’re mild and snappy, however I felt like I used to be uncomfortably bottoming out as I typed.

The MacBook’s Magic Keyboard can also be shallow however offers sufficient suggestions to be extremely snug and exact. HP’s Spectre and Dell’s XPS lineups additionally supply higher — and deeper — keyboards.

Lenovo Slim 9i left side view showing ports.

lenovo slim 9i review right side

Additionally, the Slim 9i lacks the same old connectivity you get with 14-inch laptops. There are solely three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 assist to go together with a 3.5mm audio jack. Often, 14-inch laptops embrace USB-A and HDMI ports together with an SD card reader of some kind. These are lacking right here.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 present fashionable wi-fi connectivity, however the lack of legacy bodily ports is a weak point.

Transferring again to the optimistic, the Slim 9i’s touchpad is massive and comfy, with exact Home windows 11 multitouch gesture assist and assured but quiet button clicks. And the contact show is welcome.

Premium efficiency

Lenovo Slim 9i rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Your $2,070 buys a load of high-end elements, together with a 28-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i7-1280P, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD. Given the skinny chassis, the CPU selection is becoming, avoiding the temptation to stuff in a 45-watt CPU. Another producers have given in to that temptation with blended outcomes.

Accordingly, the Slim 9i performs exceptionally nicely. Throughout all our benchmarks, the laptop holds its personal towards a number of different 14-inch laptops. That features the smaller Dell XPS 13 Plus with the identical Core i7-1280P CPU, these 14-inch machines with the 28-watt 12-core/14-thread Core i7-1260P, and a few laptops with the 45-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i7-12700H.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Full
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,720 / 10,115
Perf: 1,726 / 11,074
Bal: 114
Perf: 95
Bal: 1,795 / 9,467
Perf: 1,824 / 11,301
5,442
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,316 / 8,207
Perf: N/A
Bal: 127
Perf: 94
Bal: 1,311 / 6,308
Perf: 1,650 / 7,530
4,309
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Bal: 130
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
5,760
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,671 / 10,898
Perf: 1,644 / 10,196
Bal: 117
Perf: 89
Bal: 1,718 / 8,997
Perf: 1,774 / 11,035
5,854
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,531 / 8,209
Perf: 1,580 / 8,342
Bal: 133
Perf: 138
Bal: 1,538 / 6,993
Perf: 1,538 / 6,783
4,982
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860
5,647

The Slim 9i is greater than quick sufficient for very demanding productiveness workflows and might carry out some artistic duties. It suffers within the latter from its built-in Intel Iris Xe graphics, however its efficiency is spectacular for such a skinny laptop.

The Lenovo software for tuning the thermals for efficiency was comparatively efficient, and I’ve famous each balanced and efficiency modes right here. The laptop throttled a bit, as do all skinny and lightweight laptops with fashionable CPUs, but it surely managed to take care of aggressive frequencies for probably the most half.

The battery life isn’t dangerous for a 4K OLED laptop.

Gaming is one other story. Whereas the Slim 9i did nicely sufficient given its built-in Intel Iris Xe graphics, scoring 1,894 within the 3DMark Time Spy take a look at and hitting a median of twenty-two frames per second (fps) in Fortnite at 1200p and epic graphics, that’s not precisely spectacular gaming efficiency. You’ll be capable of run some fashionable titles at 1080p in case you flip down the graphics, however not rather more than that.

Strong efficiency is a premium high quality, however so is battery life. The final word premium machines handle to stability each, and the Slim 9i comes shut because of 75 watt-hours of battery capability. It fell behind in our internet looking take a look at and the PCMark 10 Functions battery take a look at, but it surely did high-quality in our video take a look at.

These aren’t dangerous outcomes for a quick laptop with a 4K+ OLED show. Nevertheless, whether or not you get a full day’s battery life will rely totally in your workflow.

Net looking Video PCMark 10
Functions
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
6 hours, 28 minutes 12 hours, 36 minutes 8 hours, 10 minutes
 Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
8 hours, 0 minutes 9 hours, 20 minutes N/A
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
7 hours, 3 minutes 9 hours, 29 minutes 8 hours, 34 minutes
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 29 minutes 7 hours, 29 minutes 5 hours, 48 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(Core i7-1260P)
7 hours, 39 minutes 14 hours, 34 minutes 10 hours, 42 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A

Class-leading optics and audio

The screen of the Lenovo Slim 9i.

To this point, we have now a laptop with a bona fide premium design, legit premium efficiency, and first rate battery life. The ultimate field to test is the Slim 9i’s multimedia high quality, which at the moment goes past simply the show and audio.

To start with, given the significance of videoconferencing in at the moment’s world of hybrid staff, we additionally want to think about its webcam. The Slim 9i sports activities a 1080p model, promising and delivering greater high quality video high quality, and there’s an digital shutter swap to show the webcam off for enhanced privateness.

Lenovo Slim 9i front view showing webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Due to an infrared camera, Home windows 11 Hey passwordless login is supported and works reliably. The IR camera additionally permits Lenovo’s clever sensing technology, which incorporates zero contact login and lock that places the Slim 9i to sleep when the person leaves the world and wakes it up (and routinely logs in) when the person returns. This characteristic labored reliably as nicely.

These capabilities are good to have, however in case you’re spending $2,000 on a laptop, you’ll anticipate a high-quality show. The Slim 9i delivers that in spades, with a 16:10 4K+ OLED panel that’s vivid with extensive and correct colours and the same old OLED inky blacks. It’s a shocking, extremely sharp show and a pleasure to make use of. It doesn’t matter what you want in a show, the Slim 9i delivers

Brightness
(nits)
Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is best)
Lenovo Slim 9i
(OLED)
389 27,050:1 100% 95% 0.89
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(IPS)
411 1660:1 98% 76% 1.96
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(OLED)
398 27,830:1 100% 95% 0.78
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional
(IPS)
369 1,340:1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(OLED)
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

Lastly, Lenovo didn’t incorporate the soundbar from the Yoga 9i Gen 7, but it surely did construct in 4 audio system, two downward-firing and two upward-firing. Tuned by Bowers & Wilkins, the audio system supplied loads of quantity with clear mids and highs and a contact of bass.

It’s one of many higher speaker setups I’ve reviewed in a 14-inch laptop, and also you gained’t typically really feel the necessity for a pair of headphones.

You may get an excellent laptop for much less, however…

Lenovo Slim 9i top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Certain, the Lenovo Slim 9i is pricey. However, it offers a premium construct that’s second to none, with an aesthetic that’s cohesive and beautiful, and its efficiency is class-leading. The laptop will meet probably the most demanding productiveness person’s wants and might function a low-end workstation for creators.

Battery life isn’t the very best, and the keyboard is just too shallow, however general, the Slim 9i lives as much as its value. It’s among the many greatest 14-inch clamshell laptops you should purchase, rivaling Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 and nicely above lower-priced choices just like the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus.

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