Lenovo Yoga 9i Evaluation: A Home windows 10 laptop computer has by no means felt so luxurious

Lenovo Yoga 9i review (Image: Great Britain)

With most of us continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future, buying a brand new laptop has become a priority for many. Sales of personal computers have increased significantly over the past year. At the same time, there has never been so much choice with an ever growing list of Windows 10 computers for users to choose from. Standing out from the crowd can be difficult for manufacturers, but Lenovo hopes to do just that with its new Yoga 9i.

Not only does this device transform from a laptop to a tablet, but it is also covered in real leather for a really luxurious feel. There’s also a powerful processor, Apple-style trackpad with haptic feedback, and an included pen that you can use to write and scribble on the gorgeous 4K display.

Sound tempting? Express.co.uk put the 9i through its paces and here is our full review.

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

The Lenovo Yoga 9i is ready to go because not only is it paper thin, but it is also available in a luxurious black leather. This sets it apart from the crowd of boxy, black and gray laptops, but it also gives it an overwhelmingly premium feel.

A leather laptop might not be for everyone, but we really like what the Lenovo design team did with this Yoga. When you add a touch of material to the case it feels pretty unique and is sure to beat many of the boring black plastic laptops that sit on the shelves of tech stores.

Before you get too excited, however, buying the 9i in leather comes with a word of caution. In fact, Lenovo put an entire booklet in the box about the pros and cons of owning this machine, which was about keeping it dry and out of direct sunlight at all times.

We’re also not sure what it will look like after years of being shoved into your backpack. So it is worth considering how much penalty you will go through before you hit the buy button. If that is your concern – a standard metal finish is also available, but the leather undoubtedly sets it apart from most of its competitors. So for our money it’s a risk worth taking.

Open the leather lid and the premium feeling continues inside. First off, there is a stunning 14-inch 4K Ultra HD touch display that offers a truly fabulous viewing experience. Whether it’s emailing, checking the Internet, or watching Netflix, everything on the screen appears bright, crisp, and full of vivid colors.

As mentioned above, it’s also a clever 2-in-1 machine that allows the display to be flipped over to instantly turn the laptop into a large tablet.

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

The model we tested has an impressive 4K display (Image: LENOVO)

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

Lenovo Yoga 9i review (Image: LENOVO)

The hinge is also firm enough to allow the screen to be adjusted to any angle. This works in both laptop and tablet mode, making it easy to set up the screen when using it without a keyboard.

When it’s time to get something done, find a fully backlit keyboard with widely spaced keys that allow plenty of freedom of movement. We spent hours with the Yoga 9i and the keyboard is extremely accurate and pleasant to use.

In fact, we’d say it’s one of the best keyboards we’ve tested in a long time. If you’re buying a laptop to keep typing, this might be your best option.

Once you get tired of reading boring emails, the Yoga 9i turns into a great entertainment device. Not only does this 4K screen make it ideal for a Netflix binge.

There is a mini soundbar in the hinge, which even contains Dolby Atmos for 360-degree sound. This speaker transmits audio at a decent bass and volume level and works just as well in tablet mode as it does when switching back to the standard laptop.

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

The trackpad and fingerprint scanner are flush with the case, making them difficult to find (Image: LENOVO)

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

The Lenovo Yoga 9i has a very good soundbar with Dolby audio (Image: LENOVO)

The latest Intel Core i7 processor will help you with everyday tasks and can handle pretty much anything without causing stuttering. There is also 8 GB of RAM in the base model, but this can be increased up to 16 GB if you think you need it.

The option to increase the internal storage from 512GB to 1TB is also available. The more you add, the more will be removed from your bank account.

The base machine is currently priced at £ 999.95 on Lenovo Flash sales. The top-end 4K model is priced at over £ 1,600. Outside of sale you look closer to £ 2,000.

Other features worth mentioning include a pen tucked into the case that allows you to scribble on the screen without using your finger. It’s a nice touch, although this digital pen doesn’t have the same premium feel as the rest of the laptop, which is a shame.

There’s a 720p camera out there, which is actually pretty good given the low resolution, and perfectly adequate for the endless zoom calls we all make. Lenovo also put in a neat little latch to cover the webcam if you’re concerned about privacy.

You’ll also find plenty of ports, including a standard USB-A and two USB-C Thunderbolt sockets. It’s a smart move by Lenovo as it gives users a choice without needing a bag full of dongles. It’s just a shame all of these ports are placed on one side. This is a minor issue, but there are some major bugs that frustrated us during our time with the 9i.

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

A pin is in the rear housing (Image: LENOVO)

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

The Lenovo Yoga 9i has numerous ports, but they are all on one side (Image: LENOVO)

Lenovo tried to make this PC feel top notch while keeping the trackpad and fingerprint scanner completely flush with the case.

It looks great but made the fingerprint scanner frustratingly difficult to use. Without indentation, you can see where to put your finger, and at the end we added the instruction sticker to make it a little easier for us to see this security feature. Also, when you put your finger on the scanner, we’ve had a very good experience with it not always working. In fact, many times we just entered our password to gain access to the screen.

Lenovo also went for an Apple-style force-touch trackpad that, while good, can keep up with the MacBook’s.

Instead of a physical click, Lenovo now uses haptic feedback to make it seem like you’re tapping the trackpad. Apple got this technology to the point, but the Yoga 9i doesn’t offer the same user experience and it takes a lot of getting used to.

The battery life is pretty average and you certainly don’t want to head off into the day without taking a charger with you. We tested the 4K version, which uses more power than if you opted for the standard 1080p screen. After six hours of streaming video the tank was almost empty, which isn’t terrible, but certainly not market-leading.

We suspect you need to decide which is more important as 4K looks great but may not be as appealing if you are out and about all day. And that’s our final moan as the adapter that comes with the 9i is massive. With other companies making these battery boosters so much smaller, we don’t know why Lenovo ships this premium laptop with such an awfully chunky cable and huge power adapter.

Lenovo Yoga 9i review

Lenovo Yoga 9i review (Image: LENOVO)

Lenovo Yoga 9i Review: Final Verdict

PROS – Stunning design • Leather feels super high quality • Gorgeous 4K screen and excellent sound • Great keyboard • Easily turns into a tablet
disadvantage – The fingerprint scanner is difficult to use. • All connections on one side. • The battery life could be better

With its leather case, included stylus, and stunning 14-inch 4K touchscreen display, the Lenovo Yoga 9i stands out from the incredibly crowded Windows 10 laptop market.

This machine is extremely powerful and the fact that it can turn into a tablet is a huge bonus.

Not only are they a great workhorse for your email and spreadsheets, but they’re great fun too, especially with this Dolby soundbar that will add an audio boost to your boxset binge. The mix of USB A and C ports is a big bonus, and the fabulous keyboard adds to the appeal.

There’s clearly a lot to like about the Yoga 9i, but the trackpad, fingerprint scanner, and less-than-impressive battery life are all things to consider before you take the plunge. It’s also quite expensive with the model we tested which costs over £ 1,500.

However, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind laptop with lots of power and a screen that is as good as your 4K TV, the 9i comes highly recommended.

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