|The Not So Good
|Solid Build Quality
|Just OK Battery Life
|4K OLED Screen
|All Three USB-C Ports Not Thunderbolt 4 Capable
|Compact USB-C Charger
|No Dedicated GPU Option
The Lenovo Yoga 9I has always been the flagship of the Yoga brand. This is the consumer brand where Lenovo just goes all in. Let’s remember that when you’re talking about the Yoga brand these models feature the 360-degree hinge which allows them to be used in various configurations as media consumption devices or flipped into a tablet mode with full pen support, the pen is included in the box. So let’s dig in and see what the 2023 version of the Yoga 9I has to offer.
Not much has changed since last year’s Yoga 9I, and I don’t think Lenovo needed to change much. You still get the aluminum chassis with the rounded corners, our review model came with the 13th generation Intel Core I7 processor, which is really the only big change for this year. Lenovo still stuck with the unique stereo speakers and subwoofer found in the rotating hinge. I have to say I didn’t use headphones as a necessity during my review. The sound system is Dolby Atmos-certified and includes a headphone/microphone combo jack, which is a rare find on laptops. Take a look at the table below for all of the Yoga 9I configuration options and details for this year’s model.
Specifications and Design
|Lenovo Yoga 9i (83B1001XUS)
|13th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-1360P (P-core 5.0GHz, E-core 3.7GHz / 12 Cores / 18M Cache)
|Intel Iris Xe Graphics
|16GB Dual Channel LPDDR5-5200 (soldered)
|14″ 4K OLED, IPS, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3,60 Hz, 16:10, Touchscreen, Dolby Vision
|1TB M.2 2280 SSD PCIe 4.0 x4 slot
|WLAN & Bluetooth
|Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.1
|1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (support data transfer, Power Delivery 3.0 and DisplayPort™ 1.4)
2x Thunderbolt 4 (support data transfer, Power Delivery 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.4)
1x Headphone / microphone combo jack (3.5mm)
|2x 3W (woofers on the side), 2x 2W (front-facing tweeters on hinge bar), optimized with Dolby® Atmos®, Bowers & Wilkins Speakers
|6-row, multimedia Fn keys, 1-click function keys, LED backlight
|Buttonless glass surface multi-touch touchpad, supports Precision TouchPad (PTP), 80 x 135 mm (3.15 x 5.31 inches)
|75Wh Li-Polymer, supports Rapid Charge Boost (2 hrs runtime with 15 min charge)
|FHD 1080p + IR, with privacy shutter, fixed focus, ToF sensor
|318 x 230 x 15.25 mm (12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches)
Starting at 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs)
|Color & Material
Aluminum CNC (top & bottom)
Experience and Performance
Let me start this way, I was a MacBook user for nearly ten years. During that time solid build quality, and good screens in a thin and light package became an expectation. When I came back to the Microsoft ecosystem full-time in 2019 I immediately started searching for the equivalent. While I have used some laptops that have come close since then, it seemed like I was always giving up something, nothing could check all the boxes. When I first opened the Yoga 9I the design, the look, and the feel started speaking to me, even before I touched the power button. The smooth aluminum frame, lightweight, smooth rounded edges flanked with USB C and Thunderbolt ports sure was kicking in those MacBook feelings. Physically it sure felt like it. Lenovo even managed to slip in a standard USB A port on the left corner, something I had longed for on any Apple laptop.
Opening the lid, I was still excited about what Lenovo was doing here: a large keyboard with a short travel distance and a large glass trackpad. My fingers fell right into place on the keyboard, there wasn’t the learning curve generally experienced when using a new machine. The power button is located on the right side along with a volume rocker, which is a reminder that this is a 360-degree device. I knew our review unit was the 4K OLED screen, so I was expecting the colors to pop off the screen, the black levels to be well-defined and the text on the screen to be crisp. That’s what the 9I gives you. The screen is just above 14 inches at 14.4 inches and when talking resolution and scaling the extra real estate makes a difference without making the footprint feel large.
My use case for the Yoga 9I was a good mix of consumer tasks, paying bills, checking emails, and watching content which was a complete joy to do on the 4K screen. I did venture on several overnight trips, and I really knew where things were going to not do so well with battery life. When you’re pumping a 4K OLED screen coupled with a 13th-generation Intel processor, you kind of accept battery life is not going to knock your socks off. If you decide to take no conservations then 2-3 hours is what you’re looking at here for most web-based use. If you’re willing to turn on the battery saver in Windows 11, which dims you’re screen and clocks the CPU down then 6-7 hours of light use is possible. The battery is 75 watt hours and with the included USB-C charger you can get a quick boost in just 15 minutes. Lenovo claims that boost is about 2 hours more battery time, and it is with light use and battery saver mode enabled. I did enjoy using the laptop in tent mode when catching some entertainment before bed, The screen and rotating sound bar do come together for a nice entertaining package, but I kept the charge by the bed.
Bringing it Home
At the time of publication, our review unit can be had for $1,650(USD) at Best Buy. Some consumers are going to overlook the Yoga 9I on price point alone, I was one of those consumers in years past. A well equipped gaming laptop can be had for the same price or less, that’ll feature a dedicated GPU, and most likely a high refresh rate screen with a more powerful CPU. A laptop for most people that would accomplish any task right? Until I experienced a purpose built laptop like the Lenovo Yoga 9I that’s built for productivity, light content creation, and media consumption I didn’t realize what a joy it would be to use. Well built, great screen, the 1080P webcam, solid trackpad and keyboard, not to mention the 360 degree hinge with pen, while it’s not the perfect laptop, it checks all the boxes for being a productivity powerhouse and holds its own in other demanding tasks as well. The tradeoffs are more than worth it, the Lenovo Yoga 9I has become one of my favorite laptops of 2023.