Windows 11 launches next month, and that means PC vendors are rolling out their fall lineup of Windows 11-ready laptops and desktops. Lenovo has unveiled a few of its own Windows 11 PCs this week at its annual Lenovo Tech World showcase event, including a remarkably light IdeaPad with an eye-catching OLED display.
This new 2021 IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon weighs just 2.37 pounds, according to Lenovo, which makes it about half a pound lighter than the already lightweight MacBook Air M1.
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Lenovo's long held a reputation for building incredibly light laptops, most notably the 2-pound Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, and the current model of IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon weighs just over two pounds. However, what is new is the 14-inch OLED display that's debuting in the 2021 IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon. Lenovo's calling it the "world's lightest 14-inch OLED laptop," and if you're in the market for a Windows 11-ready ultraportable with a gorgeous screen, you'd be hard-pressed to find one lighter.
Here's what we know so far about the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Release date and price
The 14-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon will be released in October for a starting price of $1,289. You should be able to purchase it through Lenovo's website, and you may also be able to find it at select third-party retailers.
It will be on sale outside of North America under a slightly different name, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon, due to some vagaries in the way Lenovo brands its products in different regions.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Design
The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is one of Lenovo's thinnest, lightest laptops, and the 2021 OLED refresh appears little changed. While we won't know the full specs until the laptop hits the market, we already know that the 2021 IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon will measure 0.59 inches at its thinnest point and weigh as little as 2.37 pounds.
If that proves true it means this laptop will be as thin as Apple's 2020 MacBook Air M1 and about half a pound lighter, making the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon one of the thinnest, lightest OLED-equipped laptops on the market.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Display
The star of the show is the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon's new 14-inch QHD+ OLED display, courtesy of Samsung. OLED displays are still something of a rarity in laptops, and they're a big deal because they typically deliver more vibrant colors, inkier blacks and sharper contrasts than non-OLED screens.
The panel on the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon should be pretty easy on the eyes, as it will have a 16:10 display ratio (2,880 x1,800 pixels) with a 90Hz refresh rate. Lenovo claims it's been calibrated to achieve 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and deliver brightness between 400-600 nits, which would be quite impressive if true; we're eager to get a review unit into our lab for testing so we can see for ourselves.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Ports
There's a pretty sparse port selection on the new 2021 IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, which is a common limitation on ultraportables, especially those designed to be extraordinarily thin and light.
You'll have to content yourself with a pair of USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports that support Power Deliver 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.4, meaning they should be able to output video via DisplayPort and deliver power to plugged-in devices. There's also a simpler USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, as well as a combo audio/headphone jack.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Performance
The new IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon should be able to deliver respectable performance at work or after hours, as it will be configurable with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U mobile CPU, up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 1 TB PCIe M.2 SSD for storage.
While it's not meant for serious gaming or video editing, you should be able to do a bit of both if you take advantage of the fact that the Slim 7 Carbon is also configurable with up to an Nvidia GeForce MX450 discrete laptop graphics card. While the MX450 isn't beefy enough to let you play Cyberpunk 2077 with all the settings cranked up, it should give you enough muscle to play a huge swathe of PC games at decent to great framerates.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Battery life
The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon will ship with a 61WHr battery that Lenovo claims will deliver up to 14.5 hours of performance on a single charge. That sounds optimistic for a OLED laptop, and we will be running our own web surfing battery test to see how well this system holds up.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon: Outlook
As we gear up to head into the release of the next generation of Windows, its exciting to see Lenovo taking a swing at augmenting one of its thinnest and lightest laptops with a potentially stunning OLED display.
With a starting price of $1,289, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is well-positioned to compete with OLED-equipped ultraportable laptops like the Dell XPS 13 OLED ($1,699), the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED ($899), and the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 ($1,299).
So far 2021 is shaping up to be the year that OLED laptops truly arrive, and Lenovo's Slim 7 Carbon looks to be the thinnest and lightest yet. We'll just have to wait until October to get one in for testing and see for ourselves how well it holds up to daily use.
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Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.