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Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: A stellar 2-in-1 laptop

A vibrant OLED display, impressive sound and strong performance

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 improves on its successor thanks its powerful processor, better webcam and larger keyboard. This is a solid 2-in-1 that's well worth the investment.

Pros

  • +

    Bright 14-inch OLED display

  • +

    Large keyboard and touchpad

  • +

    Powerful, booming audio

  • +

    Snappy performance

Cons

  • -

    Too big to use as a tablet for long

  • -

    Battery life could be better

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 Specs

Price: $1,449 (starting); $1,929 (tested)
CPU:  12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P 
GPU: Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB
Display: 14-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Ports: 2 Thunderbolt 4, 1 USB-A, 1 USB-C, 1 headphone jack 
Battery: 8 hours and 8 minutes
Size: 12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.09 pounds

The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 (starting at $1,449, $1,929 as tested) takes one of the best 2-in-1 laptops to the next level. New features include a powerful 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a higher resolution camera and a bigger touchpad. Though it doesn’t have the same battery life as its predecessor, the 2-in-1 retains the same stylish design and unique rotating soundbar that impressed us before. The new OLED makes the entire package all the more enticing.

This is an overall solid laptop that’s ideal for work and play. It’s light enough to comfortably carry wherever you go and its 2-in-1 functionality makes it double as a competent, if somewhat cumbersome, tablet.

In this Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review, I’ll go over the key features and updates. More importantly, I’ll compare it to last year’s model and some of the competition to see how it stacks up.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Price and configuration 

  • $1,449 starting price
  • $1,929 for top-end model

The Lenovo Yoga 9i retails for $1,449 but currently has a starting price of $1,229 on Lenovo’s website. This model features a 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, Intel Iris Xe GPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and comes with Windows 11 Home. The laptop also comes with three free months of Xbox Game Pass.

Our review unit configuration features a Core i7-1260p CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage and Windows 11 Pro. It came with a Lenovo 14-inch sleeve and the Lenovo E-Color pen. This configuration sells for $1,929.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Design 

  • Slim profile
  • Rotating soundbar
  • Looks great in any environment

The Yoga 9i has a slim aluminum unibody chassis, measuring 12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches and weighing 3.09 pounds. Discreet Yoga and Lenovo logos adorn the lid and blend nicely with the overall design. Ports are located on either side of the device while the heat vents are situated on the underside.

The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 is an elegant looking 2-in-1

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The laptop’s interior is every bit as elegant as its exterior. Large palm rests lie just underneath the spacious backlit keyboard. Thin bezels flank the screen’s left and right, while the thicker top bezel houses the laptop’s webcam. You’ll find the rotating soundbar resting on the hinge below the screen.

The basic clamshell design isn’t attention-grabbing but it’s certainly stylish. The Yoga 9i meshes well with almost any environment, whether it’s your living room or office desk. The 2-in-1 also looks great in tent mode, which is what you’ll likely use when watching videos or movies.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Display 

  • Vibrant OLED display
  • Vivid colors
  • 16:10 aspect ratio

The 14-inch touchscreen OLED display is perfect for watching videos in either laptop or tent mode. Thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio, you’ll have extra vertical space when scrolling through web pages or viewing documents.

Content like the Thor: Love and Thunder teaser trailer looks stunning thanks to the OLED screen. I was particularly impressed by the contrast between light and dark elements, such as the bright orange alien sunset and the deep shadows it created. The moody Moon Knight also looks fantastic.

Movies, TV shows and streaming content look brilliant on the Yoga 9i Gen 7

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lenovo says the 2-in-1 is capable of reaching 400 nits of peak brightness. Our Tom’s Guide brightness test revealed an average brightness of 351 nits. Though that falls a bit short of the claim, it surpasses its predecessor’s 334 nits and topples the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360’s 264 nits. However, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s average of 487 nits outshines them all.

Per our colorimeter test, the Yoga 9i produced 197.9% of the sRGB color gamut (the closer to 100%, the better). This not only trounces last year’s model (107.3%), but also bests the Galaxy Book Pro 360 (120.2%) and Surface Laptop Studio (105.6%).

4K displays are all the rage now and I’m sure some will be upset that the Yoga 9i doesn’t reach that lofty resolution. But in my estimation, Full HD displays are perfectly fine for 14-inch laptops. Furthermore, the gorgeous OLED display more than makes up for the standard HD pixel count.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Audio 

  • Loud speakers
  • Dynamic sound
  • Great for movies and music

Laptop audio isn’t always the greatest but the Yoga 9i’s Bowers and Wilkins speaker system produces quality sound via its two speakers located within the screen hinge and two subwoofers on the sides. Dolby Atmos software does its share to boost the overall experience. Because of the rotating soundbar design, the 2-in-1 produces fantastic sound whether it's in laptop or tent mode.

The speakers are discreetly placed within the hinge

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While watching the aforementioned Thor trailer, I couldn't help but bop my head to Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine." The sound was punchy during the hard-rocking moments and soft during the pre-verse section. You won't be disappointed by how music sounds on this laptop.

I normally tell readers to wear headphones when using laptops due to their lackluster speakers. With the Yoga 9i, I encourage everyone to refrain from using headphones. Whether it's the latest Hollywood blockbuster or your favorite musicians, the exceptional speaker quality makes all media sound incredible.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Ports 

  • Only four available ports

The Yoga 9i keeps things minimal when it comes to ports. You’ll find a power button, a USB-C port and a headphone/mic combo jack on the device’s right side. A USB-A port and two Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports are on the left.

Ports are placed as far back on the sides as possible. That means you won’t have to worry about cables getting in the way while you’re working. You could say this laptop doesn’t have enough ports, but considering how you can pair optional devices like keyboards and mice via Bluetooth, I don’t think this is an issue.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Performance 

  • Powerful enough to handle multiple tasks
  • Outperforms some of its competitors
  • Great for work but not for gaming

The 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P processor and 16GB of RAM provided me with plenty of power and memory to blaze through my everyday work routine. Even when I had upwards of 20 open tabs, the Yoga 9i kept chugging along without a hitch. Similarly, this laptop was able to play videos with all of those tabs open.

On the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the Yoga 9i scored 7,150 on the multi-core test. That trounces the previous model’s 5,312 score by a wide margin. It also bests the Galaxy Book Pro 360 (5,575) and Surface Laptop Studio (5,820). The Yoga 9i’s score is almost up there with the MacBook Air M1's 7,575.

The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 is a great work laptop but don't expect to play graphically-intensive games on it unless it's via a streaming service.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Yoga 9i transcoded a 4K video to 1080p on our Handbrake benchmark in 12 minutes and 18 seconds. In comparison, its predecessor achieved the same feat in 14 minutes and 24 seconds. The Yoga 9i outperformed the Galaxy Book Pro 360 (18:04) but couldn't quite top the Surface Laptop Studio (11:24).

Since this isn’t a dedicated gaming laptop, don’t expect to play AAA games like Elden Ring locally. Per our testing, Civilization VI achieved an average of 24 frames per second, which is decidedly less than the 30 fps base minimum most gamers will accept. If you want to play games on the Yoga 9i, it’s best to do so via streaming services like GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Software 

  • Lenovo Vantage app lets you customize settings
  • Windows 11 included

Like last year’s model, the latest Yoga 9i Gen 7 comes pre-installed with the Lenovo Vantage app. This is where you’ll find information about the laptop and where you can get the latest BIOS and driver updates. The Active Pen app lets you configure and customize the included pen.

Windows 11 also comes pre-installed, which is standard for most laptops released this year. Our review unit features Windows 11 Pro, which has more security features than Home.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Keyboard and touchpad 

  • Responsive backlit keyboard 
  • Smooth touchpad

I’m not the biggest fan of laptop keyboards and touchpads since I find them mostly inferior to dedicated mice and mechanical keyboards. But I’m happy to say that the Yoga 9i’s keyboard and trackpad are the exception because both are great to use.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 features a spacious keyboard that's comfortable to type on.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I have large hands and the spacious keyboard provided me ample room to type. The big palm rests made it easy to type for extended periods. The keys also have a satisfying amount of resistance when pressed.

This iteration of the Yoga 9i has a larger trackpad than last year’s model. Like the keyboard, the touchpad gave me all the room I needed. I also found it extremely responsive and accurate. The cursor always went exactly where I wanted.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Touchscreen and pen

  • Intuitive and responsive touch interface
  • Digital pen feels good to use

The Lenovo Yoga 9i's touchscreen interface is very responsive, no matter if you use your fingers or the included digital pen. I often alternated between using the touchpad and touchscreen while working since the interfaces paired so well with one another. For example, I’d use the touchpad to select items on a webpage and used the touchscreen to close or move windows.

Since Windows 11 is touch friendly, using the Yoga 9i almost exclusively as a 14-inch tablet is a viable option. However, its large size can make it difficult to use as a tablet for long stretches of time. This is the same problem I had with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

You can store the Lenovo pen inside the protective 14-inch sleeve.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Using the digital pen felt intuitive thanks to its responsiveness. I'm generally not a fan of digital pens, but I thought the included device served its purpose well enough. I'm sure stylus enthusiasts and digital artists will find the pen indispensable.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Webcam 

  • Sharp 1080p webcam
  • Includes IR sensor and privacy shutter

The Yoga 9i has a 1080p Full HD IR camera with privacy shutter. These features improve on last year's model, namely the mediocre 720p resolution and lack of IR functionality. We live in a world where video calling has become a basic requirement for most folks so it’s good to see Lenovo provide a webcam that’s better suited for how we're working now. 

The camera presents clear images and video under ideal lighting conditions. Colors are fairly accurate and the overall image remains sharp and crisp. There’s noticeable grain when using the camera in a room with low lighting but not enough to become an issue. This is a solid built-in webcam that’s perfect for web conferencing or catching up with loved ones.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Battery life and heat 

  • Decent but not great battery life
  • Could run too hot for some

The Yoga 9i lasted for 8 hours and 8 minutes on the Tom’s Guide battery life test, which tasks the laptop with surfing the web over Wi-Fi with the screen set to 150 nits of brightness. The Yoga 9i’s 8:08 runtime falls well short of its predecessor’s 11 hours and 15 minutes, which could be due to the OLED display on the newer model. 2-in-1 laptops like the Galaxy Book Pro 360 (13:16) and Surface Laptop Studio (10:42) outlast the Yoga 9i.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 can run a bit hot but isn't overly umfortable when sititng on your lap.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In our standard heat test, which involves running a heat gun over the laptop after streaming 15 minutes of full HD video on it, we found the hottest point to be on the underside of the Yoga 9i, which peaked at 105.5 degrees Fahrenheit. We generally consider temperatures over 95 degrees as being uncomfortable. This isn’t an issue if you have the Yoga 9i on a desk, however. The Surface Laptop Studio (88 degrees) and Galaxy Pro Book 360 (85.5 degrees) run much cooler.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 review: Verdict 

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 is a marked improvement over last year's iteration in many ways. That's saying a lot considering how much we liked that 2-in-1 laptop, but this update is simply that good. The beefy 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and bountiful RAM allow for seamless multi-tasking, while the spacious keyboard lets you work comfortably for hours.

The improved webcam and roaring speakers are also highlights. While the battery life on our configuration is less than the previous model, you should be able to get through most of an average workday.

The only major complaint I have with this laptop is that it makes for a somewhat awkward tablet. Yes, the touch interface is snappy and easy to use, but the laptop's size means you can't comfortably hold it in one hand as you would with smaller tablets. But it's entirely possible some folks will consider the Yoga 9i as a perfectly capable Windows tablet despite its size.

Minor qualms aside, this is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops we've tested and is one worth considering.

Tony Polanco
Tony Polanco

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.