Lenovo Yoga Book i9 Review

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Since its launch, the Lenovo Yoga Book i9 has sparked the imagination and desire of countless PC users. It was the first true OLED dual-screen laptop, which competitors have since copied. The laptop has a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, a stylus pen, and a mouse. It also includes a folio stand.

We have speculated about this laptop’s potential, but after using it for a while, we can finally draw real-world conclusions and share our findings and opinions. Are the dual screens worth it? Find out now.

Specs Highlights

  • 13th Generation Intel Core i7-1355U Processor
  • Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • 16 GB LPDDR5X 6400MHz
  • 512GB PCIe SSD Gen 4 (up to 1TB)
  • 80Wh battery capacity
  • 2 x 2W + 2 x 1W Bowers & Wilkins speakers
  • WiFi 6E* 802.11AX (2 x 2)
  • Starting at 1.34kg / 2.95lbs
  • Bluetooth keyboard and mouse included. Lenovo Digital Pen 3 stylus included.

Design

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is remarkable for its sustainability and design ingenuity. It has a Carbon Neutral Certification, utilizing eco-friendly materials like 90% recycled plastic in the power adapter case and 100% recycled aluminum in the top cover. The striking Tidal Teal (metallic blue) color adds vibrancy, departing from the usual grey or silver tones.

Like Lenovo’s Yoga 9i series, the Yoga Book 9i features curved edges for enhanced grip and comfort. Its groundbreaking dual-screen design, a world-first for 2-in-1 laptops, improves productivity with multitasking capabilities. At 0.63 x 11.8 x 8 inches (15.95mm x 299.1mm x 203.9mm) and 2.95 lbs (not counting the included mouse and keyboard), it balances portability and functionality.

As you can imagine, the dual screens facilitate seamless multitasking and other possibilities, but we’ll get to that later. The included device’s stand doubles as a cover for the detachable keyboard and stylus. It’s important to note that the kickstand provides stability only on flat surfaces like desks or tables. You can, of course, use the computer as a regular clamshell laptop of course.

The inclusion of the Tidal Teal folio/stand complements the device’s aesthetics while providing practical support and protection.

Keyboard, Pen, Mouse and virtual inputs

The Yoga Book 9i’s Bluetooth keyboard provides users a compact yet functional typing experience. Despite its compact size, the keyboard retains essential Function keys, ensuring users can access key features and commands conveniently.

There’s an undersizing of the up and down arrow keys, a deliberate adjustment to accommodate the device’s overall chassis. This design decision maintains the device’s sleek profile while providing tactile feedback and usability for directional inputs. In addition to the keyboard, the Yoga Book 9i includes a compact mouse, akin to a travel mouse.

I found the physical keyboard inferior to the built-in keyboards on high-end Yoga laptops. Lenovo wanted to make this one as thin as possible, so it might not have the best key switches and tactile feedback. If you’re looking for a high-performance travel keyboard, look at the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini.

The Lenovo Digital Pen 3 included with the Yoga Book 9i offers users a comfortable and responsive stylus experience. It works on both screens and is excellent for taking notes or basic sketching. You might need something else for professional applications, but it’s not obvious if fancier Lenovo pens are compatible with these screens.

Both Pen and Mouse require AAA and AA batteries, respectively, and are not rechargeable. The Keyboard has a USB-C connector for charging.

A virtual keyboard and virtual trackpad are available when not using the physical keyboard. Each can occupy up to half of the bottom screen, while content is presented on the top screen. That’s much more screen space than you would get on even the largest tablet. The virtual keyboard experience was fine, but the trackpad does not feel as good and accurate as the physical one. Instead of the trackpad, I prefer using the dual touch-screens whenever possible.

Lenovo has custom software called Yoga Book 9 User Center to tweak various user experience settings, from Window management and dual-screen gaming to virtual keyboard settings. It can help make the laptop yours.

Ports

The computer boasts three USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 connectors, a versatile feature offering high-speed data transfer, extensions, and charging capabilities. All three ports support charging, ensuring convenient power access wherever you go. One Thunderbolt 4 connector is positioned on the left edge, while the remaining two are located on the right, providing flexibility for peripheral connections.

Notably absent are traditional USB-A ports and a headphone jack. Fortunately, the 65W AC power supply connects to USB-C, streamlining power management and reducing clutter. Depending on your needs, you might consider a USB-C HUB with additional ports such as USB-A, HDMI, and more. They are reasonably inexpensive.

Sound quality

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i integrates Dolby Atmos technology with Bowers & Wilkins speakers, offering a stellar audio experience. Its 360-degree rotating sound bar delivers immersive sound quality. The system impresses with better-than-average bass and clear sounds on other frequencies.

The Dolby Access software adds versatility with music, movies, games, dynamics, and voice presets, along with an equalizer for personalized adjustments. With its loud, bass-heavy audio output, the Yoga Book 9i promises a great entertainment experience, making it a top choice for users who prioritize superior sound performance in their multimedia devices. The sound bar is placed right in front of the user, the best possible location to maximize the available sound energy.

Displays

This computer stands out for its excellent performance and visual experience. Featuring two identical 13.3-inch OLED touchscreens with a resolution of 2.8K (2880 x 1800), users can expect stunning clarity and detail in their content.

With a brightness of 400 Nits, the displays ensure vivid and vibrant colors, even in well-lit environments. The 16:10 aspect ratio offers a wider viewing area, ideal for productivity and multimedia consumption. Moreover, the display covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, producing accurate and lifelike color for professional-grade content creation and multimedia editing.

The inclusion of Dolby Vision HDR further enhances the visual experience by delivering richer contrast and deeper blacks.

The only thing we would immediately ask Lenovo to “improve” here is to build a 16″ or even 18″ version of this laptop to increase the display area further, which is the primary value of the innovative laptop.

The other thing Lenovo should consider is video input via USB or mini-HDMI. This laptop could be a standalone dual-display for another computer, console, etc. It might lose some of its computing value as it ages, but the display’s lifespan is probably 4X longer than its computing one.

Dual-Display User Experience

The unique dual display setup can be used in many ways, some obvious and some… “creative. ” Lenovo has done a great job pitching what it thinks you can do with it, and I’ve embedded a video below. Here, I’ll focus on use cases that resonate with me: productivity and Entertainment.

We can probably all agree that having a 100% extra display surface is a good thing, and we already know it will make everyone more productive. Less Window and Task switching, information available at a glance, etc. Amazing. Sign me up.

I also often do light work, such as catching up with emails or browsing for information while having YouTube, music, or a TV show playing on the other screen.

Finally, taking written notes with the Stylus during online meeting calls has never been easier and more comfortable. I typically do that on an iPad mini 6, but the 13.3 screen(s) is a lot better because of the virtual paper size.

Generally, I consider this laptop best used in a fixed location, such as your hotel room, cafe, etc, during your travels. Its compact size and light weight make it easy to transport even with an external mouse and keyboard. If you need to use the laptop for 10 minutes here and there, you might want to look at the ThinkPad X1 nano gen2 (which is phenomenal) or a Lenovo Android tablet.

Here are more use cases as Lenovo envisions them. See if you connect with some of them:

Webcam

This 5MP webcam has convenient features and high-quality performance in the laptop market. It can be turned OFF using the physical shutter button for added privacy, ensuring the webcam won’t accidentally turn on.

In portrait mode, the webcam is perfectly positioned in front of the user’s face: the best possible angle. Its microphone delivers clear audio, complementing its good video capabilities. Unsurprisingly, a larger standalone microphone would deliver higher recording performance if you need to appear on podcasts.

With a video resolution of up to 1440p and 30 frames per second, it ensures reasonably sharp and smooth video even in moderately lit environments. The integrated Windows Hello facial recognition support enables seamless biometric login, adding a layer of convenience and security for users. Unfortunately, there is no fingerprint reader.

System Performance

Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1355U (1.70 GHz), 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, this computer can handle office productivity and multimedia tasks with ease and quietly. Conceptually, it could also be a good web development system because of the large display surface. However, if you rely heavily on Docker containers, you might want a system with more RAM.

The U-series Intel core processors are designed for power efficiency rather than performance. With two displays using a significant amount of power, something had to give, and overall, it’s a good tradeoff between increasing usability and acceptable performance.

The same thing is true for storage performance. It’s great for the use cases we recommend (productivity, entertainment) with this laptop, but in the grand scheme of things, benchmarks such as 3DMark Storage Benchmark classify this computer’s storage performance as slightly below average.

Geekbench 5: 1743 (Single). 7202 (Multi), 18751 (OpenCL)
Geekbench 6: 2457 (Single), 8171 (Multi), 14454 (OpenCL)
3DMark TimeSpy: 1679

Battery Life

The 80Wh battery capacity is relatively large for a sub 3 Lbs laptop, and with it, this laptop can last ~9 hours in a standard benchmark such as PCMark 10 modern office.

Obviously, having two screens is not an advantage regarding battery life benchmarking, especially if said screens have a 2.8K resolution. While you can find laptops that score higher (14+ hrs) in that particular benchmark, it is obvious that absolute battery life isn’t a priority for prospective buyers who are likely to use this computer on a desk.

However, if you want to use it on the go (in-flight, etc.), you still have a decent battery life, thanks to the low-power CPU choice.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Yoga Book i9 satisfies a specific need: maximizing the available display area to increase user productivity. Countless studies have proven that having more monitors leads to drastic productivity gains, and we know this very well since we travel with a ThinkVision M14 / M14D or ThinkVision M15.

This Yoga Book i9 makes lugging a portable display a thing of the past, or it could take our existing setup to the next level by working alongside one of these mobile displays. This depends on how much equipment you want to carry. Additionally, its 360-degree hinge allows more use cases, making it a very versatile computer.

This dual-display emphasis has a cost: this is not a cheap computer or one that provides excellent computing value (performance per dollar spent). If that’s what you want, there are better options elsewhere, with Lenovo or otherwise. But if you feel cramped within your current laptop display, this computer could unlock your productivity immediately.

Highs

  • Innovative concept tailored for a specific use case
  • Doubles the display surface area and personal productivity
  • Very compact and sub 3 Lbs
  • Excellent OLED 2.8K display quality
  • Thunderbolt 4 for high-speed peripheral extensions

Lows

  • External mouse, keyboard and virtual trackpad
  • More expensive than the X1 Carbon and Thinkvision M14/M14D
  • Stand is a bit bulky in depth
  • Not the best computing speed valuefor the price

Rating + Price

  • Rating: 8.8/10
  • Price: ~$1999

Filed in Computers. Read more about Dual-screen, Laptop Reviews, Laptops and Lenovo Laptops.



Source
Las Vegas News Magazine

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