POP! Review: Lenovo merges Style & Function in powerhouse laptop unit, the Yoga 9i

November 10th, 2021

Here is a player in the consumer electronics segment that is out to show the world that yes, it can be done–place equal importance on Style and Functionality to create a solid tech product, that is. Two separate principles that when merged correctly, can give anyone the best of both worlds in terms of design and purpose.

This seems to have been the plan all along for Lenovo in their introduction of the Yoga series, particularly of the Yoga 9i (14-inch), a laptop line that’s obviously made for the active and discerning.  In this review of the Yoga 9i (14-inch), POP! lays down all the hits and misses of this device—a few misses here and there, but definitely packed with the hits that make it worthy of your next laptop upgrade.

 

THE HITS:

 

The Aesthetic Agenda

Where to even begin with describing the beauty of this device? So first, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch laptop comes to you in a nifty, eco-friendly box that doesn’t have too much embellishments (there’s only a handful of plastic used here so that’s yay for the environment, right?) but still manages to give you an elegant unboxing experience.

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch

Neat and sleek is the first impression you’ll get from the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch laptop

The laptop is a little over a kilo in weight, so it’s light. It’s also evidently thin.

Once you get your hands on the laptop, your attention will most definitely be drawn first to the leather cover on the top part of the laptop. Some people might say leather doesn’t have a place in laptops, and that the farthest we’ve ever been with these two things are protective leather cases for laptops, but who’s to say that we can’t push the envelope for this? I think that’s exactly what Lenovo did. The cover is made of ethically sourced leather (as claimed by Lenovo–so again, yay for Mother Earth), but I’ve read somewhere that there is a version that’s made of fabric. Personally, the leather is a better option because for one, it blends well with the device, and it’s more manageable in terms of cleaning and maintenance. Also, it’s probably the better choice if you want to look more pro and slick (to go with your smart casual look when out for meetings or work).

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch

A closer look at the leather texture of the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch back panel

The palm rest is made of glass—they call this the Glass Sense touchpad technology, which allows for 50% more active surface area and haptic feedback. The rest of the body is encased in aluminum alloy.

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch

Don’t be fooled by this part–that’s glass right there on the palm rest, adding to the Yoga 9i’s sophisticated feel

True 2-in-1

The Lenovo Yoga 9i does 2-in-1 best, and in the most convenient way—you literally just have to flip your screen all the way back the bottom cover (I know—it can take some getting used to because we don’t normally flip laptop monitors over), but with this, you now have a true touchscreen/tablet mode that right off the bat could be very useful for a host of productivity suites or activities, such as photo and even video editing, or even for reading e-books. Imagine being able to use your Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch in its most compact form—this is a very nifty feature when you’re inside a car or a plane, or even when transitioning to bed time where you no longer want to use your laptop in its regular form.

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch

An ideal feature for the up-and-about creative individuals

The laptop comes with its own stylus pen tucked inconspicuously on the side of the laptop body (although it just might take some getting used to pull out and plug the pen back in, but you’ll definitely get the hang of it), so even in tablet form you can still maintain top productivity. The pen features the Elastometer nib, which replicates the feeling of writing on paper, making the transition from writing on physical paper to digital version an easy one for just about anyone. The pen also reinforces Yoga 9i as a legitimate production hardware–imagine being an artist and having limitless creative possibilities in front of you. Just hook your laptop to a second monitor and you now essentially have a pen display at your disposal, ready to work side by side with you for your digital artworks.

The meat of Yoga 9i 14-inch

It says in its specs sheet that the screen of the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch offers up to 14″ FHD IPS, VESA HDR400 + Dolby Vision™, 400 nits, 90% DCI-P3. Tech drivel for someone not knowledgeable in the inner workings of computer monitors, but a personal account of one evening of binge-watching Ultra HD videos should be enough testament to the power of the its laptop display. Bright colours with sensitive levels of backlighting—it makes for a pleasurable viewing experience. More so for hours of working overtime on your laptop. The screen has minimum side bezels, so you really get more out of your screen utilization.

The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch offers up to 14″ FHD IPS, VESA HDR400 + Dolby Vision™, 400 nits, 90% DCI-P3.

In terms of hardware, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch is powered by 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7, has 16Gb Ram and has 1 Terabyte of storage, which makes it a powerful device for work or for content creation, as evidenced by my attempt to open the same 36 tabs I had on my personal computer on the Chrome browser I installed on the Yoga 9i (don’t ask me how I got to kindling 36 tabs at a time), and at the same time working outside of the browser by firing up some work-based tools I temporarily installed on the unit, such as Photoshop and Microsoft Powerpoint. May be too early to tell at this point, but so far it got me from point A to point B of my workload so that’s a win.

Extra touches on some key features

Your Lenovo Yoga 9i purchase comes with its own USB-C Dongle, so thank you, Lenovo, for not making it a thing that you have to buy separately, because why. You also get a charger, of course—still on the bulky side, if you ask me, so expect it to create a bulge out of your otherwise sleek-laptop bag.

The laptop comes with a built-in camera, as it should, although there’s really not much to play around since it’s only 1 Megapixel, but I do know that it should be enough for virtual meetings. It also comes with its built-in privacy cover.

Accessories

The ports

Perhaps the wildest part of the Yoga 9i’s feature outside of its screen and hardware are…the speakers. Admit it, we have bare minimum expectations for laptop speakers because we already know they’re compact, so over the years we’ve just gotten used to hearing compact audio as well. However, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch laptop speakers have no business being this good. I don’t even know how it’s possible. It has an amazing sound quality that’s generally unheard of for most built-in speakers. The speakers—a rotating Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos speaker system, has twice the subwoofers, tweeters, and even webcam microphones. During my initial test it sounded like I was using auxiliary speakers. That’s how good it is. It’s almost ground breaking.

 

THE MISSES

When I said I only have a handful of pet peeves for this, I really meant it. For a user who relies heavily on Creative Suites and browser-based applications (such as email and streaming sites, lmao), the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch laptop has so far powered with me through 48 hours of hands-on testing, and so far it’s delivered. Except for a few quirks:

Prepare to REALLY clean clean clean

The incessant cleaning is going to be your life now as a Lenovo Yoga 9i owner. The leather and fabric part might need a little more caring part, but I guess we can justify the little price we have to pay so we can maintain the niceness of its look. Because the top part is covered in leather or fabric, extra care in handling the unit must really be done. It’s prone to scratches, so be careful with placing it inside bags where there might be sharp things protruding, like buttons or pens.

Also, I mentioned the palm rest to be made of glass. Gosh is it such a magnet for smudges and dust. An hour into test running it and I was already livid at all the fingerprint marks I saw shining back at me.

Battery life is touch and go at this point

Given that I’ve only ever tested this for 48 hours, I could say that the battery is decent enough to fuel you for 4-5 hours before it conks out on you—but know that this is pretty much conservative at this point, because laptop batteries tend to drain faster after changes have been made in the system or more applications or software have been installed.

It can, but exercise control

Because the OS comes with Integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics, you technically can run games that are hardware intensive. Sure, put Valorant on it and play in your free time because this laptop can still deliver on decent graphic performance, but keep in mind that this is not a gaming laptop. The Lenovo Yoga 9i 1-inch was made primarily for productivity.

The Lenovo Yoga 9i SRP is Php99,995 and is available in Yoga Exclusive Stores located at SM North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia or from Lenovo Exclusive Stores and authorized resellers nationwide. Click here to visit the Yoga Flagship Store in Lazada.

 

Reviewed by POP! team member Vida Tan

 

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