Lenovo Slim 9i review: Glass on top, quality below

Lenovo Slim 9i front-angle view showing the screen and keyboard deck.

Lenovo Slim 9i

MSRP $2070.00

“The Lenovo Slim 9i is fast, incredibly well built, gorgeous, and features an amazing 4K+ OLED display.”

Positives

  • Class-leading production performance

  • Exceptional build quality

  • great aesthetics

  • Stunning 4K + OLED screen

  • Excellent sound quality

Negatives

  • The keyboard is too shallow

  • limited connection

I’ll forgive you if you haven’t heard of the Lenovo Slim 9i. within Lenovo’s many lines and sub-brands of laptopsThe name barely stands out.

But as reviewed, it might be one of the most compelling of them 14 inch laptops I have ever checked. That’s thanks to a great OLED display, great performance, and a webcam that’s good enough for video conferencing. It may be less adventurous than last year’s model, but it checks every box for what Excellent laptop It should be in 2022.

Specifications

Lenovo Slim 9i
Dimensions 12.40″ x 8.44″ x 0.59″
Weight 3.02 EGP
Healer Core i7-1280P
Graphics Intel Iris XE
RAM 32 GB LPDDR5 RAM
Show 14 inch 16:10 WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) OLED
storage 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
1 TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
touch yes
ports 3 USB-C Ports with Thunderbolt 4
1 3.5mm audio jack
wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p infrared camera for facial recognition
The operating system Windows 11
battery 75 W/h
price 2070 USD or more

Knit designs cost more

Front view of Lenovo Slim 9i showing the screen and keyboard deck.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

For me, what sets this premium laptop apart is the cohesion of its design, along with its fit and finish. Mid-range and even budget laptops can be attractive, but they also tend to be scattered in their designs and not show the touch you get from premium hardware.

The Apple MacBook Pro 14 Probably the best example of this – its design is simple and plump, yet it works together to create an attractive aesthetic. And there’s no doubt that when you pick up a MacBook, you can feel its quality. The Slim 9i exhibits the same characteristics, with the help of the glass cover on the lid adding (literally) another visual and tactile dimension.

Side view of Lenovo Slim 9i showing the cover and ports.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

Consider the newly rounded edges of the Slim 9i. Not only does it look great, but it also makes the laptop incredibly comfortable to hold and handle. The angled edge of the lid serves as a nice contrast when the laptop is closed, and the consistent color scheme throughout, without any of the extraneous hue, creates that cohesive design I mentioned above.

Next, try bending the cover and pressing against the surface of the keyboard and you will notice that there is nothing left, creating the feeling of a solid piece of metal and glass. The hinge allows the cover to be opened smoothly with one hand while holding the screen firmly in place. Overall, it’s a wonderfully premium build, rivaling the MacBook Pro 14 and Dell XPS 15two other incredibly well made laptops.

Premium laptops aren’t always the thinnest and lightest, but they shouldn’t be chunky or heavy either. The Slim 9i is just 0.59 inches thick and weighs 3.02 pounds, both good numbers. I’m sure the glass lid adds extra weight, or the laptop will be lighter.

Lenovo Slim 9i Top view down speaker.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

With thin bezels across the top and sides, with a slightly thicker chin on the bottom, the Slim 9i also measures well in width and height. In general, the laptop is compact and a little dense, which, like the MacBook Pro 14, gives an air of quality.

However, the design of the Lenovo Slim 9i is not perfect. First of all, while the keyboard has nicely sized, sculpted keycaps and plenty of key spacing, the keys lack depth. It’s light and fast, but I felt like I was a little less comfortable typing.

The MacBook’s Magic Keyboard is also shallow but provides enough feedback to be incredibly comfortable and accurate. Dell’s HP Specter and XPS lineup deliver better, deeper keyboards.

Also, the Slim 9i lacks the usual connectivity you get with 14-inch laptops. There are only three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support to work with a 3.5mm audio jack. 14-inch laptops usually include USB-A and HDMI ports along with an SD card reader of some sort. These are missing here.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 both provide modern wireless connectivity, but the lack of legacy physical ports is a weakness.

Returning to the positive, the Slim 9i’s touchpad is large and comfortable, with support for Windows 11’s precise multi-touch gestures and confident, quiet button clicks. A touch screen is welcome.

Outstanding performance

Rear view of Lenovo Slim 9i showing the cover and logo.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

$2,070 buys a load of high-end components, including a 28-watt, 14-core/20-thread Core i7-1280P processor, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD. Due to the slim chassis, the CPU selection is convenient, avoiding the temptation to fill up the 45W CPU. Some other manufacturers have succumbed to this temptation with mixed results.

Accordingly, the Slim 9i performs exceptionally well. Across all of our criteria, the laptop holds its own against many other 14-inch laptops. includes the smallest Dell XPS 13 Plus With the same Core i7-1280P CPU, those 14-inch machines with a 28W/14-thread Core i7-1260P processor, and some laptops with a 45W/20-thread Core i7-12700H processor.

jeepbench
(single/multiple)
handbrake
(in seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single/multiple)
PCMark 10
complete
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Pal: 1,720/10,115
Performance: 1,726 / 11,074
Pal: 114
Performance: 95
Pal: 1,795 / 9,467
Performance: 1,824 / 11,301
5442
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
Pal: 1316/8207
Performance: N/A
Pal: 127
Performance: 94
Pal: 1,311 / 6,308
Performance: 1,650 / 7,530
4309
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Pal: 1717/9231
Performance: 1,712/10,241
Pal: 130
Performance: 101
Pal: 1,626 / 7210
Performance: 1,723/8,979
5760
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
Pal: 1671/10898
Performance: 1,644/10,196
Pal: 117
Performance: 89
Pal: 1718/8997
Performance: 1,774 / 11,035
5,854
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(Core i7-1260P)
Pal: 1,531/8,209
Performance: 1,580/8,342
Pal: 133
Performance: 138
Pal: 1,538 / 6993
Performance: 1,538/6,783
4,982
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Pal: 1,417/6,854
Performance: 1,404 / 7,223
Pal: 112
Performance: 111
Pal: 1402/8682
Performance: 1,409/8,860
5647

The Slim 9i is fast enough for a demanding production workflow and can perform some creative tasks. It does suffer last from integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, but its performance is impressive for such a thin laptop.

Lenovo’s performance thermostat was relatively effective, and I’ve noticed balanced and performance modes here. The laptop is a bit throttled, as is the case with all the thin and light laptops with modern CPUs, but it mostly manages to maintain competitive frequencies for the most part.

Battery life isn’t bad for a 4K OLED laptop.

Games are another story. While the Slim 9i performed well enough due to its integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, it scored 1,894 in the 3DMark Time Spy test and averaged 22 frames per second (fps) in fortnite With 1200p resolution and epic graphics, this isn’t exactly impressive gaming performance. You’ll be able to play some recent titles in 1080p if you turn down the graphics, but not much more than that.

Powerful performance is excellent quality, and so is the battery life. The absolute premium hardware manages to balance both, and the Slim 9i comes close thanks to its 75Wh battery capacity. It lags in our web browsing and PCMark 10 apps battery test, but it did well in our video test.

Those aren’t bad results for a fast laptop with a 4K+ OLED screen. However, whether you will get a full day of battery life will entirely depend on your workflow.

Browse the web video PCMark 10
Applications
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
6 hours and 28 minutes 12 hours 36 minutes 8 hours 10 minutes
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
8 hours, 0 minutes 9 hours 20 minutes Unavailable
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
7 hours and 3 minutes 9 hours 29 minutes 8 hours and 34 minutes
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours 29 minutes 7 hours 29 minutes 5 hours 48 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(Core i7-1260P)
7 hours 39 minutes 14 hours and 34 minutes 10 hours 42 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours 10 minutes 12 hours 45 minutes 8 hours and 32 minutes
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours and 4 minutes 13 hours 13 minutes Unavailable

Class-leading optics and audio

Lenovo Slim 9i screen.

So far, we’ve got a laptop with an excellent bona fide design, legit excellent performance, and decent battery life. The last box to check is the multimedia quality of the Slim 9i, which today goes beyond just display and sound.

First of all, given the importance of video conferencing in today’s world of hybrid workers, we also need to consider its webcam. The Slim 9i has a 1080p version, promises and delivers high-quality video, and there is an electronic shutter switch to turn off the webcam for enhanced privacy.

Front view of Lenovo Slim 9i showing the webcam.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

Thanks to the infrared camera, passwordless login to Windows 11 Hello is supported and works reliably. The infrared camera also enables Lenovo’s Smart Sensing technology, which includes touchless login and a lock that puts the Slim 9i to sleep when the user leaves the area and wakes up (and logs in automatically) when the user returns. This feature worked reliably too.

It’s nice to have these capabilities, but if you’re spending $2000 on a laptop, you’ll expect a high-quality screen. The Slim 9i delivers that in spades, with a bright 16:10 4K+ OLED panel with wide, accurate colors and the usual OLED blacks. It’s an amazing, incredibly sharp screen and a pleasure to use. No matter what you need in the screen, Slim 9i provides what you want

brightness
(lice)
variance sRGB . String AdobeRGB . series DeltaE accuracy
(less is better)
Lenovo Slim 9i
(OLED)
389 27,050: 1 100% 95% 0.89
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(IPS)
411 1660: 1 98% 76% 1.96
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(OLED)
398 27830: 1 100% 95% 0.78
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
(IPS)
369 1,340: 1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(OLED)
397 27.590: 1 100% 96% 0.88

Finally, Lenovo didn’t integrate the Yoga 9i Gen 7’s speakers, but it did build in four, two downward and two upward. Tuned by Bowers & Wilkins, the sound system delivered plenty of sound with clear mids and highs and a touch of bass.

It’s one of the best speaker setups I’ve reviewed in a 14-inch laptop, and you won’t often feel the need for a pair of headphones.

You can get a good laptop at a lower price, but…

Lenovo Slim 9i view from top to bottom showing the keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

Sure, Lenovo Slim 9i is expensive. But it delivers a premium build like no other, with a cohesive and exquisite aesthetic, and class-leading performance. The laptop will meet the user’s most demanding productivity needs and can serve as a low-cost workstation for creators.

Battery life isn’t the best, and the keyboard is pretty shallow, but overall, the Slim 9i lives up to its price. It is among the best 14 inch laptops you can buy that rivals Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 And much higher than the low-priced options like Dell Inspiron 14 Plus.

Editors’ Recommendations






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