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Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (14-inch) review: A robust no-frills laptop, but battery life disappoints

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Pros

  • Great keyboard
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Solid build quality
  • Automatic screen backlight

Cons

  • Lacklustre battery life
  • Modest selection of ports
  • No touch screen option
  • No camera privacy cover

Lenovo’s laptop range continues to grow, with a seemingly endless array of product lines and naming conventions. The Intel-based Yoga Slim 7i Pro reviewed here has an AMD-based counterpart in the Yoga Slim 7 Pro, and in US, the Yoga Slim 7i Pro is known as the Lenovo Slim 7i

Confused? As well as 14-inch laptops like my review model, there are also 16-inch versions. UK pricing is unclear at the time of writing, but in the US the 14-inch Lenovo Slim 7i starts at $1,199, while the 16-inch version starts at $1,599. 

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (14-inch)

The 14-inch Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro is known as the Lenovo Slim 7i in the US. There are also 16-inch and AMD-based versions available.

Images: Lenovo

Despite the ‘Yoga’ in its (UK) name, this is a conventional clamshell laptop, without a touch screen. The screen will rotate far enough to sit flat on a desk, but no further. 

Build quality is typically robust, with an aluminium chassis lending the 1.3kg laptop a solid feel. There’s a little flex in the lid, but not enough to cause concern, and the base is very robust. The 14-inch screen sits in a chassis measuring 312.4mm wide by 221.4mm deep, with thickness tapering from 16.9mm at the back to 14.6mm at the front. 

SEE: The 10 best Windows laptops: Top notebooks, 2-in-1s, and ultraportables

My review unit had a deep grey chassis, and there’s a also lighter, more silvery option. Either way, the styling is distinctive, with the Yoga marque in reflective silver in one corner of the lid and the Lenovo marque in the opposite corner.

Open up the clamshell, and the keyboard has the characteristic pot-bellied keys that Lenovo uses pretty much everywhere. They have an outwardly bulging lower edge, which gives slightly more of a target to aim at while typing, as well as looking distinctive. The keyboard is clean and uncluttered, not least because there’s no TrackPoint or associated physical buttons above the large and responsive glass touchpad.   

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (14-inch): keyboard

The backlit keyboard is comfortable and quiet to type on, while the large glass touchpad is responsive. There’s no TrackPoint pointing stick, as seen in Lenovo’s ThinkPads.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The keyboard has a light action with plenty of bounce, making touch-typing easy and comfortable. The left and right cursor buttons are full size, with half-size up and down buttons nestled in between. The double-height Enter key is easy to find, and the Fn keys are reasonably large too. As ever with Lenovo they are rectangular rather than pot-bellied, like the rest of the keys (space bar excepted).  Typing generates a quiet, dull ‘think’ that shouldn’t disturb anyone nearby. 

The keyboard has two levels of backlight, which can be cycled through using the Fn key and space bar. There’s also an ‘auto’ option; select this and the Yoga Slim 7i Pro uses the ambient light level detected by the webcam to set the backlight.  

To take advantage of this feature the 1080p IR-equipped webcam needs to be uncovered, which may explain why there’s no sliding privacy cover. 

The 14-inch screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio, and anyone who spends a good proportion of their time working with documents will appreciate the extra height over a 16:9 screen. During testing, I worked comfortably with two documents open at once, or with one document and a web browser.  

Resolutions of 2,880 by 1,800 (243ppi) and 2,240 by 1,400 (189ppi) are available, with my review unit sporting the former. Although it’s a little reflective, image quality was sharp and clear, with good viewing angles. The 2.8K screen offers 400 nits of brightness, with 300 nits available on the 2.2K version. Both variants support 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. 

The stereo speakers output sound out via grilles on the bottom of the chassis. Positioned near the front, they only partly take advantage of the upward curve of the base, although I didn’t experience any issues while using the Yoga Slim 7i Pro on a desk and on my lap. There’s no loss of fidelity at the highest volume, which should reach a small group in a meeting room, but there isn’t a lot of bass here. 

My review unit was powered by a Core i7-1165G7 with 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. A discrete GPU option, Nvidia’s GeForce MX450, is available, while RAM can rise to 16GB and SSD storage to 1TB. 

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (14-inch): ports

Right side (top): 3.5mm audio in/out; USB-A (3.2 Gen 1), power. Left side (above): 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4.

Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Connectivity options are pretty limited: you get a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the back of the left edge, while the right edge carries a USB-A port and a 3.5mm audio in/out jack, along with the power button. If you need connections like HDMI, RJ-45 Ethernet or an SD card slot, you’ll need to consider a docking station.

Lenovo’s claims for the 61Wh battery are expansive — up to 21.4 hours of video playback, or 19h under the MobileMark 2104 benchmark. However, my usual battery rundown test suggests that everyday users would struggle to get through a working day away from the mains: starting with a full battery, after three hours of mainstream workloads — working into web apps, some browsing and some streaming — the battery had fallen to 50%, suggesting total battery life of just 6 hours. 

This suggests you’ll need to take advantage of the Yoga Slim 7i Pro’s support for fast charging, which Lenovo claims will deliver up to three hours’ life in 15 minutes. 

Conclusions

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (a.k.a. Lenovo Slim 7i ) is a no-frills 14-inch laptop with a robust chassis and a great keyboard. The IPS screen’s 2.8K resolution delivers clear images, text and video with up to 400 nits brightness.  

It’s a shame the display doesn’t rotate fully, and many will bemoan the lack of a touch screen option. But what really lets the Yoga Slim 7i Pro down is its battery life, which would not see me through a normal working day. 


Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro / Lenovo Slim 7i specifications

Processor up to 11th gen Intel Core i7 (Core i7-1165G7 as reviewed; up to 12th-gen Core i7 in US)
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated), Nvidia GeForce MX450 (discrete, optional)
Operating system Windows 10 (Home, Pro), Windows 11 (Home, Pro)
Preloaded software Lenovo Vantage, Microsoft Office 2019, McAfee LiveSafe, Dolby Vision, Alexa
Dimensions 312.4mm x 221.4mm x  14.6mm-16.9mm (12.3in x 8.7in x 0.6in-0.7in)
Weight from 1.3kg (2.87lbs)
Form factor clamshell
Display 14-inch 2.8K (2880 x 1800, 16:10, 243ppi), 100% sRGB, 400 nits
RAM 8GB, 16GB
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB (M.2 PCIe SSD)
Audio 2 x 2W Harman Kardon speakers with Dolby Atmos
Camera 1080p RGB/IR, with dual mics
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.1
Ports 2 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 4), USB-A (USB 3.2 Gen 1), 3.5mm audio in/out
Battery 61Wh
Battery life up to 21.4h video playback, up to 19h (MobileMark 2014)
Rapid charge 15 mins for 3h runtime
Price from $1,199


Alternatives to consider

There are plenty of thin and light laptops on the market, and you’ll need to carefully weigh up the combination of design, form factor, specifications and ergonomics that work best for you. Here are three alternative choices at around the $1,000 mark to get you started.

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