Lenovo Yoga 9i Review – With Leather and Solid State Glass Trackpad
This is their yoga 9i and on the service it looks like a lot of their other two in ones you have the laptop mode. Of course, you can put it into display mode here or go down into tablet mode, but what’s unique about this is the materials they use to construct it. So it has a completely glass lower half of the keyboard deck here, with a solid state track pad in an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, and the top of it is made out of leather, real leather, so it’s a rather unique and premium two in one that we’re going To be taking a look at in just a second, but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure. This is on loan from lenovo, so we’re done with this, it goes back to them all. The opinions you’re about to hear are my own. No one is paying for this review, nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded, so let’s get into it now and see what this two in one is all about. Now, like most lenovo laptops, there are a number of different configuration options to choose from this starts at around twelve hundred dollars, give or take and goes up from there. I think the unit that we have here is probably going to run you about seventeen hundred and fifty dollars or more, but these often do go on sale and you can pick and choose what components you want to have on them now.
This one has an i7 1185 g7 processor that’s, one of the new tiger lake chips and, of course, it’s got the evo badge on here. So we get the better graphics and the graphics performances you’ll see in a few minutes is on par with some of the other intel tiger lakes. We have looked at recently so it’s, not a gaming laptop but it’s going to play games a lot better than many other laptops in this form. Factor have fared in the past and we’ll get into some gaming in a little bit. The laptop also has 16 gigs of ram that is soldered on this. One has 512 gigabytes of nvme storage and you can upgrade the storage if you uh crack open the bottom of the case here, which we’re not going to do today. This one has a 14 inch 4k display. This is pretty bright at 500 nits. I had to turn the brightness down a bit, so our cameras, didn’t, get blown out, looks really really nice on here and it supports dolby vision. So you get some really good. Video playback performance on netflix and other video services that support that, but this does come at the cost of battery life and we’ll talk about that as we work our way through the review here now, this being a premium laptop it’s got a nice premium feel to It it weighs 3.07 pounds or 1.37 kilograms, so not all that heavy you’ve got that really nice lenovo speaker hinge on this one it’s, mostly metal, so the framing here is all metal like many of the other lenovo yogas we have looked at, but you’ve got this Really neat leather surface here on the back of the display – and this is actually real.
Leather it’s got a nice texture to it. It even smells like real leather, so it’s definitely a unique kind of material i’m guessing it might get chewed up a bit. If you have anything, sharp come against it, but it feels pretty nice and certainly has a very different feel versus other laptops that we’ve looked at in the past. Now the keyboard is your standard. Lenovo fare, it is backlit, it looks nice. It types nicely. No issues with the keyboard they’ve been coming up with some really nice keyboards over the years for sure. Now, the big unique feature of this one is this glass panel on the bottom. This is just solid glass. All the way across you do want to peel off the stickers here to get that smoothness down and the track pad, like the apple devices that we’ve been looking at here on the channel over the last couple of years, is completely solid state. It doesn’t actually physically move, but you get some of the haptic feedback when you click down the mouse button, and i will log in here real quick with the ultrasonic fingerprint reader that’s baked into this as well. This was having a problem reading my index finger for some reason. It might be just because my hands are all chapped from the winter months. Here approaching, so i did have some trouble getting that fingerprint reader to work and the other problem with it is that it, you really have to look at it, because there’s, really no bumps or anything to delineate where it is.
I actually left the sticker on here. So i could find it more easily, but they do say that this should work better with fingers that are dirty or grimy or maybe a little bit wet or whatever. But for me i found that the fingerprint wasn’t as effectively red versus a more traditional fingerprint reader. Now the trackpad is definitely the most unique one. I’Ve seen on a windows laptop in some time again, it’s fully solid state there’s, no mechanical clicking here and what happens here is when you put down enough pressure. It registers a click very similar to how the apple track pads work, you’re, going to hear a little click and feel a little bump and it’s, pretty close to my experience on the apple side, at least for knowing when you’ve done something. However, it’s not very good. At clicking and dragging and i’ll show you what i mean here so typically, if i wanted to move this window around, i would move the mouse cursor into position and then push down my thumb to move the window and, as you can see, it starts to do It, but it usually loses track of my thumb here and drops the window off, not where i intended it to be left and that’s been the biggest issue i’ve seen with it, mostly the clicking and dragging kinds of things. Other activities like right, clicks and clicking on windows and stuff and icons all that stuff seems to work just fine it’s, just the clicking and the dragging that i think, needs a little bit of work.
So hopefully they can do some firmware updates to improve the intelligence of this apple has really nailed their track pads quite well. I mean those things are amazingly good. This is very close to that again. I think if they can get, the dragging thing worked out. They’Ve got something here that might result in more reliable track pads for the windows audience. I did find that clicking and dragging with an index finger without the thumb works a little better and perhaps they can look at some of the behavioral patterns of their users and adjust the firmware to match that, and one of the things that i did is. I turned off tap to click which is kind of counter intuitive, based on how this trackpad works, but it’s, detecting pressure to register the click. And if you have tap to click on, it will register a click even when you just lightly tap on the pad, and i found that was getting the computer kind of confused. So i turned that off and my experience with the trackpad got a lot better. So i would disable tap to click and then, when you intend to click on something, just apply a little pressure and it will perform as you would expect it to, but all in a very nice track pad, just not as good as what i’ve seen on the Apple, but i do think they’ve got some ways to improve that uh. The other neat thing about this from an input perspective is that there is a pen built in as well, and they hit it very nicely on the back here.
On the back right hand, side, and when you pull out the pen, you get yourself a nice little pen that you can write on the screen with and i’ll show you that in action in a minute, it charges here in its little garage and it’s. Just a very nice efficient use of space here and it’s really cool to have a pen built into something this thin and light and have a place for that pen to go to now. All the ports on this laptop are, on the left hand, side of the unit. I was pleased to see that it has thunderbolt on board two of them as a matter of fact, and these are the newer thunderbolt 4 ports here, these ports will charge the laptop and allow you to connect up external displays and, of course, connect thunderbolt and usb Compatible devices but note when you have the power adapter hooked up. One of these ports will be occupied by it, so you might want to look at a docking station or something that will get you some more functionality out of the limited number of ports that you have here. There’S also a full size, usb a port, and this is one of the faster 10 gigabit per second ports as well. So if you have a ssd or some kind of hard drive, you can plug it in there and if it supports it, you can get that full 10 gigabit speed and, of course, you’ve got a headphone jack that supports microphone input there as well and on the Other side, you just have the power adapter, and that is it.
The speakers on this are pretty unique, so we have two here on the bottom and then you have another two inside of that speaker bar, and i found that no matter what position the laptop is in. It sounds pretty good nice and loud good. Stereo separation, a nice range of sound, the bass – is not very deep on this, but it just sounds good. Nice crisp clear, audio out of it, and if you want something better, you can hook up headphones to that headphone jack or attach up some bluetooth headphones, which, of course, this supports now battery life on this one will vary based on the display that you choose, as We alluded to a little bit earlier. The 4k display will certainly eat into the battery run time. So in our testing we were looking at about seven to seven and a half hours doing the basics here with the 4k display. If you get the 1080p display, you could probably go another 90 minutes to two hours, and that, of course, is assuming you’re not doing anything all that strenuous and keeping the display brightness down. So when you have a nice high res display that’s as bright as this one, there is a battery penalty for it and while you get through most of the workday with it, you will certainly do better with the lower resolution 1080p version. There is a webcam here at the top. It’S got a physical shutter on it like most of the lenovo’s.
Have the resolution is 720p, not the best quality, as you can see here, but it’s adequate enough for doing all of your video conferences and that sort of thing and it’s, on par with other laptops in its class. All right let’s take a look now and see how it performs we’ll begin, of course, with the basics. Here, some web browsing and we’ll load up the google chrome browser and head over to the nasa.gov homepage, as we always do now. I’Ve got this one connected up to my ac wireless network, but it also supports wi, fi six and, as you can see here, everything is very snappy and responsive, as you would expect a high end laptop to be so. I have no issues here. I think recommending this for the basics. Like word: processing, spreadsheets, web browsing and email. We also booted up youtube and watched a 4k 60 video on my youtube channel on google chrome, just to see how things performed and as you can see here, it looks as though we’re not getting any drop frames, at least during playback. There were a few when it first started up here, but it’s been able to play back this 4k 60 video without issue. So i think this is going to do fine for youtube and twitch and all the other stuff that you might want to stream to it. If you are planning to watch stuff on netflix or some of the other services that support dolby vision and some of the hdr modes that are out there, i would suggest downloading the windows versions of those apps to get the best experience out of them.
The web browsers don’t typically give you the highest level of video quality, but the apps do and on the browserbench.org speedometer benchmark test. We got a score of 279 on version 1.0 of that test and 162.8 on version 2.0, and that is right within the margin of error from another tiger lake based device, the xps 13 that we looked at a few weeks ago. So from the standpoint of doing the basics, the performance here is exactly where we expected it to be based on this generation of intel. Chipset all right let’s take a look now and see how the pen performs on this one again, the pen garages itself in the back of the laptop. It does have two buttons on it right up here at the midpoint. So you can do some of the different commands that different windows apps support with those buttons, and one of the things i look for is how far from the screen is the pen detected. So you can see here we’re about maybe an inch above the screen and we’re getting that cursor appearing right below the pen, and that tells me that we should have a pretty good experience here. Writing because i tend to lift my pen up pretty high in between words and when i do that oftentimes. My wrist is detected inadvertently on the screen, and things start moving around when i don’t intend them to so. For example, if i move the pen away and grab the screen with my finger, i can scroll, but if the pen gets closer now – and i rest my hand on here – nothing is happening because the pen is in proximity and because we’ve got a pretty decent range Here it feels like this should be a good writing experience.
I also found that the pen has very low latency and there’s a bit of resistance on the screen, so you have more of a natural feel to it. The pen doesn’t feel like it’s. Slipping around you’ve got some texture here, it’s, not quite a texture, but it slows down the movement of the pen to the point where it almost feels like you have ink on paper. It really has a nice feel to it. This also has pressure sensitivity. So if i draw just lightly on the screen, i get one thickness and if i push down harder, i get another so all together, a really nice pen experience here, one of the nicer ones i have seen and of course, you’ve got that convenient garage here at The back that will charge the pen and store it when you’re not using it. So let’s move on now to some games and we’ve got the witcher 3 here running at 1080p lowest settings and we were getting between 30 and 40 frames per second, you might get a little hit of lag every once in a while, like you’ll see right here That might have just been due to the external ssd. We were running the game from, but nonetheless it’s working, fine and, if you’re, a casual, gamer, maybe you’re, looking to keep up with your witcher game when you’re on the road it’s going to play the game and play the game pretty well even at 1080p.
If you turn it down to 720p you’ll get even better performance, and intel has really made some big strides here with their iris xe chipset. Note, though, that we’re running this on the i7 variant, the i5 chips don’t do quite as well as what you’re seeing here, but overall on the i7 we’re, really enjoying the performance gains that we’ve seen in this generation. This is gta 5 running at 1080p, also at lowest settings 40 to 50 frames per second here, not bad at all. If you turn down the 720p, you can usually get close to or above 60.. We also try to game at high settings rocket league here, which tends to be more forgiving at the highest settings, and here we were getting between about 25 and 30 frames per second at 1080p, and i think you could easily get this game running at 60 frames Per second at 1080p, if you adjust some settings down or crank them up and go to 720p and for the heck of it, because we had a 4k display, we decided to load up half life 2. This one is running well over 100 frames per second at 4k, so you can have some fun with older games with the maximum resolution that the display here provides, but all in a really good performance on the graphics side and it’s, consistent with what we’ve seen out Of these tiger lake processors, so this thing is doing what we expected it to do with that tiger lake chipset just be sure to pick up the i7 version, with the evo xe graphics, on board for the best performance and on the 3dmark time, spy benchmark test.
We got a score of 1624 that puts it pretty much within the margin of error of the dell xps 13 that we looked at a few weeks ago. So it’s performing as expected, no issues there, the fan noise on it, isn’t all that loud when you’re doing the basics here, like sitting at the desktop or running some emails or web browsing sessions, and that sort of thing when you place the computer under load, is When you’ll start hearing that fan more frequently, you do want to make sure, under all circumstances, that you keep this bottom portion of the laptop clear. So, if it’s sitting on a desk like this you’ll be fine but just be careful about carpet and fabric and stuff that might prevent the airflow from freely going through the machine, it does get pretty loud when you’re gaming or putting the computer under sustained load. So just be aware of that, but the fan isn’t bad throughout other uses that you might do with it and on the 3d mark stress test, we got a failing grade of 91.10 percent and you can see the temperatures the computer was running at at the time That test concluded – and that means you’re – probably going to get a little bit of thermal throttling on this one. When the processor gets too hot it’s going to kind of turn itself down a bit performance wise to prevent overheating, and that gives the fan some opportunity to catch up so you’ll have some fan.
Noise here you’ll see some throttling, and i should say too that the throttling is not unusual for these thin and light laptops, especially when you’re under load. They do all tend to not pass that stress test, but the larger laptops with larger fans and more room to move the air around uh tend to do a lot better and that’s one of the trade offs you get here when you go into thin and light Devices like this one all right, one last thing to take a look at here and that is its ubuntu performance. We’Ve got ubuntu 20.10 up right now and most of the systems components were detected properly, so we have audio wi, fi and bluetooth all good. The display here is being detected properly and it’s running at 4k and then scaling up the images here to make them look. Nice and sharp so that’s all good, but the touchscreen is not being detected here, at least on the 4k version, and the other issue i’m running into here is with the trackpad. So while it will detect clicks properly, it is not tracking the pointer all that. Well, so once i start moving here, it will quickly lose track of my finger and i have to put it back down again to get it moving again, and sometimes it picks up a click in between. So there must be maybe some drivers or something that lenovo will have to put together here to get the trackpad working better.
But for the most part, the system is working well here: minus the touchscreen and some of the trackpad oddities, but otherwise a pretty good linux performance, in addition to its windows, performance and overall it’s, a nice laptop here. I really like the unique build to this. I hope we start seeing more innovation like this in the windows space to get out of some of the very similar things we see from one generation to the next, so this track pad is definitely off to a good start, it’s very close to apple performance. Not quite there – and i do like the leather on the top of it here quite a bit – it really feels nice and premium and definitely a different thing than what we’re used to and all together, it’s a nice laptop here, which i hope it would be for Its price point that’s going to do it for now until next time. This is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters, including gold level, supporters, brian parker, jim peter tom albrecht and chris allegretta.