Lenovo Yoga 9i (15-Inch): A Competent Convertible
PC Magazine|March 2021
We recently reviewed the 14-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i, a compact convertible laptop with plenty of upside, but maybe you’re in the market for something a little larger. Its big brother, the 15.6-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i, brings the same high-quality hybrid form factor to a roomier display. Of course, the increased size makes the larger Yoga a little unwieldy as a tablet, but it also delivers more power. (The hybrid’s snappy Intel Core i7 H-Series CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics will impress.) Long battery life and an included stylus sweeten the pot for what is a good if not standout convertible. The premium HP Spectre x360 15 remains our favorite big-screen 2-in-1 machine.
MATTHEW BUZZI

A STURDY BIG-SCREEN CONVERTIBLE

The design of the Yoga 9i is unassuming bordering on dull, but it certainly won’t offend and is a fit for professional use. It’s trim and relatively slim, and its metal chassis is a sleek slate-gray color. The build is top-quality sturdy with essentially no flex in any area.

The Yoga 9i measures 0.78 by 14 by 9.4 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.4 pounds. That makes for a pretty standard laptop in terms of size, ready to travel when necessary, even if it won’t be mistaken for an ultraportable. For comparison’s sake, the Spectre x360 15 measures 0.79 by 14.2 by 8.9 inches and weighs 4.2 pounds. While both are reasonably portable, we generally find 15-inch convertibles unwieldy—it’s a lot of screen to grasp and rotate, and such systems are far too heavy to hold in one hand in tablet mode. So we prefer 13.3- and 14-inch 2-in-1s.

For those who won’t compromise on screen size and want only occasional tablet or kiosk use, however, the big Yoga 9i is certainly a functional solution. It just doesn’t fit on your lap or on a petite cafe table or airline tray table quite as well.

Lenovo Yoga 9i (15-Inch)

PROS

Sturdy metal construction. Speedy performance and discrete GPU. Long battery life. Included stylus and built-in storage.

CONS

Few ports for its size. 15-inch convertibles are simply unwieldy as tablets.

BOTTOM LINE

The 15-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i combines robust design with more potent processing and graphics performance than many rivals, even if it’s rather big and awkward as a 2-in-1 convertible, and lacking in ports.

One feature that does make it easier to use in different configurations is the included stylus. Tapping away with the pen in tablet mode is more precise and feels more natural than using your finger. The pen slots nicely into the system’s right side when not in use, where it will charge until you reach for it next time.

Speaking of the display, it’s a high-quality screen. The bezels aren’t imperceptibly thin as on some ultraportables, but they’re skinny enough to keep the system’s overall size relatively compact and make the display look larger. While a 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) panel is available, our test unit featured full HD or 1080p resolution. Both are, of course, touch screens. The picture quality is good; the display is bright and sharp with vibrant colors.

Though the Yoga 9i’s silver-slab look is fairly ordinary, the build quality is above average, more in line with the premium price. The 360-degree display hinge is very sturdy, and resists smaller motion or pressure so the screen doesn’t flop around as you move the laptop. The keyboard is a breeze to type on (travel is a touch more shallow than I’ve come to expect from Lenovo laptops but still comfortable), and this 15-incher features a full-size number pad. The touchpad is especially smooth, tracks nicely, and is firmly set in place (unlike some loose alternatives on cheaper laptops).

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