After a spate of large laptop reviews, it’s time to get back to a more compact form factor with the surprisingly light and compact Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i.
The laptop is a light and portable offering from Lenovo, which offers a compact 13” QHD resolution lay-flat display in a body with a stylish Moon White colour that uses Carbon Fibre and magnesium alloy for an ultra-light design.
It’s got looks, but it’s also got decent power with a number of options that can be specced up to an 11th gen Intel Core i7 processor which includes Thunderbolt 4 and WiFi 6, up to 16GB LPDDR4 RAM and up to 1TB of PCIe NVMe storage.
A 50Wh battery promises ‘all-day’ battery life, which also supports rapid charging. Lenovo has also said the battery can retain up to 80% of its charge capacity, even after 800 charge cycles, which is impressive.
I’ve spent a couple of weeks with the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon looks stunning in white. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised that it’s not an instant dirt magnet – and Lenovo says that it has an anti-fingerprint finish which keeps it looking clean and fresh.
The white does drop away around the display which has a little bit of bezel at the sides with a thicker band at the bottom and some room at the top for a webcam.
The webcam is nestled into a slightly larger section, which acts as a lip for the lid when the device is closed. It frames the webcam nicely though adding a nice flourish to the usually boring flat upper deck on the laptop. It’s a 720p resolution webcam which is a little disappointing, but it works pretty well and DOES support Windows Hello! Login, allowing for touchless login.
The display itself is quite nice and bright, though it will eat through the power if you leave the brightness amped up. The display has a slick, glossy finish but has ‘anti-glare’ so it doesn’t reflect every light around you.
I would like to see a touch enabled model of the Yoga Slim 7i, though the hinge doesn’t accommodate tablet mode, so it’s not a must-have spec but it would be nice.
The hinge does allow you to lay the laptop flat, but you can’t spin it completely around into tablet mode. I’ve found few use cases for the lay-flat form factor, it does make it easy to share info with someone across from you at a desk, and also makes it easier to use when laying flat on the couch. So, while a 360-degree hinge would be better, the lay flat option does offer some increases in usability beyond a standard clamshell hinge.
The keyboard is very comfortable to type on with good bounce back on the keys, though not too much and it’s also quiet. The trackpad isn’t overly large, but is also responsive so you don’t get lag waiting for input.
Lenovo has gone for an all USB-C port setup on the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon. There’s two Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 ports on the left and a single USB 3.2 on the right. The setup lets you charge either side depending on where the nearest power point is which adds to convenience. There is also a multi-purpose audio jack on the left to plug in a headset with microphone. It’d be nice to see a full-sized USB port, or a USB-A to USB-C converter in the box, but USB-C devices are becoming more prevalent, so it’s not a necessity.
The laptop includes a vent underneath for cooling, though even after a full day use there weren’t any fan noises and it runs pretty cool.
Also underneath are the speaker grilles. The laptop includes Dolby Atmos tuned audio and it’s pretty decent quality. The Dolby Atmos tuning allows you to select from several profiles, or you can tune your own serttings with the programmable personal Graphic Equaliser.
Performance wise, the laptop does very well for your average day-to-day web browsing, office work and content consumption – but it’s not a gaming machine, and will struggle with heavy loads.
The laptop comes with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8GB RAM, which isn’t the highest end pairing, but it does pretty well. The laptop can very easily do any officework without issue, though you will get the occasional bit of lag if you start something a little higher-end like video editing or
Though it can run games, there are struggles as the Intel Xe graphics, though a step up from the Intel UHD/Iris graphics, isn’t ideal for gaming. You can get some decent performance out of some older games with lower graphics settings, but it’s not going to blow you away.
Battery life on the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is variable depending on what you’re doing. You can leave a playlist of videos running for a full day with no issue, though if you start working on any higher end work like video editing, or even 3D modelling you will begin to struggle.
My average work life on the laptop includes a lot of typing in a browser, as well as surfing the web and also watching some videos, or at least casting them to the TV. Doing this and using the laptop with the ‘Best Battery Life’ side of the performance slider I was looking at around 7 hours of actual use. Sliding up to ‘Best Performance’ which brightens the screen, unthrottles the CPU and lets you just fly, saw a dip in expected battery to around 5 hours on average.
The battery life is definitely enough to get you through a day of average office work, though if you push into performance tasks that drops significantly.
Lenovo has offset this somewhat with an ultra-fast charging solution for the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon. You can get back a decent bit of charge in just a few minutes thanks to the 65W USB-C charger included.
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon comes with Windows 10 Home edition, though of course you are eligible for an update to Windows 11 – which will become available from October 5th.
There is of course the usual amount of additional applications pre-installed on the laptop, which you can keep, or uninstall to improve performance as you see fit. There’s the usual culprits including an MS Office trial, McAfee LiveSafe suite is also there — and wanting constant attention — as well as a pretty wide array of utilities for features on the laptop such as Dolby Atmos/Vision utilities, Intel utilities and more.
Should you buy it?
Lenovo has made an exceptionally light, yet functional laptop with the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon.
The laptop has a decent quality build with quality components and also has the distinction of being quite a striking unit to look at – that white just looks fantastic.
There’s obviously a few things missing, fingerprint scanner, touch-enabled display, larger storage and battery, but the specs included fit the $1,400 price point it’s on-sale for.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i is a light and functional laptop that will do what you need on a budget. You can check it out now through the Lenovo website.