It’s that time of year again, where all the announcements from CES in January begin to appear on shelves, this time it’s the Lenovo Yoga 7 (Gen 8) laptop.
The Yoga range has been a mainstay of the Lenovo range, offering versatile form-factors with the latest Intel or AMD processors. This latest model, the 8th generation Yoga 7 (14IRL8) is built on the Intel EVO platform powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, DDR5 RAM and an M.2 SSD, with 14” display and a battery to get you through the day.
Of course it’s a Yoga and the Yoga 7 comes with the versatile 360-degree hinge offering multiple form-factors ranging from clamshell laptop mode, through to tablet mode, with Windows 11 powering the experience.
I used the 8th generation Lenovo Yoga 7 (14IRL8) for two weeks and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
The Lenovo Yoga 7 Gen 8 review unit came in this Tidal teal colour but it was also announced in Storm grey if you want something a little more sedate though.
The build quality is good. The aluminium shell feels premium and well put together but the Yoga 360° hinge is the star of the show. It works well, moving easily or holding position when needed through Laptop, Tablet, Tent and Stand modes.
Opening the Yoga 7 is easy in laptop mode thanks to a small lip protruding from the top of the display, this lip also means there’s more room above the display to house the FullHD resolution webcam which is Windows Hello compatible and also comes with a privacy shutter.
There’s not a lot of bezel at the sides of the 14-inch OLED display and the bottom and top aren’t hugely noticeable. They do however give you a bit of breathing room when holding it in tablet mode so you can avoid accidental touches.
Operating in those four modes, of course it’s a touch display and at up to 400 nits it’s bright too, even when working in bright sunlight. It’s FullHD+ (1920×1200) resolution in 16:10 aspect ratio and works well in tablet and laptop modes (and those in between).
In terms of ports, the Yoga 7 includes both USB Type-A and Type-C ports making it easy to connect peripherals. The USB Type C ports are Thunderbolt 4, though are both on the left hand side making it inconvenient to charge if your outlet is on the right. The Thunderbolt 4 ports handle high-speed data transfer and video out, but you also have a HDMI 1.4 connector for more options. Finally there’s a 3.5mm audio jack as well as a microSD card slot which should make it easy to transfer files.
The 6-row keyboard is backlit and has just the right of travel to make typing for long periods enjoyable. The keyboard is bracketed either end by Dolby Atmos optimised 2W speakers which produce a decent quality sound when watching movies.
Beneath the keyboard is the buttonless touchpad with a smooth, glass-like surface. It supports multi touch and is quite responsive. There is a stylus included in the box which works well with the touch display and makes any fine editing, writing or drawing easy work.
The 8th gen Yoga 7 is powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1360P processor with Iris Xe graphics. There’s 16GB of DDR5 RAM installed and a 1TB M.2 SSD.
Overall it’s a good spec for a laptop for home, school or business work. You can zip between surfing the web, Google Docs or office or watch some videos, apps and browsers load quickly. Some of the Adobe apps were a little slow to load, but tended to be fine once loaded correctly.
There are limitations though, and thanks to the underwhelming Iris Xe graphics gaming is definitely one of those limitations. Loading in Cyberpunk 2077 I was lucky to hit 15fps, with an average around 10fps even on the lowest settings. Sons of the Forest too was disappointing with a similar frame-rate on its lowest settings.
For those a fan of benchmarks I ran it through 3DMark and here’s how it went.
The Yoga 7 includes a 4-cell 71 Wh Li-Ion battery and comes with an included 65W USB Type-C charger.
The Yoga 7 battery life is good, clocking in around 9-10 hours of battery life on average for me. Most of my work is done online in Google Docs, as well as surfing the web, but I do occasionally use Premiere and other apps.
Charging is easy and convenient on the Yoga 7, with the 65W USB Type-C charging decently fast, though a 100W option would be nicer. There’s no ‘FastCharge’ on the laptop, so you’ll get around 20% battery from a 15min charge, and just under 40% with a half hour charge with a full charge taking a bit over 90 minutes.
The Lenovo Yoga 7 (14IRL8) comes with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed, as well as an array of pre-installed apps, utilities and services.
The pre-installed apps include the usual assortment of Microsoft apps including a Microsoft 365 trial, Xbox apps and various utilities. This of course includes Solitaire, as well as a variety of other services and apps.
There’s also pre-installed apps for configuring the included hardware including Dolby Access and Dolby Vision for configuring the display and audio, Intel apps for your Xe graphics.
Lenovo too include a number of their own apps, including the Lenovo HotKeys, Lenovo Pen Settings, Lenovo Smart Appearance, Lenovo Vantage and Lenovo Voice.
Of course you get anti-virus software and Lenovo use McAfee LiveSafe with a 30-day trial. Lastly, while not actually installed, you will see icons for Spotify and TikTok in your Start Menu. If you want to use them you’ll need to click on it and wait for it to install from the Microsoft Store.
You can of course uninstall a LOT of this software, though the apps for configuring the included hardware are definitely handy to keep around.
Should you buy it?
The range of Lenovo devices are always a good choice when it comes to choosing a laptop. The Lenovo Yoga 7 (Gen 8) is one of the prime examples of this with a well manufactured device with top of the line hardware for business or school work.
There are of course going to be limitations, but for the time being the limitations are primarily focused on gaming – and that’s ok. For everything else, the Lenovo Yoga 7 (Gen 8) offers everything you could ask for.
The Laptop goes on-sale this month for $1999 through Lenovo’s online portal and while it’s not live just yet, it’s definitely a great laptop to check out.