As global leader in PC shipments, Lenovo has a keen eye on new form factors for their laptop market. The latest announcement at CES earlier this year was the Yogabook 9i, a laptop with dual OLED displays.
Eye-catching to be sure, the Yogabook 9i is now on-sale in Australia, starting from $4,189 from Lenovo with a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, or with a Core i7 for $4,439 which is the model Lenovo have sent over for review.
The highlight of the Yogabook 9i is of course the dual 13.3″ 2.8K 60Hz OLED panels, surrounded by a fairly minimal bezel and joined by a 360-degree hinge. The system is powered by your choice of Intel Core processors with Iris Xe graphics and 16 GB DR5 RAM with a 512GB M.2 Gen 4 SSD.
The laptop comes with a handy folding stand that allows you to use the Yogabook 9i in different configurations, as well as a compact Bluetooth keyboard which folds up inside the stand for protection during travel and a Lenovo Digital Pen 3 stylus which stores in the loop on the stand.
It’s an impressive setup when you’re out and about and in the couple of weeks I’ve been using it, it’s gotten comments everywhere I’ve used it. It’s an interesting form factor and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
From just looking at it, it’s easy to tell that the Lenovo Yogabook 9i is different from other laptops. The dual displays are eye-catching when you see it propped up on its stand with the Bluetooth keyboard.
The laptop itself is made from aerospace-grade aluminium and comes in ‘Tidal Teal’, a colour which sets the Yogabook 9i apart from the more staid ‘black’ laptops on the market and it looks great to boot.
At 1.34kg it’s relatively ‘light’ for a machine packing two OLED displays, and at just 15.95mm thin it’s still compact enough to fit into your bag without issue.
There are three USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the laptop. Even years after USB-C was first introduced I still have legacy peripherals, so it’s disappointing to see the limited connectivity.
The hinge works well, letting you use it as a traditional laptop with either the Windows virtual keyboard and trackpad, or with the Bluetooth keyboard sitting on the lower display. Or you can flip it to tablet mode or even use it in tent mode. Sitting on the couch using the virtual keyboard can be a little cumbersome, though you do adapt to the virtual keyboard but I used the Bluetooth keyboard more often.
The star of the show though is the dual OLED displays joined by the 360-degree hinge. They look fantastic, delivering true blacks, gorgeous saturated colours and the glass is smooth and responsive to touch – though with a gloss finish it’s a fingerprint magnet, though easily cleaned.
The dual display setup of course means there’s no physical keyboard on the laptop, so if you leave the bluetooth keyboard at home you’ll be using the virtual keyboard on the lower deck. The virtual keyboard and trackpad are easy to use, though if you’re a touch typist it can be a little hard to get used to. Personally I don’t find display haptics able to really replicate the tactile feedback of a key springing back on a real keyboard. That said, I was almost touch typing by the end of the review.
The only feedback I have on the OLED panels is that at 400 nits (600 peak) the displays aren’t as bright as I’d like in brighter conditions.
The panels have minimal bezel surrounding them, but enough to include a 5MP IR capable Windows Hello webcam above one of the OLED panels. It’s a decent quality webcam, and there’s a switch on the side to disable the camera to ensure your privacy. The webcam uses Smart Presence Detection to automatically lock and unlock your display or pause your videos when you walk away or return which is a neat (and convenient) trick.
There’s a good sound system on the Yogabook 9i with Bowers and Wilkins speakers tuned with Dolby Atmos spatial audio built into the 360-degree hinge joining the displays as well as underneath the lower deck.
It’s a neat solution, the 360-degree hinge allowing you to use the Yogabook 9i in a variety of different form-factors, while also allowing the audio to be presented to you from the same angle.
The audio setup is completed with dual-array microphones which Lenovo sends through their Smart Noise Cancellation AI to offer clear audio without background noise.
The whole package offers up good quality sound all around with videos sounding great and your zoom meetings a little more clear when you speak.
Powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB DDR5 RAM and a 512GB M.2 Gen 4 SSD, the Yogabook 9i really isn’t underpowered when it comes to processing power. The Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics however is not up to gaming above the basics.
In terms of power, the Yogabook 9i handled everything I could throw at it in terms of playing videos, surfing the web and even some video editing. In terms of gaming, if you want to play Minecraft you’ll be fine, but anything requiring a discrete GPU won’t run particularly well.
Battery and Charging
The Yogabook 9i includes a 4 Cell Li-Polymer 80Wh battery and there’s a 65W USB-C charger included in the box.
Battery life on the Yogabook 9i is good for a system with dual OLED displays. On average I got around nine hours of use from the Yogabook 9i with brightness at around 50% but increasing display brightness only had a minimal effect on battery life. It got me through a full business day doing work on the web and offline, but it would be worth keeping the charger close by.
In terms of charging the Yogabook 9i behaves as you’d expect with the 65W USB-C charger taking around two hours to charge from 0-100% full. You can get around 20% charge in 15 minutes if you need a quick top up though.
Yogabook 9i, Stand and Keyboard
The dual displays offer a lot of opportunity for improvements to productivity. It’s common to want a second display while you’re on the road. The current external displays available can be cumbersome to travel with and this is where the Yogabook 9i offers that flexibility without the hassle.
While the dual display laptop is pretty neat, it’s when you combine it with the folding stand and bluetooth keyboard that it really hits its stride.
The folding stand and keyboard are coloured to match the Tidal Teal of the laptop for a colour coordinated look,
The folding standis easy to setup with the predefined folds easily unfolding into the correct position with the keyboard attached to the magnetic strip at the bottom and the Lenovo Digital Pen 3 in the loop. The whole setup then folds up really quickly into a folio-like package that’s easy to carry with the laptop.
The Bluetooth Keyboard itself is lightweight, compact and easy to type on, offering a way to turn the Yogabook 9i into a real mobile workstation using the Folding Stand, or by sitting it on the lower display for a more traditional laptop-like experience.
The keyboard is battery powered and charged by the USB-C port on the side with a switch below to turn the keyboard on and off or put it into pairing mode.
I am slightly concerned about the build quality of the keyboard. My review unit appears to have a bend in it and has a definite rock to it when laying ‘flat’ on a bench. You really use it more attached to the stand so it likely won’t affect a lot of people, but something to be wary of.
Of course there is a learning curve to using a dual-screen laptop. To aid in training users Lenovo has taken several steps to offer tips on how to use the various shortcuts. Starting with the insert protecting the displays in the packaging offering quick tips on launching the virtual keyboard or trackpad, to the ‘User Centre’ software which comes pre-installed and goes into more depth on all the shortcuts available.
I found these fingertap shortcuts to be quite responsive, though not overly intuitive. An 8-finger tap brings up the keyboard/trackpad combo, while a 3-finger tap brings up just the trackpad. These both worked well – whereas the ‘5-finger tap’ to expand a window to fill both displays just kept failing for me.
It can also be difficult to do things such as flinging a window between the displays. To side-step this issue Lenovo has built-in tools to help you position windows correctly.Once the system detects you dragging a window towards the other display it offers a hovering pop-up to switch display as well as the Microsoft Snap Shortcuts to position it on the display.
Using the Folding Stand you can orient the Yogabook with displays either side-by-side in portrait, or on top of each other in landscape. This side-by-side setup offers far more screen real-estate letting you get work done fast and it’s surprisingly stable given the height.
For me, the Folding Stand and Keyboard are almost as worthy of praise as the excellent Yogabook 9i with the combination an excellent way to get work done on the go.
The Yogabook 9i runs Windows 11 Home and you’ll receive security and feature updates. Lenovo has added in some things to make positioning displays easier, but otherwise you simply use the snap layouts for positioning windows.
As with any new laptop there’s some pre-loaded software that you can retain or remove as you see fit. There’s McAfee Anti-virus with its usual litany of popups, as well as Microsoft Office trials and the usual array of built-in Windows apps and games.
There’s also third-party utilities pre-installed ranging from the Dolby Access software for configuring Dolby Vision and Atmos, to Intel utilities including Unison for connecting your phone and PC Graphics Utility for administering the Xe graphics.
Of course there are a range of Lenovo apps includingVantage for optimising your laptops performance or enabling security, Lenovo Smart Note the Digital Pen 3 and of course the User Centre as mentioned above for learning more about your new dual-screen laptop.
Overall it’s fairly light in terms of bloatware, just make sure you take the time to go through everything when you turn it on for the first time.
Should you buy it?
The Lenovo Yogabook 9i is an absolute standout when it comes to versatile form factors which will increase your productivity while on the go. The multiple methods of input and versatility of the device hinge and stand allow you to view more, and do more anywhere.
There’s plenty of power to take care of any work you have and it has that distinctive form factor – whcih will get comments if you use it while you’re out and about. The utility of the Yogabook 9i to help you get work done thanks to the increase in screen real estate just makes it hard to pass up if you’re comfortable with the thought of a dual-screen device.
The battery life could be better and it would be handy to have higher wattage charging with fast charging, but overall it is an excellent productivity machine, though you are going to pay a premium for a device with this design – but if you need that extra screen it’s worth it.
You can check it out now on the Lenovo website or head to JB Hifi to check it out in person.