Lenovo Yoga 9i – Full Review | 11th Gen Core i7 & 16GB RAM

Jan 9, 2021


Lenovo have once again done a great job in the thin and Light Ultrabook Department. This is the yoga nine I 11th Gen Intel CPU and the Evos graphics. This is an I 7 + 16 gigs of RAM. It’s $1500 on sale right now on Lenovo’s website. They run sales very often. 

The base configuration with an I5 and eight gigs of RAM is right now $1100.00 an. The MSRP is 1300, so it’s not inexpensive. It’s not an $800 entry point like some of the MSI’s. But what you get here is absolutely high quality, very well built and doesn’t forget legacy. And I’ll talk about that in a moment. 

So overall I love this thing and now we’ll dive in. Will talk about the build quality, what it’s like to use the device, some things that I wish they would have changed on the design too. And then finally, we’ll talk about performance. So first, let’s get into the ports on the one side, you have a full sized USB A, so that’s the legacy and you know what a lot of thin and light ultrabooks right now are going USB C only. 

I’d like having a full size USB because all of my mice are either Bluetooth or USB an I happen to not be a huge fan of Bluetooth for mice ’cause I you know, I do some gaming, but anyhow, so yeah, full size USB A and USB C with Thunderbolt and a headphone Jack the other side doesn’t have any port, so that’s your IO right there. Now it’s not the most complete IO, but it is what it is. 

There is a power button on this side. 

This will be hard to pick up on camera, but I absolutely love this right here in the front on the lip it says yoga and that’s also yoga series. It’s very classy look and Lenovo have done this with their top end Legion gaming laptops as well. I just recently posted review of the Legion seven I with an RTX 2080, Super Max Q and in that review. 

I tried to highlight this as well, ’cause to me it’s very classy. 

Although what you won’t find when you put your fingers on the lip is a one hand open, I certainly can’t demonstrate it right now because I don’t have it on a desk, but it does not one hand open at all. It’s a very very tight hinge, which might be a good thing overall. 

One hand open, I think is such a smooth feeling. It’s such a great experience. 

But there have been some complaints from the community here about Lenovo’s hinges in their recent Legion laptops. Now I’ve had a couple of issues with those hinges. I documented those in my last Legion video the same one referenced a moment ago, so for this one would be a little bit tighter. It’s probably a good thing now. One of the really big draws of this laptop is not just that’s a thin and light. 

14 inch Ultrabook. But it’s a two in one Ultrabook so you can rotate it all the way around and then use the device in more of a tablet mode. Windows is not tablet friendly, it’s not touch friendly and yeah. 

It kind of shows. Now I’m not the greatest artist in the world. I did try to draw you folks a little tiny picture here and I included some writing so you can see what the handwriting looks like. 

The big problem for me is not necessarily the Windows implementation ’cause there’s a lot of pros to having full fledged windows on your tablet device or a device using tablet mode. 

The problem is the pen. The pen is first of all, not something to really be excited about, but even just ejecting it from its sheath is a real pain in the butt because of its position. So if the laptop is at 90 degrees open, you can’t pull the pen out at all. 


Each kind of move it forward a little bit and now you have a pen and I just want quick correction. 90 degrees is maybe not correct, maybe more like 95 degrees. It’s too hard to pull it out so they have to have it forward or the other way around. Then you can eject the pen from it’s. 

She can also call it Covey. Now the pen itself is really nothing special. It is not a pressure sensitive tip and it does have two buttons built in, but honestly I couldn’t get those buttons to do anything. There’s no reaction. It doesn’t do a thing. I don’t know what’s going on. 

So it’s supposed to do something anyhow, so drawing on this, I was actually impressed with the latency. Now my daily writing apparatus is a Galaxy Tab S7 plus, which I’m very happy with. 

And that has the 240 Hertz touch sampling rate in a 120 Hertz refresh rate. This is a 60 Hertz refresh refresh rate and I don’t know what the touch sampling rate is. I imagine it’s somewhere below 120. 

But I didn’t really notice a lot of latency at all when I was drawing with this, and I seem to have done something to **** this off. So sorry for there’s no live demo here, but you get an idea of what drawing looks like on this thing. Now, aside from paint, you can use the pen in OneNote. That’s a big advantage for Microsoft devices. Is that your OneNote is right there? 

But just as a heads up, they also have one note on Android, and I’m pretty sure it’s an Apple two. OK, so another thing I want to call out about the pen and we’ll move on is the sound that it makes. This is a plastic pen. This is an aluminum body. Give it a listen. I’m putting it back in. 

Hear that, but I don’t like that sound now. What they could have done about that, I suppose is outside of my capabilities to diagnose, but when you have devices, there are some devices that have magnetic copies on the deck where you can drop the pen right in and others don’t have any type of cubby or sheath or anything. They just magnetically clip onto the devices. 

Or even like my Galaxy Tab S7? What they’ve done for implementation is they have a magnetic layer on the back. They drop the pen in and if you buy the standard case the case covers up and holds the pen. So it’s a better implementation than this. 

But the cool thing about this is you’re getting so much in a single package. Now let’s talk more about that package. The keyboard is fantastic. I am a big fan of Lenovo’s U shaped keyboards. I think they’re wonderful. This is a standard keyboard, no tenki, no arrow keys. When there are arrow keys. But who’s going to use when they’re not small and no dedicated home? 

Button insert that type of thing. But it is backlit. It’s three stage backlighting. The backlighting is. It’s plenty. 

Right, it’s totally fine. There is a fingerprint reader and the fingerprint reader is a little hard to see. It’s a square right here, right above the sticker and then the same is true with the trackpad. This trackpad is really hard to see. It doesn’t really mean it does click, but I think it’s more of a magnetic click. 

And I had one member of the Community when I posted the original tour of this laptop. Asked me if I had trouble with the sensitivity of that physical click and I’m not having any issues. So if you’re out there watching this one. 

Sorry, I can’t reproduce your issue. It’s it’s really a nice trackpad for me. No false clicks or anything of that nature. The display is a 4K display and you know out of the box with this laptop. 

The zoom in Windows was set to something like 235%, so everything was enormous, even bigger than that. If this were a 1080P display, so I dropped that down to about 120 I believe. And to me this is an optimal size, but you of course can change it to whatever you want it to be. 

You may have noticed the Doom icon on this, ’cause I did. Try playing Doom and I was impressed. So with the device plugged in I don’t know if that matters with these Intel GPUs, but if this were a gaming laptop I’d have it plugged in an I fired up Doom. I had it on 1080P low to medium settings and I was getting 30 to 55 frames per second. That’s not bad now. 

The 30 was. 

Not exactly where I thought it would be. It wasn’t happening. Just when there was combat there was 30. When I’m walking around my ship, and anyway with nothing really happening. But I don’t know that’s where it was. 30 to 55 frames per second is certainly playable at 1080P loading medium. That’s pretty cool. 

But Nate, if this is a 4K display on this model, you could go the 1080P display on the lower end model and that 1080P will probably look a lot sharper than it did for me. There was quite a bit of ghosting, so the refresh rate. 

I imagine his peril around 5 milliseconds, maybe even more. I mean, I can’t tell from the naked eye, but this isn’t a gaming level display, but the display is bright at about 400 nits, so you can use it outdoors and overall it’s super sharp. Lenovo did a great job with the display. Now one thing you may notice is that there is a speaker here right in the middle between the deck. 

And the display and that speaker is also on the back. So when you rotate this, there you go and you have it in tablet mode. 

Sorry, you need to see the display. Then you have the speaker right there with you and the sound is fine. It’s a little tinny for my taste, but I don’t have much taste. I don’t really listen to music, so for me it was fine when I was watching the Mandalorian. So yeah, that was cool. Now. One more comment about build and such and that’s the camera lens. 

So there is a think shutter at the top here that I’m not going to bother demonstrating, but you just slide it over. And then there’s a physical piece of plastic that covers the camera in case you’re worried about your privacy. 

Which brings me to regular daily use. Now the camera sucks. That’s life. That’s Ultrabook life when you’re not using a surface device, but it will get you through your zoom calls and you know it to some degree. It’s probably an advantage to be a little fuzzy and blurry on those zoom calls when you have to do them all day long. Personal experience, I can tell you. 

I get a little tired of them, but anyhow the performance. However, overall this laptop is really good so I have it up here right now. I ran a user benchmark so you got a userbenchmark.com. You download a tool and then they do an analysis on your laptop or whatever device you happen to be running and it did quite well for gaming it rented 22% which is not a surprise. It’s not a gaming device. 

And then for regular productivity, use it ranked at 90%, which they consider a nuclear submarine. So that sounds pretty good. And then Lastly, for workstation use at rent at 19%, so that’s not fantastic, but. 

When you consider this is a thin and light Ultrabook, meaning you could take it anywhere you want. That’s really impressive. OK now speaking, going anywhere you want with this thing. 

Battery life really, really impressive, so I ran a video sample so video looping through YouTube. So I had Wi-Fi connected, Bluetooth off, non stop streaming on YouTube with the brightness at half level and the battery set to better battery which is stage two on the windows. 

Little battery gauge. 

This sucker went eight hours and 59 minutes. I’m giving it 9 hours. I’m rounding it up 9 hours. That is really awesome for this video test that tells me that I could probably get by on a work day without any issues, and assuming I work home and I could plug it in, that kind of thing, I didn’t use it for a whole day at work ’cause I just have too much going on right now with. 

Doesn’t matter so anyway, but very impressive. Now the last thing I tested, it wasn’t the last thing. The last thing I’ll tell you that I tested is productivity. So Outlook, Excel, word, all that type of stuff and everything ran exactly as that user. Benchmark score would intimate no issues. Running Excel files have some large Excel files that are loaded on here work great. 

This thing can play do so you know it’s going to handle your files just fine in office suite. Which brings me to the recommendation. 

I have not tested the new Dell XPS 13. I’ve tested some older models and I’ve also of course tested the Razer Blade stealth and I’ve not had a chance to really dive into other manufacturers Ultrabooks, but I’m very very familiar with Lenovo and it is actually really easy to recommend this even though it starts it right now. $1100.00 for the five 8. 

I don’t. I never recommend I-58 to anybody I5. I have no problem with but the 8 gigs of Ram I tell you, I don’t think it’s enough for Windows. I really, really don’t. If you plan on playing games, you definitely want 16. So that leads me to this spot. If you like what you see here with this beautiful device. 

You gotta go with the 16 gigs of Ram and the cool thing about Lenovo is in many cases you can customize those base configurations to include additional RAM. That way you don’t have to worry about opening this thing up and replacing the ram or dealing with anything like that. Now the other thing I’ll tell you. 

As I was doing off my testing, this gorgeous device landed. 

In my in my box, this is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Gen. 

I I really love this thing and if you can find a way to get into this device for a price that you’re comfortable with and you’re choosing between the two, I would go think that carbon any day. It’s a lighter and it’s more durable. I think the keyboard is also a lot better and you’re going to have when I say durable, you’re going to have better. 

You can withstand. 

You guys withstand daily use better if you happen to drop it, you’re in better shape. Everything about this is really wonderful. It looks probably a little more aged than you’re used to because it is a ThinkPad and ThinkPad is a business line. But one thing else that I really love about Thinkpads is the material. I don’t know what they call this, but instead of metal you have this like. 

I don’t know what it is, it’s just really comfortable. It’s the ThinkPad material, so you might want to consider going to ThinkPad Carbon if you can get one versus this, But this is also a wonderful device. So big thanks to Lenovo for sending this over and thank you for watching. And there are more reviews coming soon. I’m doing my best to get through them. Thanks for your patience. Thanks for your time. Will catch on the next one. 



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