(Cybertech) – It’s easy to get lost in the sea of laptops available. Most look the same as the next, offering little distinction. The Lenovo Yoga 9i is different, for this top-spec laptop has a massive edge-to-edge haptic touchpad rather than a traditional trackpad. How’s that for standing out in a crowd?
We’ve long been fans of the top-end Lenovo Yoga range, which in 2019 was topped by the C940. The 9i is the 2020 equivalent of that model, the simplified name being what Lenovo will be using from now onward.
In addition to the Yoga 9i there’s also a Yoga Slim 9i, which removes the convertible feature set – i.e. there’s no 360-degree hinge – of the laptop but, oddly, keeps the Yoga name. So that whole name ‘simplification’ hasn’t necessarily made everything crystal clear.
Anyway, onward to what the Yoga 9i has on offer. This is a top-spec laptop, as is clear from the optional leather on aluminium option, giving this laptop visual distinction and prestige.
The most headline-grabbing feature is that edge-to-edge glass palm rest though. It means even large trackpad laptops, as is the current trend, will only offer half as much usable space by comparison.
Lenovo’s design means a physical depression won’t be possible, so there’s no ‘real’ click, but the introduction of a haptic motor for vibration response under the glass means it’ll feel like a ‘real’ click (somewhat like the touchscreen in Audi’s in-car setup, which back in 2017 introduced the most convincing non-click click we’ve ever felt).
And what of fingerprints? Much like some flagship smartphones in 2020 – such as the Huawei P40 Pro – there’s a coating on the surface to help negate unsightly smears. How well it will work is for debate, as some of those phones with such technology can’t hide the worst of it.
With the earlier C940 Lenovo had introduced a soundbar hinge, which was supposed to deliver best possible sound irrelevant of the laptop screen’s position (it was mostly successful, just not from every angle). For the 9i that’s been enhanced even more, with a larger sound tunnel, and improved speaker placement for even better results.
Much like the also-just-announced Legion 7i, the 9i also brings a keyboard with some ThinkPad-inspired elements. There’s a two-segment curved dome design, which stops the keys from bottoming out and therefore ‘clacking’ noisily, while ensuring ongoing comfort and good travel (1.3mm here). There’s also backlighting, which auto-adjusts based on ambient lighting around you.
The screen – available in 14-inch or 15-inch variants and different resolution specifications – has a 90.5 per cent screen-to-body ratio, thanks to small bezel around its sides, while Dolby Vision certification ensures optimum brightness.
On the power front Lenovo is only saying that the Yoga 9i will ship with “the latest Intel” processors – likely because Intel will announce a new line-up during the week of the IFA trade show. There’s also the promise of up to 18 hours of runtime per charge, although we suspect that depends on the size of model you pick and which processor option is actually inside.
The Lenovo Yoga 9i will retail from €1799 for the 14-inch model, €1899 for the 15-inch model, while the Yoga Slim 9i is set to start at €1699 (a little less as there’s no fully rotating hinge).
Writing by Mike Lowe. Editing by Dan Grabham.