As I type on Lenovo’s brand-new Yoga 7i (now into its 8th gen), I’ve realised something about the latest crop of laptops in India. They all have one thing in common. At a base level, they all get the job done, and the era of bad laptops is behind us. Buy a laptop over ₹60,000, and you just can’t go wrong in today’s world.
That’s not to say that laptop A isn’t better than laptop B and that laptop F is head and shoulders above laptop Z. Once you get into the nitty-gritty, you’ll find a laptop that is perfect for all your requirements.
Unbox the Lenovo Yoga 7i and you’ll be greeted with an appealing design. I got the Tidal Teal colour option for review and I’ve liked it since Day 1. There is also a Storm Grey colour option but I wouldn’t recommend that at all as I find it very dull.
Lenovo’s Yoga line of laptops revolutionised the 2-in-1 concept, and now in its 8th generation, has refined it to a tee. Unfortunately, it’s let down by its display, the part of the laptop that is supposed to be the strongest sell in a 2-in-1 laptop.
The Yoga 7i has support for Intel’s Evo platform, top-of-the-line specifications, a clean, neat and premium design, and a solid build. There’s a lot to consider here. Let’s take a look.
The company’s line of neat and clean designs continues. The Yoga 7i is made from anodized aluminium material that gives it a premium look while keeping a slim profile. Most people agree that this laptop is a head-turner. It’s almost exactly the same design as the 7th gen version of this laptop.
There is a lip design for the webcam that is quite a neat addition. It helps open the laptop one-handed and also adds an extra dimension to the overall look and feel. There’s a privacy shutter (for the webcam), which is always a plus. The edges are rounded, which means they aren’t sharp. At 1.49 kg, the laptop is a little heavy, but nothing too taxing.
The I/O game on the Yoga line of laptops is strong. There’s an HDMI port on the left, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right is a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, a microSD card reader, and a power button.
The 2-in-1 form factor offers versatility that some traditional laptops lack. Thanks to the 360-degree hinge, one can use the laptop in tent mode, tablet mode, traditional laptop mode, and more. You can work, doodle, and consume media (with HDR and Dolby Vision support), in any scenario you’d like.
The Yoga 7i excels in the sound department. For the price, it’s one of the best-sounding laptops out there. The stereo speakers, tuned by Dolby Atmos (with a Dolby Access application for further customisation), are loud, and clear, and don’t crank up the bass, which is something I’m always onboard with.
The hallmark of a good laptop is that it can get you through a workday without a hitch. My workflow mostly involves researching and writing article after article. Hence, in two departments - keyboard and display (because I watch a lot of videos as part of my research) - it must excel. I must say that the keyboard on the Yoga 7i gets an A rating.
There’s a backlit keyboard with good key travel. The keys span almost to the edge of the laptop (sandwiched by speaker grills on either side). The keys also look appealing, and each key is easily readable. The backlight has different levels of intensity, which is useful for all those late-night work sessions.
The trackpad is large enough and has support for multi-finger gesture support along with palm rejection. It provides good feedback and didn’t interfere with my workflow in any way.
The 8th generation of the Yoga 7i is stacked when it comes to the internals. There’s the 13th-Gen Intel Core-i7-1360P processor. It’s a 12-core processor with a max turbo frequency of 5Ghz. The laptop has integrated Iris Xe graphics (which means it isn’t a gaming laptop). There’s 16GB of DDR5 RAM along with a 1TB solid state drive storage.
If you aren’t a gamer or a video editor, then this is plenty of power to get you through your workday without any lag or frustrating slowdowns. Whether it was opening multiple Google Chrome tabs, playing YouTube videos, playing casual games like Limbo, or doing some light photo editing, the laptop never slowed down and breezed through all the tasks. There are three modes - Performance Mode, Intelligent Cooling, and Battery Saving - and depending on what’s happening on the screen, you can either increase the performance or reduce it.
Something to give Lenovo credit for is the inclusion of a 1080p webcam. The image quality is sharper, and the physical shutter button adds a layer of security that you’d always like to have.
I told you I’d come back to talking about the display. The Yoga 7i comes with a 14-inch WUXGA OLED display (with touch support) and offers 1920x1200 resolution but just a 60Hz refresh rate. It’s 2023 and a 90Hz refresh rate should be the minimum norm on all variants of a laptop.
The Lenovo Yoga 7i comes with a few other display options such as a 2.8k OLED PureSight panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and a 2.2k LCD panel with a 60Hz refresh rate.
The 14-inch WUXGA OLED display comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio and thin bezels all around it. There’s a peak brightness of 400 nits and also covers 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut (necessary for content creators).
The display seems fine on the surface, but it’s when you use it for over a week that you realise it could have been much better. While casually watching YouTube videos, or watching movies for work, you realise that the display has poor viewing angles. No matter where you’re seated, it is poor, unless you’re in the centre. The brightness is also on the lower side and not much useable in outdoor sunlight. To add to this, the glossy panel doesn’t help.
I’d often have to crank up the brightness to its maximum level during my testing period. Something I can’t say about my time with many other laptops that I’ve recently reviewed.
The only other nitpick I have is that the arrow keys are cramped and that there is no fingerprint sensor. Still, these two are far from dealbreakers.
The 71W battery (with 65W fast charging support) is more than enough to get you through a full day of battery backup. I routinely got upward of nine hours. This was sans any gaming.
Fully charging the Yoga 7i was amazing as it juiced up in under two hours.
The Lenovo Yoga 7i retails at a starting price of ₹1,11,990. The Yoga 7i, despite its downsides, proves that you needn’t pay a bomb for a good laptop. Besides gaming (since it doesn’t include a dedicated GPU), it gets the job done
The Yoga 7i ticks many boxes. There’s the premium and clean design, stellar battery life, top-notch performance from the Core-i7 processor, and great speakers. It may not have the best display out there, and the keyboard may feel cramped to some, but beyond that, this is a very well-refined Yoga laptop.
The 2-in-1 competition is fierce. HP recently released their HP Envy x360 15. The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is one to consider. Asus has multiple models including the Vivobook S 14 Flip OLED. There’s even Lenovo’s own Yoga 9i 13th Gen.
With so many options to consider, a dim display can be a dealbreaker for most. But look beyond that and the Lenovo Yoga 7i for 2023 is a solid option.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He posts at @IMSahilBhalla.