The moment you unbox the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i, you know that it’s going to be an interesting machine. The Yoga Pro 9i is the best multimedia laptop Lenovo has ever released. It’s in part thanks to Intel and NVIDIA’s internals along with the bright mini-LED panel. The laptop has options for different display sizes, 16-inch and 14.5-inch, the latter of which I am reviewing now.
The Yoga Pro 9i has got almost every hardware component you could ask for. It’s got Intel’s 13th-Gen Raptor Lake processor, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card, and a 14.5-inch Mini-LED display (3200x1920 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate) that can reach up to 1200 nits of peak brightness. The display goes flat (180 degrees) and is a touchscreen. There’s also 32 GB of LPDDR5X RAM and a 1 TB SSD. With all this firepower under the hood, the question is simple: will it outshine other laptops (like, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra) when it comes to pure performance?
Lenovo went full throttle with the Yoga Pro 9i this year with a hefty price point to boot – ₹206,100. The Yoga Pro 9i is a laptop suited to a variety of tasks in a compact body. It may be slightly heavier than you’d expect, but it doesn’t weigh you down. The laptop’s case is made of aluminium and it comes in Tidal Teal or Storm Grey colour options. Both options are very clean and professional-looking and don’t pick up many fingerprints. I found there to be very little flex and the hinge is very sturdy. The lid can be opened one-handed (hallelujah) and the build quality is excellent.
The Yoga Pro 9i weighs in at 1.7kg and this is noticeable if you’re lugging it around in your hand. Add the 140W power adapter and the whole thing weighs just over 2kgs. There’s a power key (with an LED indicator), two USB Type-A ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a camera shutter key on the right-hand side of the laptop. On the left, you can find an HDMI port, two USB Type-C ports (with PD and Displayport 1.4 support) and an SD card slot.
One thing that wasn’t in sync with the design was the thicker camera bump. I understand it is to accommodate a 5MP camera, for better pictures and videos (and so that customers avoid using an external webcam), but it didn’t sit well overall. There’s also an IR sensor (with Windows Hello support).
All-in-all, Lenovo has done a fantastic job with the components it has chosen for this laptop and the number of ports it has included.
There’s little to complain about when it comes to the Yoga Pro 9i. The i9-13905H processor, clocked at 2.60Ghz performs without any hiccups. It’s a chipset suited for heavy-duty productivity tasks as well as smooth gaming performance. The i9 allows for all tasks to fly. Even when pushing the i9 to the limit, there are no thermal issues, as the laptop barely gets hot, and the fan also doesn't get too loud. It’s a win-win in my books.
I haven’t tested out the i7 variant, but if you’re spending this much money, might as well spring for an i9. It’s worth every penny.
Couple the i9 with a well-optimised graphics card (RTX 4060) and you get great gaming performance without any dip in frame rates. I played Halo to test it out. I’m happy to report that even after a couple of hours (I was plugged in), the laptop didn’t slow down for even a second.
Let’s get down to what I found best in the laptop -- the display. The colours were razor sharp and it was like they were popping off the screen. Thanks to the 1200 nits of peak brightness, the display gets really bright and hence you should have no issues with outdoor legibility.
The speakers were great and I consumed many movies on the laptop. I never once felt the need to connect the laptop to any external speakers. The webcam was also great with high-res photos and videos.
Software loaded quickly, multitasking was a breeze and even editing photos was a pleasant experience.
There is one area where the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i falters: battery life.
Yes, despite featuring a 75Wh battery, the battery life was a downer. With an RTX 4060, a Core-i9 processor and a Mini-LED display, one can’t expect much. Even then, I regularly got around 5-6 hours on a single charge. That is well below some of the Yoga Pro 9i’s main competitors.
In one instance, when I switched brightness down to 40% and didn’t consume media for over an hour, I managed to eke out around seven hours of battery life.
The 140W charger can juice up the battery from 0-100 percent in just 90 minutes.
This is Lenovo’s flagship multimedia device. It’s an excellent laptop in most areas. Despite being thicker and heavier than some of its competitors, it does justice to the components inside of the chassis. It's neither a gaming laptop, and nor a pure editing laptop. It’s a mix of the two and that’s a good thing.
The standout feature for me is the Mini-LED panel display. It’s one of the best displays of any laptop I have tested in 2023 and it gets plenty bright.
The question is, will you be ready to pay almost ₹2,00,000 for this laptop? That answer is almost always going to be a no, especially when laptops like the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED exist at a much lower price point ( ₹1,04,990).
If you do want to splurge, and want something top-of-the-line, then the Yoga 9i Pro from Lenovo should be the one you purchase.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He posts @IMSahilBhalla.