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Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 8 Review

Posted March 20, 2023 | Hardware | Lenovo | Mobile | Windows | Windows 11 | Yoga 9i

The 8th-generation Lenovo Yoga 9i carries over the design from its predecessor and adds a 13th Gen Intel Core P-series processor. So most everything that was great about that product is still great, though I did identify two new issues that weren’t as problematic in last year’s model.


The Lenovo Yoga 9i remains one of the most attractive PCs I’ve ever used. As suggested by its name, the Yoga is a convertible laptop, and it supports four usage modes, which Lenovo now calls clamshell (laptop), stand, tent, and pad (tablet). I typically use PCs exclusively in what I think of as laptop mode, but I did test stand and tent modes by playing music out on our balcony. And I tested tablet mode with the bundled smartpen. This is one versatile PC for those that need that functionality.

As before, the Yoga 9i comes in an all-aluminum CNC body, in Storm Grey (which I received) and Oatmeal color choices. And it carries forward the excellent “comfort edge” design the debuted last year, where the outward edges of the display lid and keyboard base are curved rather than hard-edged.

This is a great design element: the Yoga is a delight to carry and use thanks to the rounded and polished edges on the keyboard base.

And as with last year, the Yoga 9i still supports lifting the display lid with a single hand and the same rock-solid lid positioning. The rotating speaker bar covering the hinge is a nice design touch too (that also happens to have a functional rationale).


The Yoga offers two OLED display options, both of which are 14-inch multitouch panels with an ideal 16:10 aspect ratio. There’s a 2.8K (2880 x 1800) panel that emits 400 nits of brightness and runs at 90 Hz, and a 4K (3840 x 2400) panel that also emits 400 nits of brightness and runs at 60 Hz. The review unit came with the latter option, and it is one of the most stunningly colorful and bright displays I’ve ever used. (And you get your first hint of that when you turn on the PC for the first time, as the colorful and bright YOGA logo appears.) It’s a stunner.

The Yoga 9i also includes Dolby Vision HDR capabilities, which is particularly ideal for modern movies and other videos. There’s also a super resolution feature that upscales video when the PC is on battery power. Combine all that with the rotating soundbar and Dolby Atmos spatial sound described below, this is an ideal companion for movie lovers on the go. And the bundled Dolby Access app lets you configure the display for bright or dark environments, or you can just crank it up with a vivid mode.

The bezels surrounding the display are small all around, though like Lenovo’s other recent PCs, there’s a bump in the middle top to accommodate the webcam. I think it looks pretty good. Certainly better than a notch.

Internal components

I can’t find the 8th-generation Yoga 9i 14 on Lenovo’s U.S. website, but looking at a few international versions of the site, I can only find a single processor choice, the 28-watt Intel Core i7-1360P processor that came in the review unit. Ditto with RAM—16 GB of 5200 MHz LPDDR5 RAM—though I found both 512 GB and 1 TB of M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 TLC SSD storage options. Perhaps I’m just a bit early in the review cycle.

In any event, the review unit shipped with that Intel Core i7-1360P processor, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, and a 4K (3840 x 2400) OLED display panel. This was my first experience with a 13th Gen Intel Core processor, but I didn’t detect any major performance differences compared to its predecessor (which was, go figure, the my first experience with a 12th Gen Intel Core-based PC). According to Intel, this processor features 12 total cores, with 4 performance cores and 8 efficient cores, the same architecture used by the Core i7-1260P chipset in last year’s Yoga 9i.

Generally speaking, performance has been excellent across the board in standard productivity, creator (Adobe Photoshop Elements, Affinity Photo, and Adobe Premiere Elements), and developer (Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code) tasks. To be clear, I only had about two weeks with the device because it was shipped to me here in Mexico City and will be shipped back to Lenovo before I return home. But it was fast and quiet the whole time and didn’t give off any obvious heat.

Given the issues I had with docking 12th Gen Intel Core-based PCs via Thunderbolt 4 docks and USB hubs, however, I was curious to see whether the new Yoga 9i, with its new 13th Gen chipset, improved matters. And I am sad to say it did not, despite what I assume was several months of firmware updates to address this issue in previous-generation products. When docked with my HP Thunderbolt Dock, I started seeing the same weird pauses, not just in web browsers but in Microsoft Word when saving documents. It worked fine off the dock.


Connectivity is modern, with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 capabilities included.

Ports and expansion

The Yoga 9i has minimal but reasonable expansion capabilities, given the form factor. You’ll find a full-sized USB-A 3.2 port and two Thunderbolt 4/USB4/Type-C ports on the left.

And then a headphone jack, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and a power button on the right. I’m not a fan of side-mounted power buttons, but it was easy enough to find and use.

Audio and video

As with last year’s model, the Yoga 9i features a unique rotating soundbar on its hinge, the idea being that the audio output should sound good—and, ideally, identical—no matter which form factor configuration you use: the two 2-watt tweeters in the sound bar rotate to face you as you transform the PC, and the two 3-watt woofers are located on the outside front edges of the keyboard base and are never covered up. But it sounds best in the standard laptop configuration, from what I can tell. Indeed, it sounds terrific whether you’re watching videos or listening to music, and the included Dolby Atmos capabilities provide an excellent, immersive, and spatial sound stage. This is one of the loudest and clearest-sound speaker systems I’ve ever used in a laptop. It’s incredible.

(The bundled Dolby Access app lets you configure the audio for games, music, movies, or voice, but it also includes a dynamic mode that will handle that automatically, and I found that to work quite well.)

The Full HD (1080p) webcam carries over from last year, but image quality is excellent and there are manual brightness and contrast settings, and an auto exposure toggle, in Lenovo Vantage. (And, in a separate place in that app for some reason, a background blur feature.) But you can also run a Lenovo Smart Appearance app that provides a full range of camera customizations with all the right AI buzzwords, including background blur and background switch, face framing, a video enhancer, eye contact correction (the first I’d tried), and various face filters that can “beautify your selfies” by softening your skin and changing the shape of several parts of your face independently. Oof. It’s a bit much, at least to me, but some will be very excited by these additions.

One thing I really don’t like is the hard-to-find camera shutter: a PC this expensive should have an electronic shutter with a keyboard-based toggle.

Finally, the microphones feature intelligent noise cancelation. By default, they’re configured to work with multiple voices, but you can change that to cancel everything but the voice of the person facing the PC (which is what I set it to), have it learn your voice and cancel everything else, or just turn it off. There’s even a speaker noise cancelation feature, off by default, that filters out all non-sound voices.

Keyboard, touchpad, and pen

The full-sized keyboard on the Yoga 9i is mostly excellent, with short, quiet key throws and three levels of backlighting. Indeed, it appears to be identical to that used in last year’s model.

Unfortunately, it suffers from the same quirky use of so-called 1-click function keys in a column on the right side of the keyboard (similar to the silliness that almost ruins the HP Dragonfly Pro). And as with last year, these keys are a huge mistake: their functions are unobvious and rarely needed when you do figure out what each does.

And I kept launching the Lenovo Voice app inadvertently over and over again, which is weird because none of those function keys are related to that app. (The bottom one-click function key is for color mode.)

Related to this, I like that a fingerprint reader is built-in to the keyboard, but its position at the bottom of those 1-click function keys means that the right arrow key is no longer at the far bottom and right of the keyboard where it belongs. And that means that I kept hitting the wrong arrow keys because they’re all shifted over left from where they should be. Sigh.

Last year, Lenovo increased the size of the touchpad by 45 percent, and this year it just carries over. Unfortunately, I had all kinds of issues with this one and I’m wondering if something isn’t wrong with the review unit. I like to light tap a touchpad to select items onscreen, but the Yoga would register these taps unreliably, forcing me to push harder, at which point the touchpad would often audibly click. I was plagued by mistaken touchpad contact, too, even after I disabled three- and four-finger gestures. Just during the writing of this review, this mistake, in which text is suddenly selected and then overwritten as I type, happened multiple times. Something’s not right here, as I had no such issues with last year’s version.

The Yoga 9i 15 comes with a Lenovo Precision Pen 2, and its inclusion should please anyone who wants to use this PC for notetaking, annotations, or art. It’s a full-sized pen, not a stylus, with two shortcut keys on the barrel but no button on the top. It features 4096 levels of pressure, which has long been common, supports tilt, and allegedly works for 200 hours on a charge (I didn’t use it that long, of course). Charging occurs via USB-C at the end of the pen barrel.


The Yoga 9i includes Windows Hello facial recognition and fingerprint recognition capabilities, which is the ideal configuration.

It also expands on the dynamic lock feature in Windows 11 by adding true presence detection, which Lenovo now calls zero-touch login and zero-touch lock. The idea is that you configure Windows Hello facial recognition and then these two features automatically wake up the PC when you approach so you can sign-in as quickly as possible and then dim the display and lock the PC when you get up and leave. (A related non-security feature called zero-touch video playback will pause video playback when you leave the PC, but only in select native apps.)


Lenovo didn’t provide me with any sustainability information for this product.


The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 weighs almost exactly 3 pounds, which is just about right given its screen size and convertible form factor. It would easily fit in either of my laptop bags and should be an ideal travel companion. Unfortunately, I was unable to travel with it, as Lenovo sent it to my apartment in Mexico City so I could evaluate it during our three-week trip there this month.

As such, I can’t claim that my battery life observations are entirely accurate: I find that most portable PCs adjust and improve over time, and I just didn’t have as much time with the Yoga as I’d normally spend. But I average over 7.5 hours of uptime over multiple sessions, an improvement of about 30 minutes over last year’s review unit. (Battery life is rated at 14 hours for 1080p local video playback and 10.5 hours on the MobileMark 2018 benchmark, so my results are, if anything, on the high side.)

The Yoga 9i includes a 75-watt-hour battery and its new 100-watt charger can provide two hours of charge in just 15 minutes via Lenovo’s Rapid Charge Boost technology.


The Yoga 9i comes with Windows 11 Home (with Pro as an option) and a disappointing collection of Lenovo and third-party utilities and crapware, much of which spent my short time with the PC distracting me with pop-ups and subscription service ads.

I was unhappy to see McAfee LiveSafe and Amazon Alexa in my Start menu, but the incredible number of Lenovo pop-ups was even more alarming. An app called Lenovo Welcome tried to get me to buy Premium Care Plus Support for $75.90, install four more crapware apps (Amazon Assistant, Messenger, Fubo TV, and YouTube), pimp a Dropbox promotion, and manage my games with Legion Arena (despite this being a productivity laptop). Then Lenovo Smart Key interrupted me so I could get “quick  access to Lenovo applications and service and, more to the point, add a superfluous new floating toolbar to my desktop. Then, Lenovo Vantage popped up to help me maintain my PC and proactively fix any issues for $29.99 per year. Then it popped up again to offer me theft protection for my PC. And then yet again to activate Smart Lock for $49.99 per year. And then still again to extend my warranty coverage with Sealed Battery Warranty.

Good God, Lenovo.

This level of harassment is unacceptable. Also troubling is how much functionality is crammed into this PC and then spread through Lenovo Vantage and the several other Lenovo-branded utilities it arrived with.

Pricing and configurations

As noted, I couldn’t find this most recent generation Yoga 9i 14 on Lenovo’s U.S website. Assuming it sells for the same price as its predecessor, which is reasonable, you’re looking at about $1500 for a version with a Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and the 2.8K display. Upgrading to 1 TB of storage and the 4K display will cost you about $1750, and you should see configuration customization options when the product goes live there. The Yogi 9i is available in Oatmeal and Storm Grey colors.

Recommendations and conclusions

There is so much to like about the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14, but the escalation of in-box upselling of Lenovo subscription services is alarming in a premium product like this, as is the dodgy touchpad. Which, granted, might only be an issue with the review unit. If you look past that and don’t need to dock this laptop, its excellent performance, versatile form factor, terrific display choices, and market-leading sound system are all compelling selling points. I only wish I could have spent more time with it.



  • Sleek design
  • Versatile form factor
  • Excellent performance
  • Gorgeous 16:10 OLED display
  • Incredible sound system
  • Terrific hybrid work features
  • Excellent battery life


  • Unacceptable instances of subscription service upsells
  • 13th Gen Intel chipset appears to have same issues with docking as 12th Gen
  • Error-prone touchpad
  • Unnecessary extra 1-click function keys

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