There’s a 14-inch laptop out there with very good audio. I know. I’m shocked to be typing that, too. Though it doesn’t quite surpass the likes of HP’s Spectre x360 and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 Plus in many other areas, the Yoga 9i’s innovative speaker design keeps it very much in the premium mix as an exceptional entertainment and multimedia machine.
Lenovo is a big player. A sequel to the Yoga C940, the $1,299.99-and-up 14-inch Yoga 9i is a capable laptop in almost every area that matters, with a comfortable keyboard, respectable battery life, and some of the better specs...
About this speaker system, to start. There are two downward-firing woofers on the bottom. But the 9i’s secret is that the custom tweeters are housed in a rotating soundbar, which is built into the laptop’s hinge. The positioning means that the grills are always facing outward, regardless of whether the laptop is in clamshell, tablet, or tent mode. The surround quality was also superb.
here’s not too much to say about the rest of this chassis. The backlit keyboard is acceptable and roomy, but a bit flatter than my favorites on the market. The device is fine-looking and sturdy enough, but it doesn’t have the same sleek professionalism as the Spectre x360 14 or the Surface Pro 7 Plus (and the prominent Lenovo logo on the hinge looks a bit corny to me). It’s not the lightest laptop around, but it’s still portable at 3.02 pounds. And the port selection is about as good as you might expect for a laptop this thin, including a USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 2, two Thunderbolt 4, and an audio combo jack.
Performance was as satisfactory as we’d expect from the top-notch 1185G7. The system blazed through a load of 20ish Chrome tabs and booted up noticeably faster than 10th Gen Yoga systems would. Intel’s Iris Xe graphics are more than capable of running some games, as long as you’re not expecting 60fps from anything too demanding. Battery life was also a pleasant surprise, given the power of the processor. I averaged eight hours and 25 minutes of continuous use, with the screen around 200 nits of brightness.
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