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Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 review: a delightful OLED laptop

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 review: a delightful OLED laptop
MSRP $1,700.00
“The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 doesn't improve battery life, but keeps its great display, design, and performance.”
Pros
  • Fast productivity performance
  • Spectacular OLED display
  • Solid build quality
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Elegant good looks
Cons
  • Battery life is below average
  • Slightly expensive

The Lenovo Yoga 9i has long been one of the go-to choices for a convertible 2-in-1 laptop. The next generation is coming out this year, and I checked it out ahead of its release on April 10.

Now in its eighth generation, the convertible 2-in-1 holds on to what made the Yoga 9i Gen 7 a great laptop while updating to Intel’s 13th-gen CPUs.

You’ll find the same rounded edges and overall elegant design, innovative soundbar, and solid construction. The battery life and price are still its two biggest weaknesses, but the Yoga 9i remains a solid option in its eighth generation.

Specs and configurations

  Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8
Dimensions 12.52 x 9.06 x 0.60 inches
Weight 3.09 pounds
Processor Intel Core i7-1360P
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
RAM 16GB LPDDR5
Display 14.0-inch 16:10 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED, 90 Hz
14.0-inch 16:10 4K+ (3,840 x 2,400) OLED, 60 Hz
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD
1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Touch Yes
Ports 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1
Webcam 1080p with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 75 watt-hours
Price $1,700+

As of this writing, the Yoga 9i Gen 8 comes in a few configurations, all based around the Intel Core i7-1360P CPU and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The price for my review unit, with a 14.0-inch 2.8K OLED display and a 512GB SSD, is $1,700. Add $50 to upgrade to a 1TB SSD, and $100 for a 4K+ OLED panel.

The maximum price is, therefore, $1,850. That places the Yoga 9i Gen 8 firmly in premium territory, but with reasonably priced upgrades. Expect more configurations when the laptop is officially released in April 2023.

Rounded for both comfort and elegance

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Lenovo has used a new design scheme for the last couple of Yoga generations, specifically incorporating chrome rounded edges along the chassis bottom and smoother angles along the display. This affords a touch of elegance to the aesthetic and creates a more comfortable laptop to handle in all four modes: clamshell, tent, media, and, particularly, tablet.

The rest of the chassis is either Oatmeal (which looked silver to me) or Storm Gray. My review unit was Oatmeal, and the matching keyboard made for a beautiful laptop. The only convertible 2-in-1 that matches it in style is the HP Spectre x360 13.5, while Dell’s XPS 13 machines are simpler in design and don’t stand out quite as much. The Yoga 9i Gen 8 has reasonably small display bezels along the top and sides, but as with all convertible 2-in-1s, the bottom chin is a little chunky. That detracts from a modern look, but the rotating soundbar adds a splash of high-tech panache. Overall, it’s a gorgeous laptop.

It’s also well-built, with an aluminum unibody CNC chassis and lid that resist all bending, flexing, and twisting. It’s as rigid as the HP Spectre x360 13.5, the Dell XPS 13 Plus. and the Apple MacBook Air M2. In fact, the latter has some bending in the lid, meaning the Yoga 9i Gen 8 arguably feels more solid than the MacBook. That’s an accomplishment. The hinge is a little stiff, requiring two hands to open the lid while holding the display firmly in place.  That stiffness does create some confidence in its use in tent mode, which with some 2-in-1s feels a little loose.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The keyboard is the Yoga standard, offering large, sculpted keycaps and plenty of key spacing. It’s almost edge-to-edge, leaving room on the right side for some special function keys, including a Smart Power charger and fingerprint reader. The switches are very light, yet snappy, with a comfortable bottoming action.

I tend to prefer stiffer keys, but I acclimated to the keyboard quickly enough. It’s not quite as precise as the keyboards on the HP Spectre or Apple’s Magic Keyboard (which remains the best), but it’ll please most people. The touchpad is large and precise, and it was easy to feel confident in the clicks — I just wish they were a bit quieter.

Connectivity is mostly USB-C, with plenty of Thunderbolt 4, but there’s also a USB-A port for some legacy support. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 give the laptop modern connectivity.

The webcam is 1080p and provides a sharp image for videoconferencing. It also includes an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello, all of which fits into the now-iconic Lenovo inverted notch at the top of the lid. A fingerprint reader provides another way to log in without a password.

Finally, Lenovo included its user presence-detection technology that can tell when you step away, putting the laptop to sleep. It’ll then detect when you return, wake up, and automatically log in. The feature worked great during my testing and is a real convenience for public settings where you don’t want your info remaining visible when you leave your laptop sitting alone.

A slight uptick in performance, but no match for AMD

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 rear view showing lid and logos.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

My review unit was equipped with the 13th-gen Intel Core i7-1360P, a 28-watt CPU featuring 12 cores (four Performance and eight Efficient) and 16 threads, with a max Turbo Frequency of 5.0GHz. We’ve reviewed two laptops with that chip, and their benchmark results were quite similar. That is, they’re faster than the previous-generation Core i7-1260P with the same wattage, cores, and threads, but a slower Turbo Frequency. In most of our benchmarks, the Core i7-1360P was ahead, particularly in single-core performance. It lost out in performance mode to the Dell XPS 13 Plus with the Core i7-1280P (a faster version of the 1260P) in our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, but otherwise, it was a meaningful increase in performance. Note that the AMD Ryzen 7 7736U in the HP Dragonfly Pro was faster across the board in multi-core tests.

Overall, the Yoga 9i Gen 8 is a quick machine for demanding productivity users. Its integrated Intel Iris Xe means it won’t do well in creative applications that can use a discrete GPU, but for any CPU-intensive tasks, it’s quite speedy. Given the integrated graphics, though, it’s not a gaming laptop.

Geekbench 5
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Complete
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8
(Core i7-1360P)
Bal: 1,843 / 8,814
Perf: 1,835 / 10,008
Bal: 122
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,846 / 8,779
Perf: 1,906 / 9,849
6,102
HP Dragonfly Pro
(AMD Ryzen 7 7736U)
Bal: 1,473 / 9,061
Perf: N/A
Bal: 84
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,530 / 11,158
Perf: N/A
6,509
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,316 / 8,207
Perf: N/A
Bal: 170
Perf: 94
Bal: 1,311 / 6,308
Perf: 1,650 / 7,530
4,309
Asus ZenBook S 13 Flip
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,602 / 8,559
Perf: 1,639 / 8,923
Bal: 132
Perf: 117
Bal: 1,583 / 7,595
Perf: 1,614 / 9,220
5,548
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360
(Core i7-1360P)
Bal: 1,800 / 8,960
Perf: 1,781 / 9,071
Bal: 109
Perf: 99
Bal: 1,711 / 8,389
Perf: 1,750 / 9182
5,857
Apple MacBook Air M2
(M2)
Bal: 1,925 / 8,973
Perf: N/A
Bal: 151
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,600 / 7,938
Perf: N/A
N/A

My review Yoga 9i Gen 8 had a large 75 watt-hour battery and a power-hungry 2.8K OLED display. The 28-watt CPU didn’t help, leaving me to assume I’d see decent, but not outstanding battery life.

After running the laptop through our suite of battery tests, I found it to be a slightly below-average performer. It ran out at 7.75 hours in our web-browsing test, which isn’t great, and it couldn’t hit the 10 hours in the PCMark 10 Applications test that’s close to average. Finally, it ran for a stronger 13.5 hours in our video-looping test.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 side view showing ports and lid.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

You’re unlikely to get a full day’s work out of the laptop. That’s not surprising given the display and CPU, but it’s a little disappointing nonetheless.

One notable competitor is the HP Dragonfly Pro, which achieved almost twice as much longevity in a couple of tests thanks to its lower-resolution IPS display and very efficient AMD processor. And, of course, the Apple MacBook Air M2 was the overall leader.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10 Applications
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8
(Core i7-1360P)
7 hours, 41 minutes 13 hours, 25 minutes 9 hours, 40 minutes
HP Dragonfly Pro
(AMD Ryzen 7 7736U)
14 hours, 40 minutes 15 hours, 57 minutes 16 hours, 31 minutes
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
8 hours, 0 minutes 9 hours, 20 minutes 6 hours, 52 minutes
Asus ZenBook S 13 Flip
(Core i7-1260P)
8 hours, 38 minutes 13 hours, 16 minutes 11 hours, 18 minutes
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360
(Core i7-1360P)
12 hours, 57 minutes N/A 12 hours, 21 minutes
Apple MacBook Air M2
(Apple M2)
17 hours, 59 minutes 21 hours, 9 minutes N/A

OLED is spectacular, as always

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

This statement is becoming a broken record, but OLED displays remain the best around. Yes, Apple’s mini-LED displays on the latest MacBook Pros give it a run for its money, especially in terms of being brighter and better for HDR with the same kind of inky blacks, but when it comes to wide and accurate colors, OLED wins out.

That remains true with the 2.8K OLED display on the Yoga 9i Gen 8. It’s reasonably bright at 395 nits, and it offers extremely wide colors at 100% of sRGB and 96% of AdobeRGB. Accuracy is excellent at a DeltaE of 0.73 (anything less than 1.0 is professional-grade). Contrast is a deep 27,510:1, and Dolby Vision is supported for excellent HDR performance.

Again, it won’t get as bright as Apple’s mini-LED, but if you’re a producer, creator, or media consumer, you’ll love the display. It also runs at 90Hz, and so Windows animations are a bit smoother. You can upgrade to a 4K+ OLED panel at 60Hz, but at 14 inches, it’s not really necessary.

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 tent mode showing hinge and soundbar.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The unique soundbar houses dual tweeters that rotate to provide the best sound in whatever configuration. Two woofers along the side are meant to up the bass. Lenovo succeeded in creating a well-rounded audio system, with plenty of distortion-free volume, clear mids and highs, and a touch of bass. It’s enough for binging video and listening to music without resorting to headphones or external speakers.

Another great convertible 2-in-1 option

Lenovo keeps making great 2-in-1s, and the Yoga 9i Gen 8 is no exception. It’s fast, has a solid and lovely design, and its display is spectacular. It doesn’t have the speed for demanding, GPU-intensive creative apps, but for everybody else, it’ll churn through your workloads without a problem.

It’s expensive, though, currently starting at $1,700. Perhaps future configurations will be less expensive. But if you have the budget and want a truly premium 2-in-1 experience, then the Yoga 9i Gen 8 is highly recommended.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
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