Lenovo Slim 9i review: glass on top, quality underneath

Lenovo Slim 9i

MSRP $2,070.00

“The Lenovo Slim 9i is fast, incredibly well-built, gorgeous, and sports a spectacular 4K+ OLED display.”


  • Class-leading productivity performance
  • Exceptional construct quality
  • Gorgeous aesthetic
  • Spectacular 4K+ OLED display
  • Excellent audio quality


  • Keyboard is just too shallow
  • Limited connectivity

I’d forgive you when you haven’t heard of the Lenovo Slim 9i. Amongst Lenovo’s many lines and sub-brands of laptops, the name hardly stands out.

But as reviewed, it is likely to be probably the most compelling 14-inch clamshell laptops I’ve ever reviewed. That’s due to the gorgeous OLED screen, great performance, and a webcam adequate for video conferencing. It is likely to be less adventurous than last yr’s model, but it surely checks every box for what a premium laptop ought to be in 2022.


  Lenovo Slim 9i
Dimensions 12.40 inches x 8.44 inches x 0.59 inches
Weight 3.02 kilos
Processor Core i7-1280P
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
Display 14-inch 16:10 WQUXGA (3,840 x 2,400) OLED
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Touch Yes
Ports 3 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p with infrared camera for facial recognition
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 75 watt-hours
Price $2,070+

Cohesive designs cost more

Lenovo Slim 9i front view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

For me, what sets a premium laptop apart is the cohesiveness of its design, together with its fit and finish. Midrange and even budget laptops could be attractive, but in addition they are likely to be distracted of their designs and don’t exhibit the polish you get from premium machines.

The Apple MacBook Pro 14 is maybe the most effective example of this — its design is straightforward and blocky, yet all of it works together to create a gorgeous aesthetic. And there’s little question that while you pick up a MacBook, you’ll be able to feel its quality. The Slim 9i exhibits those self same characteristics, aided by the glass covering on the lid that (literally) adds one other visual and tactile dimension.

Lenovo Slim 9i side view showing lid and ports.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Consider the Slim 9i’s newly rounded edges. They not only look great, but they make the laptop incredibly comfortable to carry and handle. The lid’s angled edge serves as a pleasant contrast when the laptop is closed, and the consistent color scheme throughout, with none extraneous bling, creates that cohesive design I discussed above.

Then, attempt to bend the lid and press in on the keyboard deck and also you’ll notice that there’s zero give, creating the feeling of a solid piece of metal and glass. And the hinge allows the lid to be opened easily with one hand while holding the display firmly in place. Overall, it’s an exquisitely premium construct, rivaling the MacBook Pro 14 and the Dell XPS 15, two other incredibly well-made laptops.

Premium laptops aren’t at all times the thinnest and lightest, but they shouldn’t be chunky or heavy, either. The Slim 9i is just 0.59 inches thick and weighs 3.02 kilos, each good numbers. I’m sure the glass covering adds additional weight, or the laptop could be lighter.

Lenovo Slim 9i top down view showing speaker.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Due to thin bezels across the highest and sides, with a rather thicker chin at the underside, the Slim 9i can also be nicely sized in width and height. Overall, the laptop is compact and barely dense, which just like the MacBook Pro 14 lends an air of quality.

The Lenovo Slim 9i’s design isn’t perfect, though. To start with, while the keyboard has nicely sized and sculpted keycaps and many key spacing, the switches lack depth. They’re light and snappy, but I felt like I used to be uncomfortably bottoming out as I typed.

The MacBook’s Magic Keyboard can also be shallow but provides enough feedback to be incredibly comfortable and precise. HP’s Spectre and Dell’s XPS lineups also offer higher — and deeper — keyboards.

Lenovo Slim 9i left side view showing ports.

lenovo slim 9i review right side

Also, the Slim 9i lacks the same old connectivity you get with 14-inch laptops. There are only three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support to go together with a 3.5mm audio jack. Often, 14-inch laptops include USB-A and HDMI ports together with an SD card reader of some sort. Those are missing here.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 provide modern wireless connectivity, but the shortage of legacy physical ports is a weakness.

Moving back to the positive, the Slim 9i’s touchpad is large and comfy, with precise Windows 11 multitouch gesture support and assured yet quiet button clicks. And the touch display is welcome.

Premium performance

Lenovo Slim 9i rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Your $2,070 buys a load of high-end components, including a 28-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i7-1280P, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD. Given the skinny chassis, the CPU selection is fitting, avoiding the temptation to stuff in a 45-watt CPU. Another manufacturers have given in to that temptation with mixed results.

Accordingly, the Slim 9i performs exceptionally well. Across all our benchmarks, the laptop holds its own against several other 14-inch laptops. That features the smaller Dell XPS 13 Plus with the identical Core i7-1280P CPU, those 14-inch machines with the 28-watt 12-core/14-thread Core i7-1260P, and a few laptops with the 45-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i7-12700H.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,720 / 10,115
Perf: 1,726 / 11,074
Bal: 114
Perf: 95
Bal: 1,795 / 9,467
Perf: 1,824 / 11,301
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,316 / 8,207
Perf: N/A
Bal: 127
Perf: 94
Bal: 1,311 / 6,308
Perf: 1,650 / 7,530
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Bal: 130
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,671 / 10,898
Perf: 1,644 / 10,196
Bal: 117
Perf: 89
Bal: 1,718 / 8,997
Perf: 1,774 / 11,035
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,531 / 8,209
Perf: 1,580 / 8,342
Bal: 133
Perf: 138
Bal: 1,538 / 6,993
Perf: 1,538 / 6,783
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

The Slim 9i is greater than fast enough for very demanding productivity workflows and may perform some creative tasks. It suffers within the latter from its integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, but its performance is impressive for such a skinny laptop.

The Lenovo tool for tuning the thermals for performance was relatively effective, and I’ve noted each balanced and performance modes here. The laptop throttled a bit, as do all thin and light-weight laptops with modern CPUs, but it surely managed to take care of competitive frequencies for essentially the most part.

The battery life isn’t bad for a 4K OLED laptop.

Gaming is one other story. While the Slim 9i did well enough given its integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, scoring 1,894 within the 3DMark Time Spy test and hitting a median of twenty-two frames per second (fps) in Fortnite at 1200p and epic graphics, that’s not exactly impressive gaming performance. You’ll have the option to run some modern titles at 1080p when you turn down the graphics, but not far more than that.

Solid performance is a premium quality, but so is battery life. The final word premium machines manage to balance each, and the Slim 9i comes close due to 75 watt-hours of battery capability. It fell behind in our web browsing test and the PCMark 10 Applications battery test, but it surely did advantageous in our video test.

These aren’t bad results for a quick laptop with a 4K+ OLED display. Nonetheless, whether you get a full day’s battery life will depend entirely in your workflow.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
6 hours, 28 minutes 12 hours, 36 minutes 8 hours, 10 minutes
 Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
8 hours, 0 minutes 9 hours, 20 minutes N/A
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
7 hours, 3 minutes 9 hours, 29 minutes 8 hours, 34 minutes
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 29 minutes 7 hours, 29 minutes 5 hours, 48 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
(Core i7-1260P)
7 hours, 39 minutes 14 hours, 34 minutes 10 hours, 42 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A

Class-leading optics and audio

The screen of the Lenovo Slim 9i.

To this point, we now have a laptop with a bona fide premium design, legit premium performance, and decent battery life. The ultimate box to ascertain is the Slim 9i’s multimedia quality, which today goes beyond just the display and audio.

To start with, given the importance of videoconferencing in today’s world of hybrid employees, we also need to think about its webcam. The Slim 9i sports a 1080p version, promising and delivering higher quality video quality, and there’s an electronic shutter switch to show the webcam off for enhanced privacy.

Lenovo Slim 9i front view showing webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Due to an infrared camera, Windows 11 Hello passwordless login is supported and works reliably. The IR camera also enables Lenovo’s intelligent sensing technology, which incorporates zero touch login and lock that puts the Slim 9i to sleep when the user leaves the realm and wakes it up (and robotically logs in) when the user returns. This feature worked reliably as well.

Those capabilities are nice to have, but when you’re spending $2,000 on a laptop, you’ll expect a high-quality display. The Slim 9i delivers that in spades, with a 16:10 4K+ OLED panel that’s brilliant with wide and accurate colours and the same old OLED inky blacks. It’s a shocking, incredibly sharp display and a pleasure to make use of. Regardless of what you wish in a display, the Slim 9i delivers

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is healthier)
Lenovo Slim 9i
389 27,050:1 100% 95% 0.89
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
411 1660:1 98% 76% 1.96
HP Pavilion Plus 14
398 27,830:1 100% 95% 0.78
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
369 1,340:1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

Finally, Lenovo didn’t incorporate the soundbar from the Yoga 9i Gen 7, but it surely did construct in 4 speakers, two downward-firing and two upward-firing. Tuned by Bowers & Wilkins, the audio system provided loads of volume with clear mids and highs and a touch of bass.

It’s one in all the higher speaker setups I’ve reviewed in a 14-inch laptop, and also you won’t often feel the necessity for a pair of headphones.

You possibly can get a very good laptop for less, but…

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

Sure, the Lenovo Slim 9i is dear. But, it provides a premium construct that’s second to none, with an aesthetic that’s cohesive and beautiful, and its performance is class-leading. The laptop will meet essentially the most demanding productivity user’s needs and may function a low-end workstation for creators.

Battery life isn’t the most effective, and the keyboard is just too shallow, but overall, the Slim 9i lives as much as its price. It’s amongst the most effective 14-inch clamshell laptops you’ll be able to buy, rivaling Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 and well above lower-priced options just like the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus.

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