Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Lenovo (IBM)' started by dellaster, May 5, 2021.

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  1. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

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    This is the successor to the Yoga C940 14”.
    https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/yoga/yoga-2-in-1-series/Yoga-9-14ITL5/p/88YGC901455
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    Best Buy has been putting this on sale about once a month and I gave in to temptation. For $1100 USD I got an open box (Excellent) top-end configuration: i7-1185G7 CPU, 14” 4K 500 nits HDR 400 VESA display, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, RECHARGEABLE PEN IN A SILO (whoohoo!). These start with the i5-1135G7, 8GB, 256GB, 1080p in Mica (silver). For the i7 you get the option of Shadow Black with leather lid and single solid sheet of glass all the way across the palm rest. The trackpad uses haptics for clicks, like a Macbook, and the fingerprint sensor is ultrasonic. See the NotebookCheck reviews for details:

    Yoga 9i 14 i5 1080p Review
    Yoga 9i 14 i7 4K Review

    The laptop has AES 2.0 (confirmed w/tilt on Reddit using the Lenovo Pen Pro) but the silo pen seems to be 1.0—no tilt in Clip Studio Paint, unless I’m doing something wrong. I’ll have to spend $100 more for the Lenovo Pen Pro for that, or other compatible pen.

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    It might not be the best choice for serious artists. The silo pen as well as my ThinkPad Pen Pro stylus (AES 1.0) are wobbly on my freehand slow diagonals, pretty much the same as a Renaisser pen on a SP4, as shown. I only have to speed up a little to eliminate the wobbles, so I’m okay with it. It also seems less evident in Clip Studio Paint. The feel of the silo pen’s elastomer tip is great! There are two programmable buttons on the barrel which I set to Eraser and OneNote. But it’s smaller than most would like. I think of it as a wonderful bonus, a pen that’s always there, always charged, and I’ll use my ThinkPad Pen Pro (or get an AES 2.0 pen) otherwise—just as one would have to do if Lenovo left out the silo pen. It’s win-win, no downsides. Plenty of alternatives if one hates the “toothpick”.

    The 4K display, although gorgeous, can’t compete with OLED. No IPS screen can. However, according to NotebookCheck, it doesn’t use PWM, hits 99.3% sRGB & 75.2% AdobeRGB, and has max nits of 493, nearly reaching the claimed 500. The average nits is about 450. Plenty! Also as they noted in the review, not a hint of light bleed. HDR is also a plus:

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    From TheDigitalDigest comparison with last year’s Spectre X360 13 4K OLED:


    Unless I’m mistaken, the HP also had HDR 400 VESA. Perhaps he didn’t turn it on in the settings? ‘Cause the HP’s highlights were blown throughout on that sample 4K 60fps HDR video. Regardless, I was impressed with the Yoga’s HDR; it was one more thing that swayed me. Beautiful IPS display.

    Gaming! On integrated graphics!!
    The main swaying factor is that this device’s i7-1185G7 scored top rank among ultrabooks with 11th gen Intel, by a good margin, playing The Witcher 3, one of NotebookCheck’s standard tests for graphical prowess and power consumption. Of games tested in reviews (anywhere) it’s the closest in requirements and gameplay-type to Skyrim SE (the 2016 64-bit update), which is the most demanding game I play and the one I spend by far the most time with due to mods & modding. I tested it this morning and it auto-selects 1080p Low which gets 60 fps during the intro sequence. I can live with that, but I’ll probably go back to playing original 32-bit Skyrim which maintains a steady 60 fps at 1080p High with AA turned off (the pixel doubling from running a 4K display at 1080p is sufficient anti aliasing for me). I need the extra performance for when I add 250-ish mods.

    It performs roughly twice as well in Skyrim as my old Surface Book did, which had that custom discrete 940M GPU. Intel’s XE integrated graphic GPU impresses me, as does the Yoga 9i 14. Good enough for my kind of gaming while sucking down less than half the wattage of my ThinkPad X1E with its GTX 1650 Max-Q card (super important when you’re almost always off-grid on solar+battery).
    • The sound from the swiveling sound bar on the hinge plus pair of woofers under the palm rest is very good, best I’ve heard from an ultrabook. I won’t be forced to use headphones all the time.
    • It’s easy to remove the back but RAM and Wifi are soldered, only the SSD is easily swappable.
    • No Windows Hello IR camera, fingerprint only for that.
    • Ports: 2 USB-C w/Thunderbolt 4, 1 USB-A 3.2, and a headphone/mic jack. All on the left side. The right side just has the power button. Pen silo on the right-rear corner. No SD card slot.
    • Some reviews had a 1TB SSD in the 14”; BestBuy offers a 512GB SSD at most for the 14. Might be a limitation for US SKUs. Mine came with a Samsung PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ, a fast OEM-only SSD.
    (Removed size comparison with Spectre X360 where I confused device dimensions with screen dimensions.)

    After a day of testing I think it’s a keeper. I was a little worried due to complaints here and there about this or that, but everything works well and as it should on my device. Open box but might as well have been new/unopened; fingerprint reader works extremely well; I have no problem using that or the trackpad on solid glass (I’m a tapper, not a clicker, so YMMV), no tactile indicator of edges to either—some people can’t find them easily; wifi seems as good or better than any other device I own; and so on. Knock on wood.

    And it has a pen that recharges itself in a silo! :newpalm::thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  2. xxxxx

    xxxxx Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks for the review. how's the battery life and fan noise in daily use ?
    is there a silent fan mode in bios or via an external utility ?
     
  3. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

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    It gets audible, but fan noise never bothered me. You should go to the NotebookCheck review and read the objective test rather than ask about subjective experience. For all you (or I) know, my hearing is impaired.

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenov...screen-and-Intel-Core-i7-1185G7.519372.0.html

    I ran it mostly for games like Skyrim, so it was nearly always plugged in. I have no feeling for the battery life. Again, see the review for hard, objective battery tests that are compared to equivalent devices.
     
  4. Kimberly Parker

    Kimberly Parker Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the post. I purchased a Renaisser stylus for more comfort and can't get it to activate with the yoga9i. Any pointers?
     
  5. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

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    I don't think Renaisser makes Wacom AES compatible pens, which is what the Yoga 9i uses. Renaisser makes MPP (Microsoft Pen Protocol) compatible pens.

    Here's a list of compatible Lenovo AES pens:

    https://arthurhwalker.tumblr.com/post/643385243571781632/lenovo-pen-stylus-post-2021

    The Yoga 9i supports both AES 1.0 and 2.0, the latter of which has tilt.
     
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  6. chucklepunch

    chucklepunch Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I don't understand why the pen performs like that. The 14" C940 (which your 9i replaces) has the same pen issues you're seeing.

    Yet an AES 2.0 enabled pen fixes the problem. Meanwhile, my C940 is the 15" version, and the included silo pen is perfectly smooth. What's going on lol. It's clearly not a panel issue... the tech exists and Lenovo has it... it's also clearly not a silo pen issue, since the 15" versions are fine.

    Even my old Yoga 370 has a great pen experience. The C940/9i are premium laptops, it's crazy they pair it with this old junky pen.
     
  7. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

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    I bit the bullet and ordered Lenovo's Mod Pen since it went on a modest BF sale. It's the pen that came out with the X1 Fold. Reports are few but encouraging. As usual, Lenovo support is worthless: ask them if a certain pen will work on laptop x and they'll simply look up what it was designed to accompany and declare it won't work on anything else.

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    The Lenovo order was at the beginning of this week and still not shipped. Wacom, however, already shipped the extra nibs—one of the pros of the Mod Pen is that it will use Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus nibs, the CS322AK ones.
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    Crossing my fingers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
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  8. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

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    ... Or not. Lenovo informed me that it has been delayed. "We are working hard to get your order shipped as soon as possible, and it will ship within the next 30 days."

    Like I can believe them when they're talking about pushing it into the holiday rush. :rolleyes:

    Cancellation requested. I'm getting an inexpensive drawing tablet to plug into the Yoga, a Gaomon M10K Pro. Amazon says I'll get it Wednesday. 8196 levels of EMR pen goodness, 10" x 6.25" active drawing area. We'll see how it goes. But for the $56 discount price it's worth a shot.

    My job at one point, circa 1985, was using a digitizing board & mouse to edit company logos pixel by pixel on a CRT, software run on a minicomputer. This might be nostalgic. :vbwink:
     
  9. dellaster

    dellaster Creatively Talentless Senior Member

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    I had a feeling they'd suddenly be able to ship immediately after a cancellation request. We'll see if the Mod Pen actually arrives Monday as scheduled.

    As for the Gaomon, I doubt it'll make it today (it's not shown "out for delivery" as it should by now for a UPS package), tomorrow is Turkey Day, so hopefully Friday. Might end up arriving with the Lenovo pen on Monday the way things are going these days. Oh well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  10. chucklepunch

    chucklepunch Pen Pal - Newbie

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    What ended up happening? I bumped into someone who is also trying to upgrade their C940 14" pen experience so I remembered you were tackling that issue yourself.

    I love the wacom alternative drawing tablets. My friend has a tablet screen type Gaomon and he loves it. I use XP-Pen myself, and both the Intuos replacement (Deco) and the Cintiq replacement (artists pro 13.3") I've used were absolutely on par with Wacom- with the bonus of drivers which never fail. I can't believe the Artist Pro 13.3" is like $235 right now. It has the same performance as the Cintiq 24HDs I used in studios back in the day... but in a 15" sized device which doesn't even need a power cord! Wild.

    Digitizing board and mouse. That sounds surreal.. but of course at the time it was the hot new thing. I didn't get into it all until about a decade after you, so I skipped those earliest days. My first tablet was a Wacom Graphire something like this lil guy. At the time, it was a dream come true ha. All these modern solutions feel fantastic to me, knowing how it once was. My Yoga 370 is still my go-to for car trips, where I can paint in Clip Studio or Affinity for a solid 4 or 5 hours.

    edit: ah, just saw your last post was only an hour ago ha
     
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