Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Discussion Thread

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

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  1. dellaster

    dellaster “Content Consuming Child” 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
    ATIVQ, Bronsky, Marty and 1 other person like this.
  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 “Content Consuming Child” 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.
     
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