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Lenovo Yoga Book 9i: Hands-On With the Innovative Dual Screen Laptop

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is a new breed of convertible laptop featuring a dual screen design. With two touch displays connected by a 360-degree hinge, this unique form factor promises more productivity and creativity than conventional laptops. But does having two screens make for a better user experience? In this hands-on review, we dive into what it’s like using the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i.

Convertible 2-in-1 laptops allow versatile usage in different orientations, transforming between a notebook and a tablet. Many models like the excellent HP Spectre x360 13 adopt the familiar single screen arrangement that can fold back flat. Lenovo took a different approach with the Yoga Book 9i, outfitting it with a second display instead of a physical keyboard. Let’s look closer at how this dual screen design works.

Dual Screens Connected by a Hinge

The key hardware innovation of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is its pair of 13.3″ LCD touchscreens joined together via an intricately engineered hinge. This allows the two displays to seamlessly fold open into a continuous 16:10 viewable area or tilt to any angle up to 360 degrees.

When completely folded shut, the dual screen setup collapses into a compact clamshell form factor measuring just 1.25 inches thick. The hinge feels very sturdy and smooth when adjusting between positions. Opening the lid reveals the twin displays surrounded by slim bezels on three sides.

At just under 3 pounds, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i remains comparable in weight to many premium 13-inch laptops. But the dual screens do add some width to the chassis. Overall, Lenovo’s unique hinge design blends the versatility of a convertible 2-in-1 with expanded screen real estate.

Dual Touchscreen Displays

The two identical IPS LCD displays each offer a resolution of 2,160 x 1,350 pixels, combining for a tall 3:2 aspect ratio across both screens. This proves more vertical space than a traditional 16:9 widescreen when in dual screen mode.

Both panels support 10-point multitouch for fluid tablet-like interaction. The touch response feels quick and accurate during testing. The screens utilize anti-smudge coating as well to resist fingerprints.

Display brightness tops out at 400 nits, which is sufficient for indoor use. Unfortunately Lenovo does not specify support for high color gamuts like sRGB or Adobe RGB. But colors appear vivid when viewing photos and videos.

Having two displays enables some distinct use cases compared to convertibles like the Yoga Book 9i’s sibling, the single screen Lenovo Yoga Book 9i. You can span a single app or game across both displays for immersive interaction. Or utilize the second screen solely for content consumption while multitasking on the main touchscreen.

Productivity workloads benefit from the expanded canvas as well. You can reference notes or a web page on one display while focused on your primary task on the other. The dual screen form factor has promise, but we’ll cover some drawbacks later.

2-in-1 Design and Modes

Like Yoga series laptops, the Book 9i features a convertible design that adapts to different computing scenarios. Here are the possible usage modes:

Laptop Mode – The conventional setup with one screen facing you and the other folded flat behind. Best for typical productivity tasks.

Tablet Mode – Both screens folded into a slate for a fully touch-driven experience. Enables use as an oversized tablet.

Book Mode – The two screens are situated at an angle like an open book, justifying the product’s name. Optimal for reading ebooks or web pages.

Tent Mode – The laptop is positioned into an upside down “V” shape. It provides a stable stand for watching movies hands-free.

Extended Mode – Both displays opened 180-degrees to create one large canvas. Maximizes screen space for creativity and gaming.

This versatility is the main advantage of the dual screen convertible design. The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i adapts on the fly to different needs. Next we’ll look at the performance hardware powering the experience.

Performance Hardware and Specs

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is powered by 11th generation Intel Core processors based on the Evo platform. Configurations are available with up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

Our review unit came equipped with the Core i5-1135G7 quad core processor with a maximum boost speed of 4.2Ghz. This CPU delivers excellent productivity performance along with solid speeds for light gaming and content creation workloads.

For memory, configurations start with 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM soldered to the motherboard. Our test model includes 16GB, which is recommended for optimal multitasking. Storage is provided via speedy PCIe SSD options up to 1TB.

One compromise of the unique dual screen design is port selection. Connectivity is limited to just two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. But these do allow blazing fast 40Gbps data transfers and support multiple display and accessory connections with the right hub.

The dual screen Lenovo Yoga Book 9i also includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 wireless. There is no SIM card slot for cellular data connectivity. The 720p webcam is adequate for video calls and conferences.

With its thin design, Lenovo made some reasonable compromises on performance hardware. But the 11th gen Intel Core i5 or i7 paired with 16GB of RAM provides solid speed for office productivity, web browsing, streaming media and light creative workloads.

Software Experience

Our Lenovo Yoga Book 9i review unit ships with Windows 11 Home Edition pre-installed. The laptop meets Microsoft’s strict hardware requirements for Windows 11 with its 11th gen Intel processor and TPM 2.0 security chip.

Lenovo includes some utility software like Lenovo Smart Assist, which aims to improve productivity through features like machine learning-enhanced note taking during calls. But otherwise, the Windows 11 experience is clean and devoid of bloatware.

The pre-installed Lenovo Mode Switcher app makes it easy to quickly transition between the different modes and orientations like laptop, tent or tablet configurations. The software works smoothly to rearrange your open windows when flipping between modes.

Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i provides a refined Windows 11 experience. The dual touchscreens combine with Lenovo’s mode switching software for a versatile user experience. Next we’ll examine this unique laptop’s design and build quality.

Design and Build Quality of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

Lenovo’s Yoga Book 9i features a slim, attractive design thanks to its dual screen form factor. The company opted for an aluminum construction with metal on the lid, hinge and bottom chassis. This lends a very premium feel that should withstand regular use.

When closed, the laptop measures 12.1 x 8.4 x 1.25 inches thick while weighing 2.95 pounds. That makes it quite portable for a dual screen device. The smooth metal finish is pleasing to the eye and resistant to fingerprints.

Opening the lid reveals Lenovo’s unique dual screen setup. The machined aluminum hinge allows effortless transition between the different modes. Despite the complex linkage, the hinge never feels loose or wobbly.

Build quality is excellent throughout with minimal chassis flex. The lid exhibits some visible distortion when twisted, but the metal bottom stays sturdy. There is no creaking or flexing from the interior panels either.

Available colors include Storm Grey or Cloud White. The latter features a ceramic white finish, enhancing the modern, premium aesthetic. Our Storm Grey review unit looks understated yet attractive, and the silver Lenovo logos provide nice accents.

Beyond the screens, there are no moving parts inside thanks to the lack of a physical keyboard. This contributes to the solid feel and durability. Overall the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is very well constructed for a first generation dual screen laptop.

Battery Life and Charging the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

One potential concern with the Yoga Book 9i’s dual displays is battery life. Powering two screens and the Core i5 CPU requires a lot of juice.

Lenovo fits a respectable 66Wh battery inside the chassis. The company claims you can expect up to 10.8 hours of local video playback on a charge.

In real world testing, we achieved nearly 8 hours of continuous use for web browsing and office work. Streaming video via Wi-Fi knocked the battery life down closer to 6 hours.

These results are average for an ultraportable laptop. While not exceptional, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i should still get you through most of a workday on a charge depending on your usage. Just keep the charger nearby for longer days.

Speaking of charging, the laptop utilizes USB-C ports on both sides for power delivery. The included 65W USB-PD charger can replenish the battery up to 80% capacity in just an hour. The quick charging is handy for topping up during short breaks.

In summary, while not class-leading, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i delivers satisfactory battery life. The fast charging helps compensate when you do need to plug in. Next, we’ll examine the available accessories for this unique 2-in-1.

Accessories

One advantage of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i’s dual screen design is that it does not require a physical keyboard. This allows Lenovo to offer some unique accessories to augment the experience.

Lenovo E-Color Pen – This optional active stylus enables natural writing and drawing directly on the touchscreens. It offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and includes customizable shortcuts. The pen attaches magnetically to the right side of the chassis for storage when not in use.

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i Keyboard – Lenovo offers a backlit keyboard cover for prolonged typing. The case protects both screens and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth when needed. It features 1.3mm of key travel and 10 hours of battery life per charge.

Lenovo Precision Pen 2 – As an alternative to the E-Color pen, Lenovo offers the latest version of their active Precision Pen. It provides a more natural pencil-like feel and charges wirelessly by attaching magnetically to the laptop.

These optional accessories allow you to customize the Yoga Book 9i for different productivity needs on the go. The keyboard case gives traditional typing capabilities, while the active pens enable digital inking to take notes or get creative.

Pricing and Configurations

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i starts at $1,399 for a model equipped with the Core i5 processor, 8GB memory, 256GB SSD, and Windows 11 Home. Stepping up to 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD brings the price to $1,549.

The top configurations include the Core i7 CPU with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD for $1,749 or $1,849 depending on graphics memory allotment. All models include the dual 13.3″ 2.8K displays and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

For business users, Lenovo offers the Yoga Book 9i in Intel vPro models starting at $1,629. These add enhanced security and remote manageability features.

Compared to conventional convertible laptops, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i carries a price premium due to its unique dual screen design. But the flexible modes, pen support, and overall premium build quality help justify the cost.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i represents a bold new entry into the evolving 2-in-1 laptop category. By incorporating dual touch displays, this convertible offers expanded versatility and productivity compared to traditional single screen designs.

In our testing, the seamless integration and sturdy build quality of the dual screens stood out. Having two 13.3” panels enables more effective multitasking and new use cases that take advantage of the expanded canvas.

Lenovo also deserves credit for engineering such a refined convertible design in a first generation product. The multiple modes like tent and book setup work smoothly thanks to the precision crafted hinge. And the laptop feels very premium thanks to its machined aluminium chassis.

Of course, the dual screen approach still has some drawbacks. The battery life, while decent, falls short of the longest lasting convertibles. And the $1,400 starting price is steep for a Core i5 convertible, even one as unique as this.

But overall, the total package of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i delivers a versatile user experience with expanded possibilities compared to conventional laptops. For power users who can benefit from dual displays on the go, it’s an innovative option that feels futuristic while still highly practical today.

If you need massive screen space for interacting with complex data, creative workflows or auxiliary content, the productivity potential of the Yoga Book 9i is hard to match in a mobile form factor. We look forward to seeing how Lenovo iterates on the dual screen concept in future generations.

Final Thoughts

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i marks an ambitious step forward for portable computing with its dual screen 2-in-1 design. While imperfect, this first generation implementation shows promise for the expanded versatility that dual touch displays can enable.

In our testing, having two screens proved legitimately useful, allowing new ways to multitask and interact with content. The seamless integration between the panels and convertible modes makes the experience feel refined rather than gimmicky.

Of course, further refinements could improve the concept even more. We want to see battery life on par with the longest lasting convertibles. And the port selection could be expanded, perhaps by reducing the bezel size in future generations to accommodate more I/O.

But for now, there’s much to like about Lenovo’s technical achievement with the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i. For power users who can take advantage of the dual screen real estate, it’s an innovative new option that feels like a productivity powerhouse.

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i shows the potential of dual displays in a mobile form factor. And with further hardware and software refinements, more mainstream users may find dual screen laptops beneficial as well. For now, Lenovo deserves credit for delivering a polished first attempt at the promising dual screen concept.

To learn more about the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i and whether it’s right for your needs, visit Lenovo.com or check out our full review. We’ll be excited to see how Lenovo and other manufacturers continue innovating with dual displays in future laptop generations.



This post first appeared on DJI Mini 3 Pro: Finally, Pro-Quality Video In A Super Compact Drone, please read the originial post: here

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Lenovo Yoga Book 9i: Hands-On With the Innovative Dual Screen Laptop

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