Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, hands on: A compact sub-1kg ultraportable | ZDNet

Like

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Solid build quality
  • Distinctive look

Don’t Like

  • No fingerprint reader
  • Disappointing battery life

Lenovo’s 13.3-inch Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a compact and lightweight Intel Evo-branded laptop with a mid-range price tag. There are two configurations available in the UK. My review unit was a £999.99 (inc. VAT) model that runs on an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. Those on a tighter budget can opt for the £899.99 model with a Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, although the £100 uplift does buy you what looks, on paper, to be a much more capable machine. The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is not currently available in the US. 

The Moon White carbon fibre chassis won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s certainly distinctive. It’s tough too: Lenovo says the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is “rigorously subjected to 9 military-grade tests”, namely: altitude, high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock, humidity, sand and dust, vibration, shock and freeze-thaw. This laptop would certainly survive physically in a backpack without a protective sleeve, although you might want to use one in order to keep the chassis scratch-free.  

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The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon runs on 11th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors with 8GB or 6GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of SSD storage. The 13.3-inch screen is a QHD (2560 x 1600) IPS panel, and the laptop weighs just under a kilogram.


Images: Lenovo

The 13.3-inch screen makes for a small footprint of just 296.9mm wide by 208.55mm deep by 13.9-14.9mm. Lenovo says the weight starts at 966g (it weighed in on my kitchen scales at 978g), and it’s a mystery why Lenovo has not made more of this: sub-1kg laptops remain a rarity. 

The non-touch screen sits in what Lenovo calls ‘micro-borders’  (what’s next — ‘nano-borders’?). The 3mm depth that Lenovo quotes only applies to the short edges; the upper long edge border is a little deeper — I measured it at 4.5mm on the outer edges rising to 7mm in the centre to allow space both for the IR webcam and for an overhang that comes in handy when lifting the lid. The bottom bezel is deeper still at around 9mm. Still, the screen does sit neatly in its surround, and Lenovo quotes a 91% screen-to-body ratio (although we calculate it to be 82.9%). 

The 16:10 aspect ratio is welcome, and the display’s QHD (2,560 x 1,600, 227ppi) resolution means content looks crisp and clear. Outdoor working might be a problem though, as the maximum screen brightness is 300 nits. Unusually, the screen, which supports 100% of the sRGB gamut and 72% of NTSC, is matte rather than reflective.  

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We have no complaints about either the backlit keyboard or the touchpad, but a fingerprint reader would be welcome.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Harmon Kardon stereo speakers are on the average side: they can pump out a high volume, but distortion is audible in the upper reaches. 

The keyboard is a comfortable typing platform, although the keys aren’t particularly bouncy. The touchpad is responsive and a decent size. 

There are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, a further USB-C port that can be used for charging, plus a 3.5mm combo audio in/out jack. HDMI and USB-A connections would also have been helpful, as would a MicroSD card reader. The IR camera, which lacks a privacy cover, supports Windows Hello face authentication, but there’s no fingerprint sensor. 

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Right side (top): USB-C, 3.5mm audio in/out, power. Left side (above): 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Battery life left me somewhat nonplussed with the battery falling to 54% from a full charge after three hours of mainstream productivity use. That extrapolates to around 6.5 hours in total, which falls way short of Lenovo’s claim of 13-15 hours. 

Fortunately, fast charging with the 65W adapter is supported. This delivered a boost from 32% to 71% during a 45-minute charge. Still, for all its portability, this probably isn’t the laptop to pick if you need all-day usage away from a mains power source.  

Although it lacks a fingerprint sensor and offers mediocre battery life in its Core i7/16GB configuration, Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a serviceable, lightweight and distinctive-looking 13-inch laptop.

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