Lenovo Yoga E-book 9i overview: The world isn’t prepared for dual-screen laptops, however Lenovo is

Every so often, a tool comes alongside and challenges you to contemplate the viability of a wholly new product class. That’s exactly what Lenovo is doing with the Yoga Book 9i. By changing the normal bodily keyboard with a second show, the corporate is rethinking what a laptop computer can do. In tight confines, you’ll be able to depend on a digital keyboard or an included magnetic various. However when house isn’t a priority, you’ll be able to prop the entire system up on its customized folding cowl to create a fascinating dual-screen workspace. It’s like a miniature all-in-one PC that’s extremely straightforward to hold round. And whereas its software program nonetheless wants work and it prices twice as a lot as a regular clamshell, the Yoga E-book 9i is proof that it’s price exploring this new department of the laptop computer’s evolutionary tree.

Design and shows

There’s a profound class to the Yoga E-book 9i’s design. Although the laptop computer’s backside half is a bit thicker than the highest, it appears like Lenovo has boiled the gadget right down to its most simple elements: two halves (on this case, screens) joined by a hinge within the center. The twin 13.3-inch shows (2,880 x 1,800) look nice too, boasting OLED panels with wealthy colours and a examined brightness simply shy of 400 nits.

Across the outdoors, the Yoga E-book encompasses a polished metallic body with three Thunderbolt 4 ports, which is sweet to see on a system this measurement. Sadly for followers of wired audio, you don’t get a 3.5mm audio jack. Fortunately, Lenovo’s 5-megapixel IR webcam is sharper than what you get on most competing units, and holding the whole lot collectively is the corporate’s signature speaker bar hinge, which is impressively loud and punchy. All instructed, regardless of being barely heavier than a typical 13-inch ultraportable as a result of that second layer of glass, it’s nonetheless very straightforward to hold round.

The remaining items of the Yoga E-book 9i’s package are its equipment, which embrace a stylus, a indifferent magnetic bodily keyboard, a folding kickstand cowl and even a glossy journey mouse. The keyboard communicates by way of Bluetooth and has its personal USB-C port for charging. Regardless of its measurement, it doesn’t really feel cramped and presents extra key journey than you would possibly count on. Throughout transport, the quilt wraps across the keyboard to maintain it protected, whereas Lenovo’s Digital Pen 3 might be stashed within the hooked up loop. 

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The mouse is the odd one out as a result of whereas it is a useful inclusion, it’s additionally reasonably primary (its solely noteworthy attribute is having a toggle on the underside for rapidly switching between two paired units). Plus, it does not connect to the remainder of the system in any manner. Nevertheless, what you’ll be able to create while you put these items collectively is when issues get actually fascinating.

A dual-mode machine

In clamshell mode, the Yoga E-book 9i seems and capabilities like a daily laptop computer. However after all, it’s lacking a discrete keyboard and touchpad, so what do you do while you want them? That’s straightforward, you simply faucet eight fingers on the underside panel and immediately you get digital stand-ins. And for instances while you solely must mouse round, you need to use a three-finger faucet as a substitute, which summons a floating touchpad that leaves room for Lenovo’s widgets (climate, information, and so forth.) or the rest you’d wish to put down there.

The Yoga Book 9i's stacked display setup might be its most useful mode, as it lets you keep a big project open up top while reserving the bottom screen from email, messaging and more.
Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Surprisingly, typing on a touchscreen isn’t as unhealthy as you would possibly suppose. Don’t get me mistaken, it’s nonetheless not practically as quick or correct as utilizing a bodily keyboard. Nevertheless it’s serviceable, so long as you’re keen to make some changes. You’ll be able to’t slam your fingers down as a result of there are not any switches or precise keys with depth to cushion each strike and you must be extra conscious of when your arms begin to drift lest your sentence devolves right into a jumble. However after just a little observe, I’m capable of hit 60 to 65 phrases per minute, which is down from round 85 wpm usually. As for mousing, the tackiness of the glass means swiping round isn’t fairly as fluid both. However that’s OK, as a result of in case you don’t wish to rely totally on a digital keyboard or touchpad, you don’t should.

Dropping Lenovo’s keyboard on the underside display screen immediately converts the Yoga E-book right into a extra conventional setup. The magnets inside even assist align it correctly. From there you’ll be able to sort away on bodily keys in case you desire. Simply don’t neglect to take away the accent earlier than you shut the lid.

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The Yoga Book 9i's side-by-side dual-screen mode is great for being able to reference sources while writing.
Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

What’s most spectacular concerning the Yoga E-book 9i’s is its capability to rework into a conveyable all-in-one PC when it’s propped up on its kickstand cowl. On this mode, there are two choices for its shows: a stacked setup with one display screen on prime of the opposite and a side-by-side association. Each configurations have their makes use of. Twin portrait-mode panels are nice for rapidly referencing supplies like spec sheets whereas writing. Alternatively, the vertically stacked orientation is great for maintaining an vital undertaking open up prime whereas the underside display screen is reserved for electronic mail or messaging apps.

No matter your desire, merely being able to make use of two shows on a tool provides the Yoga E-book 9i a singular benefit over just about each regular laptop computer. Certain, you’ll be able to recreate the same state of affairs utilizing a bunch of add-ons, but it surely’s by no means going to be fairly as glossy.

Software program

The most important draw back to the Yoga E-book 9i is that whereas its {hardware} is stable, its software program is hit and miss. Lenovo makes an attempt to mitigate this with its Consumer Middle, which does an incredible job of showcasing the laptop computer’s dual-screen options and is a straightforward place to regulate settings like show modes, brightness and extra.

There's no arguing that typing on a virtual keyboard takes a lot of getting used to.
Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Sadly, even with the additional help, it’s clear Home windows 11 isn’t designed for laptops like this. Generally when launching full-screen apps like a sport, the Yoga E-book will get confused and places the window on the mistaken panel. Different instances, like while you’re putting in a program or logging in, a immediate pops up that utterly disables the decrease show, which is sort of annoying while you’re counting on a digital keyboard and touchpad. I can perceive that it is arduous to optimize software program while you don’t have a tool to check issues on. Besides, there’s no hiding that this creates a stilted expertise in comparison with a regular laptop computer, and in case you’re contemplating shopping for a Yoga E-book 9i, it is a reality you’re going to should stay with (at the very least for now).


Packing an Intel Core i7-155U chip, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the Yoga E-book 9i can deal with most productiveness wants. Even when multitasking throughout each shows, efficiency felt comparatively snappy. Nevertheless, in case you’re planning on usually doing extra demanding issues like video modifying, you’ll most likely need a beefier machine. On our video encoding take a look at, the laptop computer took a minute and a half to transform a one-minute film trailer from 4K to 1080p. That’s not nice when in comparison with techniques with quicker chips that may carry out the identical job in 30 to 40 seconds.

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Battery life

For a small system with dual screens, the Yoga Book 9i still features three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a 3.5mm audio jack.
Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Even with a comparatively massive 80Wh battery, for a system with two screens, the Yoga E-book 9i fared higher than anticipated on our normal video rundown take a look at. It posted a time of eight hours and 12 minutes, which is a pair hours shorter than conventional similarly-sized rivals just like the Asus ZenBook S 13 (10:39). Nevertheless it’s longer than what you get from extra highly effective thin-and-light gaming notebooks, which frequently wrestle to get north of 5 hours on a cost.

Wrap up

As the primary laptop computer to characteristic two shows, the Yoga E-book 9i is a reasonably divisive machine. Beginning at $2,000, not solely is it actually costly, its efficiency can be slower than extra conventional rivals on this worth vary. Nevertheless, for individuals like me who continuously yearn for extra display screen actual property after I’m away from house, Lenovo has created one thing that’s greater than the sum of its elements. When house is restricted, the Yoga E-book 9i’s clamshell mode feels proper at house on an airplane tray desk. However when it isn’t, it could actually develop into a conveyable dual-screen workstation–full with all of the fixings of your desktop at house. And when you must pack up, the whole lot collapses right into a neat, semi-self-contained bundle that matches within the smallest of laptop computer baggage.

One of the best things about the Yoga Book 9i is that despite having two screens, it collapses down into a neat semi-self-contained bundle that's really easy to fit in a bag.
Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Yoga E-book 9i is a nifty little transformer that’s extra partaking than something Michael Bay has directed within the final 20 years. With how little laptops have modified not too long ago, it feels just like the Yoga E-book has much more room to develop within the years to return. Certain, it’s nonetheless a bit awkward, however as the start line for a brand new sort of pocket book, Lenovo’s debut dual-screen convertible has me satisfied.

This text initially appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/lenovo-yoga-book-9i-review-the-world-isnt-ready-for-dual-screen-laptops-but-lenovo-is-163009289.html?src=rss

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