The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i has the coolest folio stand I have ever seen. It's the secret ingredient that makes this dual-screen laptop work effectively as a portable workstation with two displays. If you had ever felt the need to buy a portable monitor, get the Yoga Book 9i instead. I was initially skeptical about it, but once everything clicked, it's by far the most innovative laptop you'll see this year.
- Two 13.3-inch (2,880 x 1,800 pixels, 60Hz) OLED touchscreens
- Intel Core i7-1355U with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD
- 3x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports
- 80 watt-hour battery
The Yoga Book 9i has two 13.3-inch OLED screens, held together by a rotating 360-degree hinge that also doubles as a sound bar (tuned by Bowers & Wilkins). There's no physical keyboard or touchpad. It's surprisingly light (around 1.4kg), though the weight adds up with the included accessories. The design, which reminds me of two tablets slapped together, is clean with smooth rounded edges. Due to its slim profile, the Yoga Book has only three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, no USB-A, no headphone jack. The upper screen has an infrared webcam with face recognition. Tapping the lower screen with an eight-finger gesture summons a virtual keyboard and touchpad. They offer decent (and adjustable) haptic feedback, though not the tactile feel. Of course, you can use it as a tablet or in tent mode. The latter works great in presentations with PowerPoint's Presenter View.
The transformative part of the Yoga Book 9i is the folio stand, which enables two new usage scenarios by propping up the laptop with the screens in landscape or portrait orientation. The stand also happens to be the carrying case for the bundled Bluetooth keyboard and stylus. You fold up this case — like origami — to form the stand. It's held together by magnets, and feels sturdier than expected. The Bluetooth keyboard attaches magnetically to the base of the stand. There's even a stylus holder. It's such a clever design that makes this laptop a truly portable two-screen solution. Lenovo's User Center app illustrates the various user scenarios, and lets you change some key settings. For example, you can enable an app, such as the browser to extend across two screens, dubbed Waterfall mode.
I went away impressed with how Lenovo's engineers have came up with the appropriate software and settings for a dual-screen laptop. For instance, you can separately adjust the brightness for each screen. Or change the opacity and haptic feedback of the virtual keyboard. I also liked how some of the shortcut keys on the virtual keyboard lets you access certain features quickly. Several games e.g. Asphalt 9 can also use the lower screen as a map. But I feel these gaming scenarios are more of an afterthought. The Yoga Book 9i isn't really for gaming, though less demanding games work fine. More importantly, it performs up to expectations for productivity, and other standard computing tasks. Its PCMark 10 score (5,515) is basically tied with the more conventional Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon (5,531).
Battery life (7hr 7min in a video playback test with the upper display at full brightness and the lower screen at 50%) is great for a dual-screen laptop. Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is polished, and works much better than expected. But there's still room for improvement. There are some minor issues when moving windows between screens. The virtual keyboard, for one, can disappear at times when another app seemingly took control. The lack of a volume rocker (and I/O ports) is inconvenient. But the major sticking point is likely the price. At S$3,699, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is more expensive than the average laptop. It makes you consider whether you actually need two screens on the go. But for those who do, this laptop is definitely worth it. Get it now on Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by Lenovo.
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