(Pocket-lint) – Lenovo makes a number of of the perfect laptops that sit underneath the four-figure mark. And this, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, might be the one you can purchase.
Certain, the MacBook Air is a extra thrilling prospect, and much more highly effective. However the Yoga Slim 7 is definitely the most effective causes to not purchase a MacBook in 2021. Oh, and we should always in all probability point out it is a whole bunch cheaper too.
Its construct high quality is excellent, it virtually actually has extra energy than you want, its display is superb in most respects, and the AMD model (as reviewed right here) may even deal with some recent-ish video games effectively sufficient.
Lenovo as soon as once more provides us a masterclass on make a world-class laptop computer for underneath a grand. There’s little or no cause to spend any extra except you want an ultra-high-resolution display.
- Dimensions: 320.6mm x 208mm x 14.9mm
- 1.4kg claimed weight (1.326kg measured)
- Finishes: Slate Gray / Orchid Purple
- Aluminium shell design
Excessive-end laptops are an odd class. Generally while you spend extra to leap up a league, you find yourself with a laptop computer that feels cheaper. Numerous probably the most dear ones use magnesium alloys fairly than primarily aluminium ones: lighter however much less metallic to the contact.
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s case panels are aluminium. It results in weight of 1.3kg fairly than, effectively, a few hundred grammes much less, however you get the identical pretty cool-to-the-touch really feel as a MacBook.
The display is stiff, the keyboard does not bow underneath the stress of your fingers, and it is a classy-looking laptop computer in a minimalistic form of approach.
This is not fairly the system you may anticipate provided that it is a part of the Yoga collection, although. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s display folds open to 180 levels, not a hybrid-style 360 levels, and it doesn’t have a touchscreen.
It is positively a laptop computer, not a life-style gadget that thinks it may possibly change an iPad. Lenovo has its eyes on MacBook Air consumers, thus among the core stats are comparable. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 is 16mm thick, similar to an Air, and the load is more-or-less the identical too.
- 14-inch IPS panel, 300 nits birghtness
- 1920 x 1080 pixel decision
- No touchscreen management
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 has a 14-inch IPS LCD display. It is right here we see this laptop computer begin to transfer away from one which prices a whole bunch extra – however much less so than you may guess.
This can be a 1080p display, which suggests you may see slight pixellation in small fonts. Lenovo does make a 4K model, however this does not appear to be bought as broadly because the Full HD Yoga 7 Slim.
In virtually each different respect, although, we have now no complaints. It really outperforms Lenovo’s personal claims in some areas.
For instance, Lenovo says the 1080p Yoga 7 Slim reaches 300-nit brightness. Nevertheless it really hits 385 nits by our measure. That additional headroom makes the show look clearer outdoor, and it additionally has a reflection-reducing matte end. When you have got some high-end laptops touting 500 nits as some form of untouchable achievement, it reveals simply how effectively set this laptop computer is.
Lenovo says the display’s color matches the sRGB color customary, the outdated business customary for screens and printers. However its color protection is definitely 20 per cent richer than that by our measure.
Certain, a MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13 has deeper color nonetheless, however you solely want to fret about that if you happen to’ll color grade video or do different professional imaging work. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s color appears to be like well-saturated to our eyes.
A part of that eyeball-pleasing impact is due to the show’s nice distinction: it is 1762:1 at max brightness, which is a wonderful outcome for an LCD display. Blacks do not look washed out and gray.
All it actually lacks on this class is the slick presentation you get from a glass-topped shiny display. The display picture of a shiny show can appear to “pop” greater than a matte one like this, and the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 has a plastic high layer with a barely raised encompass.
Nonetheless, that is extra a results of the choice to make use of a matte end than a approach for Lenovo to save lots of a few cents when making the Yoga Slim 7.
Keyboard & Touchpad
- 2-level white LED backlight
- NUMPAD-free chiclet keyboard
- Vast side textured glass trackpad
Need some extra proof Lenovo is not cost-cutting on the sly? The Yoga Slim 7 has a mid-size textured glass touchpad.
This laptop computer sits proper on the border the place we are inclined to see producers swap from utilizing comparatively low-cost plastic pads to fancier glass ones. Seeing textured glass in a laptop computer vary that begins at this worth is in no way a given although.
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 ‘pad additionally has zero pre-click wobble, and good’n’agency clicker suggestions. We additionally noticed zero driver or sensitivity points, which frequently makes us disable tap-based button response in Home windows 10.
Briefly: this is without doubt one of the greatest pads you may see on this class.
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s keyboard is much less exceptional, however nonetheless does the job completely effectively. Key journey is restricted, a lot lower than Lenovo’s famously deep ThinkPad laptops, however the actuation suggestions is sweet.
This can be a comparatively quick and light-feeling keyboard. It has a two-level backlight as effectively, and we switched it on greater than normal. The important thing lettering distinction drops off when there is a mild pointing straight on the keyboard because the keys and encompass are a metallic gray, with much less distinction of their color than some.
At a look you’d guess there is not any fingerprint scanner right here. However the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 does have one constructed into the facility button on the aspect.
Efficiency & Audio system
- 2x 2W audio system with Dolby Atmos DSP
- Ryzen 7 4700U CPU with Vega 8 graphics
- 8GB DDR4X RAM
Lenovo makes each Intel and AMD variations of the Yoga 7 Slim. Our evaluate mannequin is an AMD one with a Ryzen 7 4700U, 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.
This setup isn’t fairly as highly effective as a MacBook Air’s M1 processor, however it’s higher than the tenth Era Intel Core i5 or i7 you may discover in one other mannequin. You will get a Core i7 CPU model of this similar laptop computer for a mite extra, however we might stick to AMD.
Whereas the Intel affords higher efficiency in single-core apps, the AMD has twice the variety of cores, at eight. And whereas it is a low-voltage processor made for slender and lightweight laptops, it’s punchy.
Home windows 10 runs like a dream on the Yoga 7 Slim. That is helped by the very quick SSD, which reads knowledge at a shade underneath 3500MB/s. As soon as once more: no budget-related cuts right here.
The Yoga 7 Slim’s Ryzen 7 4700U additionally has higher built-in graphics than something on the Intel aspect (bar the most recent eleventh Era chipsets with the “Xe” GPU). It’s possible you’ll not get a full gaming laptop computer expertise right here, however given it slots right into a slim and lightweight case we’re fairly completely satisfied.
You’ll be able to play Skyrim at Extremely graphics, 1080p decision, and see body charges that hop between 30fps and 40fps relying on what’s on-screen. Subnautica runs effectively at 1080p, Low graphics. You lose out on among the extra atmospheric visible results at this setting, however the sport nonetheless appears to be like good.
The Witcher 3 is extra of a problem, however remains to be playable. Keep on with 900p decision and you’ll play at Low settings, 30ps, comfortably, or at Medium if you happen to can stay with some dips to the 20fps vary while you get into fight or stroll round cities.
A laptop computer with an Nvidia MX450 graphics card, just like the HP Envy 13, will run video games higher. It is 50-100 per cent extra highly effective, relying on context. However the outcomes from the Yoga 7 Slim are nonetheless significantly better than these of a vanilla tenth Gen Intel laptop computer.
The Yoga 7 Slim additionally has respectable audio system, with some caveats to notice. There are drivers to every aspect of the keyboard, in these apparent hole-pocked grilles.
Whereas not fairly MacBook-grade, the sound does have some actual mid-range output and good quantity. However a lot of that comes from the Dolby Atmos digital sign processing.
Atmos is historically a approach so as to add peak channels to a combination, whether or not with actual audio system or digital ones. However in laptops this software program’s primary impact is to max-out the efficiency of little drivers.
You hear it in full impact within the Lenovo Yoga 7 Slim, because the audio system sound weak, quiet and skinny with Dolby Atmos disabled. Switched on the audio does are inclined to sound manipulated, which is a mix of the processing’s impact on the soundstage and that the laptop computer’s drivers are being pushed to their limits when quantity is close to full. Nonetheless, the outcome stays extra highly effective than that of some laptops on this worth band.
Connections & Webcam
- 720p webcam with IR for login
- 1x HDMI, 2x USB-C (1x with DisplayPort)
Connections on laptops are a bit like headphone jacks on telephones. Spend extra and also you usually find yourself with fewer ports. The Yoga 7 Slim has a lot for our wants. You get two USB-C – the usual outlay for an ultra-pricey laptop computer – plus a stack of “older” connections.
There is a full-size HDMI, two USB 3.2 ports, a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack. It is solely lacking connectors that frankly do not belong on a laptop computer like this in 2020, similar to an Ethernet port and VGA connector.
We like that Lenovo recognises not everybody who buys a Yoga 7 Slim could have switched completely to USB-C peripherals.
That mentioned, the webcam does not get the identical consideration. It is a 720p digicam with a delicate, boring picture. You should utilize the digicam to login, as a result of there is a Home windows Howdy-compatible IR digicam by its aspect. That is used to recognise your face whatever the mild degree. The webcam itself does not maintain up so effectively in low mild.
- 60.4Wh battery
- 65/95W charging (65W adapter included)
- Charging over USB-C
Lenovo makes an enormous assertion concerning the Yoga 7 Slim’s battery, that it may possibly last as long as 17.5 hours. We have been totally ready to do our normal spiel about how producers check their laptops’ batteries with benchmarks from the Nineteen Seventies, utilizing display settings so dim you’ll be able to’t even see the show. After which, effectively, we did some testing of our personal.
5 hours of 1080p streamed YouTube at 60 per cent brightness solely noticed the cost degree drop to 70 per cent, suggesting a complete runtime of about 16 hours 40 minutes.
That appeared virtually unbelievably lengthy, so we tried enjoying The Witcher 3 till the battery died. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s brightness was maxed and we minimised graphics settings and backbone, to extend the load on the CPU whereas nonetheless utilizing 100 per cent of the GPU’s energy. We began at 4:58pm, it died at 6:47pm. A shade underneath two hours: higher than the overwhelming majority of gaming laptops however then once more the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 does not have a devoted power-hungry GPU.
We wish to rely as a lot on real-world use as potential for our evaluations at Pocket-lint. However the Lenovo Yoga 7 Slim’s battery actually caught our curiosity, so we put it by way of some extra battery benchmarks.
PC-testing suite PCMark 10 has a collection of exams that emulate the workloads of real-world conditions. We tried “trendy workplace”, which makes use of some primary searching and productiveness apps punctuated by some gaps, stand-ins in your going to make a cup of tea or slacking off in your telephone.
The Yoga 7 Slim lasts 20 hours 1 minute at 50 per cent display brightness, utilizing its CPU-throttling Battery Saver mode. This appeared ridiculous so we re-ran the check at 73 per cent brightness and took off the processor limits. It nonetheless lasted 18 hours 11 minutes.
We give in. It is all true. The Lenovo Yoga 7 Slim lasts eternally.
Its battery is massive at 60.7Wh, 17 per cent greater capability than the most recent Dell XPS 13. However the actual hero right here is the AMD Ryzen 4700U, which scales so effectively between exertion ranges it begins to look extra just like the revolutionary Apple M1 CPU.
Charging velocity is much less spectacular, although. It takes round 2.5 hours to cost from flat. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 makes use of USB-C to cost and comes with a 65W adapter. This laptop computer does assist a type of fast-charging, for 50 per cent juice in half-hour – very similar to a good Android telephone – however this requires Lenovo’s 95W charger (and we did not get one within the field).
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 isn’t going to be as famend because the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13, however we predict it is a greater all-round purchase for a lot of. Apple expenses a premium for probably the most comparable Air spec. The closest Dell XPS 13 config prices much more and is worse at enjoying video games.
Nevertheless it’s not all about cash. The Yoga Slim 7 has a beautiful aluminium casing, a lot of energy, a lot of storage, a vibrant display, a superb glass trackpad, and extremely lengthy battery life.
Sure, we might love the Yoga Slim 7 much more if its audio system had greater high quality drivers and it had a webcam with out cataracts. However would we pay a whole bunch extra for them? Not an opportunity. As it’s this is without doubt one of the greatest laptops obtainable at this worth level.
HP Envy 13
Pound for pound the HP Envy 13 might be probably the most alluring various to the Yoga. We beloved the late 2019 model for its energy and all-metal construct, all on the proper worth. The 2020 replace nets you significantly better gaming efficiency, due to an Nvidia MX450 graphics card. However the Lenovo lasts longer, has a extra highly effective CPU and a glass touchpad.
MacBook Air 13
Okay, so the MacBook Air is a extra fascinating laptop computer than the Lenovo Yoga 7, however is it a greater purchase? For video modifying and different intensive jobs we might purchase the Air. Use M1 processor-optimised apps and efficiency can be higher, and the battery will final far longer. Nonetheless, due to Apple’s dear upgrades system the Lenovo prices a stack much less if you happen to want 512GB storage fairly than 256GB.
Dell XPS 13
The Dell is Home windows laptop computer royalty. However if you happen to’re into the core substance of computing it merely appears clear the Lenovo is a greater purchase. It is extra highly effective, utilizing multi-core optimised apps, the battery is greater and lasts longer. The XPS 13’s advantages are all to do with design and portability. It has a smaller footprint, is 4mm thinner, and barely lighter. You will need to resolve if that is value a number of hundred kilos.
Writing by Andrew Williams.