When it comes to iconic notebook designs, the name Lenovo may come up often, but it’s usually for the company’s corporate ThinkPads. But in the world of 2-in-1 convertible laptops, Lenovo’s Yoga consumer line has been setting the agenda for a decade. The upscale Yoga 9i Gen 7 currently holds our Editors’ Choice award among premium convertibles, and the 14-inch Yoga 7i Gen 7 (starts at $879.99; $949.99 as tested) matches that machine’s excellence at a more affordable price. The 14-inch size is possibly perfect for a system that’s usable in laptop mode but small enough to tote around as a tablet, and the latest Yoga 7i 14 is a beautifully crafted 3.2-pound portable that earns an Editors’ Choice nod of its own. It may be the best Yoga yet.
Lenovo’s 7th Gen, Intel’s 12th
The $879.99 base model of the Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 combines one of Intel’s latest Core i5-1235U processors, 8GB of memory, a 512GB PCIe 4.0 solid-state drive, and what Lenovo calls a 2.2K (2,240-by-1,400-pixel) IPS touch screen. Our $949.99 test unit bumps up the processor to an Intel Core i7-1255U, and doubles the RAM allotment to 16GB. Other options include a more potent Core i7-1260P CPU and a 1TB SSD. The flagship model swaps out the IPS panel for an OLED display with sharper 2,880-by-1,800-pixel resolution and 400 rather than 300 nits of brightness, selling for $1,799.99.
Available in Storm Blue or Arctic Gray, the Yoga 7i 14 is made of light but strong anodized aluminum, a sleek slab with rounded edges that are extremely comfortable to hold (and let you type without feeling as if the edge of the keyboard deck is going to slash your wrists). It measures 0.68 by 12.5 by 8.7 inches, nearly matching its rival the Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 (0.71 by 12.7 by 8.4 inches), but is a fraction lighter at 3.2 versus 3.4 pounds.
There are plenty of ports for such a compact convertible. On the left side, you’ll find an HDMI video output, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a microSD card slot.
A USB 3.2 Type-A port is on the right, along with an audio jack for headphones or headsets and the power button. The assortment is a welcome contrast to ultraportables like the Apple MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13 Plus that offer only a couple of Thunderbolt 4 ports, obliging you to plug in an adapter or hub to use an external monitor or USB-A flash drive. Wireless support is also state of the art, with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
Looking (and Sounding) Good
The Yoga 7i is all about the screen, which does double duty as both laptop display and tablet touch screen, and our test unit’s high-quality, 14-inch IPS panel does the job. The screen’s 16:10 aspect ratio is a bit taller, requiring a bit less scrolling than the familiar 16:9 ratio, and works well in tablet mode. The glossy display provides 10-point touch as well as active stylus support, but we were disappointed that the pen isn’t included.
Whether I was working on documents or watching videos, the display was colorful and sharp, looking especially vivid and fine when viewing HDR content on Netflix and other sources. Our objective tests backed up Lenovo’s claims, with the panel registering a full 100% of the sRGB color gamut and 324 nits of peak brightness. It should also be comfortable for long-term use, thanks to low-blue-light technology that minimizes the part of the spectrum most likely to fatigue or damage eyes.
Audio quality is just as good, thanks to a combination of stereo speakers, dual woofers, and a pair of tweeters. The array supports Dolby Atmos and a provided Smart Amplifier boosts volume when needed.
Keyboards have long been a Lenovo strength, and the Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 is no exception. The keys offer a supremely comfortable typing feel, with a good depth of travel, substantial springiness with every keystroke, and Lenovo’s signature scalloped key design that’s both visually appealing and pleasantly tactile. Below the keyboard is a generous extra-wide touchpad, with a smooth glass surface and support for multitouch gestures. On a notebook without touch-screen and tablet capability, the pad alone would be great for comfortable navigation. On the touch-centric Yoga, it’s a welcome flourish that enhances the laptop experience.
Just above the display is a subtle raised section that Lenovo calls the Communication Bar. Besides providing a small lip that makes it easier to open the lid and get purchase on the smooth rounded edges, the bar houses the Windows Hello-compatible webcam without an Apple-like notch dipping into the screen area. The webcam offers better-than-average picture quality with 1080p resolution and has a built-in privacy shutter. Combining so many features in such a small, unobtrusive space is impressive.
Testing the Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7: Lightweights Handling Heavy Benchmarks
For our performance measurements, we pitted the Yoga 7i 14 against its convertible competitors the Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 and Lenovo’s own step-up Yoga 9i, another Gen 7 model from earlier this year. We also compared it to the non-convertible HP Pavilion Plus 14 and 13.6-inch Apple MacBook Air M2, which may not have touch capability but are among the best compact travelers we’ve tested recently.
We test Windows laptops’ overall productivity with UL’s PCMark 10, which simulates everyday tasks like word processing, web browsing, and videoconferencing. Geekbench 5 is a more CPU-focused test that performs similar simulations including PDF rendering and speech recognition, while Maxon’s Cinebench uses that company’s Cinema 4D engine to render a complex image stressing all of a processor’s cores and threads.
Two other benchmarks combine CPU measurement with suitability for creative apps: HandBrake encodes a 12-minute clip of 4K video to a more compact 1080p file, while workstation vendor Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Adobe Photoshop uses the Creative Cloud 22 version of Adobe’s famous image editor to execute a variety of general and GPU-accelerated imaging tasks ranging from opening, rotating, and resizing a photo to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters. Low times in HandBrake and high scores in PugetBench indicate better suitability for digital content creation.
In our productivity-focused benchmarking, the Yoga 7i fell in the middle of what’s admittedly a high-performing pack. The affordable Yoga trailed the MacBook Air and Pavilion Plus but edged ahead of its Dell rival in most tests.
To test systems’ graphics capabilities, we use two game-like benchmarks from each of two test suites: the DirectX 12 subtests Night Raid and Time Spy from UL’s 3DMark for Windows, and the 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase subtests from the cross-platform GFXBench. The latter two are rendered offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions.
Both the Yoga 7i 14 and HP Pavilion Plus 14 rely on Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics, which makes them suitable for casual gaming and streaming video but not a match for the discrete GPU of a true gaming laptop. The Apple M2 chip in the MacBook Air boasts more capable graphics performance
Finally, we test laptops’ battery life by looping the open-source Blender short video Tears of Steel, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting off, display brightness at 50%, and audio volume at 100% until the system quits. We also use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite colorimeter and software to measure notebook screens’ color coverage and brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).
The Yoga 7i 14 is no slouch when it comes to battery life, showing 14 hours of unplugged stamina in our video rundown. Its screen also delivers great visual quality for a reasonably priced laptop, though it doesn’t match the showpiece OLED panels of the Yoga 9i and HP Pavilion Plus or the Retina display of the MacBook Air.
One Classy Convertible
The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 brings Intel’s latest silicon to a great 2-in-1 laptop, but it’s more than just a processor upgrade. The new model features some of the best industrial design we’ve seen, whether you’re focusing on its comfortably sculpted chassis to the not-a-notch webcam bar. Its performance and battery life rank with the best mainstream convertibles, and the whole package comes together so well it’s a standout. This is a first-class 2-in-1 laptop that earns a PCMag Editors’ Choice award.
Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 (2022) – Review 2022 & Latest News Update
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