Lenovo refreshes its Yoga 9i laptop with modern design, 12th-gen Intel processors, louder speakers

There's also a new Yoga 7i series and a Yoga 6 with AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors.

Lenovo has announced a new version of its Yoga 9i 2-in-1 laptop with upgraded specs, a new design, and even better speakers than the previous generation. Lenovo says the new 9i will launch in the second quarter of this year starting at $1,399.

For this generation, Lenovo is adopting a much more modern and friendly design with rounded corners and glossy accents. The company used “humanized design” throughout their press materials, as well as the phrase “smooth and sexy” to describe the design. The entire machine is flatter and looks simpler, while still looking very similar to past Yoga laptops thanks to its keyboard and reverse notch. It weighs 3.26-3.37 pounds (depending on the model you get) which doesn’t make it the lightest laptop ever, but still manageable.

Lenovo is sticking with the 2-in-1 form factor for the Yoga 9i, which also means the rotating sound bar has made a return. Being perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of Lenovo’s entire laptop portfolio, the new 9i’s sound bar is improved over the previous generation with deeper, warmer bass thanks to its new Bowers & Wilkins speakers. When I reviewed last year’s 9i, I was seriously impressed with its sound quality, and I can only imagine I’ll feel the same way about this generation.

The keyboard on the Yoga 9i is getting an upgrade with a new row of special function keys on the right side. There’s a new Smart Power performance mode switcher to optimize your laptop’s power consumption depending on what you’re doing, a Background Blur key to add a soft background to your webcam, a Vibe Check key to switch between EQ profiles, and a color mode key to flip between dark and light modes in Windows. Below the keyboard, the track pad has increased in size by 45 percent for a roomier experience. Lenovo also includes a Precision Pen 2 in the box with the laptop for an alternative input method. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be somewhere to store the pen on the laptop.

The Yoga 9i sticks with a 14-inch display and gets bumped up to a 16:10 aspect ratio. You can configure the machine with either a Full HD LCD panel, a 2.8K OLED panel, or a 4K OLED panel. All three get you 400 nits of brightness and a 60Hz refresh rate. The OLED models also support Dolby Vision HDR and earned a Vegas DisplayHDR 500 True Black certification for more accurate contrast.

Under the hood, Lenovo includes Intel’s 12th-generation processors up to an i7-1260P. Up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 1TB of PCIe Gen 4 storage, and Windows 11 are also included. Lenovo also says the Yoga 9i is Intel Eve certified for improved performance, instant wake-ups, and better security. Speaking of which, there’s a fingerprint reader for unlocking your laptop.

The laptop will last up to 20 hours on a full charge according to Lenovo, but that’s with the Full HD model under strict testing guidelines. Luckily, if the lifespan of the Yoga 9i is well below that, it won’t take too long to recharge its 75Whr battery thanks to Rapid Charge Boost which can supply a two-hour charge in just 15 minutes.

The Yoga 9i will ship in two colors: Storm Grey and Oatmeal (also known as one of the worst color names for a portable computer in history).

Coinciding with the 9i, Lenovo is also introducing upgrades for the Yoga 7i and Yoga 6. The 7i takes after the 9i in terms of design while offering more versatility thanks to two screen sizes: 14-inches and 16-inches. Both variants come with a 2.5K LCD panel with 400 nits of brightness, up to a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, up to 1TB of storage, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. The 14-inch model offers up to double the RAM of the 16-inch at 32GB opposed to 16, while the 16-inch gets Intel Iris X graphics and the 14-inch gets Intel Arc 4.

Battery life is obviously longer on the 16-inch with up to 20 hours on a full charge, while the 14-inch will last up to 18 hours. The 16-inch also gets a numeric pad next to its keyboard thanks to the additional room.

Meanwhile, the Yoga 6 continues to serve as an introductory entry in Lenovo’s Yoga series. It too adopts the more “humanized” design of the more expensive offerings while getting slightly less-impressive specs such as a 13.3-inch Full HD+ display, AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, AMD Radeon graphics, up to 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. You also get up to 17 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi 6, and a microSD card reader.

The Yoga 7i 16-inch will start at $899, the 14-inch will start at $949, and the Yoga 6 will start at $749. All three will launch in Q2 2022.