The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is the one of best mobile computers in the market at the moment
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon scores very highly for its ultra-sleek looks and portability, plus there’s a decent amount of power under the hood. It’s not without its weaknesses, but it’s one of the better 13-inch Windows laptops on the market.
REASONS TO BUY
- +Slimline and stylish design
- +No problem with everyday computing
- +Comfortable typing experience
REASONS TO AVOID
- -Limited number of ports
- -Can get hot while running
- -Average 720p webcam
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon stakes quite a claim to be one of the best lightweight laptops around, with its 13.3-inch screen and overall weight of less than 1kg – in fact its compactness and portability are the most appealing parts of this package.
Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon in our full review – from how much time you can expect between battery charges, to its day-to-day performance, to the usefulness of the extras that come along with it.
It’s certainly likely to appeal to anyone wanting a small, light, reasonably powerful Windows laptop, but there is of course plenty of competition around – be sure to check out our guide to the best laptops of the moment too.
LENOVO YOGA SLIM 7I CARBON REVIEW: DESIGN & SCREEN
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is small, compact and light: it’s the sort of laptop you can carry around with one hand, that you can slip into a rucksack no problems at all. If portability is a priority for your next laptop, then this certainly fits the bill, and as you would expect from Lenovo, it’s very well put together too. If you want to get technical, it measures 301 x 206 x 14.8mm, and weighs 0.97kg.
As the name of the laptop suggests, it’s finished with carbon fibre on the lid and a magnesium-aluminium alloy for the chassis – it feels like a premium device to touch, as well as looking like one. The raised Lenovo and Yoga lettering on the lid is tastefully done, rounding off what is an impressive overall aesthetic picture. Our review unit was dark grey in colour, but you can also get the laptop in light grey or white.
Having a laptop this small comes with some compromises of course – and when it comes to ports you only have two USB-C ports to work with (both support power delivery (PD) and DisplayPort 1.4; one supports Thunderbolt 4 speeds). There’s also a slider on one side for putting a physical shutter across the webcam, and there’s the power button too. The laptop can be opened out flat, but the screen can’t be folded over along the back.
Speaking of the screen, it’s a 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel, 16:10 aspect ratio IPS LCD affair, with a better-than-average 90Hz refresh rate. It’s rather ordinary as far as displays go, though it certainly does the job in most cases for most people – only the serious gamers and creatives are going to need more than what the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon offers in terms of its display. You can get the laptop with a touch-enabled screen too, as was the case with our review model.
LENOVO YOGA SLIM 7I CARBON REVIEW: PERFORMANCE & FEATURES
Lenovo makes a dizzying number of laptops, with new models coming out each year, and there are several to pick from even just within the Yoga series. The Yoga Slim 7i that we had in to review was fitted with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. That’s a more than capable machine for day-to-day computing tasks, and it will cope fine with some light photo and video editing too.
You can’t do any serious gaming with this, or any serious video editing, but nor would you expect to be able to with a laptop of this size and weight. In the standard PCMark 10 benchmark test, the Yoga Slim 7i scored a respectable 4,809, which is about average for a current office laptop. We didn’t notice any sort of slowdown or lag while having multiple browser tabs open, or while quickly switching between applications.
The keyboard and trackpad experience isn’t up there with the very best laptops on the market at the moment – and of course there’s no room for a number pad on a device this size – but it’s all perfectly satisfactory. The keys are reasonably well spaced and easy and comfortable to type on, even if there is a certain amount of flex in the chassis, and we like the subtlety of the backlighting on the keyboard.
It is worth noting that the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon does get rather hot during use, even if you’re not actually doing anything demanding with it – and the fans, though fairly quiet, did tend to kick in often. We’re not sure this is a laptop that can be kept on your actual lap for extended periods of time (though it’s okay for a few minutes), and that’s something else to bear in mind if you’re thinking about purchasing this.
Up at the top of the screen is an integrated 720p webcam with a housing that’s more raised and noticeable than it really needs to be. In terms of video quality it’s good enough, though you can certainly find better integrated webcams out there – you might want to think about investing in a separate webcam if video call quality is really important to you (though again you have the limited number of ports to consider).
While the 16:10 aspect ratio of the display is better suited to documents and websites, the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon works well as a video-playing machine as well, and you can quite easily enjoy a few movies and shows on this when needed. There are two 2W Harman-engineered speakers on board with Dolby Atmos support, but they never really go above the adequate in terms of pumping out audio from your videos and music.
Windows 11 you probably know all about – Microsoft seems to be doing a good job at keeping the operating system regularly updated with new features, and at this stage you’re probably committed to either Windows or macOS. If you’re a fan of Macs, then the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon isn’t really going to have enough about it to get you to switch over (it’s not the laptop to get for gaming, for example).
We ran our regular battery test on the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, where we stream a video for an hour with the screen at maximum brightness and a low volume: that knocked down the battery percentage by 24 per cent, so you’re looking at around four hours of video watching overall (and more if you dim the screen), which isn’t great. In more general use, you get less than that, so if you’re taking it out for the whole day you’re definitely going to need to take a power adapter with you.
LENOVO YOGA SLIM 7I CARBON REVIEW: VERDICT
The strengths of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon are clear: it’s slim and small and light, and it’s comfortable to type on for long periods of time. If you’re heading down to your local coffee shop to work on your latest novel, then it’s a really good option in terms of not weighing down your bag or taking up much room on the table. The screen is sharp and clear, and it comes with some of the latest tech – like Wi-Fi 6E.
There are certain weaknesses to talk about, including the so-so battery life and the fact that it gets rather warm while it’s being used. These issues aren’t necessarily going to put you off getting the laptop entirely, but they’re worth bearing in mind if you’re thinking about picking up the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon. Of course you should measure everything against the asking price too.
You can certainly find cheaper laptops out there than the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, but not many of them will offer up as much style and sleekness as this, and it’s no slouch in terms of performance either. If you’re in the market for a Windows ultraportable that can go just about everywhere with you, give this option some serious consideration.