PC

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 a solid performer

The laptop excels in processor-heavy workloads and has great battery life.
The laptop excels in processor-heavy workloads and has great battery life.

Lenovo used to call its two-in-one convertibles Yoga, which I found very appropriate, seeing as these devices relied on a flexible 360degree hinge to switch between laptop and tablet form.

But two years ago, Lenovo changed its Yoga branding to refer to its premium consumer models. Thus, my expectations were raised even before setting my eyes on the new Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 laptop.

Adding to my high hopes was its AMD Ryzen 7 processor, an eight-core chip that should excel in processor-heavy workloads like 3D rendering and video editing.

Naturally, the first thing I did was to install the PCMark 10 benchmark to test the notebook's performance. The Slim 7 scored 5,226, significantly higher than the 4,556 achieved by the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i, which has an Intel Core i7-1065G7.

Notably, the Slim 7 did very well in the Digital Content Creation portion of PCMark 10, which involves video and image editing. Its 5,442 score is much higher than the 3,555 managed by the Intel-powered Slim 5i.

Thanks to its aluminium body, the Slim 7 feels solid with just a hint of flex when I press down on the palm rest. My review set comes in a nondescript matte grey that quickly picks up fingerprints and other stains.

The lid can be opened up to almost 180 degrees with one hand. The middle portion of the top bezel protrudes slightly, making it easy to grip the lid. This so-called "reverse notch" design also ensures that the top bezel is sufficiently thick in the middle to accommodate an infrared Web camera for facial recognition.

Some variants of the Slim 7 may include a fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button, which is located at the side. My review set has only facial recognition, which works as expected.

Its 14-inch display has a glossy glass cover that initially fools me into thinking it is a touchscreen. The screen is fairly reflective.

Dolby Vision is supported, which means that in Netflix shows that support this high dynamic range format, the screen becomes very bright. Colours do not appear richer than other laptop displays, though.

Enhancing its credentials as a multimedia powerhouse are stereo speakers located at the sides of the keyboard. They are loud with enough body to fill the room, though there is not much bass to speak of.

  • FOR

    • Capable eight-core processor

    • Solid all-metal build

    • Excellent battery life

  • AGAINST

    • No Thunderbolt 3

  • SPECS

    PRICE: From $1,299

    PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U (2.0GHz)

    GRAPHICS: AMD Radeon Graphics

    RAM: 16GB DDR4

    SCREEN SIZE: 14 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB Type-C (PD 3.0), 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, microSD card reader, audio jack

    BATTERY: 60.7 watt-hour

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4.5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Like some of Lenovo's other notebooks, the Slim 7 comes with Glance by Mirametrix, a software that uses the Web camera to track your eyes for privacy and security. For instance, the feature can automatically blur the screen to deter prying eyes when you step away from the laptop.

Perhaps I am used to Lenovo's keyboards, but I achieved one of my higher typing speeds (76 words per minute) on the Slim 7's keyboard. It is tactile and comfortable, though the keys feel shallower than Lenovo's ThinkPad models.

I like that the Slim 7 is charged via a USB Type-C port using the included power adapter. Its HDMI port is also handy for most users, seeing as monitors and television sets still use this interface. However, including Thunderbolt 3 would have been nice.

While the Slim 7 feels a tad heavier than some 14-inch models, there is a good reason for this - it has a large 60 watt-hour battery. In our video-loop battery test, the Slim 7 managed 9hr 13min, one of the best in the ultrabooks I have tested.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2020, with the headline 'Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 a solid performer'. Print Edition | Subscribe