The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a handful of a name, but thankfully it’s hardly a handful of a laptop.
This laptop clocks in less than a kilogram – about 0.97kg – and its weight distribution is excellent as well. In any of its forms, this is a comfortable laptop to hold.
While trying out the Slim 7i Carbon, I made it a point to shuffle from table to table (sometimes not by choice). I close the laptop, pick up my personal effects, trudge over to another table, and put everything down. I open up the laptop and get back to work; but not for long. I get interrupted, pick up my stuff and move on. I get onto a train, sit down, open up the laptop again and repeat.
Of course, this is an extreme scenario that doesn’t reflect real-world experiences. But the thing is, it’s not a pain even under these circumstances. The featherweight nature of the laptop, coupled with the near-instantaneous speed in resuming from standby (the facial recognition unlock helps too), makes this a proper road warrior that enables you to be productive regardless of where you are. But of course, there are plenty of laptops that could easily do this since the quick resumption of service from standby is essentially a requirement for the Intel Evo certification.
But I don’t think that many laptops can be as slim and tough as this one. And even though the Slim 7i Carbon is svelte, it’s never delicate. I’m not sure if it’s purely a placebo because of all that talk about carbon, but the laptop never feels truly flimsy, even though the shell is so thin. The laptop shell flexes a little, but it never feels fragile. It’s a reassurance that makes using the laptop more pleasant each time you use it – and not break it. Plus, I’m clumsy by nature, and by the end of my time with the laptop, it still manages to look white. It may not sound like much, but those who are drawn to white gadgets can relate. Keeping stuff white is a pain.
And that, in a nutshell, is the draw of the Slim 7i Carbon. Outwardly it seems as though that function follows form, but nothing could be further from the truth. The rest of its features support its claim to be a legitimately good productivity tool as well.
The 2.5K display, for one, is a great place to start. It has a nice balance of pixel density within the 13.3-inch display, presented in a 16:10 ratio. It also gives the impression of sharp text visuals, and visibility is improved further thanks to a matte display. The backlight looks even throughout and the colours are reasonably accurate. However, the brightness is somewhat modest so trying to use the laptop in the open is pretty much a washout (sorry). OK, I guess I’m being unfair here – it’s serviceable for sure, but then again, I can’t presume what you are willing to accept. I think it’s bright enough that the decision to put a matte screen to prevent glare wasn’t a waste of time, but I certainly am not going to make any colour based decisions when out in the sun.
The Slim 7i Carbon is also not equipped with a touchscreen, but that’s less of a detriment since this Yoga isn’t a convertible (hinge maxes out at 180 degrees). You can hardly spot the webcam as it blends almost seamlessly into the bezel, and honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered. I figured that they need to cut costs somewhere, and the webcam seems like a reasonable compromise. Have good background lighting when you use it, please, or pick up something like this as an add on. But I appreciate that facial recognition login is speedy and effective, thanks (ironically) to the same camera array that I just dissed. There are some nifty tricks, like setting the video to pause when you get out of frame (of the camera), but they aren’t dealmakers.
Multimedia-wise, the Slim 7i Carbon is pretty well-equipped. Speakers pass the clarity and volume test – loud and clear within reason. Although there’s not much to complain about in today’s laptop speakers, the Dolby Atmos spec is almost a reassuring sight. The speakers on the Slim 7i achieve a ‘bigger’ sound by firing downward. This method dictates that the sound changes depending on where you are and the material it is firing on. I don’t think this is an actual problem, but I thought you might need to know that. For visuals, Iris Xe graphics works well enough for most tasks and light gaming. Games like Dota 2 and Valorant work fine on lower settings.
But why would you do anything else other than productive work on this machine? More than most, the tactile experience of the Sim 7i Carbon is the bee’s knees. There are no bells and whistles here, but it does the basics very well indeed. The size and placement of the trackpad complement the keyboard perfectly. The keystroke travel is short, but the setup works well given the low profile of the laptop. And there’s a nice ‘squish’ as you tap, too. Admittedly the laptop gets a little warm if you place it on your, err lap, but that’s the tradeoff when you have such a slim machine. When there is sufficient ventilation, the temperatures are well under control. The exception, of course, is when you push the CPU by doing video editing or similarly demanding work. All within reason, of course.
The Slim 7i Carbon is equipped with an i7 processor, and you never feel constrained by whatever application you pull up in the course of your day. The battery life is good for a day’s work, hovering around eight hours on average with a mix of web browsing, work tasks and media playback. With fast charging support, we can get back about a quarter of the battery with a quick 15-minute charge.
I’m not sure if not having many ports can be considered a negative for a slim laptop, but you can’t fault that you have three USB-C ports while one is USB 3.2 and the other two are Thunderbolt 4s. They all support power delivery as well, so it’s very convenient regardless of where the power outlet may be.
The Slim 7i Carbon is a stark contrast to the Lenovo’s Fold X1, a stunning design and a joy to play around with, but ultimately not something I would look to as a workhorse. The Sim 7i Carbon certainly feels like something I could genuinely bring around everywhere I go, and I can realistically expect to get work done when small pockets of time appear.
By this point, I’ve come to realise why I have such a liking for this laptop. For what it was designed to do, there are almost no constraints. Although it’s styled like a lifestyle device, the reality is that the Slim 7i Carbon is a true workhorse in every sense of the word. It’s a pricey ask for this current spec (i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, $1,999) no doubt, but in that respect, this slender powerhouse certainly feels like it’s worth the premium. The Slim 7i Carbon starts from $1,269 with a more modest i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage, which is actually far more reasonable in view of the competition. But for me at least, you can’t really put a price tag on the ease of use.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon
Features - 8/10
Value Proposition - 8/10
Performance - 8/10
Design & Build Quality - 9/10
Overall - 8/10
The Slim 7i Carbon is one of the few instances where paying that little more does feel like it goes a long way. If you can afford it, why not?