The Lenovo Yoga 7i got a top-to-bottom update for 2022 and all of the changes greatly improve the experience. The thin, 3-pound metal body with smooth, rounded edges is more comfortable for typing and carrying. The 16:10 display has a higher resolution and 100% sRGB color gamut, making it more enjoyable for streaming video and better for basic content creation. Its two USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 4 for faster data transfers and display output (though there's an HDMI out, too). You can sign in with either the built-in fingerprint reader or facial recognition. The webcam is now 1080p, giving your video chats finer detail. Performance is strong for its class and battery life was close to 13 hours in our tests. Even the speakers sound good.
The higher-end Yoga 9i has some fun extra features like its rotating soundbar hinge and an OLED display option, and it is faster because of its higher-performance Intel P-series processors. But for most people who need a solid laptop for office or schoolwork, especially if battery life is a concern, the Yoga 7i is the smarter, more affordable choice.
- Great battery life
- Premium look and feel
- 1080p webcam
- Strong performance
- Fingerprint reader and facial recognition for sign-ins
- Memory soldered on
- USB-C ports all on left side
Better shop around
Pricing and availability for laptops have been unpredictable this year, to say the least. Things seem to be settling down in time for holiday shopping, but you'll still want to keep an eye on prices. Lenovo frequently puts its laptops on sale, and if a model you want isn't on sale, wait a week or two if you can and check again. For example, the blue 14-inch Yoga 7i configuration I tested is available from Best Buy for $1,200. However, it's on sale on Lenovo's site for $865 in silver and with twice the amount of storage, no less -- 1TB compared to the 512GB in mine. It's well priced at $1,200 but a steal at $865. Basically, just be sure to check the specs and pricing on and off Lenovo's site to get the best configuration for your money. Prices start at £1,080 in the UK and AU$1,840 in Australia.
Lenovo Yoga 7i (14-inch, Gen 7)
|Price as reviewed||$1,200|
|Display size/resolution||14-inch, 2,240x1,400-pixel, LCD touchscreen|
|CPU||1.7GHz Intel Core i7-1255U|
|Memory||16GB LPDDR5 4,800MHz (onboard)|
|Graphics||128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Storage||512GB M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 6E 2x2 AX, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home (21H2)|
My main recommendation is to get 16GB of memory if you can afford it. Like many laptops now, the memory is soldered onto the mainboard and there's no slot to add more in the future. The Yoga 7i should perform fine with 8GB of memory for basic everyday productivity and entertainment, but if you plan to do more now or later, get 16GB. Storage, on the other hand, can be increased later with a larger solid-state drive, so it's better to skimp there than on memory.
Performance was strong from the configuration we tested, besting a similarly configured and priced Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, as well as a pricier HP Spectre x360 13.5 two-in-one. On our streaming video test with screen brightness set to 50% and audio through earbuds also at 50%, the Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7 reached 12 hours, 45 minutes. You can read more about how we test and see our benchmark test results at the end of this review.
The rest of the Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7 is just plain good. The body looks good (if a bit dated for my tastes) and the curved edges are more comfortable for typing and carrying compared to past Yoga models as well as competitors like the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1. The 2.2K-resolution display is a good middle ground: An improvement from 1080p without the higher price and the bigger battery drain of 4K. The screen does support pen input but one isn't included in the box.
If you're spending more time on video conference calls, you'll appreciate the increased resolution of the 1080p webcam, the built-in mics and the full sound from its four speakers. Plus, there's a mic mute on the keyboard and a physical shutter to block the webcam when you don't want to be seen or heard. And, to make signing in faster, there's an IR camera for facial recognition and a fingerprint reader below the keyboard on the right side.
The port assortment is just enough, with two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a microSD card slot and an HDMI out on the left, and a headset jack and USB-A port on the right. I really wish laptop-makers would be better about separating USB-C ports, having at least one on each side. Not only is it more flexible for charging, but it also makes connecting docks and adapters easier. It's certainly not a deal-breaker but it is an annoyance nonetheless.
When it comes to an all-around excellent laptop for most people, Apple's MacBook Air is regularly our go-to recommendation. The Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7 gets a similar vote when it comes to two-in-one convertibles. From its design to its features to its performance and battery life, it's a great choice. And if you can get it for less than $1,000, it's an amazing value, too.
How we test computers
The review process for laptops, desktops, tablets and other computer-like devices consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our expert reviewers. This includes evaluating a device's aesthetics, ergonomics and features. A final review verdict is a combination of both those objective and subjective judgments.
The list of benchmarking software we use changes over time as the devices we test evolve. The most important core tests we're currently running on every compatible computer include: Primate Labs Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, PCMark 10 and 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra.
A more detailed description of each benchmark and how we use it can be found in our How We Test Computers page.
|Lenovo Yoga 7i (14-inch, Gen 7)||Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-1255U; 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD|
|Acer Spin 5 SP514-51N||Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-1260p; 16GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 1TB SSD|
|HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 (2022)||Microsoft Windows 11 Pro; 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-1255U; 16GB DDR4 4,266MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 1TB SSD|
|Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 (2022)||Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-1255U; 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7)||Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-1260p; 16GB DDR5 5,200MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD|