Lenovo YogaBook 9i hands-on: A huge leap for dual-screen laptops

We have seen fairly a couple of corporations attempt to make dual-screen laptops a factor of the previous Dell Idea Duet returns in 2020 to newer techniques such because the ASUS line ZenBook Duo notebooks. However with the YogaBook 9i at CES 2023, Lenovo It pushes the thought of ​​a real two-screen laptop computer additional than ever earlier than.

From the surface, the YogaBook 9i would not look a lot totally different from any common laptop computer. However if you open it up, you are greeted by two 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED screens that dominate the within of the machine. Which means in contrast to ASUS’ opponents, there is not any area for a bodily keyboard—at the very least not on the physique of the machine. Nonetheless, to assist every kind of setups and use circumstances, Lenovo additionally gives a variety of bundled equipment together with a foldable kickstand, removable Bluetooth keyboard, and stylus. And it is this mixture of peripherals that basically makes the YogaBook 9i greater than a easy shell.

When propped up on the kickstand, you may place the laptop computer screens in side-by-side instructions or in stacked instructions, saving loads of vertical display area or conventional twin shows relying in your wants. Then, all it’s a must to do is faucet the BT keyboard on a desk and abruptly you might have a tool that appears loads like a transportable all-in-one desktop.

Lenovo additionally has a couple of software program tips to get probably the most out of the totally different show modes. For instance, when the YogaBook 9i’s screens are stacked on high of one another, you may faucet 5 fingers on the display to stretch a single window throughout each screens in what the corporate calls waterfall mode. Alternatively, if you need to transfer home windows from one display to a different, you may merely slide your finger to ship an app up or down. Much like what we noticed in ThinkPad X1 foldLenovo has a wide range of grid choices so you may run twin, triple, or quadruple app layouts to maximise your multitasking.

In clamshell mode, the YogaBook 9i supports both a virtual on-screen keyboard and a physical Bluetooth keyboard.

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Along with commonplace pen and handwriting assist, you should utilize the YogaBook’s pen to take screenshots after which press a button to mechanically embed it into a brand new OneNote file. This makes recording minutes or saving concepts from brainstorming classes throughout conferences quite simple.

In fact, when area is a priority, you may all the time use the YogaBook 9i in clamshell mode, both by utilizing a digital keyboard on the display or just dropping the BT keyboard above the underside display. I additionally actually appreciated a few of the small add-ons Lenovo included to assist totally different sort layouts. By pushing the keyboard again towards the display (both the bodily or digital keyboard by way of an eight-finger swipe movement), you may activate the (albeit considerably small) digital touchpad. Or in case you have an exterior mouse hooked up, you may drag the keyboard ahead to disclose a row of widgets for issues like climate, information, and extra.

YogaBook 9i can be used both vertically and horizontally when propped up on the included stand.

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By way of specs, the YogaBook 9i is well-equipped with thirteenth Gen Intel Core i7 CPUs, as much as 16GB of DDR5 RAM, 512GB of storage, and three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4. Regardless of being a smooth system, comparatively solely 0.63. An inch thick, Lenovo has managed to stuff a big 80Wh battery inside. That is essential as a result of these twin OLED screens are so power-hungry that the corporate claims the laptop computer will final about seven hours in dual-screen mode or roughly 14 hours when utilizing only one display.

In ideal conditions, the YogaBook 9i's keyboard performs just fine.  But once your hands start to drift, things can get messy pretty quickly.

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Having stated that, I do have some considerations. First, a few of the gesture controls and stylus inputs weren’t notably responsive. The YogaBook even blue-screened twice over the course of about an hour whereas I used to be testing it. However that is form of to be anticipated when exhibiting pre-production units. The largest downside for me is that although I am optimistic about the way forward for dual-screen laptops, typing on a contact display continues to be a problem. I discovered that once I was in a groove, I might sort as quick as I might on a conventional bodily keyboard. The issue is that when your fingers get carried away (and they’ll), typos begin piling up in clusters, and there is not any good method to discover residence row once more. This implies you usually need to look right down to examine the place your arms are, which is annoying for contact typists.

Despite its dual screens and slim dimensions, the YogaBook 9i still features three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4.

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Lastly, whereas I really like that Lenovo places the YogaBook’s kickstand, BT keyboard, and stylus within the field totally free, I actually suppose the kickstand ought to be constructed into the machine itself, as it’s in convertibles like Floor Professional. That is as a result of although the kickstand converts right into a flip-up cowl of kinds, it feels such as you spend fairly a little bit of time conserving monitor of all the pieces and training the artwork of origami when shifting between modes.

However in lots of respects, that is what you get when an organization explores an untested design. And even with these considerations, I am nonetheless extremely excited to check out the ultimate retail model of the YogaBook 9i when it comes out someday in April for round $2,000.

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