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Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro (14-inch) review: Premium laptop at a midrange price

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro 14-inch
Josh Goldman/CNET

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro will get higher the extra you utilize it. Frankly, once I first unboxed it I discovered the laptop to be fairly unremarkable. It’s Lenovo’s first laptop to ship with Windows 11 however in any other case, it does not actually have any massive attention-grabbing options. The 14-inch laptop is skinny, mild and has a full metallic chassis — premium however it does not stand out. There’s no massive efficiency story: It’s respectable however not extraordinary (although battery life is lengthy at practically 12 hours). Of course, there’s nothing unsuitable with simply being all-around good. 

But after utilizing the Slim 7i Pro for a short time and placing a few of its considerably hidden options to work, the little laptop’s worth is clearer. With this laptop, you are getting the expertise of a higher-end mannequin — the look, really feel and upscale options — however at a extra inexpensive price (even when that price is not precisely low). 

Like

  • Higher-end design, options at a extra inexpensive price
  • Multiple voice assistant choices

Don’t Like

  • Cluttered with pitches for non-compulsory providers, software program
  • No bodily webcam shutter

Starting at around $1,000, the Slim 7i Pro just isn’t low-cost however it does supply elements and options you’d usually pay a few hundred {dollars} extra to get. The configuration I examined sells for $1,200 at Costco and is maxed out with an Eleventh-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB of reminiscence and a 1TB SSD. It additionally has a shiny, stunning 2.8K-resolution touchscreen with a 90Hz refresh fee. An identical configuration of the Slim 7i Pro in the UK sells for £999 and AU$1,599 in Australia.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro (14-inch)

$1,200

14-inch 2880 x 1800 contact show

3.3GHz Intel Core i7-11370H

16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4X (soldered)

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128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics

USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 Type-C (x2), USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, combo headphone jack 

1TB PCIe SSD

802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1

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Windows 11 Home (21H1)

Price as reviewed
Display measurement/decision
CPU
Memory
Graphics
Ports
Storage
Networking
Operating system

What’s so Pro about it   

Putting Pro within the identify of a laptop mannequin means various things to totally different folks. In this case, evidently it means transferring a notch up from the regular IdeaPad Slim 7 in virtually each method. The Slim 7i Pro (the letter i is for the Intel processor) has higher elements, a higher-quality show and a few future-proofing tech, in addition to some options to enhance your work expertise. Plus, the laptop is fairly sharp and will not look misplaced in a enterprise assembly. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro 14-inch

Both of the Slim 7i Pro’s USB-C ports are on the left facet. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The 14-inch show, as an example, covers 100% sRGB, 80% P3, 78% Adobe RGB and 74% NTSC coloration gamuts. It hits a brightness of 400 nits. All good issues for work, leisure and primary content material creation. The taller 16:10 ratio provides you extra vertical room for work, too. And the 90Hz refresh fee smooths out the look of video and video games. 

With two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports on the left facet, you are lined for every thing from charging and high-speed information transfers to connecting a number of exterior displays. It could be good in the event that they had been break up between the left and proper sides for higher flexibility, although. Wireless is prepared for the longer term as properly with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. 

Above the show, there’s a serviceable 720p webcam paired with an IR digicam and twin far-field microphones. The IR digicam is for signing in with facial recognition. But what’s much more attention-grabbing is the laptop has presence detection, a function discovered on ThinkPad enterprise laptops. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro 14-inch

The Slim 7i Pro’s cameras can routinely lock and unlock the laptop.

Josh Goldman/CNET

If you stroll away from the laptop, it can routinely lock itself down. When you come back, the Slim 7i Pro senses your presence and begins on the lookout for your face to unlock it immediately. The function may even be used to pause video taking part in in your show if you depart and resume if you return when utilizing sure gamers like VLC. 

What Lenovo did take away is the sliding bodily shutter for the webcam to assist with privateness. That’s a step again, however you should use Lenovo’s Vantage software program toolbar to shortly kill the webcam and mic, in addition to change fan and system management modes, alter battery and charging efficiency and even activate and off the keyboard backlight. You can even do a few of these issues and far more along with your voice. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro 14-inch

The keyboard and touchpad are each glorious.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The laptop is preinstalled with Lenovo Voice, which helps you to management the laptop and alter settings with voice instructions. There’s a long list of options from controlling display brightness and quantity to opening the calculator app to disabling the webcam. It additionally has translation and voice-to-text options. And if you wish to use your voice for extra, the laptop is preinstalled with Amazon Alexa providers and Microsoft Cortana. This is why these twin far-field mics are good to have, together with higher convention calls. 

Aside from the Lenovo Vantage and Lenovo Voice apps, there’s surprisingly little preinstalled bloatware on the laptop, however be ready to get associate software program pitches anyway. Yes, Vantage is the place you will discover all of the controls for turning on and off the additional options on the Slim 7i Pro, however it’s additionally the corporate’s avenue for pitching you on varied associate providers. Things like SurfEasy VPN, McAfee Live Safe, DashLane password supervisor and Lenovo’s personal Smart Performance service for $30 a 12 months, which scans your PC and fixes any points it finds. This can also be the place you will get affords for prolonged warranties for the laptop and battery. It’s annoying however I suppose it is higher than having all of it preinstalled. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro 14-inch

A headphone jack, USB-A port and energy button are on the precise facet.

Josh Goldman/CNET

At the tip of the day, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro’s appeal is that it is a actually good clamshell laptop for individuals who want simply that. it appears to be like good, if a little bland. It has a superb show and the elements are top-notch for its class. Plus the Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 imply there’s some future proofing for connections. Add within the enjoyable extras like presence detection and voice instructions, particularly good in the event you’re a heavy Alexa consumer already and you have got a premium laptop expertise at a extra midrange price. 

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be0097nr)

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro

Note:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Cinebench R23 CPU (multicore)

HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be0097nr)

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro

Note:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

PCMark 10 Pro Edition

HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be0097nr)

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Note:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Streaming video playback battery drain check (minutes)

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be0097nr)

Note:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

System Configurations

Microsoft Windows 11 Home (64-bit); 3.3GHz Intel Core i7-11370H; 16GB 4.27GHz LPDDR4X; 128MB Intel Iris Xe; 1TB SSD

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.9GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3.2GHz; 512MB AMD Radeon; 512GB SSD

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 3GHz Intel Core i7-1185G7; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3.2GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe; 512GB SSD

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 4980U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 4.27GHz; 512MB AMD Radeon Vega 8; 512GB SSD

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1155G7; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 4.27GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe; 256GB SSD

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 3GHz Intel Core i7-1185G7; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 4.27GHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe; 512GB SSD

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
HP Pavilion Aero 13 (13-be0097nr)
Framework Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Razer Book 13
Dell XPS 13 OLED (9310)

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