September 30, 2023

It’s been an unbelievable yr for 16-inch laptops focusing on creators, and Lenovo’s newest entry, the Slim Professional 9i looks like a terrific instance, with its premium construct high quality, terrific seems to be, highly effective innards, and mini-LED show (my first). I’ll discover out for certain throughout the overview interval, however listed here are some first impressions.

However first a query: what, precisely, is a Slim Professional 9i? I’m aware of most of Lenovo’s top-level transportable PC manufacturers—ThinkPad (premium business-class), Legion (gaming), Yoga (2-in-1), and IdeaPad (prosumer sweet-spot—however Slim is a brand new one to me. Taking a look at Lenovo’s web site, I see that Slim is commingled with Yoga, there are separate Slim and Slim Professional fashions, and that the Slim Professional lineup targets creators and contains an unique “proprietary buyer efficiency tuning resolution” known as Lenovo X Energy.

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In order that’s attention-grabbing. However there’s extra: the Slim Professional fashions are additionally powered by customized Intel chipsets which might be 24 p.c smaller than common, which is what allows these PCs to be so skinny, er, slim. In fact, slim is relative on a 16-inch transportable PC: wanting on the specs, I can see that the Slim Professional 9i (in 16-inch type, there’s a 14-inch model as effectively) is 0.71 inches thick and begins at 4.9 kilos. That didn’t appear all that spectacular at first—the HP ZBook Firefly G10 16-Inch I lately reviewed is 0.78-inches thick and weighs a lot much less at 3.88 kilos, for instance—however there’s some critical {hardware} inside this PC, together with an Intel H-series processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 devoted laptop computer GPU. So this configuration is, certainly, fairly spectacular.

Since we’re beginning with the internals, let’s get extra particular. The overview unit is powered by a 45-watt thirteenth Gen Intel Core i9-13900H processor with 14 cores (6 Performant, 8 Environment friendly), 32 GB of quick LPDDR5X RAM, and 1 TB of PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD storage, and the NVIDIA GPU has 8 GB of devoted GDDR6 VRAM. Energy comes from a 75-watt-hour battery that may be rapid-charged by its proprietary 170-watt energy provide with its proprietary charging port. Battery life received’t be good: Lenovo claims as much as 6 hours utilizing a productivity-based benchmark, so I’m guessing that the real-world outcomes will likely be nearer to 4. We will see.

There’s a 6-speaker resolution with Dolby Atmos on-board for immersive sound. And A 5 MP Home windows Howdy-compatible webcam with a bodily shutter change (on the facet of the PC, apparently) and a quad-array microphone to your hybrid work wants.

Connectivity seems to be fashionable, with dual-band Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1.

The enlargement seems to be terrific. You get the Lenovo charging port, a USB-A Gen 3.2 Gen 1 port, a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, one Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Sort-C port (with DisplayPort and Energy Supply 3.0), and a headphone/mic combo jack on the left.

After which a second USB-A Gen 3.2 Gen 1 port and, uncommon lately, a full-sized SD card reader on the suitable. Oddly, the facility button can be on the suitable, regardless that this isn’t a 2-in-1. Curious.

And since we’ve got returned to the skin of the PC, let’s handle that display screen. The Slim Professional 9i’s large 16-inch show is what Lenovo calls a PureSight Professional MiniLED panel with a 3.2K decision (3200 x 1200), a great 16:10 side ratio, 675 nits of brightness, and a really quick 165 Hz refresh fee (although the toggle in Home windows 11 Settings helps solely 60 and 165 Hz selections). This shiny and colourful show boasts 100% compatibility with the Adobe RGB, P3, and sRGB coloration areas, Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR capabilities, TÜV Low Blue Gentle Certification+, and Eyesafe Certification. Oh, and it has multitouch assist too, which I’ll probably keep away from fully. It’s surrounded by very small bezels on all sides, and the corners are rounded to match the Home windows 11 design aesthetic.

However what’s mini-LED? Since that is my first expertise with it, and based mostly on its shiny, shiny, and colourful output, I assumed it was the subsequent technology of OLED. However not fairly: as an alternative, mini-LED merely signifies that it makes use of size-reduced LED diodes, which may end up in a thinner type issue. So it’s, in some methods, to the show panel what the size-reduced Intel chipset is to the underside half of the PC. However from a technical perspective, mini-LED affords higher brightness whereas OLED shows can flip particular person pixels off, which ends up in these unbelievable, inky blacks.

From a appear and feel perspective, the Slim Professional shares the premium construct high quality and primary seems to be of Lenovo’s different premium manufacturers, and there may be completely no flex in any respect within the physique, even in the course of the keyboard. It shares the now-familiar Lenovo “bump” on the webcam space on the high of the show, a type of reverse notch, and the stylish Lenovo emblem work on the wrist relaxation and outer show lid.

The Storm Gray coloration (darkish grey) is sort of good, and I just like the contrasting lighter grey coloration on the outside of the show lid.

The backlit keyboard is properly finished, although it’s after all marred by that typo-inducing numeric keypad on the suitable.

The keys are scalloped as per Lenovo’s different premium PC keyboards and supply a pleasant 1.5 mm of key journey with a terrific key really feel (that Lenovo says can be grease resistant). The Ctrl key’s in the suitable place (within the decrease proper the place God supposed), and there are devoted microphone mute and user-programmable keys.

The touchpad is, my God, monumental, and whereas I’ve already wanted to show off three- and four-finger gestures, it appears correct in early use with solid-sounding clicks.

The software program loadout is generally inoffensive, although Lenovo’s Vantage-based providers promoting is annoying. McAfee is onboard, blech, however there are solely 4 Lenovo utilities and no apparent crap. Home windows 11 Professional is included.

All in all, it seems to be fairly terrific. Extra quickly.