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

We have seen fairly just a few firms attempt to make dual-screen laptops a factor of the previous Dell Idea Duet returns in 2020 to more moderen programs 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 skin, the YogaBook 9i does not look a lot totally different from any common laptop computer. However once you open it up, you are greeted by two 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED screens that dominate the within of the system. Because of this not like ASUS’ opponents, there is no area for a bodily keyboard—not less than not on the physique of the system. Nonetheless, to assist every kind of setups and use circumstances, Lenovo additionally supplies a variety of bundled equipment together with a foldable kickstand, removable Bluetooth keyboard, and stylus. And it is this mixture of peripherals that actually makes the YogaBook 9i greater than a easy shell.

When propped up on the kickstand, you possibly can place the laptop computer screens in side-by-side instructions or in stacked instructions, saving loads of vertical display screen 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 could have a tool that appears loads like a conveyable all-in-one desktop.

Lenovo additionally has just a few software program tips to get essentially the most out of the totally different show modes. For instance, when the YogaBook 9i’s screens are stacked on prime of one another, you possibly can faucet 5 fingers on the display screen to stretch a single window throughout each screens in what the corporate calls waterfall mode. Alternatively, once you wish to transfer home windows from one display screen to a different, you possibly can merely slide your finger to ship an app up or down. Just like what we noticed in ThinkPad X1 foldLenovo has quite a lot of grid choices so you possibly can 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 normal 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.

After all, when area is a priority, you possibly can at all times use the YogaBook 9i in clamshell mode, both by utilizing a digital keyboard on the display screen or just dropping the BT keyboard above the underside display screen. I additionally actually appreciated a number of the small add-ons Lenovo included to assist totally different kind layouts. By pushing the keyboard again towards the display screen (both the bodily or digital keyboard through an eight-finger swipe movement), you possibly can activate the (albeit considerably small) digital touchpad. Or when you’ve got an exterior mouse connected, you possibly can 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 vital 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 screen.

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 number 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 type of to be anticipated when exhibiting pre-production units. The most important downside for me is that although I am optimistic about the way forward for dual-screen laptops, typing on a contact display screen continues to be a problem. I discovered that once I was in a groove, I might kind as quick as I might on a standard bodily keyboard. The issue is that when your fingers get carried away (and they’ll), typos begin piling up in clusters, and there is no good technique to discover house row once more. This implies you usually should look all the way down to verify 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 like that Lenovo places the YogaBook’s kickstand, BT keyboard, and stylus within the field at no cost, I actually suppose the kickstand ought to be constructed into the system 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 retaining monitor of all the things and working towards 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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