Lenovo makes several of the very best laptops that sit under the four-figure mark. And this, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, is probably the one you should buy.
Sure, the MacBook Air is a more exciting prospect, and even more powerful. But the Yoga Slim 7 is actually one of the best reasons not to buy a MacBook in 2021. Oh, and we should probably mention it’s hundreds cheaper too.
Its build quality is superb, it almost certainly has more power than you need, its screen is excellent in most respects, and the AMD version (as reviewed here) can even handle some recent-ish games well enough.
Lenovo once again gives us a masterclass on how to make a world-class laptop for under a grand. There’s very little reason to spend any more unless you need an ultra-high-resolution screen.
- Dimensions: 320.6mm x 208mm x 14.9mm
- 1.4kg claimed weight (1.326kg measured)
- Finishes: Slate Grey / Orchid Purple
- Aluminium shell design
High-end laptops are an odd category. Sometimes when you spend more to jump up a league, you end up with a laptop that feels less expensive. A lot of the most pricey ones use magnesium alloys rather than primarily aluminium ones: lighter but less metallic to the touch.
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s case panels are aluminium. It leads to weight of 1.3kg rather than, well, a couple of hundred grammes less, but you get the same lovely cool-to-the-touch feel as a MacBook.
The screen is stiff, the keyboard doesn’t bow under the pressure of your fingers, and it’s a classy-looking laptop in a minimalistic sort of way.
This isn’t quite the device you might expect given that it’s part of the Yoga series, though. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s screen folds open to 180 degrees, not a hybrid-style 360 degrees, and it does not have a touchscreen.
It’s definitely a laptop, not a lifestyle gadget that thinks it can replace an iPad. Lenovo has its eyes on MacBook Air buyers, thus some of the core stats are similar. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 is 16mm thick, just like an Air, and the weight is more-or-less the same too.
- 14-inch IPS panel, 300 nits birghtness
- 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- No touchscreen control
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 has a 14-inch IPS LCD screen. It’s here we see this laptop start to move away from one that costs hundreds more – but less so than you might guess.
This is a 1080p screen, which means you’ll see slight pixellation in small fonts. Lenovo does make a 4K version, but this doesn’t seem to be sold as widely as the Full HD Yoga 7 Slim.
In almost every other respect, though, we have no complaints. It actually outperforms Lenovo’s own claims in some areas.
For example, Lenovo says the 1080p Yoga 7 Slim reaches 300-nit brightness. But it actually hits 385 nits by our measure. That extra headroom makes the display look clearer outdoors, and it also has a reflection-reducing matte finish. When you have some high-end laptops touting 500 nits as some kind of untouchable achievement, it shows just how well set this laptop is.
Lenovo says the screen’s colour matches the sRGB colour standard, the old industry standard for monitors and printers. But its colour coverage is actually 20 per cent richer than that by our measure.
Sure, a MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13 has deeper colour still, but you only need to worry about that if you’ll colour grade video or do other pro imaging work. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7’s colour looks well-saturated to our eyes.
Part of that eyeball-pleasing effect is thanks to the display’s great contrast: it’s 1762:1 at max brightness, which is an excellent result for an LCD screen. Blacks don’t look washed out and grey.
All it really lacks in this class is the slick presentation you get from a glass-topped glossy screen. The screen image of a glossy display can seem to “pop” more than a matte one like this, and the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 has a plastic top layer with a slightly raised surround.
However, this is more a result of the decision to use a matte finish than a way for Lenovo to save a few pennies when making the Yoga Slim 7.
Keyboard & Touchpad
- 2-level white LED backlight
- NUMPAD-free chiclet keyboard
- Wide aspect textured glass trackpad
Want some more proof Lenovo isn’t cost-cutting on the sly? The Yoga Slim 7 has a mid-size textured glass touchpad.