Review: Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13IAP7 Ultra Portable Laptop
Looking for a productivity-oriented ultra portable laptop that is well-built with good looks? Lenovo's Yoga Slim 7i Carbon might just be the laptop that checks these boxes.
When it comes to ultra portable productivity-oriented laptops, Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon series of products have been stalwart go-to offerings for enterprises, where the brand usually reserves its ultra light carbon fiber chassis for the business demographic. With the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon however, Lenovo has created a consumer-oriented ultra portable laptop offering that touts carbon fiber as part of its construction, while serving up specs that are sure to please end-users who may need to get some productivity workloads out-of-the-way while on the go.
For today's article, we'll be focusing our attention on the 13IAP7 variant of the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon; specifically, I have with me the 82U9006GSB model, which is powered by Intel's Core i7-1260 processor, and is a SKU made for the Singapore market.
Packaging & Accessories
The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon comes shipped in a nondescript brown cardboard box - within the said cardboard box is another smaller box that holds the laptop which has a pleasant black, blue and purple colour palette, as well as a brown cardboard box that contains the laptop's AC adapter and a USB Type-C 4-in-1 hub.
The laptop comes with the following accessories:
- Quick Start guide
- Safety information leaflet
- Lenovo Premium Care flyer
- 65W USB Type-C AC adapter (model ADLX65UCGK2A)
- Lenovo USB-C 4-in-1 hub (model LOHC474)
Aesthetics & Build Quality
The first thing that hit me when picking up the laptop was its weight, or lack of it - weighing in at less than 1kg, the laptop was really light. I wouldn't have expected anything less, given that Lenovo does tout this laptop to be an ultra portable offering after all. It sports a carbon fiber lid and a magnesium aluminium base in silver; this particular model of Yoga Slim 7i Carbon comes with a lid finished in a "Moon White" colour, and the laptop is also available in variants that sport an "Onyx Grey" coloured lid.
The laptop's screen comes with a slim black bezel, and the hinge action is sturdy with no squeaks or wobbles.
Built into the long edge of the lid, is a lip that facilitates the easy lifting of the laptop's lid. On the whole, given the quality of materials that are used for the laptop's chassis as well as its light weight, the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon feels premium and well-built.
Gaining access to the laptop's motherboard seems straightforward enough of an affair, where the magnesium-aluminium base of the laptop is held in place by six Torx screws that have to be undone - end-users would then have to use a plastic pry tool to pop off the base cover.
Being an ultra portable laptop, the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon comes with just two USB Type-C ports - on the left side of the laptop is a Thunderbolt 4 port that supports 40 Gbps data transfer rates, Power Delivery 3.0 as well as DisplayPort 1.4-compliant display output (up to 5120x3200 resolution at 60Hz). Right next to the Thunderbolt 4 port, is a charging indicator LED.
Moving to the other side of the laptop, we see an E-Camera shutter switch, which is a physical switch used to enable and disable the laptop's built-in webcam for added peace-of-mind, the laptop's power switch, as well as a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port that supports Power Delivery 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.4-compliant display output (up to 3840x2160 resolution at 60Hz).
Given the laptop's ports, or lack thereof, Lenovo's included a 4-in-1 hub that connects via a USB Type-C connector. The said hub provides for a HDMI port, a VGA port, a USB 3.2 Type-A port as well as a 3.5mm audio jack.
Summary of Laptop Specifications
The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13IAP7, with model number 82U9006GSB that is featured in this article, comes with the following specs:
- CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P
- Memory: 16GB DDR5 4800 (soldered)
- GPU: Integrated Intel Iris XE graphics
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD (Micron 3400)
- Display: 13.3", 2560x1600, IPS, 90Hz, 100% sRGB, 400 nits max brightness
- Audio: Realtek ALC3287, Harman stereo speakers
- Ethernet: None
- Wireless: Intel AX211 WIFI 6E with Bluetooth 5.1
- Webcam: 720p HD with physical shutter switch
- Battery: 50Wh
- Weight: Starting at 968g
- Dimensions: 300.98mm x 206.03mm x 14.8mm
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Home
LCD Display Overview
The 82u9006GSB comes with a 13.3" 2.5K (2560x1600) IPS panel that sports a 16:10 aspect ratio, a speedy refresh rate of 90Hz, as well as a 178° viewing angle. In terms of colour accuracy, Lenovo touts the screen to have 100% sRGB coverage and an average hardware calibrated delta E value of less than 1, making this laptop great for professional content creators on-the-go. The screen also comes with the Dolby Vision feature, and a maximum brightness of 400 nits.
Unfortunately, as of the time of writing this article, I did not have a colourimeter to test the LCD display's actual colour accuracy, but based on subjective visual observation alone, the colours produced by the screen seemed vivid to my eyes. Viewing angles were also great, and I did not observe any backlight bleed.
Preinstalled Apps & Bloatware
The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon comes with Microsoft Windows 11 Home (21H2) pre-installed, and comes with a considerably light install with little-to-no bloatware.
Included with the laptop is Lenovo’s Vantage app, which is an all-in-one suite of tools that allows you to tweak your system’s various hardware and software settings, ranging from power settings, audio profiles that you can select from, display and webcam settings, keyboard and touch pad settings, and so on.
Webcam & Microphone
The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon comes with a 720p HD webcam that has a physical E-Camera shutter switch that can be used to enable or disable the webcam. The said switch serves as an added layer of security against accidental webcam activation or even against malicious actors trying to gain control of the laptop's webcam via malware. That said, the webcam's video quality leaves much to be desired, where the video quality even under decent lighting conditions was pretty grainy. That said, the laptop's built-in microphone is unremarkable, and would definitely get the job done for the usual Google Meet or Microsoft Teams conference calls.
The laptop sports Harman-branded stereo speakers that are powered by Realtek's ALC3287 audio codec, and are surprisingly good for laptop speakers. There were noticeable amounts of bass, while mids and highs were reproduced well enough for a decent audio experience, be it while listening to music or watching a movie.
Keyboard & Touchpad
In spite of the laptop's diminutive size, I found the typing experience with its keyboard to be adequate enough, where there was sufficient space in between keys. While putting the keyboard through its paces, I found that there was little-to-no flex.
The keyboard's keys are backlit, where their brightness levels can be configured through the Lenovo Vantage app. An interesting feature to mention is the "Auto" brightness function, which automatically adjusts the brightness levels of the keys according to the ambient lighting levels of the laptop's surroundings.
The included touchpad supports multi-touch gestures, and I found the click action to be pretty ordinary. Do note, that the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon does not come with a built-in fingerprint reader.
Benchmarks & Test Setup
To get a sensing of the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon's performance, the following tests were run:
- Cinebench R23
- CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4
- Fortnite (Actual Gameplay)
The stock Windows 11 Home (21H2) installation was used for all three tests, with the latest Intel graphics drivers (220.127.116.1190) installed as of the time of testing the laptop. In addition, the "Balanced" Windows power profile was selected, alongside the "Extreme Performance" power mode within the Lenovo Vantage app. Finally, no tweaks were made to the power limits of the laptop's CPU, and throughout the entirety of testing, the laptop was connected to the mains for power.
Starting with Cinebench R23, we see that on the multi-core test, the 13IAP7 gets a score of 7879, while for the single-core test, it clocks in at 1643 points. 7879 isn't a very high multi core score for an i7-1260P processor - I suspect that the performance of the CPU might be throttled by thermals, given the space constraints and consequent cooling capacity of the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon's chassis.
The laptop comes equipped with a Micron 3400 1TB NVMe SSD that is advertised to have a sequential read and write speed of 6600MB/s and 5000MB/s respectively. With this in mind, the CrystalDiskMark scores are pretty close to Micron's advertised speeds, making for a snappy SSD that should perform as intended. The 3400 sports Micron's 176-layer TLC NAND flash, and utilises the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface.
Fortnite (Actual Gameplay)
Bearing in mind that the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon doesn't come with a discrete GPU, and instead relies on Intel's iris XE graphics engine which is integrated into the Core i7-1260P, one shouldn't expect to see stellar gaming performance on this machine. In this regard, for the Fortnite gameplay test, I set the graphics settings to the absolute lowest settings possible with the "Performance - Lower Graphical Fidelity" rendering mode. I did however, leave the View Distance on the "Far" setting.
Surprisingly, the system churns out a very playable average FPS of 63,3, with a low of 29.7 FPS and a high of 105.2 FPS. Given the wide disparity between the FPS highs and lows however, I did observe graphical stuttering from time to time. That said, one shouldn't expect to replicate such high average FPS figures with other game titles, especially modern graphically-demanding ones.
Acoustics, Thermals & Usage Comfort
To get a sensing of the laptop's thermal performance, CPU Package sensor readouts from the HWiNFO64 app were obtained:
Baseline Thermal Performance
- Average Idle CPU Package Temperature: ~39°C
- Minimum Idle CPU Package Temperature: ~37°C
- Maximum Idle CPU Package Temperature: ~49°C
Gaming Thermal Performance (while playing Fortnite)
- Average CPU Package Temperature: ~73°C
- Minimum CPU Package Temperature: ~70°C
- Maximum CPU Package Temperature: ~78°C
The baseline results above were obtained while on the "Balanced" Windows power profile, with the "Intelligent Cooling" power profile selected within the Lenovo Vantage app, and the laptop plugged into the mains. The ambient temperature of the laptop's surroundings was measured to be around 30°C.
The thermal results obtained while gaming on the other hand, were obtained while on the "Balanced" Windows power profile, with the "Extreme Performance" power profile selected within the Lenovo Vantage app, and the laptop plugged into the mains.
With the "Extreme Performance" profile selected within the Vantage app, I noticed that the laptop's fans were active even while the laptop was idle or on light CPU loads - under heavy usage scenarios such as while playing Fortnite, the fans spun up to their maximum possible speeds and were definitely audible, though not to the point that I found the fan noise annoying.
To get a quick sensing of battery life, I played a 2 hour 40 minute long 1080p movie on the laptop while it was unplugged from the mains, on 50% screen brightness levels, and earphones plugged in at 50% volume levels. At the end of the movie, the laptop, which had a full charge at the start of the movie, had 66% of battery life remaining. Not too shabby a showing I suppose.
To sum up, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13IAP7 with the Core i7-1260P processor is a well-built and good looking ultra portable laptop that is great for productivity users on-the-go. It also comes with a speedy SSD, a great looking 1440p screen and a Thunderbolt 4 port, meaning to say even the likes of professional content creators could get away with doing some photo and video editing work on this laptop while out in the field. Some cons that I can think of – the fact that the RAM for this laptop is soldered on and cannot be upgraded by end-users, and that the webcam is just a 720P part, where its video quality does leave quite a bit to be desired. Barring these, it would appear that Lenovo has a solid offering of an ultra lightweight laptop that should get most modern productivity workloads out of the way with ease.
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The laptop featured in this article was a review unit provided on loan from Lenovo Singapore.