You’ve got in all probability been there. You are searching for a brand new PC, maybe for the primary time in a years, and also you get slowed down within the specs. Even when you slender the record to incorporate issues like a certain quantity of storage or display screen measurement, you end up asking the ever-present query: what is the distinction?
Typically, the distinction turns into extra apparent because the hole between costs will increase. However what when you’re on the lookout for just a little additional oomph with out crossing the value bracket into luxurious territory?
In fact, you get what you pay for, however the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional presents as a lot as you will get for its MSRP (at the moment set from $1,420 to a sale price of $1,140—however you will be hard-pressed to search out it for beneath $1,300). It isn’t exorbitantly priced in comparison with equally sized rivals, just like the Acer Swift 5 ($1,100 MSRP for the configuration we reviewed) or 13-inch Dell XPS 13 ($1,250 with the closest specs to the IdeaPad we reviewed).
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|Specs at a look: Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional|
|Display screen||14-inch 2800×1800 90 Hz IPS touchscreen|
|OS||Home windows 11 Residence|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-11300H||Intel Core i7-11370H|
|Storage||256GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD||1TB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe (built-in)|
|Networking||802.11ax(2×2), Bluetooth 5.1|
|Ports||1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A, 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 1x 3.5 mm jack|
|Measurement||12.29×8.72×0.57-0.67 inches (312.4×221.4×14.6-16.9 mm)|
|Weight||Begins at 2.87 kilos (1.3 kg)|
|Guarantee||1 12 months|
Show: sharper, taller, sooner
One of many main methods the Slim 7i Professional stands out is its display screen. The 14-inch (word there is a 15-inch version of this laptop) IPS panel has a sharper decision, taller side ratio, and sooner refresh fee than the common thin-and-light laptop computer, making it a singular proposition for one of many predominant methods you will work together with the pc.
The display screen makes use of a 16:10 side ratio moderately than the 16:9 ratio extra frequent (for now) amongst laptops. In use, the taller display screen allowed me to suit extra traces of spreadsheets and extra paragraphs of the most recent featured Ars article on the display screen without delay. It additionally makes for a wackier decision. The display screen is at 2800×1800, which equates to a pixel density of 237.8 pixels per inch (ppi). A 14-inch, 16:9 display screen with 1920×1080 decision could be 157.4 ppi.
I did a side-by-side comparability of the IdeaPad with the Acer Swift 5, which has a 1920×1080 14-inch show, to write down this evaluate. I used to be in a position to learn far more of my progress on the Lenovo machine. Textual content was tiny however sharp, and there was nonetheless room to scale in Windows 11’s settings (as much as about 150 p.c) whereas sustaining extra on the display screen than what I might see on the Swift 5. Textual content appeared barely darker on the Lenovo, with noticeably sharper edges in comparison with the Swift 5 when zoomed in to equal proportions.
Lenovo claims the Slim 7i Professional’s touchscreen covers one hundred pc of the sRGB shade house and might hit 400 nits of peak brightness. For comparability, the Swift 5 claims one hundred pc sRGB and 340 nits. Regardless of the slight nit benefit, what actually stood out throughout my side-by-side comparability was how reflective the Swift 5’s display screen was. In the meantime, the IdeaPad’s display screen fought off reflections higher. The display screen nonetheless appeared vivid when utilizing it outdoors, too. Each shows declare the identical quantity of protection, however issues appeared extra vivid on the Lenovo. When watching motion pictures, the scenes appeared extra vivid, with deeper oranges, rosier pores and skin tones, and barely stronger pinks, though each delivered about the identical quantity of shadow element.
You will be hard-pressed to note the distinction between 60 and 90 Hz with your individual eyes (I would advocate shifting to at the very least 120 Hz for that). Once more, what actually made the IdeaPad’s display screen a minimize above the usual are the vivid colours, brightness, and high quality that total made motion pictures and graphics look extra vigorous. In fact, with all of the 16:9 content material on the market, I needed to cope with bigger black bars, however I can get used to that.
The laptop computer helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient for HDR motion pictures. Its preinstalled app has three modes: Dolby Imaginative and prescient Vivid, which is the default, Dolby Imaginative and prescient Darkish, and Dolby Imaginative and prescient Vivid. Nevertheless, once I toggled via them whereas watching HDR motion pictures, I did not discover an apparent distinction.
Lenovo calls the IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional’s shade Slate Gray and says the chassis is fabricated from aluminum. The machine has a extra premium construct that feels much less plastic-y and extra dense—at the very least to the fingers—than different machines, such because the Swift 5. The lid can be just a little thicker than that laptop computer, regardless of displaying about the identical quantity of flex when pressured.
There is a little bit of a digicam notch that Lenovo says is meant to make the pc simpler to open one-handed. It not often labored, even when the PC was on a flat floor, like a desk. In any other case, the deck nonetheless clunked about till I shook the lid unfastened.
Lenovo was form sufficient to go away a USB-A and headphone/mic jack, however there is not any HDMI right here. As an alternative, you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports that may cost the laptop computer, cost different units, or connect with a show on the left facet of the deck. It includes a headphone jack and an always-on USB-A port on the appropriate. There’s additionally an influence button on the appropriate facet, one thing I do not see usually today.
Lenovo’s product web page for the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional says the machine makes use of “consideration sensors” to ship you an alert “when somebody’s shoulder-surfing.” This characteristic comes from an AI-powered, preinstalled software program known as Look by Mirametrix. You’ll be able to’t obtain the app from simply anyplace, like from the Microsoft Retailer. In keeping with Mirametrix’s website, its software program is at the moment licensed to Lenovo, LG, and NEC solely.
The app makes use of the laptop computer IR digicam to trace the your eyes and head and exhibits the place it thinks you might be in real-time via a small pop-up you possibly can carry up (your head is a dot in a crosshair). For those who’re utilizing a number of screens, Look’s Good Pointer characteristic detects which monitor your head is taking a look at and strikes your mouse to that display screen whereas blurring out the opposite monitor. The characteristic was additionally fairly correct so long as I stored my head at the popular distance from the webcam. Look can may also carry a window from one monitor to a different. For those who maintain the window together with your mouse then flip to have a look at your different monitor, the window will seem there promptly.
Lastly, Privateness Alert senses when somebody is taking a look at your display screen from behind you, and it responds by blurring the show. Generally, nevertheless, this may occur when nobody was behind me, even when I used to be inside Look’s area of view and stationary. The excellent news was that solely appeared to occur once I had a second monitor connected to the laptop computer.
Nevertheless, Look itself will make your privateness senses tingle. It requires the webcam to be on always, together with a purple gentle to the left and a white one which, annoyingly, is not completely in step with the others. For a lot of, that’ll be an excessive amount of danger and distraction to make holding the app on worthwhile.
For these simply searching for one thing for the occasional internet name, the IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional has a 720p shooter. It isn’t the sharpest, but it surely has correct colours and solely just a little little bit of that blurred, watercolor-like impact.