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Ctrl+Alt+Delete: The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is the future of laptops

OPINION: Among the many reveals at CES 2023, it’s the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i that has easily swayed several members of the Trusted Reviews team by completely rewriting the rulebook for what’s possible from a laptop.

For the longest time (really since foldable tech has taken off in the smartphone world), people have wondered how laptop manufacturers might adopt a foldable design for their own devices. We’ve already seen a few examples such as the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, but they haven’t exactly wowed us with their potential, and there are still too many drawbacks to the foldable form factor that prevent them from being embraced on a wider scale.

Even with those issues, it was still largely assumed that foldable tech would, to some degree, be the future of computing on the go. But in one fell swoop Lenovo has shown there’s more potential in a two-screen design.

When you first open up the Yoga Book 9i there isn’t a keyboard or trackpad in sight – it is two OLED screens connected by a hinge, but there’s so much more at play than initially meets the eye.

For starters, the laptop comes bundled with a Bluetooth keyboard (take note Microsoft), a stylus and stand. The stand allows you to prop the 9i up vertically to create an immersive two-screen experience on any desk or table. As someone who always carries around an iPad for a spot of two-screen action during the work day, the idea of having that set-up ready to go on one device is far too tempting not to buy into.

You can also flip the Yoga Book 9i to lie on its side, creating a taller aspect ratio on both screens that’s ideal for writing and scrolling through a bit of social media. If you want to use the 9i as a traditional laptop then a digital keyboard and trackpad with haptic feedback can appear on either screen. Alternatively, just prop the included Bluetooth keyboard on the bottom screen and the UI will automatically adjust to fill up the parts of the screen that remain visible.

For all its praise, the Yoga Book 9i isn’t without its faults – the biggest of which is its starting price of $2099.99 in America. That’s just far too expensive for the average consumer and it’s easy to see another company (or even Lenovo itself) simply doing away with the OLED tech and other high-end specs to offer the same form factor but at a lower price.

A lot of us (myself included) finally made the jump to using two screens full time during the pandemic, and once you’ve gotten used to the flexibility that multiple displays offer, it’s hard to go back to anything else. With that in mind, the Yoga Book 9i feels like one of those rare products that gives consumers what they want instead of convincing them that a different type of tech is really the way forward.

Lenovo has said we can expect the Yoga Book 9i to start rolling out from June of 2023, but that feels like a long time to wait for a product that could so easily improve one’s workstation from the get go. Simply put, we can’t wait to get our hands on this one.

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