The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a top option for those looking for the lightest laptop around. However, some compromises have been made in the areas of build, performance and typing comfort to reach that stellar portability.
- Very light at under 1kg
- Decent 9-10 hour battery life
- Practical, high-res matt screen
- Maximum display brightness is not stellar
- Lower performance than similarly specced laptops
- Short-travel keyboard doesn’t offer comfortable typing
- Sub-1kg weightOur review sample weighs just 974g, a good 300g less than the category average for a slim and light 13.3-inch laptop. Carrying this thing around is no chore.
- 10-hour battery lifeThe Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon lasts longer off a charge than plenty of larger, heavier laptops with Intel CPUs. 10 hours of real-world use with light duties is not off the cards.
- Carbon fibre constructionThe lid plate is made of carbon fibre, the rest of the frame magnesium alloy, in order to keep weight low without losing too much rigidity.
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is an extreme laptop. You’d never guess to look at it, would you?
It’s a sensationally light, slim and compact laptop, with a footprint that isn’t much larger than its 13.3-inch 16:10 widescreen display. Very few computers, at any price, are as portable as the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon.
Lenovo hasn’t used an ultra-low heat-generating processor to make this happen, either, featuring the same 11th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 chips as the bigger models, and can still last a full day of light work off a single charge.
It’s impressive stuff; but there are some compromises – which was always going to be the case in a laptop with both ultra-low weight and a super-slim frame. Is it good enough to make our best laptop list?
- Sub-1kg weight
- Poor rigidity on its underside
- Magnesium alloy and carbon-fibre build
My first assumption on opening up and using the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon was that it’s a plastic laptop. Plastic isn’t glamorous, but it can be lightweight and tough when used appropriately.
However, this isn’t a plastic laptop. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon’s lid is carbon-fibre reinforced, and the keyboard plate and underside are coated magnesium alloys.
Lenovo has used “the good stuff”, which is great to see in a laptop that, while not cheap, isn’t ridiculously expensive either. However, on picking up the laptop, you’re likely to notice the one part of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon’s design that doesn’t feel so hot.
Lift it up and you may feel the bottom panel of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon bend upwards, hitting the components above with a disconcerting click. Lenovo says the panels have been reinforced with struts, but these don’t appear to stop the bottom panel from being far too flexible for comfort.
Thankfully, the other parts of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon seem much stronger. There’s minimal flex to the display, even though the cover isn’t made of the glass you’d see in a MacBook or touchscreen laptop. And flex isn’t an issue where the keyboard is concerned, either.
Lenovo has “spent” the weight where it matters most, but that wobbly bottom plate doesn’t leave a good first impression. Lenovo says the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon weighs “under 1kg”; it clocks in at 974g on my scales.
It’s a barely-there laptop, perfect for frequent fliers, and those who have to carry their computer around with them all day. Lenovo says the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon offers “military-grade” toughness, too.
The above refers to nine tests that the company has undertaken, including drops from a 76cm height, dust-resistance and the laptop’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures. They don’t cover the full MIL-810G roster, of course, just enough to reassure buyers that this laptop is sturdier than its sub-1kg weight implies. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon isn’t a hybrid laptop, but it does have a non-wobbly 180-degree hinge.
I knocked out this review on the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon keyboard happily enough; typing feels fast, and the key feedback is fine. But would I want to write away on it for eight-plus hours a day? Probably not.
A slimline keyboard makes complete sense in a super-ultra portable laptop such as this – but that doesn’t mean I have to love it, with the shallow presses failing to offer that satisfying clickity-clack feel of other keyboards.
The keys are lit by a two-stage white backlight, and there’s also a neat Auto mode that uses the webcam to judge whether or not it’s needed.
The super-smooth glass touchpad suffers from none of the keyboard’s compromises, and neither is it too small. Similar to the other laptops in this 7-series range, the touchpad is a little louder than some, but it gets a thumbs-up.
- Brightness is only just good enough
- Matte finish
- High resolution compared to rivals
The priorities of practicality and the “lifestyle” aesthetic collide in the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon – and on the display front, practicality has won out.
The display here has a matte finish; it isn’t a touchscreen. I used it for a few hours out in bright sunlight and, unlike a glossy laptop, experienced no issues with my face reflecting back at me. The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon really needs this matte finish because while its maximum brightness of 326 nits is OK, it wouldn’t really be high enough to satisfy in a computer made for use here, there and everywhere.
Note that a matte display will never show-off colour as well as a glossy one, but the Carbon does deliver good colour coverage. According to my colorimeter, it hits 99.8% of sRGB, 84.5% of DCI-P3 and 78.2% of Adobe RGB. These colour standard results tell us that while this isn’t a super-wide colour screen, neither is it undersaturated.
In fact, its figures are actually better than those of either the Yoga 6 or Yoga 7 Slim Pro – although, in person, the screen on both those models looks a little richer as a result of the glossy finish. Contrast of 1480:1 is great for an IPS LCD panel, too.
Where the Carbon’s screen really shines, though, is its resolution. It’s a 2560 x 1660, 16:10 pixel panel, which is able to deliver far greater sharpness and smoothness over a classic 1080p screen. The refresh rate is a standard 60Hz, but there seems little reason to use a higher refresh rate in a laptop such as this, since it would merely serve to drain the battery at a much faster pace.
- Solid Intel 11th-gen processors
- Some clear throttling of performance
- Noticeable fan noise under pressure
On paper, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is as powerful and capable as laptops that are 50% heavier and a few millimetres thicker, too. The standard models comes with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, and costs £900 (RRP).
I was sent the upgraded model by Lenovo, which features an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which costs £1000. That additional £100 is a fair upgrade cost, considering Microsoft demands £380 just to bump up the CPU and RAM by the same amount in the Surface Laptop 4. Shameless.
The productivity performance is superb here, enabling me to browse the web and run popular apps without any slowdown. Its benchmark results show its not quite as speedy as other laptops with the same chip though, which suggests the thin chassis is causing the processor to throttle. But the difference is very small.
|Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon||Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro||Dell XPS 13|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-1165G7||Intel Core i7-1165G7||Intel Core i7-1165G7|
|Geekbench 5 (single/multi)||1483 / 5024||1493 / 5359||1548 / 5687|
The use of this particular “G7” series of Intel processors means you get Intel’s Xe graphics chipset, ready to play some moderately challenging games. And you won’t suffer any of the compatibility issues of slim and light laptops that use phone-derived chipsets.
However, Lenovo does seem to have significantly capped the GPU performance to make the Core i7-1165G7 operate in such a small, slim and light form. According to our test results, the Carbon delivers 85-90% of the graphics performance of the Yoga 7 Pro with the same processor.
This is no great surprise. A well-designed smaller, lighter laptop will always struggle somewhat to shift heat over a well-designed larger one. So yes, there is at least a slight performance hit related to this laptop’s design.
What you’re more likely to notice, unless you make the Carbon do things it isn’t really made for (video editing, for example), is the noise. While the laptop is silent if you’re simply typing into documents, the fans definitely become more noticeable when you do something more taxing.
If you’re someone whose daily work tasks comprise more involved work such as video editing, I’d suggest you think twice before buying the Carbon. While it will do the job, it isn’t really this laptop’s wheelhouse.
- Up to 10-hour battery
- All USB-C connections
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon’s battery life has been a pleasant surprise. In the PCMark 10 Modern Office battery benchmark, it lasted 9hrs 44mins at 150-nit display brightness. With a dimmer display setting, you may get it to jump over the 10-hour mark.
I also kept an eye on the battery level while working outdoors with the display maxed to see how long this laptop would last. The Carbon lost 17% in 90 minutes, suggesting it could make just under nine hours.
Rounding off the final details, the Carbon has a 720p webcam that produces a poor image in good lighting, and a pretty terrible picture in low lighting. It’s your standard Windows webcam.
There are three USB-C ports, but no USB-As, presumably because Lenovo would struggle to actually fit the connector into the tapered base. Two of the former are super-fast Thunderbolt 4 40Gbps sockets, the other one is a 5Gbps port, mirroring what you get in the other Yoga laptops at this level. There’s a headphone jack, too.
The Carbon doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, and I can’t say that I’ve missed not having one; but frequent travellers might. You can, however, use Windows Hello face-recognition with the webcam.
Should you buy it?
You want a lightweight laptop:
This laptop is a portability dream. It’s small, exceptionally light and still pretty powerful. A matte display earns it bonus points for versatility, too.
You want a fast performance:
If a sub-1kg weight isn’t a priority, then think twice. The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon doesn’t feel as robust as some slightly cheaper Lenovo models, despite the use of advanced materials, and the keyboard is very shallow.
When a manufacturer aims to make a laptop ultra-slim and unreasonably light, alarm bells should sound. This combo can lead to all sorts of issues with battery life, build quality and performance. However, Lenovo has managed to dodge those with the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon.
For an Intel CPU laptop that weighs under 980g, yet lasts 9-10 hours for light work, the Slim 7i Carbon isn’t bad at all.
However, there is a hit to performance over Lenovo’s less emaciated laptops with the same processor; but you’re more likely to notice the cooling fan, which sounds like it’s under strain. Stick to what the Slim 7i Carbon is made for, though – basic productivity jobs from any room in your home, or any home, in any country – and you’ll barely hear it at all.
Note that I wouldn’t recommend the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon if you’ll spend all day typing, though. While the keyboard is good for a slim-line 1mm-action design, it’s still wafer-thin by Lenovo standards.
How we test
Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life.
These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real-world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps.
We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.
Used the laptop for two weeks
Used Geekbench 5, PCMark 10 and 3DMark to test performance
Used a colorimeter to test the display
Used PCMark 10 to test the battery life
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Trusted Reviews test data
The table below shows the test data we collected reviewing the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon
You can see a breakdown of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon’s full specs in the table below.
A laptop with a 180-degree hinge, which allows you to twist the screen to the back of the keyboard, shifting the laptop into a makeshift tablet.