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Lenovo yoga slim 7 review: A budget-friendly laptop with premium ultrabook performance

Vanishingly thin and zippity quick, the portable PC is our new favourite under £700

<p>The device is available in grey and a rather fetching shade of olive </p>

The device is available in grey and a rather fetching shade of olive

While superstar laptops from Dell and Apple might take up most of the limelight, Lenovo is quietly getting on with making some of the best and most affordable ultrabooks you can buy.

Super-thin, feather-light and offering premium performance, the yoga slim series is Lenovo’s MacBook air-adjacent offering. The yoga slim 7 is the highlight of the range, one of the best laptops of 2022, and reliably a few hundred pounds cheaper than its nearest rivals.

Often spotted going for less than £700, the yoga slim 7 is a remarkably good-value machine. There are variations to consider too if you’re willing to spend a little more in exchange for increased performance or flashier features. The yoga slim 7 pro and the yoga slim 7i are so similar their own mother would struggle to tell them apart, but they’re available with higher resolution displays or marginally more compact screens.

We tested the entry-level yoga slim 7 running on an AMD chipset, which we think offers the best value performance in the range for everyday users in search of a practical laptop that looks smart and won’t take up much space.

How we tested

We subbed in the Lenovo yoga slim 7 for our regular laptop over a two-week testing period, throwing our usual hybrid workday at it. That includes writing and editing in Google Docs, as well as more CPU-rattling jobs such as picture and audio editing in Adobe Creative Suite. PCMark 10 was used for benchmarking and testing battery life.

Read more:

Lenovo yoga slim 7: £663, Amazon.co.uk

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon GPU
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Screen: 14in, 1920 x 1080p
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Pros: Light, portable, fast, great value
  • Cons: Display could be sharper and brighter

Design

When a laptop this powerful can be picked up for less than £800, it’s only natural to wonder which corners have been cut, but you won’t find any compromises in the design and build quality of the yoga slim 7.

Despite its narrow profile, it’s a sturdy beast. Some ultrabooks are prone to flexing as they’re opened or adjusted – an often unavoidable consequence of manufacturing very thin laptops using very lightweight materials. But the yoga slim 7 feels bulletproof. Drop it on your foot and you might lose a toe.

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The aluminium chassis has a perky and industrial vibe, but pick up the yoga slim 7 and you’ll find it weighs about as much as the sleeker-looking MacBook air, at around 1.5kg. Opt for the model with a more powerful CPU and the yoga slim 7 clocks it at nearer to 2kg, though the more recently launched yoga slim 7 carbon (£991.99, Lenovo.com) refocuses the design around a lightweight construction while retaining that speedier CPU.

In case you were wondering, the yoga in this laptop’s name refers to the lid’s ability to open a full 180 degrees, unfolding so that the device can lay completely flat on a table. Why? We’re not sure, but it certainly looks cool, and the fuller range of the flexible hinge makes opening and closing the laptop feel less restricted. You could slide the yoga slim 7 underneath a locked door if you wanted, or frisbee it from a rooftop, neither of which we’d recommend.

The trackpad is spacious and well-suited to the 14in screen size, and while the full-size keyboard is shallower than we’d like, it has decent travel and key spacing for comfortable, extended typing sessions.

Display and audio

The 1920 x 1080 IPS panel is more than sharp enough for a screen of 14in, though the display is not the yoga slim 7’s strongest attribute. Colour definition and contrast is good and it’s easy on the eyes, but you’ll find brighter and more vibrant screens on the yoga slim 7’s premium (and pricier) rivals.

That said, viewing angles are impeccable, with barely any distortion or dimming even as you stretch the laptop into its full and glorious yogi pose. The anti-glare coating helps when using the yoga slim 7 under office lighting or next to a window, too.

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When it comes to audio quality, the yoga slim 7 doesn’t disappoint. The fact that ultrabooks measure just a few millimetres thick means they’re prone to sounding tinny and hollow, and while Lenovo hasn’t managed to subvert the laws of physics, it has managed to squeeze a decent sound out of its little laptop. Headphones are preferable, but speaker bass is present without feeling too strained, while vocal ranges sound natural – which is great for taking video calls without a headset.

Performance and battery life

Performance is where the yoga slim 7 really shines. This budget-friendly ultrabook is as fast as rival laptops costing a couple of hundred pounds more, keeping pace with the similarly specced Dell XPS 13 without bruising your bank account too much. For everyday business use, this means whip-fast loading times and juggling dozens of browser tabs without lag, but Lenovo’s laptop is capable of more heavy-duty tasks too.

The mobile-friendly, ultra-low-voltage AMD Ryzen 7 processor is no slouch when it comes to processor-intensive jobs like video editing, and combined with the integrated AMD graphics chip it can muster up a decent frame rate in mid-range games. The fans are on the noisy side once the yoga slim 7 really starts to exert itself, but well-tuned temperature management tends to keep the laptop cool and the fans running quietly for the most part.

Battery life is another big win for the yoga slim 7. The capped screen brightness and the standard 1080p resolution of the display help to extend the lifespan of the device to comfortably cover a full day. We’d typically finish the work day with half a tank left, and found the laptop could go roughly 15 hours between charges so long as you weren’t working it too hard.

The verdict: Lenovo yoga slim 7

The Lenovo yoga slim 7 is a premium Windows ultrabook at a less than premium price. An unfussy workhorse of a laptop, it hides a surprising degree of grunt behind its modest appearance.

Powered by a zippy Ryzen processor that goes toe-to-toe with top-end laptops in this category, Lenovo’s machine matches great performance and firm build quality with a battery life that truly lasts all day. A superb choice for hybrid working, the yoga slim 7 is as sensible as it is powerful.

Lenovo yoga slim 7

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