The past year has witnessed the release of exceptional 16-inch laptops that cater to creators, and Lenovo’s latest addition, the Slim Pro 9i, appears to be a standout example. Boasting premium build quality, stunning aesthetics, powerful internals, and a mini-LED display (a first for me), this laptop holds great promise. While I have yet to conduct a comprehensive review, I will provide some initial impressions. However, before delving into these details, let’s address a fundamental question: what exactly is the Slim Pro 9i? As someone who is familiar with most of Lenovo’s top-tier portable PC brands—such as ThinkPad (premium business-class), Legion (gaming), Yoga (2-in-1), and IdeaPad (targeting prosumers)—I must admit that the Slim series is new to me. Upon exploring Lenovo’s website, I discovered that the Slim line is integrated with the Yoga series, featuring separate Slim and Slim Pro models. The Slim Pro range, aimed at creators, introduces an exclusive “proprietary customer performance tuning solution” called Lenovo X Power.
This information piqued my interest. But there’s more: the Slim Pro models are powered by custom Intel chipsets that are 24% smaller than standard, enabling these laptops to achieve an impressively slim form factor. Of course, it’s essential to note that “slim” is subjective when it comes to 16-inch portable PCs. Upon examining the specifications, I found that the Slim Pro 9i (available in both 16-inch and 14-inch versions) measures 0.71 inches thick and starts at 4.9 pounds. Initially, this might not seem overly impressive, especially compared to the HP ZBook Firefly G10 16-Inch I recently reviewed, which measured 0.78 inches thick and weighed significantly less at 3.88 pounds. However, it’s important to consider the powerful hardware housed within the Slim Pro 9i, including an Intel H-series processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 dedicated laptop GPU. With such specifications, this configuration is indeed noteworthy.
Since we’re diving into the internals, let’s delve into specifics. The review unit I have is equipped with a 45-watt 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H processor featuring 14 cores (6 Performant, 8 Efficient), 32 GB of fast LPDDR5X RAM, and 1 TB of PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD storage. Additionally, the NVIDIA GPU boasts 8 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM. Power is supplied by a 75-watt-hour battery, which can be rapidly charged using a proprietary 170-watt power supply and charging port. Battery life might not be exceptional, as Lenovo claims up to 6 hours using a productivity-based benchmark. Hence, real-world usage will likely yield closer to 4 hours. This laptop incorporates a 6-speaker solution with Dolby Atmos for immersive sound. Moreover, it features a 5 MP Windows Hello-compatible webcam with a physical shutter switch located on the side of the PC, alongside a quad-array microphone, catering to the demands of hybrid work setups. Regarding connectivity, the Slim Pro 9i offers modern options, including dual-band Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1.
Let’s move on to expansion capabilities, which look quite promising. The left side of the laptop accommodates the Lenovo charging port, a USB-A Gen 3.2 Gen 1 port, a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, one Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Type-C port (with DisplayPort and Power Delivery 3.0), and a headphone/mic combo jack. Meanwhile, the right side presents a second USB-A Gen 3.2 Gen 1 port and, uncommon in today’s laptops, a full-sized SD card reader. Interestingly, the power button also resides on the right side, despite this not being a 2-in-1 device. A curious design choice, indeed. Now that we’ve shifted our focus to the external features, let’s examine the display. The Slim Pro 9i boasts a massive 16-inch PureSight Pro MiniLED panel, featuring a 3.2K resolution (3200 x 1200), an ideal 16:10 aspect ratio, a brightness level of 675 nits, and an incredibly fast 165 Hz refresh rate (although the available options in Windows 11 Settings are limited to 60 Hz and 165 Hz). This vibrant and color-rich display boasts 100% compatibility with the Adobe RGB, P3, and sRGB color spaces, along with Dolby Vision HDR capabilities, TÜV Low Blue Light Certification+, and Eyesafe Certification. Additionally, the display supports multitouch functionality, which I will likely avoid utilizing. Its bezels are exceptionally thin on all sides, and the corners are subtly rounded to align with the Windows 11 design aesthetic.
However, let’s delve deeper into the concept of mini-LED technology since this marks my first encounter with it. Based on the display’s glossy, bright, and vibrant output, I initially assumed that mini-LED was the next generation of OLED. However, this isn’t entirely accurate. Mini-LED refers to the utilization of reduced-size LED diodes, resulting in a slimmer form factor for the display panel. Therefore, in some ways, mini-LED is to the display panel what the downsized Intel chipset is to the laptop’s lower half. From a technical perspective, mini-LED offers enhanced brightness, while OLED displays excel at rendering deep, true blacks by turning off individual pixels. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Slim Pro shares the premium build quality and refined appearance of Lenovo’s other high-end offerings. The laptop exhibits zero flex, even in the middle of the keyboard—an impressive feat. It features the distinctive Lenovo “bump” at the webcam area atop the display, creating a reverse notch-like effect. Additionally, the laptop showcases elegant Lenovo branding on its wrist rest and outer display lid. The Storm Grey color option delivers a sophisticated appearance, complemented by a lighter gray shade on the exterior of the display lid. The backlit keyboard is a well-executed feature, although the inclusion of a numeric keypad on the right can lead to typos. Nonetheless, the keys adopt Lenovo’s signature scalloped design found on their premium PC keyboards, offering a comfortable 1.5 mm key travel distance and an excellent tactile feel. Moreover, Lenovo claims that the keys are resistant to grease. Finally, the placement of the Ctrl key in the lower right corner adheres to convention, and there are dedicated keys for microphone mute and user-programmable functions. The touchpad, which is shockingly spacious, seems accurate based on initial usage, accompanied by satisfying clicks.
Regarding software, the overall pre-installed package is unobtrusive, though Lenovo’s Vantage-based services advertising can be bothersome. Unfortunately, McAfee comes onboard as well, but the number of Lenovo utilities is minimal, and there are no glaring instances of bloatware. Notably, Windows 11 Pro is included as the operating system. All in all, the Slim Pro 9i presents an appealing package. Stay tuned for further updates.