The 16-inch Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is an exceptional desktop replacement laptop designed for creators of all types, and it excels in that role. The only major drawback is its battery life, so it’s important to bring the power supply along. However, this disadvantage is tolerable when considering the overall performance of this device. I have been using the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i for the past two months, and its unique combination of hardware components delivered outstanding performance for my video and image editing tasks during my digital decluttering work.
The design of the Slim Pro 9i is what you would expect from a premium Lenovo laptop: sleek, with rounded corners and edges, and subtle design elements. It’s also highly durable, boasting MIL-STD 810H certification. This laptop feels incredibly solid, and even when pressing hard on the keyboard, there is no flex in the base. The Storm Gray color adds to its professional workstation aesthetic, standing out from the typical medium gray found in many laptops. The design signals that it’s time to get down to business.
Now let’s talk about the display, which is where the Slim Pro 9i truly shines. It features a stunning 16-inch Mini-LED display, the first of its kind in my experience. It combines the best aspects of OLED with even more impressive visuals. The brightness levels are off the charts, reaching up to 600 nits typically and an astonishing 1200 nits in HDR mode. The contrast is equally impressive, with the screen being able to display true blacks. Switching between dark and light content showcases the display’s ability to produce vibrant and eye-catching visuals. Additionally, the 3200 x 2000 resolution strikes a balance between 1440p and 4K, perfect for this screen size. The high refresh rate of 165 Hz makes it ideal for both movies and gaming. Furthermore, it covers 100% of the sRGB, DCI-P3, and Adobe RGB color gamuts, making it a dream for creators. The display also boasts Dolby Vision HDR capabilities, TÜV Low Blue Light Certification+, and Eyesafe Certification, making it one of the best panels I’ve ever encountered. The thin bezels further enhance the overall viewing experience.
Under the hood, the Slim Pro 9i is powered by an impressive combination of internal components. It features the 14-core, 45-watt Intel Core i9-13905H processor, a variant of the more common i7-13709H processor, tailored for the target market and housed in a smaller package. The graphics are handled by either the Nvidia RTX 4050 or 4060 GPU with 6 GB of dedicated vRAM, depending on the configuration. Accompanying these powerful components are 32 GB of fast LPDDR5 RAM and a 1 TB NVMe TLC SSD. The Slim Pro 9i effortlessly handled all the tasks I threw at it, including large file transfers, video editing and encoding, and regular office productivity work. It even surprised me with its gaming capabilities, running 3D shooter games such as DOOM 3, Quake II Remastered, and Halo Infinite without any issues. While it may not be a dedicated gaming laptop, the Slim Pro 9i can handle gaming with ease. Lenovo’s Vantage app provides various performance-related tweaks, including CPU and GPU overclocking, to further enhance the creator and gaming experiences. Be mindful that these activities may increase fan noise and temperatures, but I did not encounter any significant issues.
In terms of connectivity, the Slim Pro 9i offers modern options such as Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. I found the latest Wi-Fi to be particularly useful, achieving speeds of up to 700 Mbps with my Eero wireless router. The laptop’s ports and expansion options are reasonable for its size. I appreciate that both USB-A ports are identical, but I would have preferred to see two Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Type-C ports. On the left side, you’ll find the large proprietary Lenovo power port, a full-sized USB 3.2 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.1 port, the only Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Type-C port, and a combo microphone/headphone jack. The right side is less crowded, featuring a second full-sized USB 3.2 Type-A port, a full-sized SD card reader, the power button, and a webcam privacy shutter toggle. It would have been better to have the power button on the keyboard deck instead of the side.
The audio and video capabilities of the Slim Pro 9i are exceptional. It boasts six speakers, including two upward-facing 2-watt tweeters and four downward-facing 2-watt subwoofers, paired with Dolby Atmos immersive audio. This combination delivers a captivating audio experience for both movies and gaming. With the right audiovisual setup, I found myself engrossed in films like Atomic Blonde and Alien Covenant due to the vivid visuals and immersive sound. The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is a near-perfect device for such experiences, and having a 4K display would further enhance the overall viewing pleasure. As a hybrid worker, the laptop provides everything I need, including a high-quality 5 MP webcam located in the center of the top of the display with an accompanying Windows Hello-compatible IR sensor. There’s also a quad-array microphone with configurable meeting noise cancellation. The webcam offers excellent quality and performs impressively in low-light conditions. Lenovo’s Smart Appearance app allows for adjustments to the background, face-framing, eye contact correction, and the application of various AI-based face filters. Moreover, the laptop features a physical toggle switch for the webcam on the right side.
Moving on to the keyboard and touchpad, the Slim Pro 9i offers a full-sized and backlit keyboard that is excellent to use. Unlike some other 16-inch laptops, this one does not have a number pad, which I find more suitable for the target audience. While I initially struggled with accidentally toggling the Num Lock key, the typing experience was simply fantastic. The Lenovo keys have the familiar scalloped design, and typing feels comfortable and quiet. The key throws are nearly ideal at 1.5 mm. Lenovo has wisely placed the Ctrl key in the lower-left corner of the keyboard, ensuring no unexpected surprises in the layout. The only unconventional placement is the webcam privacy shutter toggle, which is a physical switch on the right side of the laptop.
Overall, the 16-inch Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is an outstanding laptop that caters to creators. Its exceptional performance, stunning display, impressive audio capabilities, and thoughtful design make it an ideal choice. While the battery life may be a downside, it is easily manageable with the power supply. The Slim Pro 9i earns its spot as one of the best laptops I’ve ever used, and its unique features truly set it apart from the competition.