Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon overview: 90Hz OLED? Sure, please


Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon

MSRP $1,220.00

“The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s nice show and efficiency make this one a winner.”

Execs

  • Skinny and light-weight
  • Engaging minimalist design
  • Beautiful OLED show
  • Robust productiveness efficiency
  • Glorious keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Lid and keyboard deck a bit versatile
  • Makes use of last-gen processors

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is, in response to its maker, “one of many lightest 14-inch OLED laptops.” It’s definitely gentle, however with its 90Hz OLED show and speedy AMD Ryzen processor, it has extra occurring than simply that.

I ought to be aware it does are available at an odd time, although, just some months earlier than Intel’s Twelfth-gen and AMD’s Ryzen 6000 CPUs begin hitting the road.

I reviewed the one configuration at the moment obtainable, a $1,220 mannequin with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU and a 14-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED show. Regardless of utilizing an older processor, the beautiful show and nice efficiency make this a improbable laptop computer for the worth.

Design

A Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon sits angled on a desk.
Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon enjoys a minimalistic design, with easy tapered traces, a curved rear edge, and 0 bling. The one adornment on the lid is the Lenovo brand, and the one factor thrilling in regards to the inside the laptop computer is the 2 speaker grills bracketing the keyboard.

That doesn’t make it a bad-looking laptop computer, and certainly it follows an business development towards such minimalism. The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED is a little more placing in its design, as is the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional. However total, I just like the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s aesthetic, even when it doesn’t stand out.

The construct high quality is a barely completely different story. It’s constructed of a magnesium-aluminum alloy with carbon fiber reinforcement, supplies that carry all through the chassis and the lid.

This type of mixture, particularly when it’s light-weight, tends to exhibit some flexibility, and that’s exactly what I skilled with the Slim 7 Carbon. The lid was a bit bendable underneath stress, and the keyboard deck had a bit an excessive amount of flex.

The lid was a bit bendable underneath stress.

It’s not egregious and positively not a black mark in opposition to the laptop computer, however the ZenBook 14X OLED is a sturdier machine. The Acer Swift X and IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional, each constructed of aluminum, had been related in really feel to the Lenovo. So the selection of supplies isn’t essentially a assure of a strong construct.

As talked about, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a lightweight machine at 2.43 kilos, in comparison with the ZenBook 14X OLED at 3.09 kilos and the Swift X at 3.06 kilos. It’s additionally skinny at 0.59 inches in comparison with 0.67 inches and 0.70 inches. Given its 16:10 show, it’s a bit deeper than each of these laptops with 16:9 shows, but it surely’s additionally barely much less large. Total, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a properly sized 14-inch laptop computer with small bezels.

The notch on the prime that homes the webcam and infrared cameras is odd, but it surely offers one thing to grip when opening the laptop computer with one hand — one thing the well-design hinge accommodates.

Connectivity is proscribed to a few USB-C ports, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2. There’s additionally a 3.5mm audio jack, however that’s it. There’s no Thunderbolt 4 help given the AMD chipset, and also you’ll be in search of dongles to attach any legacy gadgets. Wi-fi connectivity is supplied by a Realtek Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 radio.

Efficiency

An AMD Ryzen 7 5800U with eight cores and 16 threads powers the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, together with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD). That mixture gives glorious productiveness efficiency and even some energy for entry-level artistic duties.

In our benchmarks, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon took second place in each benchmark besides 3DMark’s Time Spy graphics check. It lagged behind the Acer Swift X, which additionally had a Ryzen 7 5800U however tossed in an RTX 3050 Ti GPU for good measure. There’s a quite large hole between the 2 AMD machines and the Intel discipline in each benchmark besides Geekbench 5, the place the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional with the 35-watt Intel Core i7-11370H CPU was shut.

However in our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video as H.265 and Cinebench R23, each comparatively real-world checks, AMD dominated, and the Acer Swift X outdistanced the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon.

That’s most likely as a result of Lenovo’s skinny design, which seemingly didn’t afford as sturdy a thermal design as Acer’s machine. Even so, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional is a wonderful productiveness workhorse and might tackle some undemanding artistic duties as effectively.

Geekbench (single/multi) Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi) PCMark 10 3DMark Time Spy
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon (Ryzen 7 5800U) 1,373/6,080 125 1,409/8,086 5,682 1,308
Acer Swift X (Ryzen 7 5800U) 1,287/6,663 99 1,437/10,135 6,247 4,073
Asus ZenBook 14X OLED (Core i7-1165G7) 1,536/5,780 173 1,479/5,717 5,366 1,756
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional
(Core i7-11370H)
1,578/5,957 202 1,514/5,544 5,149 1,888
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1185G7) 1,549/5,431 204 1,399/4,585 n/a 1,380
HP Spectre x360 14 (Core i7-1165G7) 1,214/4,117 236 1,389/3,941 4,728 1,457
Razer Guide 13 (Core i7-1165G7) 1,548/5,374 210 1,508/4519 4,878 1,776

Gaming is a distinct story. With simply built-in Radeon graphics onboard, the IdeaPad Slim 7 had the bottom rating within the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, and it managed simply 20 frames per second (fps) in Fortnite at 1,200p and excessive graphics. That’s behind even Intel Iris Xe machines, that means that you simply’ll need to restrict your gaming to older and informal titles.

In order for you an analogous laptop computer with some higher graphics capabilities, choices just like the Acer Swift X, MacBook Professional 14-inch, or Floor Laptop computer Studio are for you. You’ll, although, must spend fairly a bit extra.

Show

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon equips a 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED show operating at 90Hz. It’s the primary OLED show I’ve examined that runs previous 60Hz, and I’ve to say — it’s spectacular. Taking a look at it subjectively, colours pop, blacks are like ink, and Home windows 11’s animations are clean as butter.

This can be a nice show for anybody, whether or not a productiveness employee or a artistic skilled. And Dolby Imaginative and prescient help ensures glorious excessive dynamic vary (HDR) help in Netflix and different streaming content material that helps it. I used to be impressed from the second I turned it on.

The display on the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon.
Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

My colorimeter agreed with me. It’s shiny at 397 nits, effectively above our 300 nit threshold for overcoming harsh indoor lighting, simply beating out the ZenBook 14X OLED’s 389 nits. The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional managed 369 nits, which can be superb.

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s distinction was additionally spectacular at 27,590:1 (I’ve been utilizing a brand new colorimeter for my final a number of opinions, and it stories a decrease distinction with OLED shows than my earlier colorimeter, however at these ranges, it hardly issues). The ZenBook 14X OLED got here in at an equally glorious 27,010:1, whereas the Slim 7i Professional managed 1,340:1, which is nice for an IPS show however nowhere close to as inky black because the OLED shows.

Everybody will love this show.

Colours had been additionally glorious, at 100% of sRGB and 96% of AdobeRGB. Shade accuracy was phenomenal at a DeltaE of 0.88 (something underneath 1.0 is taken into account glorious). The ZenBook 14X OLED got here in at 100% of sRGB and 97% of AdobeRGB, with an accuracy of 1.2, and the IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional couldn’t sustain at 100% of sRGB, 80% of AdobeRGB, and accuracy of 1.65. Once more, these are glorious scores for an IPS show, however they couldn’t match OLED.

Everybody will love this show. It’s that good. I used to be blown away after I fired up the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and remained entranced by the wonderful colours and distinction, and I appreciated the 90Hz refresh fee. Home windows 11 is a lot smoother past 60Hz, and I used to be a bit spoiled by the expertise.

The audio is supplied by 4 audio system, two downward-firing on the underside of the chassis and two upward-firing tweeters bracketing the keyboard. The sound high quality was glorious, with adequate quantity, some bass, and super-clear highs and mids. This laptop computer can be utilized to binge Netflix and hearken to music with out headphones or exterior audio system except you need issues to get actually loud.

Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard and trackpad on the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon.
Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

Lenovo didn’t present any specifics on the keyboard, but it surely’s not the everyday model you’ll discover on non-ThinkPad Lenovo machines. It enjoys deeper journey, for one factor, and it supplied essentially the most comfy bottoming motion and exact switches of any Lenovo keyboard I’ve used exterior of a ThinkPad. It’s only a tiny step behind my favourite Home windows machines, the HP Spectre and Dell XPS traces, whereas solely Apple’s newest MacBook keyboard is considerably higher. I just like the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s keyboard much more than I’ve most different Lenovo keyboards.

The touchpad is giant and spacious for a 14-inch laptop computer, with a clean floor and glorious responsiveness because of Microsoft’s Precision touchpad drivers. It’s one of many higher touchpads I’ve used on a 14-inch machine. The show can be touch-enabled, and it responded completely effectively. Enter is a power.

Privateness and safety

The webcam on the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon.
Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

An infrared digicam and facial recognition present home windows 10 Hiya help, and it labored rapidly and precisely. Lenovo included its security measures with the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, together with its Clever sensing know-how. Zero contact lock places the laptop computer to sleep when the person steps away, and Zero contact login wakes up the laptop computer and logs in through facial recognition when the person returns.

The identical know-how works with Zero contact video playback, which might begin and cease a video in the identical circumstances. Lenovo borrowed from HP a bodily change on the fitting aspect that electronically switches off the webcam for the last word privateness.

Battery life

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon packs in 61 watt-hours of battery, an sufficient quantity for a 14-inch laptop computer. AMD’s Ryzen processors have confirmed pretty environment friendly, however there’s that power-hungry OLED show to account for. I wasn’t certain the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon would get nice battery life.

For essentially the most half, I used to be unsuitable. In our internet looking check that cycles by a collection of in style and complicated web sites, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon lasted for simply over 10 hours. Thats’ a strong consequence and beats the ZenBook 14X OLED and IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional by 2.5 hours. In our video check that loops an area Full HD Avengers trailer, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon managed about 11.25 hours, half-hour longer than the ZenBook 14X OLED and 1.5 hours lower than the IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional. We wish to see longer on this check, however this was a very good consequence for a high-resolution OLED show.

I additionally ran the PCMark 10 Functions check, which is one of the best indication of productiveness battery life, and the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon made it to virtually 9.5 hours. That’s one other sturdy rating and signifies all-day battery life. It was stronger than the ZenBook 14X OLED by about 80 minutes whereas beating out the IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional by simply 5 minutes. Within the PCMark 10 Gaming check, which greatest demonstrates how laborious a system runs on battery, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon lasted about 2.5 hours, longer than the typical two hours. The ZenBook 14X OLED made it to simply underneath 1.5 hours, whereas the IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional lasted over 1.5 hours.

Total, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional had strong battery life that’s greatest for productiveness work. It’s going to final a full enterprise day after which some, which is saying rather a lot for a laptop computer with such a quick CPU and an OLED show.

Our take

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a fantastic addition to the Slim 7 household and the 14-inch laptop computer class typically. It’s quick, environment friendly, and enjoys a stunning OLED show. Demanding productiveness customers will love this laptop computer, and even artistic execs in search of a lower-end laptop computer to work on in a pinch will discover it a very good answer.

There’s little to fault right here besides possibly a construct high quality that’s a little bit subpar. As well as, the worth is nice however not nice, and it’s too dangerous that Lenovo doesn’t supply extra configuration choices — though we suspect these will probably be coming in some unspecified time in the future. The most important query is whether or not you need to buy an AMD Ryzen 5000 collection laptop computer when Ryzen 6000 machines are coming inside the subsequent a number of months.

Are there any alternate options?

The Acer Swift X is a robust different given its equal CPU and quicker GPU. It doesn’t have practically as good a show, although, and in reality, the Acer’s show is its largest weak point. However for those who’re in search of pure efficiency, then the Swift X is a strong different.

The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED is one other sturdy choice, with an equally beautiful show and higher construct high quality. Efficiency and battery life can’t fairly sustain, however for productiveness customers, each are adequate.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional is our remaining different advice. It’s not as quick and its battery life isn’t nearly as good, but it surely has a really good IPS 90Hz show and is an efficient productiveness performer.

How lengthy will it final?

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon has a little bit of bending to it, however that doesn’t imply it’s not going to final you for years of service. It’s additionally quick sufficient to maintain up together with your wants for some time, and that OLED show will proceed to thrill. The usual 1-year guarantee is disappointing, as regular.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. Efficiency and battery life are nice, and that show seals the deal. That is one skinny and light-weight laptop computer that doesn’t compromise.

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