Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional overview: huge display screen for the mainstream

I just lately reviewed the Gigabyte Aero 16, a 16-inch Intel-powered workstation with a strong GPU. It was sizzling, heavy, costly, and had… little in the way in which of battery life. The 16-inch laptop computer class has historically been dominated by these types of desktop replacements. 

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7 is making an attempt one thing totally different inside its 16-inch body. That is an AMD-powered, moveable laptop computer with a extra midrange-level GPU and a 16-inch display screen. It lasts all day on battery. And it’s a lot, way more inexpensive than many laptops of this dimension, with a price ticket of simply over $1,000 ($1,015, to be actual) for this check configuration. (This unit is at present offered out on Lenovo’s web site, however the firm says it ought to be again in inventory quickly.)

With a stable construct and an unobtrusive look, a complete port choice, and a high-resolution, excessive refresh price, 16:10 show, the Slim 7 (if yow will discover one in inventory) is a aggressive machine throughout. It gained’t be the only option for everybody, but it surely’s a very good reminder that many individuals don’t have to pay 1000’s of {dollars} or sacrifice all-day battery life with the intention to get a large-screened laptop computer.

A part of that is most likely that Lenovo’s identify is on each of those gadgets, however utilizing the IdeaPad feels just like utilizing a (way more costly) ThinkPad in some ways. It’s not as immediately recognizable as a ThinkPad (the 2 thrilling colour choices are Cloud Grey and Storm Grey), however it’s actually constructed as nicely, with a sturdy aluminum chassis and a snug end that didn’t scratch simply in my testing interval. Chances are you’ll discover that there’s a slight lip on the high of the show the place the webcam lives. By slight, I do imply slight — it’s a considerably much less noticeable protrusion than you’ll discover on, say, the ThinkPad Z Collection. It blended in in a short time and didn’t have an effect on my expertise with the laptop computer in any way.

The keyboard additionally approaches ThinkPad high quality (which is excessive reward). The keys have a pleasant snap to them, and Lenovo makes use of the massive deck to slot in a full numpad. I surpassed my normal typing speeds and actually felt like my fingers have been flying; it is a keyboard I’ll be unhappy to say goodbye to once I ship this unit again. 

Lenovo fit a spacious keyboard and a full numpad in the IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro’s deck.

Lenovo match a spacious keyboard and a full numpad within the IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional’s deck.

There’s additionally a handy hotkey: you possibly can press Fn + Q to swap between cooling profiles (Excessive Efficiency, Battery Saver, and so on.), so that you don’t must dig into Lenovo’s software program to do it. As somebody who swaps between profiles usually, that was good to have. My solely nitpick is that the backspace secret’s on the small aspect and really near the Num Lock key. I a number of occasions hit the Num Lock key accidentally once I’d meant to hit backspace.

Don’t let the phrase “Slim” get your expectations too excessive: this isn’t a featherweight machine, and it has some critical energy. The chassis is a stable 4.59 kilos and as much as .79 inches thick. That’s moveable for a 16-incher, however I need to make certain folks don’t see “Slim” and go in anticipating an LG Gram. If you happen to’re searching for one thing smaller, there are 14-inch Intel fashions of the Slim 7 Professional that you may get for beneath $1,000. 

However the place the Slim is basically punching above its weight class is the show. This can be a 2560 x 1600 display screen with pretty slim bezels. The 120Hz refresh price makes a noticeable distinction whenever you’re scrolling by means of lengthy articles or paperwork (as I do daily) — after spending a little bit of time at 120Hz, going again to 60Hz simply feels flawed. 

In any other case, the panel reached 364 nits of brightness in my testing and displayed shiny and correct colours. It was additionally shiny and kicked again noticeable glare indoors, however nothing that inhibited my work. 

The IdeaPad’s 16-inch display is excellent: it’s bright, colorful, large, and high-resolution.

The IdeaPad’s 16-inch show is superb: it’s shiny, colourful, giant, and high-resolution.

The one actual hole in connectivity is the dearth of Thunderbolt since that is an AMD system. There are two USB 3.2 Gen 1, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, one HDMI 1.4b, one card reader, and one combo audio jack. Apart from Thunderbolt equipment, I used to be in a position to plug no matter I wanted to in with none hassle. With the ability to cost by USB-C, along with the devoted energy port, was additionally useful. Talking of audio, the audio system should not the loudest round, however they ship surprisingly clear sound with distinguishable ranges. 

Lenovo fans ought to notice that there’s a technique by which the IdeaPad differs considerably from its older ThinkPad cousins: the webcam. It helps each Home windows Hey and presence detection, that are useful. However there’s additionally not a straightforward method to flip it off. This gained’t be an issue for everybody, however I actually just like the shutter many bodily ThinkPad fashions have — as somebody who makes use of their webcam all day, it’s good to have the ability to double-confirm that it’s turned off. The Slim 7 Professional doesn’t have a bodily shutter, neither is there a default kill swap on the keyboard; you must dive into Lenovo’s software program to show it off. 

The Slim 7 Pro has a good selection of ports, including a full-size HDMI and full-size SD card slot.

The Slim 7 Professional has a wide variety of ports, together with a full-size HDMI and full-size SD card slot.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional specs (as reviewed)

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card
  • 1TB SSD PCIe M.2
  • 16-inch 2560 x 1600 pixel touchscreen, 16:10 side ratio, 120Hz refresh price
  • 14.05 x 9.74 x 0.69-0.79 inches, 4.59 kilos
  • One USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-C (helps knowledge switch, Energy Supply 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4), 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4b, SD card reader, one 3.5 mm audio combo, one DC-in
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax 2×2)
  • Bluetooth 5.1

On the within, my check unit has AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage, along with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. So far as I can see from Lenovo’s web site, that is the one configuration accessible. And it’s quick. I ran Zoom calls over heaps of Chrome tabs with no slowdown, fan noise, or keyboard warmth of any sort, even with Battery Saver on. The Ryzen 7 5800H is an effective processor, and I wouldn’t count on it to have hassle with the duties most individuals are doing. The RTX 3050 wouldn’t be the only option for, say, full-resolution gaming, but it surely ought to be capable to help in graphics-heavy workloads simply effective. 

Battery life is an space the place the Slim 7 Professional could fall quick for some of us. I used to be getting round seven and a half hours of steady use with the display screen at medium brightness. That’s spectacular for a 16-incher with such a high-resolution panel, however you possibly can actually discover laptops at this worth level that may last more. 

The one a part of the Slim 7 expertise the place the cracks do begin to present is bloatware. This machine didn’t have a ton of junk on it — no random video games and software program backends — but it surely did include some McAfee packages that despatched me popups right here and there and have been a little bit of a ache to uninstall. That is extra comprehensible on this IdeaPad than it could be on a $3,000 ThinkPad, but it surely nonetheless feels very very like one thing that cheapens an in any other case nice expertise. 

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro fills a niche that isn’t very crowded right now.

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional fills a distinct segment that isn’t very crowded proper now.

Once I hear that somebody I do know desires a laptop computer with a 16-inch or 17-inch display screen, I usually wrestle to discover a suggestion. The fact is that quite a lot of probably the most distinguished fashions in that class should not good selections for common shopper use: firms usually assume that the consumer searching for a 16-inch display screen can be an influence person who wants heavy GPU energy, has firm money to spend, and doesn’t thoughts some weight.

If I have been searching for, say, my cousin who desires his films to look actually huge or my buddy who wanted an enormous display screen to take the bar examination on final yr, I would suggest this machine over one thing just like the Dell XPS 17. It’s extra inexpensive and has a processor that may deal with what most individuals have to do. And whereas of us searching for portability could favor one of many many lighter 15-inch laptops which are on the market, the 16:10 compromises a bit on that portability for noticeably extra display screen house. It’s in a little bit of an in-between place, however I can see an viewers for it.

It’s additionally only a good reminder of how absurdly costly another well-built laptops are getting. The most affordable 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Yoga goes for a number of hundred {dollars} greater than this Slim mannequin, and I’d a lot fairly use the IdeaPad any day — whereas the Yoga has numerous safety features and design staples which are value some huge cash for its buyer base, I legitimately suppose the IdeaPad’s larger and higher display screen gives extra profit to your common shopper. And whereas the Slim 7 Professional could also be laborious to search out, it’s value remembering that in the event you’re contemplating shopping for the ThinkPads, MacBooks, and XPS’s of the world, it’s best to be sure you’re not overlooking respectable gadgets that would meet your wants at lower cost factors.


Each sensible machine now requires you to comply with a collection of phrases and circumstances earlier than you need to use it — contracts that nobody truly reads. It’s inconceivable for us to learn and analyze each single one in all these agreements. However we began counting precisely what number of occasions you must hit “agree” to make use of gadgets once we overview them since these are agreements most individuals don’t learn and undoubtedly can’t negotiate.

To start out utilizing the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Professional, you’ll have to comply with the next:

  • A request on your area and keyboard structure
  • Microsoft Software program License Phrases, software program license agreements, and Lenovo Restricted Guarantee

You may also say sure or no to the next:

  • Connect with Wi-Fi
  • Check in with a Microsoft account, or create an offline account in the event you didn’t connect with Wi-Fi
  • Privateness settings (location, Discover My Machine, diagnostic knowledge, inking and typing, tailor-made expertise, promoting ID)
  • Present your identify, area, and e mail tackle so as to add the machine to your Lenovo ID profile

That’s 5 necessary agreements and 9 non-obligatory agreements.

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