Foldable laptops? I'll take the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i instead – Tom's Guide

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The dual-screen Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is better than any foldable laptop
The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is one of the most interesting devices I’ve ever reviewed. This dual-screen 2-in-1 laptop offers different modes for specific uses. It can function as a regular Windows 11 laptop or tablet. With the included kickstand, you can use the Yoga Book 9i with two displays stacked on each other or with the two panels spread side by side. I don’t generally have “fun” reviewing products, but I had a blast testing the Yoga Book 9i.
When testing the Yoga Book 9i, I couldn’t help but think about the growing number of foldable tablets on the market. Devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold and Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED want to make a case for foldable notebooks. Though these notebooks are impressive, I’m not sold on foldable laptops.
In my estimation, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is superior to foldable laptops like the ones listed above. I’ll explain why.
One of my chief concerns about foldable laptops is their durability. When I checked out the ThinkPad X1 Fold, I was afraid I might accidentally snap it in half. It makes me question how long the foldable display will last after years of opening and closing.Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 2022That’s not a concern I had with the Yoga Book 9i, thanks to the laptop’s overall sturdy build and rigid hinge. Though it takes a little bit of extra force to open this laptop compared to its competitors, the hinge’s rigidity ensured that the Yoga Book 9i’s dual displays remained in place when I moved it to a different orientation.
The sturdy hinge makes me believe the Yoga Book 9i will retain its rigidity for years to come. That’s something I can’t say about foldable devices.Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review unit unfolded on desk verticallyLastly, I simply don’t like the way foldable devices appear. That’s purely subjective, but I can’t get over seeing a folding screen. It just looks … wrong. The crease you sometimes see in these devices also weirds me out. Again, it feels as if you’re about to break the device. Maybe it’s just me but I prefer having two separate screens vs a giant foldable display.
At $1,999, the Yoga Book 9i costs as much as an entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023. That’s expensive, but it’s still hundreds of dollars less than competing foldable laptops.Lenovo Yoga Book 9iThe ThinkPad X1 Fold was due to launch in November 2022 but has yet to release. When it does come out, it should cost $2,499 as Lenovo originally stated. If nothing else changes, this foldable should pack a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU.
That being the case, the Yoga Book 9i will not only be cheaper but offer better performance than the ThinkPad X1 Fold thanks to its 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. Add in my previous concern about durability, and the Yoga Book 9i is arguably the better Lenovo laptop of the two.
To be clear, I’m not completely against foldable laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold or Asus Zenbook 17 OLED. While they aren’t to my liking, I can respect them for being unique products in the laptop space. And even if foldable screens freak me out, I’m impressed by the technology used to create them.
Foldable laptops will no doubt improve. I might one day see them as viable options instead of quirky gimmicks. As things stand, I think the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is a better alternative for those who want dual-screen functionality in one device. Though admittedly expensive, this laptop’s various modes offer great value. As I said in my review, the Yoga Book 9i is the Swiss Army Knife of laptops. I’ll take it over a foldable laptop any day.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.

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