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Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 Review: Performance, Design, Battery…

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 emerges as a top-notch MacBook Pro alternative in the current market. It delivers outstanding performance, boasts stunning style, and features one of the best laptop displays available, rivaling those with OLED technology. However, this impressive power does come with a drawback: its battery life falls short, preventing it from reaching true excellence.

  • Outstanding performance
  • Breathtaking display
  • Stylish design
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Relatively high cost
  • Underwhelming battery life

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Quick Review

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Quick Review

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 aims to challenge the dominance of the 16-inch MacBook Pro among creative professionals seeking a serious yet non-corporate laptop. It certainly has the potential to become a top choice, but a few missed opportunities hold it back.

This laptop introduces a new direction for Lenovo, showcasing impressive design elements. Rounded corners, a distinctive webcam, and other subtle touches grabbed my attention during preview events, and having it in hand confirms its place among the best laptops.

In a market that often emulates MacBook designs, the Slim Pro 16 takes a bold step forward, reimagining the stagnant MacBook aesthetic that hasn’t evolved in over a decade. It dares to say, “We can do better,” and it delivers in several ways, positioning itself as a leading Windows laptop against the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, even surpassing the Dell XPS 15, a longtime competitor.

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 doesn’t lack firepower, boasting the latest Intel Core i9-13905H processor and a dedicated GPU, either the Nvidia RTX 4050 or RTX 4060. This combination ensures it can handle the demanding workloads that make the MacBook Pro a favorite among creatives.

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16

Moreover, the Slim Pro 9i 16 outperforms the MacBook Pro 16-inch and the earlier Dell XPS 15 in critical aspects, except for one. It features a stunning mini-LED display that rivals Apple’s Liquid Retina XDR display and competes well with the Dell XPS 15’s 3.5K OLED screen, all while maintaining a more affordable price point.

Pricing starts at $1,799.99 for the Nvidia RTX 4050 model, with the more robust RTX 4060 version priced at $2,199.99. Online discounts may further reduce these costs. While it may not sway die-hard MacBook Pro users, it provides non-MacBook professionals with the power, performance, and style they’ve been craving, as long as they stay near a power outlet.

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Price & Availability

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 is currently available in the US, starting at $1,799.99 (approx. £1,370/AU$2,630). Regrettably, it’s not yet accessible in the UK or Australia. We’ve contacted Lenovo to inquire about future availability and pricing for these markets. This review will be updated with that information once we receive it.

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Price & Availability

In the US, the base model features an Intel Core i9-13905H processor, an Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU, 32GB LPDDR5X-6400Mhz RAM (non-upgradable, unfortunately), a 1TB PCIe SSD, and a 16-inch 3.2K (3200x2000p) mini-LED touch display running at 165Hz.

For $2,199.99 (approx. £1,670/AU$3,215), you can obtain the same configuration but with an upgraded RTX 4060 GPU.

When compared to a similar MacBook Pro equipped with an Apple M2 Pro chip featuring a 12-core CPU, a 19-core GPU, 32GB unified memory, and 1TB SSD storage, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i proves significantly more cost-effective, priced at $3,099/£3,299/AU$4,899. Additionally, the similar spec Dell XPS 15 with an RTX 4050 GPU costs $2,449/£2,214.60/AU$ 3,399.

This places the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i in a highly advantageous position in terms of pricing, which is noteworthy considering the sometimes exorbitant prices associated with premium hardware of this caliber.

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 Specs

Here’s a concise overview of the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 specifications:

SpecificationReview ConfigurationMaximum Configuration
Price$1,799.99 (approx. £1,370/AU$2,630)$2,199.99 (approx. £1,675/AU$3,210)
CPUIntel Core i9-13950HIntel Core i9-13950H
GPUNvidia RTX 4050Nvidia RTX 4060
RAM32GB LPDDR5-6400 (soldered)32GB LPDDR5-6400 (soldered)
Storage1TB SSD1TB SSD
Display16″ 3.2K (3200 x 2000), 1200 nits, 16:10, 165Hz, PureSight Pro MiniLED, 100% sRGB, P3, Adobe RGB, Dolby Vision, touchscreen16″ 3.2K (3200 x 2000), 1200 nits, 16:10, 165Hz, PureSight Pro MiniLED, 100% sRGB, P3, Adobe RGB, Dolby Vision, touchscreen
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam5MP camera, IR + ToF, camera privacy switch5MP camera, IR + ToF, camera privacy switch
Ports1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x SDCard Reader, 2 x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (1 x always on), 1 x combo jack2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x SDCard Reader, 2 x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (1 x always on), 1 x combo jack
Dimensions (W x D x H)14.3 x 9.64 x 0.71 inches362 x 245 x 18.16mm
Weight4.9 lbs2.23kg
Battery75WHr75WHr
Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 Specs

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Design & Performance

Design:

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 is stunning from top to bottom. Its Storm Grey chassis exudes elegance and durability. While it’s not as slim as ultrabooks, it avoids the bulkiness typical of many mobile workstations. Despite packing powerful hardware, it maintains a relatively thin and lightweight profile.

The full-size keyboard with a ten-key layout offers comfortable typing, and the trackpad is smooth and responsive. Creative professionals might prefer dedicated drawing tablets when not on the go.

The port selection is robust, featuring numerous ports, including Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDCard reader, and more. The laptop also boasts a 5MP webcam with a privacy shutter for enhanced security.

Audio-wise, it offers a six-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos, ideal for room-filling sound. However, serious music professionals may opt for dedicated headphones.

The 16-inch 3.2K mini-LED display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 165Hz refresh rate, and wide color gamuts is a visual artist’s dream, offering exceptional clarity and vibrancy. Its impressive brightness, Dolby Vision, and eye-friendly certifications enhance long-term usability.

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Design & Performance

Performance:

Powered by an Intel Core i9-13905H processor and either an Nvidia RTX 4050 or RTX 4060 GPU, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 excels as a professional workstation. It handles demanding workloads effectively while remaining portable and reasonably priced.

Compared to its counterparts, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) and the Dell XPS 15 (2023), the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 shines in synthetic benchmark tests:

  • Geekbench 6 Single Core: Lenovo outperforms both competitors.
  • Geekbench 6 Multi-Core: Lenovo maintains a lead.
  • CrossMark Overall and Productivity: Lenovo surpasses the MacBook Pro and XPS 15.
  • CrossMark Responsiveness: Lenovo excels here as well.
  • 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike: Lenovo outperforms the XPS 15 in both tests, despite a less powerful GPU.

In summary, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 delivers impressive performance, making it an excellent choice for professionals on the go.

Here are the performance benchmarks for the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16, Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023), and Dell XPS 15 (2023):

Creative Benchmark Scores:

BenchmarkLenovo Slim Pro 9i 16Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)Dell XPS 15 (2023)
CrossMark Creativity2,2302,3702,130
Handbrake 4K to 1080p Encode73.71 fps69.35 fps58.52 fps
PugetBench for Photoshop1,0181,058N/A
PugetBench for Premiere Pro579997N/A
HDXPRT 4 Overall Score110Does Not Run105
HDXPRT 4 Photo Editing12.64Does Not Run11.76
HDXPRT 4 Video Conversion22.38Does Not Run22.57
HDXPRT 4 Music Editing41Does Not Run51.02
Average Display sRGB % Coverage157117.4195
Average Display DCI-P3 % Coverage11183.2138

On creative workloads, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 excels, especially in photo and video editing. It outperforms the MacBook Pro 16-inch and the Dell XPS 15, offering faster encoding in Handbrake and better scores in HDXPRT 4.

However, in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro benchmarks, the MacBook Pro 16-inch surpasses the Slim Pro 9i 16 in performance.

Creative Benchmark Scores:

Gaming Benchmark Scores:

GameLenovo Slim Pro 9i 16Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)Dell XPS 15 (2023)
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p/1200p)1245869
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (Native)955569
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (1080p/1200p)785767
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Native)312024

While not a gaming laptop, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 offers respectable gaming performance. It outperforms the MacBook Pro 16-inch and the Dell XPS 15 in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at various resolutions.

Gaming Benchmark Scores:

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: Software, and Battery

Software & Features:

The laptop comes with minimal bloatware, but it does include McAfee antivirus, which can be intrusive. Lenovo Vantage allows hardware adjustments and system settings.

Battery Life:

The laptop’s powerful hardware and mini-LED display result in a relatively short battery life. In web surfing tests, it lasted about six hours and 12 minutes, significantly less than the MacBook Pro 16-inch and XPS 15. In the PCMark 10 Application battery benchmark, it achieved about four hours and 36 minutes of battery life.

Considering its price and specs, the battery life may be a drawback for some users.

Should I Buy the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16?

Buy it if:

  • You want a MacBook Pro competitor with great performance and style.
  • You seek an affordable professional device compared to other offerings in this class.

Don’t buy it if:

  • You require all-day battery life, as it falls short in this regard.
  • You prioritize an ultra-thin and lightweight laptop.
Should I Buy the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16?

Also Consider:

If you’re considering alternatives, here are two other laptops to contemplate:

SpecificationLenovo Slim Pro 9i 16MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Pro)Dell XPS 15 (2023)
Price$1,799.99$3,499.99$2,849.00
CPUIntel Core i9-13950H12-Core M2 ProIntel Core i7-13700H
GPUNvidia RTX 405019-Core M2 ProNvidia RTX 4070
RAM32GB LPDDR5-640032GB unified memory32GB DDR5-4800
Storage1TB SSD2TB SSD1TB PCIe SSD
Display16″ 3.2K (3200 x 2000)16-inch Super Retina OLED (3,456 x 2,234)15.6-inch OLED (3452x2160p)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3Wi-Fi 6,

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