A Beautiful, Powerful Machine – Review Geek

Rating: 9/10 ? 1 – Absolute hot waste 2 – Sorta lukewarm waste 3 – Severely flawed design 4 – Some pros, many cons 5 – Acceptably imperfect 6 – Good enough to buy on sale 7 – Great, but not the best in its class 8 – Fantastic , with some footnotes 9 – Shut up and take my money 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $1,283.49

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon on a glass side tableDanny Chadwick

As a longtime Mac user, it’s been a while since I’ve used a Windows PC. When I got the chance to test the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, I was excited to see what I missed. And after using this laptop for a month, I’m rethinking my life choices when it comes to computers.

This is what we like

Beautiful OLED display Super high-quality speakers Weighs less than three pounds Long-lasting battery

And what we don’t do

Connection ports are USB-C only Webcam only captures in 720p Included adapter has no SD card slot

It didn’t take long for the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon to capture my heart. The ultra-light weight, dazzling screen, lightning speed, and long battery life of this machine put almost everything about my MacBook Pro to shame. And since the price tag of this laptop is comparable to that of a new Mac, it became even harder for me to justify sticking with Apple when it comes time to buy a new laptop.

I can only speculate whether regular Windows users would agree with me, but I can’t imagine anyone using this laptop being let down or not getting their money’s worth. My comments about the machine are mostly limited to some of its components which aren’t as great as the rest. Overall though, it’s simply the best laptop I’ve ever used.

Specifications as rated

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor (1.90 GHz, up to 4.40 GHz max boost, 8 cores, 16 threads, 16 MB cache) RAM: 16 GB LPDDR4X dual channel Display: 14.0″ 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED, glossy, touchscreen with Dolby Vision, True Black, HDR, 400 nits, 16:10 aspect ratio Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX450 2GB Camera: IR & 720p HD Ports: USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, 2xUSB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort 1.4+PD 3.0), 3.5mm audio jack Wireless connectivity: 802.11AX (2×2) & Bluetooth 5.1 Audio: Dual Dolby Atmos speakers Battery: 61 Wh, MobileMark 2018, Rapid Charge Express Support Dimensions: 0.59 x 12.3 x 8.5 inches Weight: 2.4 pounds

Design: lightweight and durable

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon on a deskDanny Chadwick

The first thing I noticed about the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon was how light it is. When I picked up this 2.4 pound laptop, I was afraid I would break it. But after a month of use I never did. I’ve even had a few casual drop tests. Once when my cat pushed it from my desk onto the carpet, and again when he pushed it off a side table onto a tile floor, giving a gnarly thump. But it worked perfectly after both cat attacks. There were no dents or scratches on the carbon fiber reinforced magnesium alloy chassis, nor cracks in the display.

The thin design makes it the most portable machine I’ve ever used. It’s about half a pound lighter than my personal laptop. So I could really feel the difference when I carried it in my laptop bag. Anything to lighten the load is much appreciated.

One of the nice things about this laptop is that the screen tilts back up to 180 degrees. This means that you lay it completely flat, so that you can easily find the right viewing angle for every situation.

Display and speakers: the perfect combination

"Avengers: Infinity War" play on the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 CarbonDanny Chadwick

The standout features of the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon are its beautiful display and excellent speakers. Either alone would be the star of the show, but the combination of both makes this laptop worth its price tag.

The 14-inch, 2.4K OLED display is dazzling. The 2880 x 1800p resolution, 90Hz refresh rate and 16:10 aspect ratio work together to produce deep blacks, vibrant colours, super-high contrast and a wide viewing angle. The result is an immersive visual experience for every task you perform on this laptop, from watching videos and creating media to basic gaming and even word processing.

Another nice touch is that the screen doubles as a touchscreen, giving you an alternative to using the keyboard and trackpad for every interaction. The touch capabilities are sensitive, snappy and precise, whether you’re tapping buttons and hyperlinks on the screen or using multi-touch gestures like pinch and swipe.

To test the touchscreen’s capabilities, I installed the Windows version of my favorite mobile app, Star Trek Timelines. I loved the experience of playing in 2K resolution, as well as having fast touch responses and lightning-fast loading times. I will definitely miss these improvements when I play exclusively on my iPhone again.

The sound array features four Dolby Atmos speakers, a smart amplifier and digital signal processing. They are an ideal complement to the excellent display and the speakers produce more than enough volume to fill the space they occupy. I charged my Spotify account and listened to music and podcasts for several hours. The sound was crisp, clear and captivating. Suffice it to say that the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon delivered the best audio experience I’ve had with a laptop.

To test the combined audio-video experience, I downloaded Avengers: Infinity War for its heavy CGI effects and intense scoring. I wasn’t going to watch the entire two-and-a-half hour movie, but the visuals were so dazzling and the audio so absorbing on this laptop that I didn’t once look away from the screen, and I never wanted to put on headphones. I’ve never been more captivated by a silver screen blockbuster on a 14-inch screen.

Connectivity: Welcome to Adapter Land

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon connection ports on the left.Danny Chadwick

Users should be aware that this model follows the industry trend in connectivity. You get three USB-C connections (one for the battery charger, but can be used for other things too) plus a headphone jack. While we’re completely moving USB-C the way of the future, and we Mac users have been on this path for years, USB-A is far from dead. Most computer accessories we use every day are still connected via USB-A. So if you choose to buy this laptop, be prepared to invest some money in adapters for your peripherals.

However, the adapter that comes with the computer is of limited value. It has a single HDMI port, a VGA connection and a USB-A slot. And while this is great for hooking up an extra display or connecting an external hard drive, it leaves a lot to be desired. The most notable omission is an SD card slot, followed by an Ethernet port. Additional USB-A and HDMI ports would also be nice to have.

The wireless connectivity options on the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon are standard among laptops these days. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are 100% reliable and neither failed at any point while I was using the machine.

Keyboard, trackpad, webcam, microphone: just right

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon's Keyboard and TrackpadDanny Chadwick

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s keyboard has round buttons that are soft, responsive and quiet. They are slightly larger and further apart than my Mac’s chiclet keys. It took me a day or so to adjust my typing pattern to the new layout, but after that it went smooth. The only typo that persisted was pressing the 8 key instead of the 7 on the number row.

I spent over a few hours writing thousands of words on this laptop and never had any issues with the keyboard performance. But it never impressed me either.

The keyboard on this laptop follows Lenovo’s trend of swapping the placement of the Ctrl and Fn keys. It doesn’t bother me because I don’t use the Fn key much, but it might annoy some users who are used to the traditional configuration. For them, I recommend digging into the included Lenovo Vantage software or the system BIOS to remap the function of those buttons.

The trackpad, webcam and internal microphone work properly, but given the excellent performance on this machine, I expected more. While the physical shutter lock is a nice touch, the webcam only captures video in 720p. In addition, the recorded sound quality on the internal microphone is dull at best, and the trackpad works well, but is nothing to write home about.

Nevertheless, the webcam and microphone work well enough for tasks like Zoom meetings and VoIP calls. But if you’re planning intensive media production like YouTube videos or podcasts, you’ll want to upgrade to some more powerful equipment.

Battery life: all day and then some

Lenovo’s spec sheet states that you can expect a battery life of 14 hours when fully charged. My experience with this machine confirms that claim. The first day I used it, I fully charged it via the USB-C connection and turned off the battery saver. It took about a day and a half with normal use for it to shut down. And it only took about an hour to recharge it to a full battery. After that I charged it regularly and the battery never got low.

In short: a fantastic machine if you can afford it

Everything in the box with the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 CarbonDanny Chadwick

I have so far avoided mentioning the cost of this machine due to its high price tag. At the time of writing, Lenovo lists the starting price of the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon at just under $1,300. That’s expensive, but not as much as some of the other Lenovo models we tested. However, the glossy display; thumping speakers; robust, lightweight design; fast processing; touchscreen capabilities; and a long battery life make this computer worth every penny.

Disadvantages like the lack of legacy connection ports, 720p webcam and lackluster internal microphone are hard to ignore. But given that the connectivity is an inevitable result of technological progress, and the camera and microphone are only of lower quality compared to the screen and speakers, I am willing to forgive them given the excellent performance of the machine as a whole .

Rating: 9/10

Price: $1,283.49

This is what we like

Beautiful OLED display Super high-quality speakers Weighs less than three pounds Long-lasting battery

And what we don’t do

Connection ports are USB-C only Webcam only captures in 720p Included adapter has no SD card slot

This post A Beautiful, Powerful Machine – Review Geek

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