Lenovo's Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) is an outstanding convertible PC with gorgeous touch display options, strong 12th Gen Intel Core P-series CPUs, soundbar hinge with robust audio, and a stunning overall design.
- 12th Gen P-Series CPUs deliver strong multi-core performance
- 16:10 aspect ratio displays are gorgeous
- Included active pen for inking
- Outstanding audio
- Stunning design and build quality
- Much higher starting price
- RAM tops out at 16GB
- Storage tops out at 1TB
- No microSD card reader
HP's refreshed Spectre x360 13.5 takes over for the older x360 13 and 14 models, offering up a nice middle ground with some impressive specs and features. This is a great option if you don't want to pay as much for a premium convertible PC.
- 12th Gen Intel U-Series CPUS deliver strong single-core performance
- Tall 3:2 aspect ratio
- Up to 32GB RAM, 2TB storage
- Active pen included
- More affordable
- Slower LPDDR4x RAM
- No soundbar hinge
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These laptops are both included in our roundup of the overall best Windows laptops available today, and both will deliver a high-end convertible PC experience. However, there are some major differences that might sway you one way or the other when making a final buying decision.
Here's a look first at the tech specs that make up each laptop.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7)||HP Spectre x360 13.5|
|OS||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro|
|Processor||12th Gen Intel (28W)||12th Gen Intel (15W)|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Core i5-1240P, Core i7-1260P, Core i7-1280P||Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255U|
|RAM||8GB, 16GB LPDDR5-5200||8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4x-4266|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe||Intel Iris Xe|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD||512GB, 1TB, 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD|
|Display||14 inches, 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, touch||13.5 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio, touch, low blue light|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||1920x1200 (FHD+), IPS, 400 nits, glossy, 100% sRGB, 60Hz||1920x1280 (FHD+), IPS, 400 nits, anti-reflective, 100% sRGB|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||2880x1800 (2.8K), OLED, 400 nits, glossy, 100% DCI-P3, 90Hz, VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black||1920x1280 (FHD+), IPS, 1000 nits, Sure View privacy, 100% sRGB|
|Row 9 - Cell 0||3840x2400 (UHD+), OLED, 400 nits, glossy, 100% DCI-P3, 60Hz, VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black||3000x2000 (3K2K), OLED, 400 nits, anti-reflective, HDR500 True Black, 100% DCI-P3|
|Pen||Lenovo Precision Pen 2 (included)||HP Rechargeable MPP 2.0 Tilt (included)|
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt 4, two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), 3.5mm audio||Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), 3.5mm audio, microSD card reader|
|Audio||Dual 2W tweeters, dual 3W woofers, Dolby Atmos||Quad speakers, Bang & Olufsen|
|Row 13 - Cell 0||Soundbar hinge, dual array microphones||Dual array microphones|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Camera||Front-facing 1080p, IR, HPD||Front-facing 5MP, IR|
|Security||Firmware TPM 2.0, fingerprint reader, camera shutter, IR, HPD||Camera shutter, IR, human presence detection|
|Dimensions||12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches (318mm x 230mm x 15.25mm)||11.73 x 8.68 x 0.67 inches (298mm x 220mm x 17mm)|
|Weight||From 3.09 pounds (1.4kg)||From 3.01 pounds (1.36kg)|
|Color||Oatmeal, Storm Grey||Nightfall Black, Nocturne Blue, Natural Silver|
Design and features
The Yoga 9i 14 got a bit of a design change for its seventh-gen refresh, making it top runner when it comes to the best Lenovo laptops. The display was blown up to a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, the chassis had its edges smoothed down to make it much easier to hold (especially in tablet mode), the touchpad was enlarged by 45%, and the keyboard was stretched to reach each edge of the laptop. The active pen, which used to be siloed on the side, is now a full-size pen that comes included with the purchase. You also get a nice sleeve to protect the finish, available in Storm Grey or Oatmeal colors.
Lenovo’s laptop is a bit larger than the Spectre x360 13.5 due to its screen size, but overall weight is about the same. The Yoga is a bit thinner, measuring just 0.6 inches (15.25mm) while the Spectre measures 0.67 inches (17mm). The bottom line here is that you’re getting a slim and lightweight laptop no matter which you choose. Both have a gorgeous aluminum build that’s essentially flawless. The Spectre x360 13.5 can be had in Nightfall Black, Nocturne Blue, or Natural Silver colors.
Not to be outdone, the Spectre x360 13.5 also received an updated design for its 2022 refresh. It now has softer edges and less ornate accents, following the design cues we saw in the Spectre x360 16. It still comes with a full-size active pen, which can now be attached magnetically to the side of the laptop. The touchpad is enormous thanks to there being plenty of room to accommodate the 3:2 display, and the keyboard also stretches from edge to edge. You’re going to get a great pointing and typing experience with either laptop.
The Yoga 9i 14 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Spectre x360 has the same dual Thunderbolt 4 and 3.5mm audio jack setup, though it only has one USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2). It does, however, have a microSD card reader. If you often work with removable storage, this could come in very handy. Both laptops employ Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity.
High-end audio is available from each laptop, though the Yoga 9i 14 does something unique with its speaker setup. Instead of splitting the 360-degree hinges like most traditional convertibles (including the Spectre x360 13.5), it has one large hinge that doubles as a rotating soundbar. The soundbar has dual 2W tweeters that are joined by dual 3W woofers on the side of the laptop. This provides the user with unmuffled sound no matter how you’re using the PC. Along with Dolby Atmos, this makes for a great experience.
The Spectre x360 13.5 has quad Bang & Olufsen speakers that also do a great job of delivering sound above what you’d expect from a laptop this size. They’re installed in a more traditional fashion on the bottom of the laptop.
Cameras in both laptops are quite good. The Yoga 9i 14 has a 1080p webcam with IR for facial recognition, as well as a physical shutter. It also offers human presence detection, which can automatically lock and unlock your PC when you depart or approach. AI assistance can blur your background, keep you in frame, and enhance video through eye correction and filters.
The Spectre x360 has gone with a 5MP front-facing True Vision camera with IR and privacy shutter. It offers auto framing, appearance filter, AI noise removal, and automatic backlight adjustments to help you look your best while video conferencing. HP’s camera also includes human presence detection.
Displays and inking
The Spectre x360 comes with three different 13.5-inch touch display options. All have a tall 3:2 aspect ratio and low blue light certification to help protect your eyes. All can handle digital inking with the included active pen. The most affordable screen has a 1920x1280 resolution, IPS panel, 400 nits brightness, anti-reflective finish, and 100% sRGB color. There’s another option with the same resolution, though it ups brightness to 1,000 nits and adds HP’s Sure View privacy layer to help guard against unwanted eyes while working in public.
The premier display option has a 3000x2000 resolution with OLED panel, maximum 500 nits brightness with HDR 500, 100% DCI-P3 color, and an anti-reflective finish. These displays are no joke, but Lenovo isn’t messing around either.
There are also three displays to choose from for the Yoga 9i 14; all have a 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, and touch functionality with inking. The most basic option has a 1920x1200 resolution, IPS panel, 400 nits brightness, 100% sRGB color, and 60Hz refresh rate. The other two options are OLED with 400 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color, and VESA DisplayHDR 500. The only difference is that one can go up to a 90Hz refresh rate, while the other is capped at 60Hz.
One downside with the Yoga’s displays is that they all have a glossy finish. If you hate dealing with glare, you might want to go with an anti-reflective option from HP.
Performance and pricing
These laptops both come with 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs that deliver excellent performance, even compared to last-gen chips. The Yoga 9i 14 employs Intel’s P-Series 28W processors, while the Spectre x360 has 15W U-Series processors. The biggest difference here besides power draw and heat is core count, with the P-Series chips having more for better multi-core performance. When it comes to single-core power, the U-Series chips will likely win out in many cases.
Along with faster LPDDR5 RAM (up to 16GB) and PCIe 4.0 storage (up to 1TB), the Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) put up superb performance numbers in our testing. In his Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) review, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino said “you get a computer that trounces the MacBook Pro's performance but in a convertible form factor and [with] an OLED screen.” We’ve yet to test in-house the Spectre x360 13.5, but do note that it is using LPDDR4x RAM up to 32GB and PCIe 4.0 storage up to 2TB.
Pricing is no doubt going to play a big role in which laptop you choose. The Yoga 9i 14 currently starts at $1,750 for a Core i7-1260P model; there’s currently no option for a lesser configuration, though that is bound to change. Lenovo often has deep discounts on its most popular laptops, so expect to see this price drop significantly.
As it stands at the time of writing, the Spectre x360 13.5 is a much better deal. It starts at just $1,250 for a model with Core i5-1235U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD, and FHD+ touch display, with plenty of configuration options available. Even if you step things up to an i7-1255U with 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and 3K2K OLED display, you’re still looking at a price well below the Yoga’s initial offering.
The Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) doesn't come cheap, but it's the best laptop we've used so far this year. If you want a convertible with high-end power, beautiful display, and all-around flawless build, this is the way to go.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.