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Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review: A gorgeous OLED laptop…

At a look

Expert’s Ranking

Pros

  • 2.8K OLED display is beautiful
  • Booming audio
  • Tranquil operation
  • Robust software and multimedia performance

Cons

  • So-so keyboard
  • Lid is so slender it flexes a little bit too significantly
  • Beneath-normal battery existence

Our Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon isn’t the great ultraportable, but its 14-inch OLED panel is the excellent laptop show. 

Price tag When Reviewed

$979.99

Most effective Rates Nowadays

Retailer
Price
Shipping
Newegg
$979.99
Amazon
Not Obtainable

In the vicinity of the conclude of past year, I reviewed Lenovo’s flagship small business ultraportable, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. I was impressed by its smooth chassis, roomy 14-inch display, and snug keyboard. If you have been pining for the expensive X1 Carbon but cannot match it into your spending plan, then I’d advise turning your attention to the Lenovo IdeaPad Slender 7 Carbon. It shares lots of of the identical qualities as the X1 Carbon, but at a decreased price tag. It offers a solid multimedia effectiveness and punchy audio, although its keyboard just cannot match the excellence you get with a ThinkPad.

Encouraging to offset the so-so keyboard is the show, which is an OLED panel that provides incredible distinction and vibrant hues. It also options what Lenovo dubs a 2.8K (that is, 2880 x 1800) resolution for a razor-sharp image. OLED displays had been just just lately the domain of significant-priced laptops crafted for imaginative execs or C-suite executives, but we’re looking at a lot more of them amid typical-function laptops at captivating selling prices. With a single of the ideal shows you will find on a laptop computer that fees fewer than $1,000, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon signifies a good value for house people.

Requirements

Let’s get a appear under the hood of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slender 7 Carbon we reviewed, at the moment discounted at Newegg for $979.99. Our critique device characteristics an AMD Ryzen seven 5800U processor, AMD Radeon graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of PCIe NVMe storage. Go through on for a more in-depth glimpse at the innards.

  • CPU: Octa-main AMD Ryzen seven 5800U
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.two SSD
  • Exhibit: fourteen-inch, 2880×1800 OLED contact
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Connectivity: USB-C three.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB-C three.two Gen two, headphone / mic combo
    combo audio jack.
  • Networking: Wi-Fi six, Bluetooth 5.one
  • Biometrics: IR facial recognition
  • Battery capability: sixty one Watt-hours
  • Proportions: 12.3 x eight.5 x .six inches
  • Calculated fat: two.four lbs (laptop), .7 kilos (AC adapter)

Hello, my identify is Trim seven

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slender 7 Carbon is thin and modern, even for ultraportable benchmarks. It trades the classic matte black of the company’s ThinkPads for an all-silver chassis. The enclosure is created from a carbon fiber-reinforced magnesium alloy that allows the notebook to be incredibly skinny and light-weight. The notebook is only .six inches thick and weighs a mere 2.4 kilos. That’s lighter than most thirteen-inch products, and the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon has a 14-inch display screen.

Lenovo IdeaPad Carbon Lid

IDG / Matthew Elliott

There is some flex with the keyboard deck but nothing at all worrisome. The display is wafer-slender, having said that, and flexes a little bit as well considerably for my liking. Lenovo promises the IdeaPad Trim 7 Carbon features “military-grade toughness,” but I’d sense far better about a heftier ThinkPad standing up to day by day abuses all through your commute to work and company vacation. The Slender seven Carbon is so slender that I’d welcome a beefier lid to superior protect the truly wonderful display screen, even if it intended toting around an extra ounce or two.

You may perhaps need to have to tote all over an adapter with the IdeaPad Slender 7 Carbon. The ports are so minimal that Lenovo features an adapter in the box to broaden the system’s connectivity. On the notebook, you get a pair of  USB-C three.two Gen 2 — one on each individual side of the laptop — and a USB-C 3.two Gen one port on the left aspect that doubles as the system’s charging port as nicely as a combo microphone/headphone jack.

Lenovo Carbon Left Ports

IDG / Matthew Elliott

Lenovo IdeaPad right ports

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The only other goods you are going to uncover on the suitable facet future to the USB-C port is the electrical power button and a destroy swap for the webcam. There is not a actual physical privacy address for the webcam, but this toggle swap disables it when not in use.

The incorporated adapter provides an HDMI port, an outdated-faculty VGA video clip port and a USB-A port. Connections lacking from the notebook and adapter are an SD card reader and an Ethernet port.

Lenovo Carbon Adapter

IDG / Matthew Elliott

Oh, the OLED screen!

The star of the Slim 7 Carbon clearly show is its 14-inch OLED contact display screen. It is a marvel. With VESA DisplayHDR five hundred Real Black and Dolby Vision HDR aid, the contrast is remarkable, with the deepest blacks and brightest whites, and colours are correct and significantly vibrant. The show is also exceptionally bright, earning the Trim seven Carbon a prospect for work in the field less than direct sunlight. With its stellar distinction and shade accuracy and amazing brightness, the Slender seven Carbon is healthy for innovative experts in addition to residence consumers.

On leading of its OLED and HDR goodness, the display’s resolution helps make it exceptional to the conventional 14-inch Comprehensive Hd laptop display screen. It options a better resolution of 2880×1800 that success in a dazzlingly crisp graphic. It’s not a 4K display screen, but what Lenovo calls a 2.8K screen is additional than adequate on a fourteen-inch panel. In fact, two.8K is in the Goldilocks Zone, featuring a obviously sharper photograph than a Entire High definition display screen without having the sacrifice to battery daily life a 4K display screen forces you to make.

Lenovo Carbon OLED display

IDG / Matthew Elliott

A fourteen-inch notebook is a little bit like a measurement medium for clothing. It’s more substantial than a little, 13.three-inch model but not as roomy as the huge, 15.6-inch dimensions. With a 16:ten component ratio which is taller than 16:nine widescreen laptops, the Slender 7 Carbon offers extra area to do the job than a fourteen-inch widescreen laptop. With far more house from major to bottom, the screen doesn’t experience as limited as a 16:nine panel and allows you perspective much more of a website webpage, doc or spreadsheet on the display. A 16:ten exhibit is the middle option between a widescreen sixteen:nine and a boxy 3:2 show, putting the Slim 7 Carbon with its 14-inch, 16:10 screen proper in the sweet location in phrases of portability vs. usability.

Very last detail about the exhibit — it can toggle among 60Hz and 90Hz. If it experienced better graphics than an integrated Radeon GPU, then players could crank it up to 90Hz for a speedier reaction in games, but as it is you most likely will not have substantially want to transfer off its standard 60Hz refresh amount.

Residing in a slight notch above the display screen is a 720p webcam. It created merely ordinary webcam movie with a grainy picture beset with noise and washed-out colours. It is far too lousy Lenovo didn’t pair a 1080p webcam with the substantial-res display screen. It is an IR digital camera, so it can do facial recognition, and Lenovo placed sensors in the notch that detect when you are seated in front of the laptop computer and locks Home windows when you get up and logs you again in when you return.

Most ultraportables just do not have the room to include things like speakers that create nearly anything but underwhelming, tinny seem, but the Slender seven Carbon breaks this rule. It attributes not two but four speakers. They fireplace upwards from beneath speaker grilles that flank the keyboard. They have sufficient oomph to fill a small area with amazingly dynamic seem. Bass response is lacking but it is not nonexistent. The Slender seven Carbon delivers higher than-normal laptop seem and exceptional ultraportable audio.

Lenovo IdeaPad keyboard

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The keyboard capabilities thin keys that are silver in colour to match the rest of the enclosure. The keys characteristic shallow travel — not stunning presented the slim chassis — but come to feel business and snappy. I would have most popular a black keyboard for better distinction among the keys’ symbols and the keys them selves. Silver keys with gray symbols really don’t offer substantially in the way of distinction. 

Lenovo IdeaPad backlighting

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The keyboard backlighting is a little bit of a catastrophe. Except you are in a incredibly darkish home, the backlighting can make it more difficult not a lot easier to see the keys’ symbols. Worse, the backlighting bleeds from beneath the keys and is notably recognizable from the row of F keys at leading of the keyboard. Unless you are seated proper on major of the notebook, the backlighting back can be quite distracting, particularly when set at the brighter of its two concentrations.

Overall performance

Our IdeaPad Trim 7 Carbon features an AMD Ryzen seven 5800U, 16GB of RAM, built-in Radeon graphics, and a 512GB SSD. The Ryzen seven 5800U has 8 bodily cores and sixteen processing threads and is an productive, fifteen-watt chip. As you will see, the Ryzen 7 5800U helped the Slim 7 Carbon change in robust showings on our software and multimedia benchmarks, but its 3D graphics functionality was predictably lackluster, and its battery existence was underneath normal. Anecdotally, the program felt peppy during common Windows use, ably managing multitasking and functioning in silence underneath all but the heaviest masses.

Our initial benchmark is PCMark ten, which steps general performance on daily computing get the job done including office environment productiveness jobs, internet browsing, and movie chats. The Intel-based mostly techniques lagged guiding the AMD-based mostly systems mostly for the reason that of the extra cores of the Ryzen seven 5800U and 5700U. Both equally Ryzen seven chips have 8 cores and sixteen threads, even though the Main i7-1165G7 and Core i7-1185G7 have only four cores and 8 threads. 

Lenovo IdeaPad PCMark

IDG / Matthew Elliott

Up coming up is Cinebench, a form of CPU sprint that stresses the CPU rather than the GPU and tends to make use of all processing cores. As soon as once again, the AMD-centered techniques put their added processing cores and threads to fantastic use and quickly outpaced their Intel opposition on the multithreaded take a look at.

Lenovo IdeaPad Cinebench All Threads

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The trio of AMD laptops also topped the chart for one-threaded efficiency on Cinebench, with the Slim 7 Carbon finishing just at the rear of the HP Pavilion Aero thirteen.

Lenovo IdeaPad Cinebench Single Thread

IDG / Matthew Elliott

We use the HandBrake utility to convert a 30GB motion picture to Android desk structure, an intense job that taxes the CPU and all of its cores. With double the cores and threads, the AMD laptop computer again dominated, with the Trim seven Carbon finishing the check in the shortest sum of time.

Lenovo IdeaPad Handbrake

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The Intel laptops turned the tables on their AMD competition on 3DMark, with Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics proving additional highly effective than AMD’s integrated Radeon GPU. “Powerful” is a relative phrase for the reason that none of the methods listed here would be puzzled for a gaming laptop. 

Lenovo IdeaPad 3D Mark

IDG / Matthew Elliott

To examination battery lifetime, we loop a 4K movie making use of Home windows 11’s Flicks & Tv app, with the notebook established to Airplane mode and earbuds plugged in. We set the monitor brightness at a relatively brilliant 250 nits to 260 nits, which is a excellent for viewing a motion picture in an business with the lights on. The Intel devices also ran for a longer time than their AMD counterparts on our battery drain exam. The Trim 7 Carbon ran for a bit for a longer time than 9 hrs, when the 3 Intel techniques just about every lasted for much more than 12.5 hours.

Lenovo IdeaPad Battery Life

IDG / Matthew Elliott

Summary

The IdeaPad Slender seven Carbon is a attractive notebook. The stunning OLED display provides the ideal balance amongst portability and usability at 14 inches in size with a 16:10 factor ratio. The machine is run by AMD’s stellar Ryzen 7 5800U processor that outclasses its Intel competitiveness in software and multimedia overall performance. Audio is also great on two fronts: the technique is silent for the duration of operation and its 4 speakers generate amazingly decent seem for such a compact laptop.

We have bought a several nitpicks about the toughness of the lid safeguarding the gorgeous screen and the dreadful keyboard backlighting, but you only won’t come across a greater laptop computer show for the cash. This longtime reviewer of laptops has not seen a much better screen on a laptop that fees a lot less than $one,000.