As a technology enthusiast, there are a few devices you just have to try out for yourself. Not all of these products will be game-changing for everybody, but it’s simply fun to try out the bleeding edge of the industry whenever you can. That’s what I thought my experience would be like with the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, a laptop with an experimental form factor. It doesn’t have an attached physical keyboard and trackpad but instead sports dual 13.3-inch touchscreen OLED displays. It comes with a folio stand and a separate keyboard and mouse, which is designed to make the entire Yoga Book 9i package a mobile workstation.
It’s not exactly something most people should actually buy, but it is a cool piece of tech that doesn’t exist anywhere else. And after nearly two full months of using the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, it’s clear that the device is more than just a prototype. This machine is downright useful, and it’s replaced the M2 MacBook Air as my primary laptop.
How could this be possible? Do you really need two touchscreens on a laptop? Apparently it’s more likely than it sounds.
About this editorial: This was written after nearly two months of using a Lenovo Yoga Book 9i purchased by the writer. Lenovo had no input on this article.
It’s a portable monitor without the hassle
Anybody who works on the go finds out very quickly that even the biggest laptops might not offer the most screen real estate. That’s why many turn to great portable monitors, which hook up to your laptop to double your available screen space. However, these options can be clunky to use or cause your battery life to take a hit, so they’re far from a perfect solution. Before turning to the Yoga Book 9i, I used an iPad Pro with my MacBook Air through Sidecar, which allows you to extend your iPad display to your computer. While it worked better than a third-party portable monitor, there were still some frustrations with this experience, such as the iPad touchscreen being incapable of controlling my Mac without using an Apple Pencil.
Every single one of those problems is solved with the Yoga Book 9i. The two brilliant 13.3-inch displays are connected to each other, so all you have to do is open the laptop normally to get started. If you want to deploy in the setup that users have dubbed “workstation mode,” it only takes a minute of extra setup to unfold the origami stand and take out the included mouse. Plus, everything works the same on both displays, from the touchscreen to the included pen. Battery life is the only issue that lingers with this form factor, but it’s better than you’d expect, considering there are two displays onboard.
For people who need a bit of extra screen space on the go, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i provides an experience a Mac never could. Although I still find macOS to be more user-friendly and better-looking, the presence of an extra display allows me to finish tasks quicker than I ever could on a MacBook. When I’m writing articles, I typically have my document open on the top screen and my notes or research on the bottom screen. So the Yoga Book 9i saves time I’d usually spend frantically switching tabs, and as other reviewers have mentioned, it reduces neck strain as well. Instead of looking down at a laptop, you’re looking straight ahead at the upper monitor.
Not just one touchscreen, but two
Mac users are still waiting to get one touchscreen on a macOS device, so most probably can’t even conceive what two might be like. I’ve been waiting for years to get a touchscreen macOS device, but I’d rather see an iPad that can run the operating system than a touchscreen MacBook. But Apple isn’t the only computer manufacturer out there, and at some point, it’s time to stop waiting for Apple to make a move and just try something else.
After trying out the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, it’s clear to me that a touchscreen should be a standard offering on any of the best laptops, including MacBooks. For most people, a touchscreen isn’t something that you’ll use on a laptop all the time, and Apple is correct in its view that desktop operating systems typically require the precision of a mouse and keyboard. However, being that most mobile devices in this day and age are controlled by touch, it’s natural to want to use that same input method on a laptop. Some things just feel better with touch, like dragging and dropping files or moving windows around. It’s a feature that’s sorely missed on macOS, and after trying it out on Windows, it’s hard to go back to a MacBook without a touchscreen.
Some Apple users are tired of waiting
I still prefer macOS as an operating system when compared to Windows, and that’s not changing anytime soon. If Apple made a product similar to the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, I’d choose that over one that currently exists easily. But Apple doesn’t make something like the Yoga Book 9i, and it might never. Technology enthusiasts who daily-drive Apple products are frequently left out when new form factors and devices come out. Just look at the smartphone space, where iPhones look virtually identical every year while Android OEMs are innovating with new form factors and designs, like foldables, on a routine basis.
I’m done waiting for Apple to create something innovative. Windows and Android OEMs are making impressive things now, and the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is proof of that. It’s a great computer in a surprisingly amazing form factor, and I’d implore any Mac or Windows user getting tired of traditional devices to give it a try.
Lenovo Yoga Book 9i
The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is a dual-screen OLED laptop that gives you extra space to be productive, while also being usable as a traditional laptop. It has a premium design and 13th-generation Intel processors, too.