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Lenovo Slim 7 14 review: A competent, well-executed laptop

Lenovo Slim 7 14 heroImage: IDG / Matthew Smith

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


Attractive and sturdy designEnjoyable keyboard with long key travelTwo Thunderbolt 4 ports with USB-C, Power Delivery, DisplayPortLots of memory, storage for the price


Display resolution is lower than the competitionPerformance lags slightly in default performance profileBattery life fails to impress

Our Verdict

Lenovo’s Slim 7 14 is a competent, well-executed laptop with good performance and plenty of RAM, yet it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

Price When Reviewed


Best Prices Today: Lenovo Slim 7 14

RetailerPriceLenovo$999View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

The Lenovo Slim 7 14 is a sensible laptop. It’s the Honda Civic, the Heinz Ketchup, the pair of classic white Reebok sneakers. It’s a laptop that does many things right, has just a few small flaws, and will rarely leave you unhappy. But, amid a flood of similar laptops, that’s not quite enough to recommend it.

Looking for more options? Check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best laptops available right now.

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Specs and features

The Lenovo Slim 7 14’s specifications are largely the same as other mid-range laptops. It has an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, 32GB of LPDDR5x, and Intel Arc integrated graphics alongside a 1TB PCIe NVMe solid state drive. Most 14-inch laptops are adopting similar specs as they move to Intel’s new Core Ultra processor line, though a handful are choosing AMD’s Ryzen instead.

CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155HMemory: 32GB LPDDR5xGraphics/GPU: Intel Arc integratedDisplay: 1920×1200 60Hz OLEDStorage: 1TB PCIe NVMe solid state driveWebcam: 1080p webcam with IR Connectivity: 2x Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB-A, 1x 3.5mm combo audioNetworking: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3Biometrics: Windows Hello facial recognition Battery capacity: 65 watt-hoursDimensions:  0.59″ x 12.28″ x 8.7″ inchesWeight: 3.15 poundsMSRP: $999

A couple specifications stand out, though. Lenovo sticks with a 1920×1200 60Hz OLED screen, which is fine, but does place the laptop behind competitors with a 2880×1800 OLED panel. On the plus side, Lenovo provides two Thunderbolt 4 ports with USB-C, which is better than average for a laptop priced at $1,000. 

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Design and build quality

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Lenovo Slim 7 14 looks much like other Lenovo laptops, which is good, because the company’s design language is my current favorite. It shares the professional, elegant metallic finish found on my laptops but deviates from that script with smooth, rounded edges that make the laptop more inviting. The details are well executed, too, with an especially pronounced metallic luster, small display bezels on all sides, and a rigid chassis that allows only the slightest flex.

Weight comes in at just 3.15 pounds and the laptop measures a mere .59 inches thick, as well as a foot and a quarter wide and less than nine inches deep. These aren’t unusually small numbers for a modern 14-inch laptop, but in line with strong competitors like the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, which is lighter at 3.06 pounds but a tad thicker at 0.67 inches, and the HP Pavilion Plus Laptop 14, which weighs 3.14 pounds and measures 0.68 inches thick.

I appreciate the laptop’s finer touches. The slight hump used to accommodate the webcam is a useful grip for opening the laptop. The display hinge measures the entire width of the laptop and pivots 180 degrees. The ports are all placed far back in the laptop’s chassis, which reduces cable clutter. These are minor points but, in combination, they make the laptop easy to live with day-to-day. 

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Keyboard, trackpad

IDG / Matthew Smith

A sticker on the Slim 7 14’s body boasts of the laptop’s key travel, which measures 1.5 millimeters. That’s a healthy range for a modern laptop and contributes to a responsive, tactile typing experience. Each key activates smoothly and finishes its motion with a precise, snappy feel. I also like the finish used for the key caps. It slightly contrasts with the surrounding body and has a subtle but noticeable matte texture. A keyboard backlight is standard.

The keyboard doesn’t include a numpad, which is typical for a 14-inch laptop, yet the touchpad is slightly offset to the left of the keyboard, though still centered below the spacebar. My left hand felt a bit cramped as the palmrest on that side of the laptop measures about three inches wide and deep. Fortunately, the rest of the keyboard layout is spacious.

The touchpad measures about 4.5 inches wide by three inches deep, which is average for a modern 14-inch laptop. It’s just enough space to use common multitouch gestures, but not enough to feel luxurious. The touchpad otherwise left me unimpressed. It was responsive and comfortable, but no more so than competing laptops. 

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Display, audio

IDG / Matthew Smith

Every Lenovo  Slim 7 14 ships with a 1920×1200 OLED non-touch display with a refresh rate of 60Hz. It’s a beautiful, immersive display with the deep contrast and vivid color typical of OLED panels. Games and movies look especially excellent with a crisp presentation and accurate color. 

However, the Slim 7 14 is a step behind the competition. Many 14-inch laptops sold today use an OLED panel with 2880×1800 resolution that’s usually accompanied by an enhanced refresh rate of 90Hz or 120Hz. The upgrade isn’t as meaningful as it might seem on paper, as both improvements are subtle, but an upgrade is an upgrade. Acer, Asus, and HP all deliver a better display for the money.

A pair of upwards-firing speakers flank each side of the Slim 7 14’s keyboard. They provide acceptable audio with good volume and clarity, but they lack the depth and complexity available in Lenovo’s more expensive laptops and 2-in-1s, like the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14. Still, the Slim 7 14’s  sound is similar to competitive laptops.

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Webcam, microphone, biometrics

The Slim 7 14 has a 1080p webcam in a small lip above the display. I was pleased by the webcam’s sharpness, color reproduction, and ability to adjust its exposure for rooms with mixed lighting. It’s still a webcam with a small image sensor, so it can look grainy in dark conditions, but it’s great for video conferences. 

An electronic privacy shutter is included and activated with a physical switch on the laptop’s right flank. While the switch is physical, the shutter is not, which might disappoint the most privacy-focused owners. The electronic shutter doesn’t turn the microphone off, either, which is typical but should be remembered. Your mic will still be hot if the shutter is engaged while recording.

Biometric login is available through Windows Hello facial recognition. A fingerprint sensor is not included. I prefer facial recognition over the fingerprint sensor, anyway, and it works as well here as on any Windows laptop with the feature. Facial recognition is quick, accurate, and works even in a dark room.

The Slim 7 14 includes Lenovo’s “Intelligent Sensing,” which can detect when you’re near the laptop. It can automatically unlock the laptop when you approach and lock it when you step away. This, combined with Windows Hello facial recognition, allows for “Zero Touch” login. It’s a small but useful convenience. 

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Connectivity

IDG / Matthew Smith

A pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports are the focus of the Slim 7 14’s connectivity. Both ports support USB-C, Power Delivery, and DisplayPort, so both can be used to connect to a monitor or charge the laptop. Both are on the left flank, which is a minor downside—I prefer to see a port on each side of a laptop for more convenient charging options. That, admittedly, is a nitpick.

The Thunderbolt 4 ports are joined by an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. It all adds up to useful and versatile connectivity that will support the vast majority of wired devices and external displays. Ethernet isn’t included, however, so those looking for a wired Internet connection will need to use an adapter.

Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. I would prefer to see Wi-Fi 7, which is now available, but its absence is not uncommon among budget and mid-range laptops. Most home businesses are still on Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6, so it’ll be years before the lack of Wi-Fi 7 is an issue.

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Performance

The Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9 is available from Lenovo’s website with an Intel Core Ultra 5 125H processor and 16GB of memory, but the model I tested received an upgrade to an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor and 32GB of memory. Those upgrades don’t add much to the price, as the model I tested will hit Costco in April at $999.

IDG / Matthew Smith

PCMark 10, a holistic system benchmark, produced a score of 6,288. That’s a healthy though unsurprising result for a laptop with an Intel Core Ultra 155H processor and Intel Arc graphics. Many competitors are in similar territory, though they score a few hundred better or worse. 

IDG / Matthew Smith

Next up is Cinebench R20, a short duration, heavily multithreaded CPU benchmark. The Slim 7 14 delivers a mediocre score of 4,776 in this test, which is the lowest of the four Intel Core Ultra 7 155H laptops in this comparison. The difference isn’t massive, but there’s certainly a gap forming between the Slim 7 14 and category leaders. 

IDG / Matthew Smith

That gap is amplified in Handbrake, a long duration, heavily multithreaded CPU test. This benchmark puts a laptop’s ability to sustain processor performance to the test, and the Slim 7 14 falls behind most competitors. This even puts the Slim 7 14 behind some Intel Core 13th-gen laptops.

IDG / Matthew Smith

Moving on to 3D performance, 3DMark Time Spy hit a score of 3,222. That’s an excellent result for integrated graphics and demonstrates the advantage of Intel’s new Arc graphics, which roughly doubles performance when compared to the Intel Iris Xe graphics that shipped with 13th-gen Intel Core mobile processors. The Slim 7 14 isn’t a gaming laptop, of course, but it can handle many games from the PlayStation 4 / Xbox One console era at 1080p and low to medium detail. 

All of the performance results above were achieved in the laptop’s default “Intelligent Cooling” power mode. Though it claims to balance performance and noise, it seems timid about sucking down watts to boost performance, as the benchmark results show. The mode supports an option to automatically switch to Extreme Performance mode when the laptop detects it’s required, but the laptop often didn’t seem to notice I was slamming all cores with heavy loads, so that feature wasn’t useful.

I also tested the Extreme Performance by switching it on manually, which led to significant gains. The PCMark score surged from 6,288 to 6,700 and 3DMark Time Spy increased from 3,222 to 3,905. The Slim 7 14 Gen 9’s performance is more competitive with other Intel Core Ultra 7 155H laptops when the Extreme Performance mode is turned on. Fan noise is constant when this mode is used, however, so it’s not great unless you plan to start a long-duration task and leave the room (or turn up your headphones).

There’s one final aspect of the Slim 7 14’s performance story, and that’s RAM. The model I tested had 32GB of RAM, which is a lot for a $999 laptop. An average user won’t gain much from the added RAM, but users working with large image or video files, or any other app or task that consumes large amounts of RAM, should be well-served by the Slim 7 14.

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Battery life

The Lenovo Slim 7 14 has a 65 watt-hour battery. That’s a common size for a 14-inch laptop: competitors like the HP Pavilion Plus, Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, and Acer Swift Go 14 all have batteries with capacities a few watts higher or lower. 

IDG / Matthew Smith

Battery life roughly tracks competitors, too, though it’s a bit lower than average. Even so, the Slim 7 14 achieved a respectable 11 hours and two minutes in PC World’s standard battery test, which loops a 4K file of the short film Tears of Steel. That’s more than enough for typical use. 

My real-world experience squared with the benchmark. Battery life was usually reduced by a quarter every two to three hours, depending on the apps I was using and the brightness of the display.

The Slim 7 14 is charged with a compact 65-watt USB-C adapter and the laptop supports Rapid Charging, which can add up to two hours of battery life in 15 minutes. The feature worked as expected in my experience and, because the laptop only requires 65 watts to power, it pairs nicely with a wide variety of USB-C monitors and third-party USB-C adapters. That’s especially useful for travelers, as they can pack a single USB-C charger for all your devices, including your laptop.

Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9: Conclusion

The Lenovo Slim 7 14 is boring in the best way possible. It’s a competent laptop that delivers good build quality and solid performance at a reasonable price, yet it lacks any single feature or advantage that might give it a clear edge over the competition. In this it differs from Lenovo’s more expensive laptops, which often include cutting-edge features like Mini-LED displays or a miniature soundbar built into the hinge. 

The result is a competent, well-priced laptop that should make most people happy, but your buying decision will ultimately come down to price. If the Slim 7 14 happens to be on sale for less than an Asus Zenbook 14 OLED or the HP Pavilion Plus Laptop 14, get the Lenovo. And if the opposite is true, go with the competitor.

Best Prices Today: Lenovo Slim 7 14

RetailerPriceLenovo$999View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

Matthew S. Smith is a freelance technology journalist with 15 years of experience reviewing consumer electronics. In addition to PCWorld, his work can be found on Wired, Ars Technica, Digital Trends, Reviewed, IGN, and Lifewire. Matthew also covers AI and the metaverse for IEEE Spectrum and runs Computer Gaming Yesterday, a YouTube channel devoted to PC gaming history.

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