Vox Media may receive a commission if you buy anything via a Verge link. See our code of ethics for more information.
The IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro packs a large 16-inch screen into a small, portable device.
The Gigabyte Aero 16, a 16-inch Intel-powered workstation with a strong GPU, was recently evaluated by me. It was hot, heavy, and expensive, with… limited battery life. Those kind of desktop replacements have long dominated the 16-inch laptop industry.
Within its 16-inch shell, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7 tries something new. This is a compact AMD-powered laptop with a midrange GPU and a 16-inch screen. On battery, it lasts all day. With an price tag of little over $1,000 ($1,015, to be exact) for our test setup, it’s also far more affordable than many laptops of this size. (This item is now out of stock on Lenovo’s website, but the firm claims it will be back shortly.)
The Slim 7 (if you can find one in stock) is a competitive computer all around, with a strong build and discreet design, a wide port selection, and a high-resolution, high refresh rate, 16:10 display. It won’t be the greatest option for everyone, but it’s a good reminder that a large-screen laptop doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or compromise all-day battery life.
• Excellent display
• Excellent keyboard
• Fast performance
• good range of ports
• Battery life is below average
• There is some bloatware
Part of this is certainly due to the fact that both of these devices bear Lenovo’s name, but in many ways, using the IdeaPad feels akin to using a (much more expensive) ThinkPad. Although it isn’t as instantly recognised as a ThinkPad (the two interesting colour possibilities are Cloud Gray and Storm Gray), it is built to last, with a solid aluminium chassis and a pleasant feel that didn’t scratch easily throughout my testing period. You’ll see a little lip at the top of the display where the webcam is located. It’s a much more subtle protrusion than you’ll find on the ThinkPad Z Series, for example. It fit in seamlessly and had no negative impact on my laptop experience.
The keyboard is likewise comparable to that of a ThinkPad (which is high praise). Lenovo makes use of the spacious deck to put in a full numpad, and the keys have a nice snap to them. I was able to type faster than normal and felt as if my fingers were flying; this is a keyboard I’ll be sad to say goodbye to when I return this device.
In the IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro’s deck, Lenovo included a large keyboard and a full numpad.
You can also use the Fn + Q hotkey to choose between cooling profiles (Extreme Performance, Battery Saver, and so on) without having to go into Lenovo’s software. That was useful for someone who frequently switches between profiles. My only quibble is that the backspace key is extremely close to the Num Lock key and is on the small side. I tapped the Num Lock key by accident numerous times when I wanted to hit backspace.
Don’t let the label “Slim” mislead you: this isn’t a featherweight device, and it packs some significant punch. The chassis weighs 4.59 pounds and has a thickness of up to.79 inches. For a 16-inch screen, that’s quite portable, but I want to make sure people don’t see “Slim” and think they’re getting an LG Gram. If you wants something a little smaller, there are 14-inch Intel Slim 7 Pro machines available for about $1,000.
The display, on the other hand, is where the Slim really punches above its weight class. This screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels with slim bezels. When scrolling through long articles or documents (like I do every day), the 120Hz refresh rate makes a distinct difference; after a while at 120Hz, turning back to 60Hz just feels strange.
In my testing, the panel attained 364 nits of brightness and presented vibrant, realistic colours. It was also glossy and reflected a notable amount of glare indoors, but not enough to obstruct my work.
The 16-inch display on the IdeaPad is fantastic: it’s bright, vivid, big, and high-resolution.
Because this is an AMD system, the only significant connectivity issue is the lack of Thunderbolt. Two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, one HDMI 1.4b port, one card reader port, and one combination audio jack are included. Aside from Thunderbolt accessories, I had no trouble plugging in whatever I needed. It was also convenients to be able to charge via USB-C in addition to the dedicated power port. The speakers aren’t the loudest in the room, but they do offer amazingly clear music with distinct levels.
The webcam is one area in which the IdeaPad differs from its previous ThinkPad cousins, which should be noted by Lenovo fans. Both Windows Hello and presence detection are supported, which is convenient. However, there is no simple method to turn it off. This isn’t a deal-breaker for everyone, but I appreciate the shutter on many physical ThinkPad versions; as someone who uses their webcam all day, it’s good to be able to double-check that it’s off. There is no physical shutter on the Slim 7 Pro, and there is no default kill switch on the keyboard; you must go into Lenovo’s software to turn it off.
There are a lot of connectors on the Slim 7 Pro, including a full-size HDMI port and a full-size SD card slot.
Specifications of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro (as reviewed)
• AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor
• 16 GB DDR4 RAM
• Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card
• 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD
• 16-inch 2560 x 1600 pixel touchscreen, 16:10 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate
• 14.05 x 9.74 x 0.69-0.79 inches, 4.59 pounds
• One USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-C (supports data transfer, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4), two USB 3.2
My test unit is equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage, as well as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. This appears to be the only option offered on Lenovo’s website. It’s also quick. Even with Battery Saver turned on, I was able to run Zoom calls over a slew of Chrome tabs with no noticeable lag, fan noise, or keyboard heat. The Ryzen 7 5800H is a good CPU, and I don’t think it will have any issues with the things that most people do. The RTX 3050 isn’t the ideal choice for full-resolution gaming, but it should suffice in graphics-intensive tasks.
Some folks may find the Slim 7 Pro’s battery life to be lacking. With the screen at medium brightness, I was getting roughly seven and a half hours of continuous use. That’s impressive for a 16-inch laptop with such a high-resolution panel, but you can find laptops with better battery life at this price point.
Bloatware is the one aspect of the Slim 7 experience where the flaws start to appear. This device didn’t come with a tonne of trash — no strange games or software backends — but it did come with several McAfee apps that kept sending me popups and were a nuisance to remove. An is more understandable on this IdeaPad than on a $3,000 ThinkPad, but it still feels like a slap in the face to an otherwise fantastic experience.
The IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro fills a void in the market that is currently underserved.
When someone I know asks for a laptop with a 16-inch or 17-inch screen, I often find it difficult to make a recommendation. The reality is that many of the most popular models in that category are not suitable for general consumer use: manufacturers frequently assume that a shopper looking for a 16-inch screen is also a power user who requires high GPU performance, has company funds to spend, and is unconcerned about weight.
I might recommend this device over the Dell XPS 17 if I were buying for my cousin who likes his movies to seem incredibly big or my friend who needed a big screen to take the bar test on last year. It’s less affordable and has a CPU capable of handling the majority of people. While those seeking portability may prefer one of the many lighter 15-inch laptops available, the 16:10 compromises some portability in exchange for considerably more screen space. It’s in a weird spot, but I think there’s an audience for it.
It’s also a good reminder of how ridiculously expensive some other well-made laptops have become. The cheapest 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Yoga costs several hundred dollars more than this Slim model, and I’d rather use the IdeaPad any day — while the Yoga has a number of security features and design staples that are worth a lot of money to its customer base, I honestly believe the IdeaPad’s bigger and better screen provides more benefit to the average consumer. While the Slim 7 Pro may be hard to find by, it’s important remembering that if you’re considering buying one of the world’s ThinkPads, MacBooks, or XPSes, you should make sure you’re not forgetting great devices that could fit your demands at a lesser price.
CONTINUE: AGREE TO CONTINUE: IDEAPAD SLIM 7 PRO BY LENOVO
Before you can use a smart device, you must agree to a set of terms and conditions — contracts that no one actually reads. We won’t be able to read and examine each and every one of these agreements. When we reviewed the agreements, we started counting how many times you had to touch “agree” to use the devices because these are agreements that most people don’t read and can’t negotiate.
To use the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro, you must first agree to the following terms:
• Microsoft Software License Terms, software licence agreements, and Lenovo Limited Warranty
• A request for your region and keyboard layout
You can also choose to answer yes or no to the following questions:
• Privacy settings (location, Find My Device, diagnostic data, inking and typing, tailored experience, advertising ID)
• Provide your name, region, and email address to add the device to your Lenovo ID profile
• Connect to Wi-Fi
• Sign in with a Microsoft account, or create an offline account if you didn’t connect to Wi-Fi