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This Lenovo laptop impressed me with two quintessential features for power users

Want a laptop that types well and can last all day? The Lenovo Slim 7 may be a good place to start.
Written by Cesar Cadenas, Contributing Writer
Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Lenovo Slim 7 aims to be an ultraportable laptop with a long-lasting battery and light form factor.
  • Its durable design, marathon battery, and comfortable keyboard will help you get your work done on the go.
  • However, there are some limits to the laptop's performance.

One of the main reasons I talk so much about good keyboards on laptops is because I'm a writer. I spend hours every day typing, and after a while I really start to notice my keyboard. If you're a fellow writer (or if you feel like one after tackling your inbox) you know that after hours of typing, your hands start to feel tired. There is tension in your fingers, your wrists start to feel sore, and your forearms tingle like you just did a set of reverse curls. People like us need a laptop that is comfortable on our hands while being durable enough for travel at a moment's notice. That's where the new Lenovo Slim 7 comes in.

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The Lenovo Slim 7 is a humble laptop since it doesn't have a whole lot of flashy features besides the display. What the model does offer, though, is consistency and reliability. It's a machine that can handle all of the office work you throw at it while doubling as a solid entertainment device, plus the battery will last you all day long. Assuming, of course, you can get past the quirks. But first, let's go over what I liked about the Slim 7 starting with the obvious: the keyboard.

View at Lenovo

Each button is covered in a matte coating with a slight indentation directing your fingers towards the center. This design aspect pairs up nicely with the 1.5 mm travel distance. Travel distance, if you don't know, is the literal distance a key must be pushed down for the computer to register it as an input. 1.5 mm ensures a comfortable yet responsive typing experience, letting you work fast with a degree of accuracy all the while your hands are stress-free. That may not seem like a big deal to most, but believe me when I say the keyboard will have your hands thank you.

The trackpad impressed me as well. It's spacious, taking up a decent-sized portion of the wrist rest. I have seen online comments complaining about it feeling flimsy, but I actually found it quite nice. Clicking on it felt responsive and the trackpad even supports hand gestures. Pinching it also lets you zoom in and out of windows, a handy feature.

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Looking up, you'll see a vibrant OLED display. The resolution isn't very high, peaking at Full HD Plus (1,980 x 1,200 pixels). It does, however, come with Dolby Vision to pick up the slack, ensuring colors are vibrant. What's more, the bezels surrounding the glass are thin, making it seem bigger than it is. This screen array is similar to what you find on a MacBook, minus the webcam jutting down. The on-device 1080p camera is instead housed in a ridge poking up so it doesn't get in the way of the view. It also doubles as a point of contact for single-finger lifting.

Battery life is solid on the Slim 7. During my testing, the laptop lasted about 9.5 hours before dying. That's a good amount of time; more than enough to take you through the day. My tests aren't exactly scientifically rigorous, I usually just run an endless YouTube livestream. Although doing this way does give a good idea of what the battery is capable of under stress.

Audio-wise, the Slim 7 has some decent pipes on it. They're upfiring speakers sporting subwoofers for bassy sound. The hardware wasn't powerful enough to fill a whole room, but at least music and movies sounded great.

Port selection is okay. You have your basics like an HDMI port and two USB-C inputs, although it would've been nice to have more. I dislike the power button's placement: it's on the side next to the headphone jack. I found myself accidentally pressing the button multiple times, putting the screen to sleep when I didn't want to. A better design choice, in my opinion, would be to put the button above the keyboard instead of on the side, where it's more vulnerable to random presses.

As you can probably tell, now we're getting to the parts of Lenovo's Slim 7 that I didn't like and what makes the device tough to recommend. 

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First off, don't expect amazing performance from this laptop. Don't get me wrong; it's not terrible or anything. Under the hood is an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor paired up with an integrated Intel Arc graphics card. This configuration is solid for light labor, but if you plan on doing more intensive work like image rendering, gaming, or video editing, the Slim 7 might not be the laptop for you. It's just not that powerful. Plus, the fans get noisy when you push the machine's performance, and it doesn't have a particuarly  advanced cooling system to begin with.

Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

I should also mention that I ran into some bugs. This may have been relegated to my review unit only, but the cursor would sometimes jitter back and forth without direct input. Certain key presses were registered even though I hadn't pushed them. The snipping tool, for example, came up without direct interaction. And the Windows Copilot key didn't work at all. The only thing it would do is sometimes make the screen turn momentarily black.

ZDNET's Buying Advice

Prices for the Lenovo Slim 7 starts at $899 with a few configuration options available. My review unit cost $1,116 sporting 32GB of memory and an Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU. You can opt for the Ultra 5 if you like.

Also: The best laptops under $1,000 you can buy: Expert tested

Would I recommend this laptop? Not really. It's certainly a decent machine. Lenovo made this laptop travel-friendly: it's durable, has a long battery life, and is lightweight at around three pounds. However, these three features alone don't cut it for me. The device's hardware can't handle tough workloads like graphic design; there are other machines better suited for that type of work. And its nearly $1,000 price tag makes it a hard sell for me.

There are other options out there that can do the same thing, if not better. One of those laptops is the 12th-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It's a bit more expensive than the Slim 7, but it's worth the price. Another option would be the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, a lightweight and portable alternative.

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