For the second time in as many generations, new laptops are leapfrogging last year’s models with zippy responsiveness, snappy performance and better battery life.
I have to say, I was impressed with last-generation laptops – the first crop of Intel-based systems tuned for how we actually use PCs – when they first came out. But now, after conducting side-by-side tests between one of those 10th-generation Intel Core-based systems and an 11th-generation Core laptop just now coming to market, I’m flat-out amazed at the difference.
The new system, the just-released Lenovo Yoga 9i ($1,379 as configured), is always ready for work, even before I can get the lid open. Applications open, close and run quickly. The system runs quiet and cool. It charges super quickly. Battery life has been great, with active time consistently registering in the nine-to-11-hour range. And that’s with all the applications I’m using all open and scattered across the bright, spacious 14-inch display.
The similarly-equipped Yoga C940 ($999 as configured) served as the last-gen laptop in my head-to-head comparison. Response was good, though not nearly as bankable. Performance likewise was good, albeit at a sizable click down. Battery life turned out to be more variable than with the Yoga 9i. And the cooling fan kicks on frequently. It didn’t change how loudly I needed to speak, or at what volume I needed to play music. But I certainly knew