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Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a great everyday laptop for the price

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Rami Tabari)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon offers a colorful OLED display and a pair of bumpin’ speakers backed by strong AMD performance.

Pros

  • +

    Bright, colorful display

  • +

    Comfortable keyboard

  • +

    Bumpin’ speakers

  • +

    Strong performance

Cons

  • -

    Below average battery life

If you’re looking for a great all around laptop that’ll get you through the day, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon may be the notebook for you.

For just $1,189, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon features powerful performance combined with a gorgeous 14-inch OLED display, Dolby Atmos speakers and a comfortable keyboard. The only real flaw this machine has is its below average battery life, but even that discrepancy is negligible. It still lasted close to 10 hours on a charge.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a stellar laptop for the price, and a worthy contender for our best laptops page.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon price and configurations

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon specs

Price: $1,189
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 1800p OLED display
Battery: 9:56
Size: 12.3 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.4 pounds 

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon I tested costs $1,189 and is outfitted with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU, AMD Radeon Graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an 1800p OLED display.

The only other model comes with an Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU and a 1TB SSD, it is available on Lenovo’s website for $1,279 at the time of writing.

If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, check out our best laptops under $500 page.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon design

Even for an IdeaPad, the Slim 7 Carbon features a rather plain design: a silver hood accompanied by a Lenovo logo stamped in the corner. However, I was impressed by how light it felt in my hands when I went to open it.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The interior shows off a clean design packed with a small keyboard flanked by two long speaker vents, and just below is the wide touchpad. The display almost looks like it’s floating, thanks to the slim bezels. There’s a lip on the top bezel where the webcam is located.

At 2.4 pounds and 12.3 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is not only thin but incredibly light. For comparison, the HP Envy 14 (2021) (3.3 pounds, 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches) and MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2.8 pounds, 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches) are not nearly as light.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon ports

While the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a bit scant on ports, Lenovo does include a dongle with the laptop.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

On the left side, there are two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack. The right side features one USB Type-C port, the webcam kill-switch and the power button (this is not a 2-in-1 — I’m not sure why it’s here). The dongle included is a USB Type-C dongle that has ports for one USB Type-A port, an HDMI port and a VGA port. Lenovo should have killed the VGA port and provided another USB Type-C port to replace the one the dongle is using.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

If you’re in need of more ports, you can find solutions on our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon display

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s 14-inch, 2800 x 1800 OLED display is not only gorgeous, but it’s also super smooth thanks to its 90Hz refresh rate.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

In the trailer for The Contractor, Chris Pine’s U.S. Army uniform popped with a camo green, and it contrasted well with the American flag in the background. During the night scene in the van, I could still make out the details behind Pine, but the display is glossy, so there was a bit of glare. Despite that, the panel is super sharp, detailing the sweat dripping from Pine’s pores.

According to our colorimeter, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon covered 139.3% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which stomps over the 85.6% premium laptop average. The Envy 14 (82.6%) and Prestige 14 (81.9%) couldn’t come close.

At 369 nits of brightness, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon didn’t outshine the average premium laptop (412 nits), but it’s still plenty bright: it kicked the Envy 14 (362 nits) and Prestige 14 (245 nits) out of the running.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon keyboard, touchpad and touchscreen

Lenovo packed in a comfy and punchy keyboard into the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon that I was more than happy to tap dance my fingers on. The only thing I don’t like is the keyboard backlighting — it’s too dim.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

I hit 80 words per minute on the 10FastFingers.com typing test, which is slightly above my current wpm average. The spacing and size of the keys are what made it really easy to type on.

I experimented with the touchscreen, and it felt relatively smooth for a laptop that isn’t designed to flip into a tablet. I didn’t run into any issues when I drew a creepy-looking stick figure in Paint.

The 4.7 x 2.9-inch touchpad was surprisingly slick and offered a deep set of clickers that were satisfying to use. Windows 11 gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing worked well.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon audio

This would be the point where I shit all over a pair of speakers, but Lenovo brought the heat with these top-firing Dolby Atmos speakers.

I listened to half•alive’s “creature,” and the opening guitar blasted me with intensely clear and loud audio. It felt like I was listening to a dedicated Bluetooth speaker. The vocals were oh-so crisp, and when the chorus hit, I could still distinctly make out each instrument. The percussion could use a little more bass to round it out, but overall, it sounded decent.

You can configure your audio via the Dolby Access app, which gives you access to presets like Game, Movie, Music, Voice and Dynamic. Within those, you’ll find presets for detailed, balanced and warm.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon performance

Tucked within the belly of this 14-inch beast lies an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU with 16GB of RAM. The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon juggled 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos without breaking a sweat.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

On the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon nailed 6,241, flying over the premium laptop average (5,222). The Envy 14’s Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU (4,761) and the Prestige 14’s Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU (5,727) couldn’t keep up with the AMD processor.

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 8 minutes and 51 seconds on our HandBrake benchmark, which is speedy compared with the category average (12:50) as well as the Envy 14 (13:20) and Prestige 14 (12:54).

Lenovo’s 512GB SSD has a transfer rate of 800 megabytes per second, which is faster than the average premium laptop (764 MBps). It’s also way faster than the Envy 14’s 256GB SSD (305 MBps) and the Prestige 14’s 1TB SSD (608 MBps).

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon graphics

With its integrated AMD Radeon Graphics, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon scored 3,561 on the 3DMark Fire Strike synthetic graphics benchmark, which falls short of the premium laptop average (7,001). The Envy 14’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (7,423) and the Prestige 14’s Intel Iris Xe Graphics (5,162) were better suited for graphical tasks.

On the Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark (1080p), the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon managed 37 frames per second, which is safely above the 30-fps threshold. It still couldn’t outpace the Envy 14 (63 fps), but it did win a small victory over the Prestige 14 (25 fps).

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon battery life

We’ve seen 16-hour laptops in the premium laptop category, so the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon has some tough competition. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Slim 7 lasted 9 hours and 56 minutes, which is respectable, but still over an hour shorter than the premium laptop average (11:06). It narrowly outpaced the Envy 14 (9:51), but died before it could see the Prestige 14 (10:59) shine.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon webcam

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and far from it are 720p webcams.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s 720p shooter took grainy shots that distorted my Big Boss poster behind me. Additionally, the poor contrast blew out half of my face. However, the color of my blue pineapple shirt was decently represented. Regardless, I wouldn’t want to play D&D online with this. I recommend hopping over to our best webcams page to make yourself look as good as you should.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon heat

Stare into the silvery void of this laptop and it’ll stare right back with ice cold vigor. When we streamed a 15-minute video, the underside reached only 94 degrees Fahrenheit, safely below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad reached 92 and 80 degrees, respectively. However, the hottest it got was 98 degrees, located on the underside just above the hinge.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon software and warranty

All of the important features are packed into the Lenovo Vantage app, which is where you can find the latest BIOS and driver updates, information about the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, the system settings and warranty information.

You’ll find some Windows 11 apps preinstalled, but nothing that you can’t easily uninstall.

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon also comes with the average one-year limited warranty. See how Lenovo performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

Between the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon’s performance and gorgeous display, it’s hard to say no to this machine. However, the battery life could be better, and there are plenty of great machines out there that do exceedingly well in that category.

If you want to add an hour to your battery runtime, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is a solid purchase. However, you’ll be stuck with a dimmer and duller display.

Overall, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a stellar machine, and it would be a shame to miss out on it just because its battery life doesn’t match up with the competition.

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.