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  • Angled front view of the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i facing right
    Lenovo Slim Pro 9i

    The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is one of the best laptops for creators who are constantly on the move. It packs tons of power with the latest Intel Core processors, up to 32GB RAM, and more than enough storage space for all your projects.

    • Excellent performance for creators
    • Great looks
    • Great Display
    • Battery life could be better
    • Price might be a bit excessive
  • Angled rear view of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop facing left
    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11

    Lenovo's  ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is a very versatile laptop that comes with more than enough power under the hood to help you do anything you need to get your business running. 

    • Several display options to choose from
    • Decent battery life
    • Thin and light design
    • Not the best for creativity or gaming

Getting a new laptop in 2023 might be a challenging task to handle for most, as the market offers tons of excellent options with an aggressive price tag that makes it more difficult for people to choose. For instance, Lenovo launched an excellent new collection of laptops in 2023, where Lenovo's Slim Pro 9i and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 stand out as some of the most powerful options you can get. So, we have decided to compare them to determine which is the best option for you.

Pricing and availability: Power or versatility?Slim Pro 9i sitting on mirrored table

This comparison is quite interesting, as we have two of Lenovo’s most powerful laptops going against each other. First, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is one of the company’s best creator laptops you can get today. It was announced back in March 2023, with availability being still a hit or miss, depending on which model you want, with the 14-inch model starting at $1,900 at Lenovo’s website, even though you can get it for less at Best Buy. And if you want the larger 16-inch model, it is listed for $2,150 at Best Buy as well. Unfortunately, it seems that you will have to wait to get your hands on one of these laptops, as it’s not available for purchase at the time of writing.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11, on the other hand, is a more affordable option for those who want and need a laptop right now, as it is currently available starting at $1,160. It might not be the perfect option for a creator, but it was created to be an excellent business laptop, meaning that you will have more than enough power to complete everyday tasks. And if you want more power, you can also get your hands on a model with custom configurations, but more RAM and better processors also means you will get a pricy laptop.

  • Lenovo Slim Pro 9iLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11
    Operating SystemWindows 11 HomeWindows 11
    CPU14-inch: Intel Core i7-13705H; 16-inch: Intel Core i9-13905H13th-generation Intel Core U-series and P-series processors
    GPU14-inch: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 (80W); 16-inch: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (100W)Intel Iris Xe graphics (integrated)
    Storage512GB/1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDUp to 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
    Battery75WHr57Wh battery
    Display (Size, Resolution)14.5-inch IPS, 16:10 aspect ratio, 3072x1920, 400 nits, 120Hz, touch14.5-inch mini-LED, 16:10 aspect ratio, 3072x1920, 1,200 nits, 165Hz, touch16-inch IPS, 16:10 aspect ratio, 3200x2000, 400 nits, 165Hz, touch16-inch mini-LED, 16:10 aspect ratio, 3200x2000, 1,200 nits, 165Hz, touch14-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, up to 2.8K (2880x1800) OLED, 500 nits (HDR), 100% DCI-P3
    Camera5MP webcam with IRUp to 1080p Full HD MIPI RGB + IR webcam with Computer Vision and physical shutter
    Speakers14-inch: 2x 2W woofers, 2x 1W tweeters; 16-inch: 4x 2W woofers, 2x 2W tweeters 2 x 2W woofers and 2 x 0.8W tweeters, Dolby Atmos
    ColorStorm GrayDeep Black
    Ports14-inch: 1x Thunderbolt, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card reader; 16-inch: 1x Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card reader2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm headphone jack, nano-SIM slot (optional)
    NetworkWi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.1Intel Wi-Fi 6E 2x2, Bluetooth 5.2, optional 5G/4G LTE
    Dimension14-inch: 12.87 x 8.8 x 0.69 inches (326.95 x 223.54 x 17.6mm); 16-inch: 14.27x9.64x0.71 inches (362.44x244.82x18.16mm)12.42x8.76x0.60 inches (315.6 x 222.5 x 15.36mm)
    Weight14-inch: 3.7 pounds (1.68kg); 16-inch: 4.92 pounds (2.23kg)2.48 pounds (1.2kg)
    Price14-inch: $1,870; 16-inch: $2,150Starting at $1,729 (MSRP)
    Power14-inch: 140W USB-C power adapter; 16-inch: 170W proprietary power adapterUp to 65W USB-C Slim power adapter
    FinishAluminumCarbon fiber (top) + aluminum (bottom)


Front view of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon on an outdoor table

Lenovo fans will be happy to know that the company’s design language continues to be sleek and elegant in a very thin and light package that’s easy to carry. Both laptops look and feel amazing, and the best part is that Lenovo has managed to build these laptops using recycled materials. For instance, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i comes with a keyboard made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic, while there’s 50% recycled aluminum in the bottom cover of this powerful laptop that comes with a Storm Grey finish that makes it feel even more appealing to your eyes. Weight will depend on the model you choose, as the 14-inch model is more than one pound lighter than the 16-inch model, coming in at 3.7 and 4.92 pounds, respectively.

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i also comes with lots of ports on both sides, but the configuration will change depending on the model you pick up. The smaller 14-inch model comes with one HDMI port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, a Thunderbolt 4, and a card reader on the left, while you get two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, an audio jack, and an E-shutter switch on the right. In contrast, the larger 16-inch model comes with a power connector, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one HDMI, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and the audio jack on the left, with a card reader set on the right along with a second USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, the and the E-shutter switch. Another important design difference between both models is that the smaller 14-inch variant doesn’t feature a num-pad, so that’s another aspect you need to consider before choosing the right laptop for you.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 looks and feels just like its predecessor, with design differences being almost non-existent. It weighs 2.48 pounds, and it comes with an aluminum bottom and a carbon fiber lid that features a Deep Black color job, or you can choose to ditch the paint in favor of the fiber weave pattern that will make your laptop look better.

This model also includes more than enough ports to let you connect anything you want, starting with 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports that will double up as charging ports, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, and an HDMI port on the left, while the headphone jack, USB-A 3.1 port, and the Kensington Nano Security Slot will arrive on the right, and if you choose the LTE-enabled model, you will also be able to get this Nano-SIM card slot on the right side of your laptop. This model only comes with a 14-inch display, which also means that it doesn’t have enough room for a num-pad on its keyboard, in case you’re looking to get one on your new laptop.


Front view of the display on the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14-inch model

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i comes with a 3K Multi-touch Mini-LED display with 1,200 nits brightness and a glossy, anti-fingerprint surface that will deliver up to 165Hz refresh rates. You also get Eyesafe Certification 2.0, Dolby Vision, and VESA, with TCON color calibration, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and very small bezels. The only real difference between the 14 and the 16-inch model is that the largest variant packs a 3.2K display, but you get the same features no matter what you choose.

In contrast, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 comes with five different display options that will get you a non-touch WUXGA IPS panel with anti-glare coating and 400 nits of brightness with Eyesafe Certification 2.0 on the base model. If you want multi-touch support, your best option comes with any of the other two 14-inch WUXGA IPS panels that arrive with 400 nits brightness and Eyesafe Certification 2.0 or the 500 nits option that includes ThinkPad Privacy Guard. The higher-end options include a 2.2K IPS display with 300 nits of brightness, TÜV Low Blue Light Method 2, or a brighter 2.8K OLED display with 400 nits, anti-glare, anti-reflection and anti-smudge coating, and features, including the ThinkPad Privacy Guard, TÜV Low Blue Light, DisplayHDR True Black 500, and the same Eyesafe certificate you get across the board. Just remember that features will depend on how you configure your laptop.

Performance Battery life and cameraslenovo-thinkpad-x1-carbon-gen11-review-08

Both the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 are very capable laptops. Still, in the end, you will get more power in the larger variant of the Slim Pro 9i, as this model packs a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13905H processor with 14 cores, your choice of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4060 or 4050 Laptop GPU. You can also get up to 32GB RAM on this model, but you won’t be able to upgrade your RAM modules, as these are soldered to the system board. Storage space tops out at 1TB, which will give you more than enough storage space for most projects.

The smaller version of the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is slightly less powerful, as it features a 13th generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop graphics, and the possibility of 32GB RAM with 1TB PCIe SSD Gen 4 M.2 storage space.

On the other hand, we have the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11, which comes with more options to play with, starting with a 13th generation Intel Core i5 -1335U 10-core processor and going all the way up to an Intel Core i7-1370P chip with 14 cores, and a total of seven different processors to choose from. You also get up to 64GB soldered memory and up to 2TB of internal storage with an M.2 2280 SSD, which means you will have to pay more for your new laptop.

You will also find important differences in the camera department, as the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i packs a 5MP camera on both its 14 and 16-inch models. You also get an IR camera and ToF sensor, plus a Webcam e-Private shutter switch for additional privacy.

Slim Pro 9i

In contrast, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 comes with three different camera options, starting with a FHD RGB with webcam privacy shutter on the base model, a FHD infrared hybrid with webcam privacy shutter, and a FHD plus IR mobile industry processor interface (MIPI) webcam with Computer Vision & webcam privacy shutter on the maxed-out version.

Finally, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 gets better numbers in the battery category, as it will deliver around five or six hours, just the same as its predecessor, which comes with the same 57W battery. Of course, battery life will be directly affected by how you use your laptop, which includes screen brightness, the apps you use, and if the fans are being used, which might bring your battery life to as low as three hours.

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i gets better battery life on the smaller 14-inch model, which will deliver up to 5 hours and 20 minutes, or as much as 4 hours and 51 minutes when you push your laptop. The larger 16-inch model will only give you as much as 4 hours and 42 minutes, with a minimum of 3 hours and 51 minutes, but then again, it will all depend on how you use your laptop.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary 11

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i (2023) vs ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11: Which should you buy?

In the end, the most important factor in determining which laptop is the best for you will be determined by your needs, as it is hands down the best option for creators who want to have a great display and tons of horsepower under the hood. Indeed, it’s not the most affordable option around, but at least you get a sleek and clean laptop that will help you edit videos, images, and more with ease. Plus, you also get more than enough ports to connect anything you need to be more creative and productive.

Angled front view of the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i facing right
Lenovo Slim Pro 9i
Editor's Choice

One of Lenovo's best creative laptops comes in two different sizes to help you choose the best option for your needs and your wallet.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is a more versatile laptop that comes with several configurations, making it more affordable and better for less demanding users. It was created to be a business laptop, so it will be great for everyday tasks and then some, but don’t expect too much power if you’re not willing to pay for a higher-end configuration. Either way, you should also consider taking a look at our selection of the best creator laptops you can get in 2023. And if you’re not a creator, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered, as we have also made a selection of the best laptops you can get this year so you can choose the best laptop that fits your needs and budget.

Angled rear view of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop facing left
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11
Runner up

Lenovo's best business laptop is also the best option for anyone looking for a more versatile and customizable laptop to help them do anything they need.