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News for nerds

Windows 11 is landing next month, and PC manufacturers are gearing up for the release with a slew of new devices. Lenovo just unveiled its first two laptops ahead of time, featuring high refresh rate OLED screens, AMD Ryzen CPUs, and a simple metal shell. If these are too bulky for your taste, the company is also launching a new Chromebook that offers up to 15 hours of battery life.

Lenovo today had a slew of announcements at its Tech World 2021 event, including two AMD-powered laptops that will come with Windows 11 out of the box. These are the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro, but for some unknown reason, they’re branded as the Yoga Slim 7 Carbon and Yoga Slim 7 Pro outside of North America.

The first is the Slim 7 Carbon — a 14-inch laptop equipped with an OLED panel from Samsung that has a resolution of 2880 by 1800 pixels, 90Hz refresh rate, and a peak brightness of 600 nits. Lenovo says this is the world’s lightest OLED laptop, and at a hair under 2.4 lbs (1.07 kg), they might be right. But more importantly, the OLED screen supports DisplayHDR 500, the full DCI-P3 color gamut, and is certified for low blue light emission, making this a great device for productivity and light entertainment.

In its standard configuration, the Slim 7 Carbon comes with a non-touch display, but you can also get one with a touch-enabled panel protected by Gorilla Glass. Internals include an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU paired with Nvidia’s GeForce MX450 GPU, 16 GB of DDR4 memory and one terabyte of PCIe SSD storage. The company says you can squeeze up to 14.5 hours of battery life out of the 61 Wh battery, though that will vary with use.

If you’re interested in the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, the company says it will be available in a “Cloud Grey” color next month at a starting price of $1,289.99.

The Slim 7 Pro is the Slim 7 Carbon’s larger brother, with a regular 16-inch touchscreen IPS display with the same QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. This one doesn’t get to 600 nits of brightness, but it is capable of up to 500 nits and supports the DisplayHDR 400 standard. The 16:10 aspect ratio is becoming more common, and the Slim 7 Pro is no exception, which is good news for productivity buffs.

Inside the unassuming metal chassis is AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, which has proven to be an excellent notebook class part in our testing across a variety of workloads. It’s backed by the same 16 GB of DDR4 memory and one terabyte of PCIe SSD storage, but you can also configure it with an Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU. Battery life is rated at up to 12.5 hours, so if you aren’t gaming, you should make it through a typical workday. The Slim 7 Pro will start shipping in October. Pricing starts at $1,449.

Accompanying the release of the two IdeaPad (Yoga internationally) Slim 7 laptops is a Chromebook Duet 5, a 13.3-inch detachable equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Mobile Platform, 8GB of LPDDR4 memory, and 256 gigabytes of eMMC storage. It has a 1080p OLED display and a laptop-grade keyboard base, making this one of the most attractive Chromebooks around.

Lenovo promises a respectable 15 hours of battery life, which is good news for frequent travelers who need to have a compact device with them at all times. The Chromebook Duet 5 will be available next month in either “Abyss Blue” or “Storm Grey” colors at a starting price of $429.99.