Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16 during CES 2022, and with a redesigned chassis with vegan leather, sustainable packaging, the latest Ryzen Pro CPUs, and optional OLED displays, these ThinkPads are the most modern the company has created.
These are the inaugural entries to Lenovo’s new ThinkPads Z line, a successor to its popular X series. These new Windows 11 laptops have big shoes to fill given that at least one of the ThinkPad X series laptops, The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, ranks first on our list of the best business laptops on the market right now.
The ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 look different than their predecessors as Lenovo has slimmed down the bezels around the screen, expanded the touchpad underneath the keyboard, and added some new features to the trademark TrackPoint red knot. Lenovo also added a leather (vegan) upholstery option to the Z13 and added a striking new communications bar above the display of both models that houses an improved webcam – two design changes that are likely to inspire strong reactions from fans of the Z13. laptops.
Here’s what we know so far about Lenovo’s new ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16 laptops, as well as our initial hands-on impressions.
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Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 price and release date
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is a new 13-inch ThinkPad that ships with Windows 11 in May 2022 for a starting price of $ 1,549.
It will be available in Black or Arctic Gray color schemes, as well as a striking Bronze trim with recycled vegan black leather trim.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 design
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 sports a sleek redesign with nice slim bezels around the display (Lenovo claims it has a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio), though there’s a new comms bar embedded in the center of the top bezel that extends beyond. the top edge of the laptop.
Inside that embedded bubble are dual array microphones, an infrared FHD webcam that supports Windows Hello (meaning you can log in with your face), and an electronic shutter that you can activate to lock the webcam for reasons of Privacy.
During our hands-on time with the ThinkPad Z13, we were impressed by how easily we could lift the lid with one hand and the narrow bezels around the screen. But the featured model is the Bronze model; Its black vegan leather feels soft to the touch and has a nice texture without being too flashy.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 display
The display itself is quite exciting, as by default the ThinkPad Z13 ships with a 13.3-inch WUXGA IPS panel (1920 x 1200 pixels, 16:10 aspect ratio) that can (optionally) be configured as a touch screen.
If you’re willing to pay more, you can also get a Z13 with a WQXGA OLED touchscreen (2,560 × 1,600 pixels, 16:10 aspect ratio) that supports Dolby Vision. OLEDs generally offer better image quality than IPS displays, with darker blacks and better contrasts, so it’s exciting to see Lenovo ship the Z13 with an OLED option.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Sustainability
The ThinkPad Z series is made from sustainable materials like recycled aluminum and recycled black vegan leather, but that extends to the packaging. It is made from 100% recyclable bamboo and sugar cane, and the AC power adapter uses 90% Post Consumer Content (PCC). Even the handle of the box is made from recycled cardboard instead of plastic.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 performance
Lenovo plans to offer the laptop with the latest AMD Ryzen 7 PRO U-Series CPUs. AMD’s Ryzen PRO CPUs are basically commercial versions of their Ryzen CPUs with roughly similar performance but improved security and encryption options, including an integrated Microsoft Pluton security processor.
You won’t be playing a lot of cutting edge games on the Z13 as you can’t get it with a discrete graphics card so you’re limited to what will work well with the onboard Radeon graphics chipset. However, the larger 16-inch Z16 will be sold with the option to configure it with a discrete Radeon graphics card, although Lenovo has yet to say which cards will be available.
Memory wise, you’ll be able to configure the ThinkPad Z13 with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to a 1TB SSD for storage.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 ports
When it comes to ports, you won’t have much of a choice: just a pair of USB-C ports (one on each side) and a headphone audio jack. It is sufficient for commercial use, but not very generous.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z16: a bigger and more robust Z13
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 is effectively a larger version of the Z13 with larger, more robust component options and less color variety. It goes on sale in May 2022 for a starting price of $ 2,099 and comes in one color: Arctic Gray.
In most respects, the Z16 is identical to its little brother, but there are a few key differences. In particular, it ships with a larger 16-inch 16:10 screen that has an even better screen-to-body ratio (92.3%) than the smaller Z13. The Z16’s screen is also an IPS screen by default, with an option to configure it as a touchscreen, as well as a more expensive option to upgrade to an OLED screen with Dolby Vision support.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16 ships with the latest H-series AMD Ryzen PRO CPUs, which are more powerful than the U-series CPUs inside the smaller Z13. It will also be configurable with an optional (and yet unannounced) AMD discrete GPU, while the Z13 is only available with significantly less powerful AMD Radeon integrated graphics.
The ThinkPad Z16 can also be configured with up to 32GB of RAM, but you can get it with an SSD of up to 2TB, twice the amount of maximum storage available in the Z13. It also has a few more ports than the Z13, as it has 3 USB-C ports, an SD card reader, and an audio jack.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and its bigger and more robust brother, the Z16, offer an exciting look at the future of ThinkPad design.
While they still sport that little bright red bump in the center of the keyboard, these new ThinkPads have more eye-catching designs than their predecessors, and the addition of a leather upholstery option on the Z13 makes this a real love-oo-hate. the laptop. The option to fool you with an OLED touchscreen and the latest Radeon chips helps round out the Z13’s image as the premium business laptop for 2022.
Of course, we’ll have to get one to test ourselves before we can say for sure how well it works, how long it lasts, or if that leather trim was a good idea. Stay tuned!