Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Evaluation | PCMag


Premium laptops are nothing new, and expensive techniques constructed for portability are among the many finest merchandise producers are making right this moment. However the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 (begins at $1,355.40; $1,851.85 as examined) challenges one of the best ultraportable laptops you should purchase with an opulent design that’s positive to attract consideration. The fashionable leather-covered design is notable by itself, for its modern seems and eco-conscious supplies. This is not your grandfather’s ThinkPad, however this svelte system is not only a runway mannequin, both. It is obtained each magnificence and brawn, with glorious efficiency that can take you thru a full day of labor or extra.


Designer Appears to be like, Premium Supplies

Breaking from staid ThinkPad custom, the Z13 simply oozes fashion. It is apparent that Lenovo was trying to one-up the remainder of the premium, thin-and-light ultraportable laptop computer crowd. At 0.55 by 11.59 by 7.86 inches (HWD), it is related in dimensions to the Dell XPS 13 Plus (0.6 by 11.63 by 7.84 inches) and the Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2) (0.44 by 11.97 by 8.46 inches), however the supplies are a step above, accenting the all-metal aluminum development with vegan leather-based. It is also obtainable in a extra standard-looking bare-metal model with an Arctic Grey end.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 lid


(Credit score: Kyle Cobian)

It isn’t the primary laptop computer to combine issues up with leather-based—the HP Spectre did it in 2018, and the Lenovo Yoga used imitation leather-based again in 2012—however Lenovo has different tips up its sleeve for the Z13. The all-metal development makes use of recycled aluminum, and the leather-based on the lid is definitely vegan, constructed from recycled PET. Even the packaging is eco-conscious, made from sugar cane and bamboo for higher biodegradability.


A Re-Imagined TrackPoint

However the supplies aren’t the one spectacular a part of the laptop computer design. The keyboard is remarkably comfy to sort on. The important thing journey is not significantly deep, however the person key presses are distinct, and the full-size keyboard structure is comfy to sort on. There’s even a fingerprint reader key for straightforward biometric safety.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 keyboard and TrackPoint


(Credit score: Kyle Cobian)

Becoming a member of the keyboard is a glass-surfaced touchpad with haptic faucet response and strain delicate management. The modern floor has nearly imperceptible journey once you faucet or click on, utilizing strain sensitivity to register elevated pressure for clicks and gestures. Lenovo has additionally re-imagined the enduring pink TrackPoint, including a brand new double-tap characteristic that calls up a fast menu of communication instruments with instruments for adjusting digital camera settings, muting the mic and adjusting noise suppression modes, and even a device to transcribe speech proper right into a doc.


Deluxe Show

The laptop computer’s show can also be fairly good, with a 13.3-inch IPS panel that makes use of a 16:10 side ratio and 1,920-by-1,200-pixel touchscreen. The slimness of the encompassing bezels is spectacular, giving the laptop computer a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio, and that outstanding show seems superb.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 display


(Credit score: Kyle Cobian)

Colours are vivid and vibrant, the distinction offers a crispness to particulars, and the viewing angles are so large that I could not discover a unhealthy angle—the colours stayed clear and vibrant no matter the place I considered the panel from.

It is also, apparently sufficient, not one of the best show Lenovo provides on the machine, with a distinct 2,880-by-1,800-pixel OLED contact display screen obtainable on the most costly fashions.

Above the show is a protrusion that Lenovo calls the Communications Bar, a particular housing for a full HD webcam with digital shutter and IR performance for facial recognition. Alongside are twin microphones with Dolby Voice noise cancellation to remove undesirable ambient noise. Whereas it serves a transparent function when the Z13 is open, the Bar additionally offers a handy lip that makes it straightforward to open and shut the slim laptop computer.


Minimalist Port Choice

The one a part of the Z13 that feels missing fairly than luxe is the port choice, which is decidedly minimalist. On the correct you will discover a single USB-C port and a headphone/mic jack.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 left ports


(Credit score: Kyle Cobian)

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 right ports


(Credit score: Kyle Cobian)

On the left you will discover a second USB-C port, which doubles as the facility connector for the system. And that is it. No HDMI, no Ethernet, no card slots, and even Thunderbolt 4. You may nonetheless get a number of of these ports with a laptop computer docking station, however even with so many laptops choosing USB-C, the port choice feels missing.

Wi-fi connectivity is fortunately top-notch, with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 for quick networking and handy connections for audio and peripherals.


Testing the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: Premium Ryzen Efficiency

Lenovo constructed the ThinkPad Z13 round AMD processors and graphics, which is a little bit of a departure in contrast with the vast majority of Intel-based ultraportables. Our evaluate unit is provided with the AMD Ryzen 7 Professional 6850U processor and built-in Radeon 680M graphics, paired with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive for storage. 

The present base mannequin sells for $1,355, with our evaluate unit promoting for $1,851.85. Different configurations are provided, with choices for various AMD processors (starting from the six-core Ryzen 5 Professional as much as the eight-core Ryzen 7 Professional) and boasting a number of show choices, from our evaluate unit’s 1,920-by-1,200-pixel contact display screen to an OLED panel with 2,880-by-1,800-pixel decision, or a extra primary non-touch IPS panel. Choices allow you to bump up the reminiscence to 32GB, and storage goes as excessive as 1TB. With all of the extras, the highest configuration of the Z13 sells for $2,267.85.

For our benchmark comparisons, we in contrast the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 with different premium ultraportables and 13- and 14-inch fashions. Amongst these are prime fashions just like the Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2) and Dell XPS 13 Plus, two of one of the best high-end thin-and-lights in the marketplace. 

We additionally regarded on the business-oriented Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022), and 2-in-1 techniques just like the HP Spectre x360 13.5 (2022) and the Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Studio. They will not be precisely the identical, providing some performance and functionality that the consumer-focused Lenovo does not, however with related value factors, efficiency, and construct high quality, they’re going to usually be on the identical cabinets at your native retailer.

Productiveness Checks

The primary benchmark of UL’s PCMark 10 simulates quite a lot of real-world productiveness and content-creation workflows to measure general efficiency for office-centric duties reminiscent of phrase processing, spreadsheeting, internet searching, and videoconferencing. We additionally run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive check to evaluate the load time and throughput of a laptop computer’s storage. 

Three benchmarks deal with the CPU, utilizing all obtainable cores and threads, to price a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a posh scene, whereas Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Professional simulates common apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease occasions are higher). 

Our last productiveness check is Puget Programs’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which makes use of the Inventive Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to price a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia functions. It is an automatic extension that executes quite a lot of common and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The ThinkPad Z13 pits its AMD Ryzen 7 Professional processor towards the Core i7 CPUs utilized in most competing techniques and Apple’s M2 processor, making it an attention-grabbing various to most laptops on this value vary. However as Intel and Apple transfer towards architectures that attempt to stability efficiency and effectivity with a mixture of completely different processing cores, AMD sticks to the extra conventional method, with each processing core equally yoked for various duties. The result’s a mixture of main scores in checks like PCMark and Cinebench, however the ThinkPad Z13 lands in the midst of the pack in checks like Handbrake and Geekbench. The general efficiency remains to be extraordinarily aggressive, largely matching different premium ultraportables, however it’s not the one-to-one comparability that Intel {hardware} would supply.

Graphics Checks 

We check Home windows PCs’ graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Evening Raid (extra modest, appropriate for laptops with built-in graphics) and Time Spy (extra demanding, appropriate for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). 

We additionally run two checks from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses each low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automobile Chase checks, rendered offscreen to accommodate completely different show resolutions, train graphics and compute shaders utilizing the OpenGL programming interface and {hardware} tessellation respectively. The extra frames per second (fps), the higher.

With AMD’s glorious built-in graphics powering the Z13, graphics efficiency was fairly good within the Lenovo, besting Intel-based rivals from Dell and HP. Curiously, the Apple MacBook Air edged forward in a few checks with the M2 chip’s built-in GPU, however the dominant system right here was the Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Studio, which brings a discrete Nvidia GPU to the struggle. That stated, the AMD-powered Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 nonetheless managed to outclass many of the competitors in most of our graphics checks. However keep in mind that these checks are extra about common productiveness, and never gaming.

Battery and Show Checks 

We check laptops’ battery life by enjoying a domestically saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Metal(Opens in a brand new window)) with show brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100%. We be sure that the battery is totally charged earlier than the check, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off. 

We additionally use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Home windows software program to measure a laptop computer display screen’s shade saturation—what share of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 shade gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter).

The place the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 stood out most was our battery check, the place the slim laptop computer lasted practically 18 hours on a single cost. That outlasts even probably the most battery-efficient rivals, just like the Apple MacBook Air (16:49) and the HP Spectre x360 13.5 (15:10). As an added bonus, the battery has quick-charging assist, so you possibly can refill it rapidly once you do lastly must plug in.

Surprisingly, the show additionally has nice brightness, topping a number of of our comparability fashions for general brightness. That is fairly spectacular, provided that the unit we examined is not even Lenovo’s prime show choice.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 ultraportable


(Credit score: Kyle Cobian)


Verdict: Leather-based-Clad Luxurious, With Premium Efficiency

Within the premium ultraportable area, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 competes with one of the best of one of the best, and nonetheless manages to shine. The design is a powerful departure from the tasteless bare-metal laptop computer that is develop into so common lately, and the AMD-powered system has efficiency that is simply as spectacular. It is a stark various to the Intel-based majority, and it stands up effectively sufficient to the spectacular Apple M2 processor.

At effectively below 3 kilos, with practically 18 hours of battery life, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is each inch an ultraportable laptop computer, with nice efficiency to go together with it. Lenovo then wraps all of it in black leather-based and bronze brushed aluminum, providing as a lot fashion as substance, with out skimping on both. Is it pretty much as good because the five-star, all-business ThinkPad X1 Carbon? That is a tricky name, and largely is determined by whether or not you are in search of a tried-and-true enterprise pocket book or one thing fancier. The Z13 is actually adequate to suggest as probably the most trendy ultraportable laptop computer proper now, and a simple Editors’ Alternative choose.

Professionals

  • Posh, polished design

  • Eco-conscious supplies and packaging

  • Nice Ryzen-powered efficiency and graphics

  • Spectacular battery life

  • Wonderful keyboard with re-imagined TrackPoint

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The Backside Line

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is as gorgeous as it’s transportable, providing substance and magnificence with AMD-powered efficiency that matches one of the best thin-and-light laptops in the marketplace.

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