Taking the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 for a Test Ride [Review]


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Ready for out Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 review? It’s #ThinkPadThursday and we have something to contribute this week. In the last CES, Lenovo unveiled the ThinkPad Z13 (codename: Pegasus) and Z16 (codename: Medusa) laptops. These laptops are designed for business users and consumers alike, and we’ve had a chance to use both of these laptops. I have to say, they’re as impressive as you’d expect from a series that’s more than 30 years old. The design is sleek and modern, the performance is top-notch and the specs are impressive.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Review - Product Photo Trackpoint Hub
Image: Lenovo

And because Lenovo is celebrating ThinkPad’s 30th anniversary this year, it was great to hear that they increased their focus on sustainability and smart usage of materials. Lenovo has used recycled materials in the construction of these laptops, making them more environmentally friendly than most other laptop options on the market today. If you’re in the market for a new laptop for yourself or if you’re the person who procures IT for your company, be sure to check out the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16. It’s almost certain that you can’t go wrong but read on to find out more about these models in particular.

ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 have a sleek, modern design that is still reminiscent of the classic ThinkPad look

The ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 are iconic devices that capture a classic and sophisticated design while incorporating sustainability into the equation. With recycled materials used in their production and packaging made of renewable bamboo as well as sugarcane fiber, and the chassis featuring recycled aluminum, or recycled black vegan leather, sustainability is key for both models and versions. What’s more: the machine’s performance is also exceeded by the machine system’s sustainability score.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Review - Product Photo Front
Image: Lenovo

A sustainability score is more than just a number – it captures Lenovo’s commitment to sustainability – from reducing oxygenate emissions to using air-cooled technology – maximum sustainability and minimum energy consumption at its finest. It truly embodies what an iconic brand like ThinkPad should represent in the modern age. The Lenovo ThinkPad Z series of 2022 is a fantastic example of how a good company can pair iconic design with historic and current values.

I think that both of these Z-model ThinkPads are great for stationary and mobile working, but clearly, the Z13 is a bit more at an advantage if you have to work in a small space, like a seat on the train or plane, for instance. The Z16 is however more advantageous if you need the performance boost and a larger display. Of course, you could always connect an external display with either of the versions, but sometimes you just want to open the laptop and work on something on a desk without first needing to set up another display.

Both laptops are powerful and fast, perfect for students or professionals who need a reliable machine

As we look towards the future of performance, Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 lead the way with the latest AMD Ryzen PRO 6000 Series processors for mobile. Not only do they offer incredible power ad speed that’s perfect for students or professionals who need a reliable machine, but they also incorporate cutting-edge secure-by-design methodology. Through its cooperation with AMD and Microsoft, ThinkPad brings AMD PRO security’s layered approach to life, together with the integration of the Microsoft Pluton security processor in AMD Ryzen 6000 Series – making these ThinkPads some of the first x86 processors to encompass powerful security from chip to cloud on Windows 11 PCs.

Benchmark scores during the ThinkPad Z13/16 review

  • ThinkPad Z13 – PCMark 10 Extended: 5084
  • ThinkPad Z16 – PCMark 10 Extended: 6016
To run the benchmarks we used PCMark 10 with the extended run. For running the benchmarks we updated the systems to the most up-to-date software and firmware versions for drivers and the OS. The laptops were connected to a power supply, so they were not running off the battery and the power mode was switched to performance mode.

Specifications and hardware features

The ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 laptops offer an unparalleled mobile computing experience. Both laptops feature AMD Ryzen processors, up to 32GB of RAM, and Communications Bars that integrate FHD cameras with larger sensors, electronic e-Shutters for privacy, and dual-array microphones. To make sure you have the most immersive multimedia experience possible, these devices also boast some of the best screen-to-body ratios in the ThinkPad portfolio—91.6% (Z13) and 92.3% (Z16)—and Larger 120mm ForcePads.

Tech specs of the ThinkPad Z13

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Review - Product Photo Keyboard View From Top
Image: Lenovo

Here are the specs as per the official datasheet from Lenovo:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6860Z processor with PRO technologies
  • OS: Windows 11 (Windows 10 DG)
  • GPU: Integrated Radeon 600M Graphics
  • Camera: 1080p, IR camera standard
  • Memory: Up to 32GB LPDDR5 (dual channel, soldered)
  • Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
  • Battery: Up to 15 hours (50WHr), Rapid Charge (80% in 60 min.)
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos Speaker System, Dolby Atmos Headphone, Dolby Voice, 2x mics
  • Ports: 2x USB-C (USB4), 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6E, LTE CAT4, CAT16, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Display: 13.3” 16:10 2.0t bent PCB for 4mm bezels, WQXGA OLED, 400 nits, Dolby Vision
  • Dimensions (W X D X H):295 x 200 x 13.99 mm / 11.59 x 7.86 x .55 in
  • Weight: 1.25 kg / 2.76 lbs
  • Design options: Bronze with Black Vegan Leather, Arctic Grey Aluminum

Tech specs of the ThinkPad Z16

Here are the specs as per the official datasheet from Lenovo:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6950H processor with PRO technologies
  • OS: Windows 11 (Windows 10 DG)
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX6500M with SmartShift technology
  • Camera: 1080p, IR camera standard
  • Memory: Up to 32GB LPDDR5 (dual channel, soldered)
  • Storage: Up to 2TB PCIe Gen4 Performance SSD
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours (70WHr), Rapid Charge (80% in 60 min.)
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos Speaker System, Dolby Atmos Headphones, Dolby Voice, 2x mics
  • Ports: 3x USB-C (USB4), 3.5 mm audio jack, SD card reader
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6E, LTE CAT4, CAT16, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Display: 16.0” 16:10 bent PCB for 4mm bezels, WQUXGA OLED 400 nits
  • Dimensions (W X D X H): 355 x 238 x 15.8 mm / 13.95 x 9.35 x .63 in
  • Weight: 1.97 kg / 4.3 lbs
  • Design options: Arctic Grey Aluminum

Kindly note that the actual features and specifications may vary depending on the model version and build that you’re buying.

Not all models have touch but you can use options including touch-enabled 2.8K OLED on Z13 and 4K OLED on Z16 – both with Dolby Vision support and low blue light – along with the Dolby Atmos Speaker System and Dolby Voice AI noise cancellation technology. The Dolby features can be overlooked if you never experienced any of these before, but both the audio and the video innovation from Dolby are very much worth it and I wouldn’t want to miss these if I bought a new laptop. When it comes to security, the match-on-chip fingerprint reader integrated into the keyboard is quite convenient but of course, you can also use the IR-enabled webcam to use Windows Hello for face recognition, if you prefer that.

Product Photo Side
Image: Lenovo

I was a little irritated at first about the fact that there are no “classic” USB type-A ports and no HDMI ports for video, but it’s true that both are outdated in a way and oftentimes not necessary. Yet, it’s something big that you should be aware of, just in case you have a requirement like that. Otherwise, you might need to look for adapters to connect to peripherals or use a Bluetooth connection if you want to hook up an external mouse. Something else worth mentioning perhaps is the Rapid Charge feature, which allows you to have the battery charged up to about 80% in only an hour. This is definitely useful for mobile working if you ask me.

Lenovo is committed to sustainability, and both the Z13 and Z16 are made with recycled materials

At Lenovo, they recognize the importance of sustainability, and that’s why their new laptop designs – the Z13 and Z16 – have been made using recycled materials. Recycled black vegan leather and aluminum are used in the construction of these laptops, while their respective packaging is both recyclable and environmentally friendly too; consisting of fragile recyclable bamboo for outside protection as well as sugarcane-based paper for the inner casing. It’s an exciting step in tech sustainability from a company already dedicated to creating products with long-term benefits for the planet.

Product Photo Sustainable Packaging Design
Image: Lenovo

Of course, this is not a feature that should be billed for and should not be at the center of a marketing campaign. Instead, it should be the new normal for design and production and it’s good to see that this is recognized in the house of Lenovo. In my perspective, this adds to the sustainability of previous ThinkPad generations, as it’s also an advantage if hardware lasts many years, which is the case for all historic ThinkPad models, and does not have to be replaced annually.

The ThinkPad is now 30 years old

It’s hard to believe the ThinkPad is now 30 years old. When it was first introduced in 1992, not many expected the laptop to become one of the most popular around the world. They used to be a brick at first, but at that time it was really not too uncommon. As years passed, the design improved but the iconic features and style remained. I agree that the ThinkPad is not a budget choice, but over the years I learned that sometimes you can save, by choosing something reliable that lasts.

Are you all about gaming? Check our Lenovo Legion 7i review instead!

They might not be cheap laptops, but you can count on them as reliable workhorses for all sorts of tasks. Plus, they’re so well made that you can even take them into harsh environments and conditions – something, not all laptops can handle. I’ve seen ThinkPads in the desert and I’ve seen ThinkPads in ice-cold environments – They just work. So at 30 years old and still going strong, definitely consider the ThinkPad if you need a laptop that won’t let you down.

Closing thoughts

If you’re in the market for a new laptop that is both powerful and sustainable, Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 are great options. With a sleek design, fast performance, and up to 32GB of RAM, these laptops can handle anything you throw at them. Plus, they’re made with recycled materials, so you can feel good about your purchase. The ThinkPad has been around for 30 years now, and it’s clear that it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you need a reliable machine that will last you for years to come, look no further than the ThinkPad Z13 or Z16. I enjoyed testing these units out and I’m sure that they’ll do well, no matter what challenge you have for them. Depending on the exact build, you can get the Z16 and the Z13 starting at around $1.500.

YouTube: Introducing the ThinkPad Z Series – Z13 and Z16

Photo credit: All images shown are owned by Lenovo and were made available as part of a press kit.
Editorial notice: We have received both the ThinkPad Z13 and the ThinkPad Z16 for testing purposes.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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Whether you decide yourself for the Z13 or Z16, I believe you can't go wrong with this new type of ThinkPad. Fantastic product with sustainability kept in mind.Taking the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 for a Test Ride [Review]