MWC 2023 | 2023 ThinkPads hands on: Z13 with new touchpad, X13 with new design, 64 GB RAM for the T14 G4
Lenovo has announced most of its 2023 ThinkPad portfolio at the Mobile World Congress. Since we are present on the ground in Barcelona, we were able to take a look at the newest business notebooks of the ThinkPad brand.
The focus of Lenovo clearly was on two of the series: The ThinkPad Z series and the ThinkPad X series.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G2 and Z16 G2 hands on
For the Z series and the two new models ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2, Lenovo chose to continue with the existing design, but there are a few interesting changes. For one, Lenovo is changing the available design choices for the smaller THinkPad Z13. In the first generation, buyers had the choice between a black aluminum lid, a silver aluminum lid and a black vegan leather screen cover. With the new model, there are just two options: The silver aluminum lid and a new light-brown screen cover made out of woven flax.
With this new cover, Lenovo wants to emphasize the fact that most of the materials of the Z ThinkPads are recycled. Quality wise, there is no reason for concern: The linen cover is simply for the looks. Structurally, an aluminum frame beneath makes the screen cover strong.
The second change apart from the platform upgrade affects the haptic trackpad of Z13 and Z16, which is now made by a different parts manufacturer. Luckily. Lenovo had the Z13 G1 on hand, so we could directly compare the two: The feedback of the new Sensel Trackpad is much more pronounced compared with the earlier Elan model, with the click being more comfortable. Of course, the basic problem, which is the lack of dedicated TrackPoint buttons, is still present.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 G4 & X13 Yoga G4 Hands-On
Among the ThinkPad series, the ThinkPad X series is the oldest alongside the ThinkPad T series. The first forebearer of the ThinkPad X13 G4, the IBM ThinkPad X20, came out in the year 2000s. The first indirect predecessor of the ThinkPad X13 Yoga G4, the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet, was released in 2005.
With the newest versions, Lenovo is introducing many design changes, which we already described in our article about the announcement. Not part of the spec sheet: Lenovo has redone the cooling system of the ThinkPad X series. Depending on the version, the compact ThinkPads now integrate either one or two fans; which variant you get depends on the chosen processor. Models with the Intel P28 CPUs get two fans, models with U15 chips only one. Lenovo promises a power limit of 21 W under sustained load for the dual fan version. Also interesting: The fan outlet is now on the back of the system, preventing mouse uses from experiencing the warm air-flow on their hand.
On the outside, the new, old color is noticeable: "Deep Black" looks more premium than the old dark grey "Thunder Black" that Lenovo used for the ThinkPad X13 Gen 3 (available from Amazon for $1,267). The materials have changed as well, especially for the ThinkPad X13 Yoga G4: For the first time, the chassis of this model is completely made out of magnesium. This gives it an improved stiffness compared to older X13 Yoga models that mostly used carbon fiber for the chassis.
ThinkPad T14 G4 Intel now with more RAM
The officially spec sheet from Lenovo for the new ThinkPad T series left us confused, as Lenovo wrote that the LPDDR5X RAM of the new ThinkPad T series is all soldered down, with 32 GB being the maximum. This is apparently is really the case for the AMD equipped models, but only optional for the Intel variants. The existing solution with eight to 16 GB of soldered DDR4 memory plus a single SO-DIMM (so up to 48 GB) still exists. Additionally, Lenovo will offer an option with DDR5 memory where eight, 16 or, only for models with the top of the line i7-1370P, 32 GB soldered RAM plus SO-DIMM are available. This means that these specific configurations of the T14 G4 will be able to take up to 64 GB DDR5-RAM.
Own / Lenovo