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CES 2022 | Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: Exclusive AMD ThinkPad targets young generation with new design

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: Exclusive AMD ThinkPad targets young generation with new design
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: Exclusive AMD ThinkPad targets young generation with new design
Update | With the ThinkPad Z series, Lenovo is creating a completely new product line that aims at revamping the design of the business laptop line. The compact Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 includes premium materials, a new touchpad and a better webcam as well as an exclusive AMD Ryzen chip.

A black plastic chassis, the red TrackPoint, a long travel keyboard and overall an design that emphasizes practicability - that is how you could sum up the success formula of the ThinkPad laptop brand. This holds true today, as the Lenovo notebooks are still among the most popular laptops in the corporate world, even if todays models are often a lot sleeker.

For Lenovo, keeping the status quo might be tempting. Despite that, Lenovo is flipping its ThinkPad recipe on the head with the new ThinkPad Z series, at least in parts. One of the two first models of the Z series, besides the big ThinkPad Z16, is the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1. 

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: AMD instead of Intel, metal instead of plastic

In the past, it was an iron law that ThinkPads carry the "Intel inside" logo on them, especially the high end models. Even here, the new ThinkPad Z13 represents a departure from tradition: Lenovo will sell it exclusively with AMD CPUs, there will be no Intel option. Which AMD CPUs Lenovo is using is not yet known, though the ThinkPad Z13 is said to contain a "next gen" AMD Ryzen Pro R7z - a special CPU that AMD makes exclusively for this Lenovo ThinkPad. Update: Lenovo has now named the exclusive CPU SKU for the ThinkPad Z13 - it is the AMD Ryzen Pro 6860Z.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: Grey
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: Grey
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: Bronze/Black Leather
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: Bronze/Black Leather
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: Black
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: Black

The processor is new and the same thing holds true for the design. Plastic is not used in the construction. Instead, Lenovo uses recycled aluminium. The palmrest is made out of glass, and the screen lid is available in a "vegan leather" version - if a model with the Bronze metal rim is ordered. Lenovo is using a two tone design, with the palmrest being black on all models. All around, the ThinkPad Z13 is more rounded than other ThinkPad laptops, and the big webcam bulge sticks out, visually and literally. It is the location of the new 1080p f2.0 camera. 

WQXGA OLED, extremely small screen bezel, changes to the input devices: Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1

This new design is built around a 13.3 inch 16:10 screen with an extremely small screen bezel. Even the ThinkPad X1 series does not come close to the screen-to-body ratio of 91.6 %. When it comes to the screen panel itself, Lenovo sticks with the ThinkPad formula in a way - there are options. The base models will contain a Low Power IPS display with a WUXGA resolution (1,920 x 1,080). For more high-end configurations, Lenovo is offering an OLED screen with WQXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600 pixels).

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1

As a business laptop, the ThinkPad Z13 provides an optional 4G modem. Less business like is the port selection, since Lenovo provides only two USB C 4.0 ports - not a first for the ThinkPad line, but the comparable ThinkPad X1 Nano (available from Amazon, affiliate link) is much more lightweight. With 1.25 kg, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1 is no featherweight.

The Z13 keeps one typical ThinkPad feature: The red ThinkPad TrackPoint. Not part of the equation however are the dedicated mouse keys for the TrackPoint - instead, Lenovo puts in a much larger trackpad with integrated TrackPoint buttons. Lenovo has tried this concept once before with the 2013 generation of ThinkPads and it did bomb; Lenovo returned to dedicated TrackPoint buttons with the 2015 ThinkPads. This time around however, it is not a mechanical solution, as Lenovo uses a "Haptic Forcepad". 

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: keyboard area
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 G1: keyboard area

There are some changes to the keyboard, some of them might be controversial as well. On the bright side, the keyboard is full-sized, which is different from other 13.3 inch ThinkPads that use a 95-percent-keyboard, like the X1 Nano. The flipside are the very small vertical arrow keys, and the disappearance of dedicated PageUp/Down buttons. Additionally, some of the keys are not rounded anymore, only the alpha-numerical keys keep true to the traditional ThinkPad key-design. Also, Lenovo dares to touch up the positioning of the FN and Ctrl keys; the ThinkPad Z series models are the first ThinkPads with the Ctrl button to the left of the FN key. This is in line with most of the PC market, but different from all preceding ThinkPad laptops.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1: Pricing and availability

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1 is going to be available in May 2022. The base model will cost $1,549.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1 Specifications

CPUNext Gen AMD Ryzen Pro U series, optional exclusive AMD Ryzen Pro 6860Z processorWebcamIR FHD f2.0, eShutter
OSWindows 11Battery50 Wh, Rapid Charge
RAMUp to 32 GB LPDDR5 (on board)SecurityMatch-on-Chip FPR in keyboard, dTPM 2.0, Microsoft Pluton Security Processor
StorageUp to 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 SSDPorts2x USB C 4.0, 3.5mm Audio
GPUIntegrated AMD RadeonInputEdge-to-Edge keyboard, 1.35mm travel, backlit, 120mm Haptic ForcePad
AudioDolby Atmos Speaker System, Dolby VoiceConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 4G LTE CAT 16
  • 13.3 inch 16:10, WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) IPS 400 cd/m² Low Power (Touch optional), matte
  • 13.3 inch 16:10, WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) OLED 400 cd/m², Touch, Dolby Vision, Low Blue Light, anti reflective
Chassis1.25 kg, 294.4 x 199.6 x 13.99 mm
  • Black Recycled Aluminum
  • Arctic Grey Recycled Aluminum
  • Black Vegan Leather, Bronze Recycled Aluminum



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Benjamin Herzig
Editor of the original article: Benjamin Herzig - Managing Editor - 965 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I was an ardent reader of Notebookcheck’s laptop reviews even back in school. After writing reviews as a hobby, I then joined Notebookcheck in 2016 and have worked on device reviews and news articles ever since then. My personal interest lies more with laptops than smartphones, with business laptops being the most interesting category for me. Technology should make our lives and work easier and good laptops are an essential tool for that to happen. This is why laptop reviews are not just my work but are also my passion.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 12 > Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: Exclusive AMD ThinkPad targets young generation with new design
Benjamin Herzig, 2022-01- 4 (Update: 2022-01- 5)