CES 2022 | Lenovo ThinkPad Z16: New flagship ThinkPad embraces AMD with Ryzen H & AMD dGPU
In the past years, the amount of AMD options among the Lenovo ThinkPad lineup of business laptop has steadily increased. Still, some areas remained without coverage, and one of those were true premium laptops - especially laptops with a big screen (15 inch or more). Also, all AMD ThinkPads were powered by the energy saving U series, while the performance optimized H series was nowhere to be seen. The only options with AMD and a big screen were the affordable ThinkPad E15 (available from Amazon, affiliate-link) and ThinkPad L15.
Lenovo ends this sad situation by releasing a completely new ThinkPad, the ThinkPad Z16 G1. This 16 inch model is using AMD Ryzen H, and it is an AMD exclusive: There are no Intel options for this ThinkPad laptop.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 G1: AMD CPU coupled with dedicated AMD GPU for the first time, on-board RAM
It is still a secret which AMD CPUs exactly Lenovo will put inside the ThinkPad Z16. One thing is clear though: In accordance with the business classification of the ThinkPad series, it will be Ryzen Pro chips. The CPU is not the only component made by AMD: For the first time in many years, there will be a ThinkPad laptop with an optional dedicated AMD graphics chip. Again: No details were given yet which GPU will be offered. Update: The ThinkPad Z16 is going to feature the AMD Radeon RX 6500M, a GPU with a TGP of up to 50 W.
Lenovo is less secretive when it comes to the memory: A maximum of 32 GB LPDDR5 are soldered on-board in the ThinkPad Z16 G1; unusual for a ThinkPad laptop of this size and a definitive advantage for the ThinkPad X1 Extreme that is serving a similar market segment. A similar statement can be made about mass storage, as "a maximum of 2 TB" signals that there is only a single M.2 2280 SSD.
Lenovo Z16 Gen 1: Modernized ThinkPad design, frugal connectivity
With the ThinkPad Z series, Lenovo seems to be aiming at taking steps into a more modern laptop world in every way. We described the design changes in detail with our article about the smaller ThinkPad Z13. The most important points include the much bigger haptic trackpad with integrated TrackPoint buttons, the noticeable camera hump with a 1080p f2.0 webcam and the metal chassis with glass palmrest.
In the just 16 millimeter thick chassis, Lenovo places either a low power IPS LCD with a WUXGA resolution (1,920 x 1,200) or an OLED WQUXGA panel (3,840 x 2,400). Choosing this panel could potentially result in poor battery life, however, as the battery capacity of just 70 Wh is sub-par for a laptop of this class. Also problematic might be the port selection: Besides the full-size SD card reader, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 1 just has three USB C 4.0 ports. In this area, the reigning ThinkPad multimedia champ ThinkPad X1 Extreme G4 has the clear edge. At least, the ThinkPad Z16 G1 does offer the business like WWAN option, though only with 4G instead of 5G speed.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 G1: Pricing and availability
May 2022 is the designated month of availability for the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 1. Pricing starts at $2,099.
|CPU||Next Gen AMD Ryzen Pro H series||Webcam||IR FHD f2.0, eShutter|
|OS||Windows 11||Battery||70 Wh, Rapid Charge|
|RAM||Up to 32 GB LPDDR5 (on board)||Security||Match-on-Chip FPR in keyboard, dTPM 2.0, Microsoft Pluton Security Processor|
|Storage||Up to 2 TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD||Ports||3x USB C 4.0, 3.5mm Audio, SD card|
|GPU||Integrated AMD Radeon, AMD Radeon RX 6500M (optional)||Input||Edge-to-Edge keyboard, 1.35mm travel, backlit, 120mm Haptic ForcePad|
|Audio||Dolby Atmos Speaker System, Dolby Voice||Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 4G LTE CAT 16|
|Display||Chassis||1.97 kg, 354.4 x 237.4 x 15.8 mm|