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Clad In Vegan Leather, Lenovo’s New ThinkPad Z Dresses to Impress

Lenovo brings new style and AMD-powered productivity to its business laptops with the brand-new, forward-thinking ThinkPad Z series.

Lenovo’s venerable ThinkPad laptops are about to get a premium shake up. The new Lenovo ThinkPad Z series, unveiled at CES on Tuesday, brings a new model line to the ThinkPad family, and with it a new focus on aesthetics and sustainability.

Made in partnership with AMD, the new ThinkPad Z comes in 13-inch and 16-inch sizes, and boasts an impressive combination of sophisticated styling, sustainable materials, and business-ready performance. There’s plenty of power and cutting-edge features as well, including AMD processors and graphics chips, Microsoft Pluton Security and Windows 11 Pro.

Leather, Bamboo, and Sugarcane

One of the pillars of the new ThinkPad Z design is a commitment to recycled materials. The design features heavy use of recycled aluminum in the all-metal chassis, and adds an equally sustainable but positively luxe element with a leather-covered exterior finish that uses only recycled vegan leather.

Even the power adapter gets an upgrade, with 90% of the material sourced from post-consumer content. Packaging gets a reworking, as well, with a new bamboo and sugarcane material that is completely recyclable and compostable.

But the design doesn’t look like your average eco-conscious recycled product. The aluminum construction is available in several finishes, with the Z13 coming in bare metal with black or Arctic Grey finishes, or layered with rich black leather, for a distinctive look and feel that’s highlighted with bronze accents. The more business-like Z16, on the other hand, is available only in Arctic Grey.

TrackPoint, Now With Double-Tap

Made first and foremost for productivity, Lenovo has added some uniquely capable features to the new ThinkPad Z laptops. The touchpad is bigger than most at 4.72 inches wide, and features a glass surface and haptic feedback. The spill-resistant keyboard is backlit for working in low-light situations, and the iconic Lenovo TrackPoint still sits in the center of the keyboard.

But that TrackPoint is a little different than just a nub for pointing your cursor. It’s getting added functionality with a new double-tap quick menu of productivity settings that let you immediately adjust camera and microphone settings, start dictation for typing-free document creation and mute or unmute during video calls. All of that is in addition to the usual pointing duties that the TrackPoint is known for.

The webcam is also getting a new look, with a distinctive Communications Bar at the top of the display that houses a full HD webcam with electronic shutter and IR functionality for facial recognition, alongside a pair of microphones that offer clear speaking with Dolby Voice noise cancellation to eliminate unwanted ambient noise.

More Portability: ThinkPad Z13

The 13-inch Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is the more mobility-focused of the two new models, but it’s still all about productivity.

The premium finishes and distinctive materials might be enticing, but the real draw is more than skin deep. The Z13 is available with a range of AMD Ryzen Pro U-Series processors, from the 6-core Ryzen R5 Pro up to the 8-core Ryzen R7 Pro Z. This is paired with AMD’s Navi integrated graphics, up to 32GB of memory and as much as 1TB of SSD storage using PCIe Gen 4 for top performance.

The laptop’s 50-watt-hour battery offers an estimated 15 hours of usable battery life, and rapid charging support means that you can refill that battery quickly when you need to finally plug in.

The laptop’s 13.3-inch display offers a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio, with options for an impressive 2,800-by-1,880-pixel OLED panel, a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel IPS panel with touch capability, or a basic 1,920-by-1,080-pixel display without touch support. All of these display options are TÜV-certified for low blue-light emissions and offer up to 400 nits of brightness.

Other features include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, along with dual USB-C ports and optional adapters for HDMI, Ethernet and USB-A.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 will sell for $1,549 starting this May.

More Power: ThinkPad Z16

The larger Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 is all about performance, flexing its larger size to offer more processor and graphics options—up to an 8-core AMD Ryzen R9 Pro and optional AMD Radeon RX 6500M discrete GPU—as well as a maximum of 2TB of SSD storage.

The 16-inch display is available with up to 4K resolution in the OLED version, though less expensive options on offer with 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution, both with and without touch capability.

Like the Z13, the larger ThinkPad Z16 comes with Dolby Atmos sound, Wi-Fi 6E networking and Bluetooth for convenient wireless use, and a 70-watt-hour battery that Lenovo estimates will provide 12 hours per charge, along with rapid charge capability.The Z16 is outfitted with three USB-C ports and a full-size SD Card slot, along with a headphone/mic combo and optional adapters for other connections.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 will also begin selling in May, with a base price of $2,099.

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