In this article, we reviewing the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 laptop powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U processor. Here, we will talk about the display, ports, keyboard performance, and battery life. So let’s dive in.
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What’s New in Specs
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Powered by the next-gen AMD Ryzen Pro U-series processors, with a black recycled vegan leather option, an edge-to-edge keyboard, and a 120-millimeter haptic force pad. You can get up to 32 gigabytes of LP DDR5 RAM and up to one terabyte of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage. The Z13 also features an infrared Full HD camera with an e-shutter. It has Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and optional 4G LTE. I think it’s pretty obvious who Lenovo is going after with the Z13—it would be the XPS 13 Plus.
|Display||13.3″ inch (1920×1200) IPS, 400 Nits Touchscreen|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U Processor|
|Graphics||Integrated AMD Radeon 680M Graphics|
|Memory||16GB LPDDR5 6400MHz (Soldered)|
|Storage||512GB PCIe SSD Gen 4|
|Battery||Up to 18.3 hours (MM 18), 51.5Wh|
|Wireless||WiFi 6E” 802.11AX (2×2)|
55″X11.59″ X 7.86″
|Webcam||IR & 1080p FHD Hybrid|
|Weight||Starting at 1.26kg / 2.78lbs|
|Dimensions||13.99mm x 295mm x 200mm|
Design And Build Quality
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1 21D2001RUS 13.3″ Notebook
One of the standout features of Z13 is its design. It incorporates design elements from other laptops and brings them together in ThinkPad Z13. Personally, I really like the option of having the black vegan leather cover on top, but you can also choose the all-metal version. Furthermore, Z13 boasts excellent durability thanks to the rigorous military-grade testing it has undergone. This ensures that the laptop can withstand extreme environments. And, it is highly portable, weighing only 1.26 kilograms or 2.78 pounds. You can easily take it in your bag and be ready to go, making it perfect for those who are frequently on the move. The combination of premium aesthetics and portability makes it a fantastic choice for a thin and light ultraportable laptop.
ThinkPad Z13 Ports
In Lenovo Z13 on the left side, there is a USB-C 4.0 port that offers full functionality. It supports data transfer, charging, and display output. You can connect it to external 4K monitors, docks, and even an external GPU. Over to the right side, there is a second USB-C 4.0 port that also provides full functionality. Additionally, you’ll find the power button and a 3.5-millimeter microphone/headphone combo jack. I would say the port selection is not the greatest, but with the inclusion of USB-C 4.0 and the ability to connect to external GPUs, docks, monitors, and more, it offers pretty comprehensive functionality in that regard.
In Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 we have the Full HD Plus touchscreen option, although there is an OLED option available. The OLED display is a 2.8K OLED display that will consume more battery life but offers better color gamut coverage and color accuracy. However, keep in mind that it will impact battery performance.
I like the Full HD Plus display because it offers a lot. You get deep blacks, vibrant colors, good contrast, and a good white point. It also has a low Delta E score of 0.86, which is considered excellent for color accuracy (anything below 2 is considered accurate). In terms of color gamut, it is good with 100% sRGB, 80% Adobe RGB, 81% of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and 75% NTSC.
The good news for content creators is that ThinkPad Z13 display is a pretty good choice for tasks such as Lightroom, Photoshop, video editing, and even some color grading. For those sensitive to screen flickering or PWM, I didn’t detect any issues during my testing, so that’s good news.
One thing to note is that Z13 have glossy display, so depending on your lighting conditions, you may notice some glare and reflections. However, it does have an anti-reflective coating, which helps mitigate the issue. The display is bright, and although the claim is 400 nits, in my measurements, it actually reached above that at around 405 nits.
Furthermore, Z13 is a very responsive touch display. While it doesn’t support a pen, it works really well for navigating through the operating system with your finger. Having that convenience feature is great.
Overall, my takeaway is that the Full HD Plus option is a great choice for most people. However, if you prioritize color gamut coverage and color accuracy even more, the 2.8K OLED option is worth considering, despite its impact on battery life. Choose based on your needs, but I believe that, for the most part, most people will be perfectly satisfied with this excellent Full HD Plus touch display.
Now, the audio on ThinkPad Z13 thin and light ultra-portable has been surprisingly good. It utilizes a Dolby Atmos speaker system, and the mids, volume, and even some bass were impressive. And the sound quality to be quite good.
Keyboard And Haptic Force Pad
The screen can be tilted back, and it can be easily opened with just one finger. The keyboard is one of my favorite features of z13 ultraportable laptop. While the key travel may be slightly shallow, it still provides decent feedback and the familiar tactility we know from Lenovo ThinkPads. It never feels like your fingers are going to bottom out, making it very comfortable for extended typing sessions. Additionally, Z13 ThinkPad features a multi-stage backlight that allows you to work in dark or dimly lit environments, and it worked well. The keyboard is spill-resistant, meaning it has a fighting chance of surviving accidental spills like coffee or water.
The device also has a glass haptic force pad, which is highly responsive for scrolling. I encountered no issues, and in fact, it’s one of the better trackpads I’ve seen on a Windows laptop. It works excellently. Moreover, it has a trackpoint, which serves as a dual-purpose feature. It can be used for precise mouse-like navigation or double-tapped to open the communications quick menu. This quick menu provides access to various features, such as the camera, brightness and contrast settings, microphone profiles, and even Microsoft dictation. These convenient options are especially useful for business users. Additionally, there are several advanced settings available to customize the functionality of the haptic force pad, making it highly versatile. I find the double-tap quick access feature to be particularly interesting and convenient.
Webcam, Mics and Fingerprint Scanner
The ThinkPad Z13 features a 1080p IR camera for the webcam. As I mentioned, it has an IR camera, which means you can log in using Windows Hello. The setup process was easy, and so far, it has worked well. Additionally, there is a fingerprint scanner located on the keyboard. Setting it up was also easy, and it works well with Windows Hello when using your finger. Furthermore, there is a physical key on the keyboard that acts as a shutter switch. This allows you to turn off the camera, providing you with more security and privacy.
How about the audio quality from the array mics?
In my opinion, they both look good. However, I’m curious to know what you think. Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.
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I opened up Z13 laptop Once inside, you’ll notice that the SSD is user-upgradable. However, the chipset only supports PCIe Gen 3 speeds, while other 2022 laptops offer Gen 4 speeds. Nonetheless, the read and write speeds of this SSD are fast enough for most people, and I haven’t encountered any issues. It would have been nice to see Gen 4 speeds considering the chipset’s capabilities, but on the bright side, the SSD is slotted, so you can change it out in the future for faster speeds and more storage.
The RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, but you can configure thinkpad z13 laptop with up to 32 gigabytes of LPDDR5 RAM, which operates in dual-channel mode. My review unit has 16 gigabytes of RAM, and everything is working fine in that regard. I appreciate the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, both of which are soldered onto the motherboard, so you won’t be able to change them out in the future. However, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are working flawlessly so far, so no issues there. And for those who travel frequently, there is an optional 4G LTE capability available. Please note that the modem is not present in my review unit, but you can configure it with the 4G modem during the checkout process. As for 5G, there is no official information yet, so it is not available for the ThinkPad Z13 laptop.
Performance, and Gaming
|GEEKBENCH 5 (Single Core||1,531|
|GEEKBENCH 5 (Multi-Core)||8,775|
|CINEBENCH R15||1,961 cb | 125.42 fps|
|CINBENCH R23||Single-Core 1,495 | Multi-Core 9,402|
|3DMARK Time Spy||2,284|
|3DMARK Fire Strike||5,342|
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U, an eight-core, sixteen-thread CPU from AMD. It performed well, especially in everyday tasks such as Microsoft Office, email, and web browsing. It handled media consumption very well, as evident from the benchmark numbers I ran. This chipset is highly capable and efficient.
In terms of the Cinebench R23 scores, the single-core performance was average compared to some of the competition. However, it achieved an impressive second place in the multi-core score, just behind the HP Pavilion. This is noteworthy, considering the heavy sustained workload taken into account, which accounts for any thermal throttling. In the Geekbench 5 test, it didn’t have the best single-core performance, but it was still decent. Similarly, in the multi-core test, it was in the middle of the pack based on what we’re seeing from 2022.
|Games||Low (1080p)||High (1080P)|
|The Witcher 3||80 FPS||27 FPS|
|F1 2021||53 FPS||22 FPS|
|Dota 2 Reborn||94 FPS||40 FPS|
Overall, my takeaway is that it performs well for everyday tasks such as office work, web browsing, and media consumption. It worked flawlessly on this ultraportable laptop. As for the integrated Radeon graphics (680M), the Time Spy and Fire Strike scores indicate decent performance. However, it’s important to note that thinkpad z13 is not a gaming laptop, as most of you are aware. Nonetheless, by lowering some settings, you can achieve playable frame rates in some popular titles. The good news is that the Z13 is equipped with USB-C 4 ports, which support external GPUs. So, if you want to enhance the graphics performance, this laptop supports it.
Thermals and Surface Temperature
The thermals were pretty good when I ran the Prime95 stress test to evaluate performance under heavy load. I did notice some throttling during sustained heavy workloads, but the clock speeds remained relatively stable, which is commendable. In terms of surface temperatures, there were a few hot spots you can see in the image and there, particularly on the bottom where it can get quite warm, as seen in particular hotspot.
As for fan noise, in the performance mode, the loudest it reached was around 45-46 decibels. However, in all the other modes, it remained relatively quiet.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is equipped with a 51.5 watt-hour battery. During my continuous web surfing test over Wi-Fi at 115 nits, it lasted for 11 hours and 39 minutes. In real-world mixed usage scenarios, you can expect this laptop to last around eight to nine hours. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s usage patterns may vary, so your actual battery life may differ. Additionally, if you opt for the 2.8K OLED option, you should expect shorter battery life.
For charging, they provide a 65-watt USB-C power adapter that supports rapid charging. In my testing, it took approximately one hour and 25 minutes to fully charge the laptop. Overall, this is a reasonable charging time.
Pros and Cons
What do I think about the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1? A premium ThinkPad design and it’s running the Ryzen 6000 series processor. This is something many of you have been asking for, and Lenovo has delivered.
I like the option of the K OLED display, although this Full HD Plus touch display is excellent on its own and offers better battery life. The edge-to-edge keyboard is a standout feature, and the haptic force pad works really well. The sleek and modern design, especially with the vegan leather cover, is appealing.
I also appreciate the faster LPDDR5 RAM and the optional PCIe Gen 4 SSD support, even though the speeds we’re seeing here are Gen 3. The presence of two USB-C 4 ports that are fully functional is a great addition, allowing you to connect multiple 4K monitors, external GPUs, and docks for full functionality. The optional 4G LTE Cat 16 modem is also a valuable feature, especially for business users on the go.
The IR Full HD 1080p webcam performs well, and the battery life is good. I must say, the overall efficiency of this Ryzen chipset is impressive. However, there are a few negatives to consider, such as the soldered RAM, which limits upgradability. Additionally, it can get expensive, and the keyboard deck is a fingerprint magnet.
The ThinkPad Z13 features a black vegan leather cover that adds a premium touch to its design. It feels great and has proven to be durable in the few weeks I’ve been using it. The edges have a sleek and boxy look, reminiscent of iPhone design. Overall, the design language is high-end and it successfully emulates the style of the XPS line.
In terms of ports, the Z13 is limited. It offers a headphone jack and two USB-C 4 ports. The USB-C ports are full-function, supporting data transfer, charging, and display output. They also have enough throughput to support external GPUs, which is a significant advantage. Unlike previous AMD devices, which lacked external GPU support, the Z13’s USB-C 4 standard allows for expanded capabilities. This is a notable improvement and a commendable decision by Lenovo.
The Z13 features an all-metal design and has soldered RAM, which is typical for thin and light ultraportable devices. The SSD is upgradable and supports PCIe Gen 4, although the actual speeds achieved are not Gen 4 level. Nonetheless, it’s possible to upgrade the SSD yourself if desired. The device also comes with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth, both of which function well.
That’s overall review and let me know what your thoughts by comment below about the Lenovo Z13 laptop .
A premium ThinkPad design and it's running the Ryzen 6000 series processor. This is something many of you have been asking for, and Lenovo has delivered.