Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1 – pure luxury

November 30, 2022
3 mins read


Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1 Laptop REVIEW

One of the most luxurious laptops that PAT PILCHER has ever reviewed, the Z13 is a racey looker with an impressive feature set.


Could Lenovo have crafted the most luxurious laptop? The Think Pad Z13 may command a steep premium, but it is one the most stylish ultra-books I’ve reviewed in quite some time.

Design-wise, the Z13 is the least Lenovo-like notebook I’ve seen. Where Lenovo gear features a black-on-red aesthetic that looks right at home in Darth Vader’s crib, the Z13 sports a faux leather top deck with alloy accents that’d look like something straight out of a Rolls Royce. It goes without saying that it has a distinctly premium look and feel that hints at its top-end-of-town DNA. Because it is also wafer-thin and super light (15.2 x 295.4 by 199.1mm H x W x D), sliding into a laptop bag is no hardship.


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The Z13 also sports some serious environmental cred. Its alloy body is crafted from recycled aluminium, and its leather lid is vegan leather crafted out of recycled PET. Its packaging is made from sugarcane/bamboo and is compostable.

Slick design and green goodness aside, the Z13 did extremely well on the usability front. Its spill-resistant keyboard proved to be surprisingly comfy to type on. Although its key travel isn’t that deep, the keys provided plenty of tactile feedback. Despite its compact form factor, the keyboard sports a full-size layout complete with a fingerprint reader, which makes logging into Windows 11 almost instantaneous. Below the keyboard sits a glass touchpad with haptic feedback and is pressure-sensitive. As you’d expect with Lenovo, the red TrackPoint is also there but lacks dedicated buttons.

On the display front, you get a 13.3″ 2880×1800 touch-capable OLED display. Able to crank out dazzling 500nits of brightness with HDR enabled, it has a 16:10 aspect ratio. Its bezels are wafer-thin, which gives it a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio. In use, on-screen colours are super-vivid and OLED, and contrast levels are superb, adding a super crisp look and feel to everything.

Situated above the screen is what Lenovo calls the Communications Bar. It’s a rectangular protrusion that houses an HD webcam (with IR functionality for facial recognition) and dual mics featuring Dolby Voice noise cancellation to eliminate background noise. Because the bar sticks out slightly from the lid, making opening and closing the Z13 easier.

Bizarrely, its ports could be more top-shelf. The Z13 only has a single USB-C port and a headphone/mic jack on its right-hand side. On its left, there’s a second USB-C port (which is also the power connector). There are no HDMI, Ethernet, or SD-card slots, and most crucially, no Thunderbolt 4. Given its premium price, this is a disappointment. That said, on the wireless front, you’re well-catered for. You get Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, which were super speedy and a doddle to set up. For a little extra, you can add integrated LTE into the mix for wireless connectivity nearly anywhere.

Beauty might be skin deep, but performance is where it really counts. To this end, Lenovo has departed from the established ultra-book formula and built the Z13 using AMD silicon. The review unit uses an AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U processor. It has an integrated Radeon 680M GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB solid-state storage.

Across benchmark suites such as PCMark and Cinebench, the Z13 delivered the goods, easily matching similar benchmarks for other high-end ultrabook PCs. Thanks to the integrated Radeon 680M graphics, the Z13 also performed well in the graphics department.

Where the Z13 really stood out was in its battery life. Running a looped 720p video file with brightness set to 50%, the Z13 ran for an impressive 18 hours off a single charge, which is the best battery performance I’ve yet seen from an ultrabook.

All told, Lenovo’s Z13 really shines. Its design is gorgeous and, most importantly, a fresh departure from the samey-samey bland aluminium clamshell notebooks that have become commonplace. Its AMD silicon delivers solid performance too. Rounding things out is its stellar 18 hours of battery life. If you can afford it and shell out for a docking station to get a decent selection of ports, the Z13 is a winner.



Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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