Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Review – A complete overhaul of the range

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13

Over the years, the Lenovo ThinkPad laptop series has been synonymous with the business unit of choice for a large number of organizations. The laptop was known for its fairly sturdy build and reliability. He has rarely been known for his aesthetic appearance or his ability to do good work. However, the brand is looking to shake things up with the new Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 laptop.

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With a new chassis design, a hint of performance and some nifty new additions, Lenovo is looking to rebrand the ThinkPad series to deliver more than just business. In addition, the range is now dedicated to AMD chips. Have these changes changed the perception of the series?

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: build and design

With the many ThinkPad variants in the past, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 clearly stands out from the pack. It deviates significantly from standard plastic construction.

The first major deviation from the norm is at the lid. It is covered in a faux leather finish. This is a vegan leather made from recycled PET (plastic). The leather finish is also textured, which gives a nice feel in addition to the aesthetic appearance. What is also very nice is that it does not take fingerprints as easily as other faux leather finishes, or even plastic. The textured finish extends to the logos, with the ThinkPad branding having an embossed finish and the Lenovo logo having the reverse with a debossed finish.

In addition to the leather aesthetic, the unit has a bronze exterior frame. This one is also made from recycled materials – in this case, recycled aluminum.

If you're not a fan of the faux leather look, there is a more subtle variation with a more conventional plastic cover. There are also two color variants: black and arctic gray. They have the same general design, shape and layout, except for the leather and trim.

While the faux leather variant has an outer frame, the two metal options do not. However, all three options include the same inverted notch at the top to accommodate the Webcam and some sensors. The rear end of this protrusion is a brushed metal finish, with “Z13” marking and webcam specifications. It stands out quite well on all models.

In addition to its redesigned design, it remains quite compact and light. It measures 294.4×199.6×13.99mm, allowing it to fit into almost any laptop bag. Its ultra-portability is also favored by its weight of 1.25 kg. It is not a featherweight of less than 1 kg, but given its manufacturing quality and its aesthetics, a few hundred grams are enough.

I really loved the look of the new ThinkPad design. And with the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 variants, there are more options for everyone than the standard matte black approach of yesteryear. Additionally, most of the laptop is made from recycled materials. This also extends to its packaging, with the box and containers made from sugarcane and bamboo, which is also better for biodegradation.

Ports and entrances

When it comes to port configuration, there are very few choices to make. If you're planning to buy the ThinkPad Z13, I suggest you get a USB Type-C hub to go with it. The device only has two USB Type-C 4.0 ports, one on each side on the back.

There are only two additional ports added, both of which appear on the right side. The first of these is the standard 3.5mm audio output. There is a variant for each of the models, which also includes a nano-SIM card slot. If you are always on the go and not always able to find a trusted WiFi source, this location will definitely come in handy.

In terms of typing, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 has an edge-to-edge keyboard. Given its small size, the keys are a bit narrow, but they still provide all the necessary keys except the number pad. That being said, even on the largest units, the NumPad is not a popular inclusion on modern laptops. Additionally, its trackpad is a 120mm Haptic ForcePad.

I find it interesting that although the device is called ThinkPad, it doesn't feature the traditional inputs we've come to expect from the series. It might still have the red TrackPoint button in the middle of the keyboard, but there's not much else that looks like the old model. While I haven't always found them particularly useful, those who have grown to love the inclusion may be a little disappointed by the changes.

In terms of connectivity options, the laptop includes Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and 4G LTE CAT 16 thanks to its Nano-SIM support.

The Webcam includes a decent setup, FHD f2.0 IR lens and eShutter for privacy.

Screen and display

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 has opted for a reduced chassis, as is the case with many ThinkPads before it, and therefore has a compact screen. The lid is equipped with a 13.3-inch screen. It may be small, but it comes with a number of bells and whistles.

To begin with, its frame is very small. Therefore, it covers about 92% of the lid (screen-to-body ratio). It still has a good 16:10 aspect ratio, so you won't be too thrown off by the dimensions. As with the design and SIM tray options, the screen also offers two variants.

The first is a WUXGA resolution screen measured at 1920x1080px. It has a low-power IPS panel to get the job done. If you are a designer or high-end user, there is an OLED panel option. This option has a WQXGA resolution of 2560×1800 pixels. It was this last option that I received for the review.

Both options have a brightness of 400 nits. This is quite good compared to many other laptop screens. With the OLED panel supporting HDR10, it can achieve brightness above 500 nits when configured correctly. Therefore, the image quality is excellent. Color reproduction is very bold and sharp. Additionally, the lighting effects also work well with deep blacks and brighter areas when HDR is enabled.

Given the tight configuration of the panel, you'll notice a bit of a grid effect if you examine it closely. But that's only when viewing it on maximum brightness with a predominantly white image. In most cases the effect is imperceptible and the overall appearance is excellent.

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As we mentioned earlier, the revamped Lenovo ThinkPad has changed its configuration to be AMD-focused. So, the device is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U processor. Because of this configuration, it also includes the integrated Radeon GPU.

Other specifications include 16 GB of RAM along with 500 GB internal storage PCIe SSD Gen 4 (Micron MTFDKCD512TFK).

Running under the Windows 11 Pro operating system, it uses some of its native features, such as facial recognition via Windows Hello combined with its IR integration. Other security features include the Synaptics fingerprint reader. It is integrated into the keyboard in the form of an additional button, which fits perfectly into the design.

Finally, when it comes to its battery, it offers a 51.5wH configuration, which also supports fast charging for on-the-go capabilities.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 performance and battery

The AMD configuration is gaining ground among many enthusiasts around the world. This is especially true when it comes to professional use, where the combination of the AMD chipset and the Radeon GPU go hand in hand. For gaming, however, the Intel and NVIDIA duo remains the preferred pair.

When it comes to benchmark scores, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 scored, on average, 6240 points on PCMark 10 software. This result is relatively good compared to similarly priced devices. It is a little behind the ThinkPad Z16 model, as well as some ASUS Zenbooks. It beats many other devices in the Lenovo series, as well as many others, putting it in the top 20% of benchmark scores.

In the real world, these results are duplicated. There is little to no lag in task execution, even when load testing with multiple tabs open in Chrome while streaming over WiFi. It's a very neat device that gets the job done when it needs to, so you'll never run out of power. With its integrated Radeon GPU, you can also do some editing and a few games here and there. However, it is far from a gaming unit and therefore not recommended if you want to play AAA titles with high graphics using its 2K display.

Another advantage of using AMD chipset is its power efficiency. Due to its configuration and smaller screen size, the expected battery life is approximately 15-16 hours. I managed to pass this milestone a few times in light use. When I used it in power mode, with multiple tabs and editing a few photos, this duration decreased somewhat. However, you still end up with a moderate 13+ hours of usage time. I found this very reasonable.

As mentioned earlier, the laptop supports fast charging. This means that users can get around 80% of their battery charge in just one hour. We've seen this feature added to many smartphones lately and it's good to see this technology becoming standard on modern laptops too. It is particularly useful just before load shedding.


Lenovo ThinkPad Z13

Lenovo has done a lot to improve the image of its ThinkPad range. It looks like a premium laptop with its new chassis and also offers some options to potential buyers. The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is a definite departure from the original series, but retains some of the charm of its predecessors while completely removing a few things that made it unique. For fans of the series, it's a new look and added performance, but they might be a little disappointed by some of the changes.

There's no doubt that the ThinkPad Z13 is a powerful and efficient laptop with a long-lasting battery that keeps you powered for hours on the go. With a large number of configurations, you can choose the one you prefer according to your budget. I would definitely choose the leatherette model with OLED display to get the most out of my purchase, even if the price is slightly higher.


Lenovo ThinkPad Z13


  • A new design ethic
  • Powerful and efficient AMD chipset
  • The OLED panel is small but offers great visuals
  • Long-lasting battery with fast charging support


  • Lack of ports
  • Some elements specific to ThinkPads are missing

Detail review

  • Ease of learning

  • Ease of use

  • Design

  • Performance

  • Pleasure

  • Value for money