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Lenovo LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360 Review - Unparalleled Portability

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Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction

After spending some time in the computer hardware industry, it's easy to become jaded about trade shows and unannounced products. The vast majority of hardware we see at events like CES every year is completely expected beforehand. While this doesn't mean that these products are bad by any stretch, they can be difficult to get excited about.

Everyone once and a while however, we find ourselves with our hands on something completely unexpected. Hidden away in a back room of Lenovo's product showcase at CES this year, we were told there was a product would amaze us — called the LaVie.

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And they were right.

Unfortunately, the Lenovo LaVie-Z is one of those products that you can't truly understand until you get it in your hands. Billed as the world's lightest 13.3" notebook, the standard LaVie-Z comes in at a weight of just 1.87 lbs. The touchscreen-enabled LaVie-Z 360 gains a bit of weight, coming in at 2.04 lbs.

While these numbers are a bit difficult to wrap your head around, I'll try to provide a bit of context. For example, the Google Nexus 9 weighs .94 lbs. For just over twice the weight as Google's flagship tablet, Lenovo has provided a full Windows notebook with an i7 ultra mobile processor.

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Furthermore the new 12" Apple MacBook which people are touting as being extremely light comes in at 2.03 lbs, almost the same weight as the touchscreen version of the LaVie-Z. For the same weight, you also gain a much more powerful Intel i7 processor in the LaVie, when compared to the Intel Core-M option in the MacBook.

All of this comes together to provide an experience that is quite unbelievable. Anyone that I have handed one of these notebooks to has been absolutely amazed that it's a real, functioning computer. The closest analog that I have been able to come up with for picking up the LaVie-Z is one of the cardboard placeholder laptops they have at furniture stores.

The personal laptop that I carry day-to-day is a 11" MacBook Air, which only weighs 2.38 lbs, but the LaVie-Z feels infinitely lighter.

However, as impressive as the weight (or lack thereof) of the LaVie-Z is, let's dig deeper into what the experience of using the world's lightest notebook.

Click here to continue reading our review of the Lenovo LaVie-Z and LaVie-Z 360


August 4, 2015 | 12:30 PM - Posted by ciddo (not verified)

Ken, great review but I think you've made a small typo under the battery life section:

"While the Dell XPS 13 has a 52Wh battery, the capacity of the battery found in the Lenovo laptop is only 85% of that, at (4.44Wh)."

Shouldn't that be 44.4Wh?

August 4, 2015 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

Nice catch, Thanks!

September 24, 2015 | 02:13 AM - Posted by archer (not verified)

the 1.72-lb - HZ550 model(29.6Wh)
the 2.04-lb HZ750 model (44.4Wh)

September 24, 2015 | 02:22 AM - Posted by archer (not verified)

I think test laptop - HZ550 29.6Wh

August 4, 2015 | 12:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not sure if anyone's worked out an anodising process for MgLi alloys, so that may the the reason for the denting (no hard anodised layer to distribute force).

August 4, 2015 | 02:25 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

I think that's the likely culprit here, and something we might see in the near future

August 4, 2015 | 03:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

After years of technological improvements, we still have fragile, slow laptops with mediocre battery life. This trend of sacrificing everything on the altar of thin and light has gotten ridiculous.

August 5, 2015 | 03:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You want a small laptop with a long battery life? Get an X2xx series laptop with a battery slice/wedge. Same solution as pretty much the last decade.

August 12, 2015 | 04:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

we also have laptops that are tanks with crazy performance and laptops that are built to survive in a warzone. Different strokes.

August 5, 2015 | 07:06 AM - Posted by Roshan kalyan (not verified)

didn't ivy bridge tablets have a similar battery life and weight?

August 10, 2015 | 02:39 PM - Posted by obababoy

Good review Ken, but this thing is easily paralleled IMO. Battery life and durability are pretty damn important. You also mentioned brightness which is poor. These are HUGE features for Ultrabooks. I would rather get the Dell or better yet keep my Acer S7 392-9439.

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