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NEC LaVie Z ultrabook – how light is too light?

NEC claims world's lightest title, but is 875g too light for a laptop?

We don’t usually feature products that aren’t available to buy in the Uk here on Expert Reviews, but we thought this one was worth sharing. At a recent Intel Ultrabook event, we got to spend some time with NEC’s LaVie Z ultrabook – it’s currently the world’s lightest at 875 grams, and is only available in Japan.

What struck us is just how light that 875g feels in the hand – the 13in laptop weighs less than some digital SLR cameras, and spread across a wider surface area it barely feels like you’re holding a laptop. It might be ideal for working on the move, but compared to other Ultrabooks it seems to be lacking something.


That’s not to say the LaVie Z is flimsy – it’s sturdy enough, mainly thanks to the aluminium/magnesium construction, with room for two USB ports, an SD card reader and full-size HDMI port, but it’s dangerously close to feeling cheap simply because it doesn’t weigh enough.


There’s a fine balance between feeling too heavy and feeling too light – customers feel they aren’t getting their money’s worth if an expensive product doesn’t feel weighty in their hands, a fact which is particularly true when talking about technology. Ultrabook manufacturers are racing to be the thinnest and lightest, but we wonder if there’s a limit where customers simply won’t feel they are getting value for money.

We don’t know how well the LaVie Z is doing in Japan, but we think it might have crossed the line into underweight territory.

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