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Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 unveiled with innovative flax-fibre top covering

The Z13 introduces an interesting new material but, beneath the covers, it’s a ThinkPad through and through

The scramble among big tech companies to green-tint their product ranges is well and truly on, and the latest to join the throng is the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 laptop.

It was launched alongside its 16in counterpart (the ThinkPad Z16), a pair of new ThinkPad Yoga laptops and a host of business portables in the L-, E- and T- series, not to mention a pair of concept devices with rollable screens. However, the Z13 is the only one to come with the option of a new type of material for the top cover – the bio-based “flax fibre”.

Coloured bronze, the raw material for this new material is derived from the fibrous waste material produced in the harvesting of flax seed and it’s strengthened using an bio-based resid material.

That isn’t the only area Lenovo is addressing in its pursuit of boosting its eco credentials, either. There’s new retail packaging, produced from a home-compostable bamboo and sugar cane material and much of the aluminium frame of the laptop is recycled as well.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 hands-on review: Specifications, price and release date

  • 13.3in 16:10 WUXGA IPS, 400nit, 100% sRGB or WQXGA 2K, OLED, 400nit, Dolby Vision display
  • AMD Ryzen 7000 series mobile CPU
  • Up to 64GB RAM
  • Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage
  • Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support
  • Dual far-field microphones
  • 51.5WHr capacity battery 
  • Dimensions: 294 x 200 x 14mm
  • Weight: 1.19kg
  • Price: 1,649 Euros 
  • Release date: July 2023

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 hands-on review: Key features and first impressions

The result, regardless of what you think of the big tech’s eco credentials, is quite eye-catching. It’s certainly different to your usual boring brushed aluminium and plastic efforts. The bronze colouring looks rather attractive, too, with a smooth matte finish that feels almost like sanded wood.

For anyone who doesn’t like the flax fibre finish, the laptop is also available in “Arctic Grey” with a more traditional, all aluminium lid.

Aside from that, the build quality seems up to the usual Lenovo ThinkPad standard. The keyboard is classic ThinkPad with loads of key travel and the touchpad is silken with the addition of the traditional Lenovo trackpoint nubbin in the centre of the keyboard. The latter, by the way, has a new feature for this generation. Give the trackpoint a tap and up pops a menu giving quick access to microphone, camera and speaker settings – a nice touch which should make adjustments during video calls much easier.

The laptop is as slim and light as you’d expect a flagship ThinkPad to be. It isn’t the lightest thing ever but measurements of 294 x 200 x 14mm (WHD) and a weight of 1.19kg mean you’re not going to worry too much about lobbing in your backpack as you go about your day.

As this is the second generation of Z-series Lenovo laptops, it comes with a suitable selection of high-end components. Inside are representatives of the latest generation of AMD Ryzen CPUs, from the company’s 7000-series mobile family. They’re accompanied by up to 64GB of LPDDR 5x RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage as well.

In addition, customers get the option to specify a vivid and bright 16:10 aspect ratio, 400nit, 2.8K OLED touchsreen with Dolby Vision support. The standard-issue Z13 comes with an IPS panel that’s just as bright and gives you the option of touch or non-touch, but it only covers 100% of the sRGB colour space.

Elsewhere, you’re looking at Wi-Fi 6E support and a (slightly behind the times) Bluetooth 5.1, with optional 4G connectivity, Dolby Atmos capable stereo speakers, dual far-field microphones and a Full HD webcam with support for Windows Hello an option.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 hands-on review: Early verdict

The Lenovo Z13 may not be the answer to big-tech’s environmental impact problems but it is a handsome, well-made ultraportable laptop and the flax fibre cover gives it a somewhat unique look.

If you’re interested in buying one, though, you’re going to save up – prices start at a wallet-damaging 1,649 Euros – and you’ll have to wait, too, since it is not going on sale until July 2023.