Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z series line-up of laptops is known for its slim and durable designs while offering good performance out of the box. We review the new Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 laptop and here are our thoughts about it.
While most of the ThinkPad laptop series shares a similar design, the ThinkPad Z16 stands out with its unique premium chassis. The most striking feature is of course the large 16-inch IPS touchscreen display with WUXGA (1920 x 1200) as its screen resolution. The display has a maximum brightness of 400 nits and covers a 100% sRGB range for precise color reproduction. Lenovo also offers an OLED variant with 4K WQUXGA as the screen resolution.
Even with the WUXGA IPS display, the colors appear to be vibrant and the viewing angles are great. The whites appeared to be slightly warm in terms of color temperatures and it’s mostly due to the low blue-light capability of the screen.
The laptop also comes with a 1080p camera and an IR lens on the top bezel of the screen. And for those concerned about privacy, the camera features an e-shutter that disables the camera view when activated. As compared to older Lenovo laptops that came with a physical camera shutter, the e-shutter is internal and can only be activated by pressing the F9 killswitch.
One might think that having a large laptop chassis means more room for ports and connectivity. However, the ThinkPad Z16 only has three USB-C ports in total, two of which are on the left side and the other on the right. There is also a headphone jack, a SIM slot, and a power button with fingerprint scanning on the right side. Media professionals will be pleased that the laptop has a full-sized SD card slot. And for those who are disappointed with the lack of an HDMI port, the laptop comes with a USB-C dongle for that purpose.
The laptop also features a physical dimension of 15.8mm x 355mm x 238mm. The chassis is made of recycled aluminum and in arctic grey colors and the laptop weighs 1.95kg. The keyboard used here is backlit and has a dedicated fingerprint scanner that’s located next to the arrow keys. You also get the usual red-colored ThinkPad signature pointer and the large trackpad does have separate touch-sensitive left and right mouse click buttons. The trackpad is very spacious for mouse cursor movements. The keyboard is also pleasant to type on, although the experience may not be as good as what you would get from the elite ThinkPad laptops.
The keyboard area also features user-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos. The outer lid portion also has a very clean design with the usual ThinkPad logo on the top left side and its red LED dot above the “i”. As a part of its design, the laptop’s front-facing camera portion actually protrudes outwards to house the 1080p camera and an IR lens system and it serves as a support to open the laptop lid easily.
The rear side of this extension features a stainless steel hairline finish with the Z16 branding on the left side and the details of the camera on the right. The bottom panel of the laptop can be popped open for future upgrades and there is also an air vent for easy air circulation.
Lenovo also takes preserving the planet seriously and also uses packaging made of rapid-renewable bamboo sugarcane fiber that is 100% compostable. And I have to admit, we like the packing better than earlier models. Even the manuals and documents are made of recyclable materials and the color and quality of the paper remind us of how manuals used to look and feel back in the old days.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 doesn’t fall short when it comes to performance. Under the hood lies the Rembrandt-based AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850H 8-core processor with base clocks set at 3.2 GHz and boost speeds that hits up to 4.7GHz. The processor is joined with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM in a quad-channel configuration. The system runs on the latest Windows 11 Pro OS and is installed on a fast Samsung MZVL2512HCJQ 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD.
While the APU already has its own Radeon 680M integrated graphics, Lenovo also slapped in a discrete graphics chip and the GPU used here is the mid-range AMD Radeon RX 6500M laptop GPU, featuring 4GB GDDR6 RAM and the graphics based on the RDNA 2 architecture. Although not high-end, the Radeon RX 6500M should be able to handle some gaming as long as you are kind with the graphical settings. Apart from gaming, the performance of the system is very good for day-to-day tasks and decent for professional workloads.
We did some benchmarks based on 3DMark FireStrike, TimeSpy, PCMark 10 Extended, Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, and CrystalDiskMark. Check out the scores below.
As a part of the partnership between AMD and Microsoft, the ThinkPad Z16 also includes ground-breaking chip-to-cloud technology with Microsoft Pluton and chip-level AMD Memory Guard onboard. The IR camera also supports facial recognition.
Lenovo claims that the 4 Cell Li-Polymer 72 Wh battery on the laptop can last for about 20.5 hours of working time, according to their MobileMark 2018 test. We ran the PCMark 10 Modern Office battery test and the laptop lasted for 7 hours and 17 minutes. Other features include Qualcomm WCN685x WiFi 6E with Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
If you’re looking for a premium laptop with good performance and a large display in a stylish chassis, then take a look at the new Lenovo ThinkPad Z16. The laptop comes with a 16-inch IPS touchscreen display with WUXGA as its resolution. There is also a 1080p and IR camera on the top and there are two user-facing Dolby Atmos speakers in the keyboard area. The keyboard and trackpad are large in size, along with a multi-purpose pointer and there is also a fingerprint scanner on the keyboard.
The device comes powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850H 8-core processor, along with 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and a fast PCIe 4.0 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Pro. Lenovo also included the chip-to-cloud technology with Microsoft Pluton and chip-level AMD Memory Guard for extra security. And the device also offers a decent level of battery life, depending on the workload. You can also rapid charge the laptop to achieve 80% of the battery in an hour.