Lenovo’s Feathery 13-Inch LaVie Z Ultrabook Is A Powerful MacBook Alternative Priced From $1499

Lenovo stunned us all when it announced the ultra-light LaVie Z Series notebook and convertible at CES 2015. Developed in conjunction with NEC Personal Computers (NECP), what were previously known as the LaVie Z HZ550 (laptop) and LaVie Z HZ750 (convertible) are now know simply as the LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360.

Both the LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360 are constructed of lightweight magnesium-lithium and measure just 16.9mm thick. The LaVie Z weighs in at an unbelievable 1.87 pounds, while its convertible counterpart tips the scales at 2.04 pounds.

When it comes to specs, both LaVie Z Series models are loaded to the gills: you’ll find a 13.3-inch QHD (2560x1440) display, Intel Core i7-5500U processor, 8GB of LPDDR3 memory, a 256GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 802.11ac wireless, and Bluetooth 4.0. You’ll also find Yamaha speakers, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and an SD card reader. Battery life is also identical for both models: 9 hours courtesy of a 6-cell battery.

lenovo LavieZ 360 black transparent
Lenovo LaVie Z 360

Both devices will ship with Windows 8.1, but will receive a free update to Windows 10 when it launches this summer.

As for pricing, neither device comes cheap. The LaVie Z starts at $1,499 while the LaVie 360 will set you back a princely $1,699. But given the specs and the lightweight frames, we can’t be too shocked at Lenovo’s pricing strategy. After all, Apple’s 12-inch MacBook weighs 2.03 pounds and starts at $1,299. But the MacBook is saddled with a vastly underpowered Core M processor versus the Core i7 goodness lurking under the hood of Lenovo’s newest portables.

And we also must applaud Lenovo for including two full-size USB ports and support for an external display and memory cards with its new laptop and convertible while still being able to deliver machines that are incredibly light. It just goes to show that you don’t have to make significant usability compromises just to prove a point in the tech world.