Lenovo LaVie Z And LaVie Z 360 Reviews: Taking Thin And Light To A Whole New Level

Taking Thin And Light To A Whole New Level

The wealth of ultraportable laptops continues to grow, and we're seeing a more varied array of options than ever before. Be it 2-in-1s like Asus' T300 Chi or a tablet-gone-laptop like Microsoft's Surface 3, those in the market for a mobile computer have plenty of options these days. As manufacturers seek out their own differentiation, we're seeing Lenovo carve out its own special space in the sector with their new LaVie Z series of ultralight notebooks.

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The LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360 are similar machines, hence our doubled-up review here. The innards are identical, and their dimensions are too. The only marked difference between the two is the 360's price tag (it's $200 more than the standard LaVie Z), it's glossy touch panel (compared to the LaVie Z's anti-glare, non-touch screen), and it's ability to flip completely over and convert into a fully-flat tablet like Dell's Inspiron 13 7000, with the help of fully articulating hinges.

On the pages ahead, we'll dive into the specs, design, build quality and features of the new Lenovo LaVie Z series. But first, here's our a quick hands-on tour of the LaVie Z 360 machine and then we'll dig in deeper...

Lenovo LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360
Specifications & Features
Processor Intel Core i7-5500U (2.4GHz; 4MB cache)
Graphics Intel HD 5500 Graphics
Operating System Windows 8.1 64-bit
Display 13.3-inch QHD Anti-Glare Display (2560x1440) on LaVie Z
13.3-inch IPS Multi-Touch Display (2560x1440) on LaVie Z 360
Camera 720p front-facing webcam
Memory & Storage 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM
Up to 256GB SSD
SD Card Reader
I/O Ports 2 x Full-size USB 3.0
1 x Full-Size HDMI output
Headset/microphone combo jack
Proprietary AC charging port
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
Battery Up to 9 hours
Weight 1.87 pounds (LaVie Z)
2.04 pounds (LaVie Z 360)
Dimensions 12.56" x 0.67" x 8.35" (LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360)
MSRP Base Price: $1499 (LaVie Z) / $1699 (LaVie Z 360)

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Despite being shockingly light and thin, Lenovo still manages to cram an awful lot of power under the hood of these machines. While we had assumed that a lot of corners would have to be cut in the performance department in order to make this form factor work, we've been pleasantly surprised. Still, having plenty of oomph doesn't tell the whole story. We'll cover design compromises, software decisions, and plenty more in the pages to come.

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