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Lenovo launches new ThinkPad Z Series, adds Alexa to Smart Clock Essential

Lenovo has two new Z Series ThinkPads on deck and also saw fit to make an Amazon Alexa version of its Smart Clock Essential.
By
January 4, 2022
Lenovo logo MWC
TL;DR
  • Lenovo announced the ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 laptops with AMD Ryzen processors and recycled leather and aluminum chassis components.
  • Both systems ship with Microsoft’s Windows 11. Pricing starts at $1,549 for the Z13 and $2,099 for the Z16.
  • Lenovo also announced a new version of its Smart Clock Essential, trading Google Assistant for Amazon Alexa.

Lenovo announced two new Windows laptops at CES 2022, adding to its renowned ThinkPad series with fresh AMD-powered machines. The Z Series endeavors to combine contemporary design aesthetics with sustainable materials in a way that should appeal to those who want to balance form and function. Lenovo designed the ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 in deep collaboration with AMD to ensure the laptops cover core productivity features while also delivering meaningful audio, visual, and casual gaming experiences.

The company also refreshed its Smart Clock Essential product with Amazon Alexa in a bid to expand its smart home footprint.

Z Series: Shared smarts

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Hero Rear Facing Right
Lenovo

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line is a veritable vegetable soup of offerings. In addition to the vaunted X1 line, there’s the T, P, C, and E families all adding to the expansive series. These two Z Series machines are a fresh start, the first of their kind, and they share plenty of foundational elements.

See also: The best Lenovo laptops you can buy

To start, the Z13 and Z16 are available with vegan leather and aluminum finishes, and they arrive in recyclable bamboo and sugarcane packaging. Furthermore, the included AC power adapter is made from 90% post-consumer content.

The displays make use of the 16:10 aspect ratio and the haptic glass ForcePad stretches 120mm below the keyboard. The Lenovo TrackPoint in the middle of the keyboard tacks on a new double-tap feature that launches the Communication QuickMenu for making quick adjustments to the camera and microphones.

Speaking of which, both machines feature an FHD web camera at f/2.0 with a privacy shade. There are two microphones on board, which are managed by Dolby Voice AI for eliminating background noise. You’ll also find Dolby Atmos stereo speakers as well as Dolby Vision screens.

Last, the two new Z Series ThinkPads offer Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and Cat 16 LTE 4G for business connectivity.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13: Compact killer

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Hero Front Facing Left
Lenovo

The smaller Z13 offers a 13.3-inch display with a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio. It comes in two touch-enabled versions: a WUXGA IPS LCD or a WQXGA OLED, both at 400 nits. The latter supports a low blue light mode.

Related: The best Lenovo Chromebooks you can buy

Screen size isn’t all that separates the Z Series. The Z13 ships with next-gen AMD Ryzen Pro U-Series processors, though there’s an option to go with AMD Ryzen Pro instead. Either way, you are limited to integrated AMD Radeon graphics, a total of 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 1TB of PCIe Gen 4 storage. It includes two USB-C Gen 4 ports as well as a standard headphone jack. It packs a 50Wh battery.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Hero A Cover
Lenovo

This machine measures 294.4 x 199.6 x 13.99mm and weighs in at 1.25kg (~2.76lbs). Pricing starts at $1,549.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16: Larger canvas

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Hero Front Facing Left
Lenovo

The bigger of the two Z Series machines boasts a 16-inch screen with a 92.3% screen-to-body ratio. The Z16’s display is available in the same resolutions and makes as the Z13, which means an LCD or an OLED at 400 nits with or without touch support.

Check out: The best Lenovo phones you can buy

The Z16 not only has a larger display but better processor options. It ships with a next-gen AMD Ryzen Pro H-Series processor with integrated AMD Radeon graphics, though there’s the option of upgrading to AMD Radeon discrete graphics. The Z16 packs the same 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM but offers PCIe Gen 4 storage up to 2TB. It also packs an extra Gen 4 USB-C port, as well as an SD card reader. The battery rates 70Wh, or about 40% more than that of the Z13.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Hero A Cover
Lenovo

This machine measures 354.4 x 237.4 x 15.8mm and weighs in at 1.97kg (~4.34lbs). Pricing starts at $2,099.

Both the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z14 ship with Windows 11 and will reach various markets starting in May.

Essentially Alexa

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built in Both Sides
Lenovo

The last of Lenovo’s first-day announcements includes a new version of the Smart Clock Essential. Lenovo has wound up a variant of its bedside timekeeper with Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant built-in rather than Google Assistant. The hardware is otherwise unchanged.

See also: Our guide to everything Alexa can do

The Smart Clock Essential with Alexa — available in Clay Red and Misty Blue — includes a monochrome LED clock and weather readout, 1.5W stereo speakers, two far-field microphones with mute toggle, 4GB of RAM, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.1.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa goes on sale later this month for $59.99. It is compatible with a forthcoming Ambient Light Dock, arriving later this quarter for $29.99, and the existing Wireless Charging Dock with Night Light.