The first time I picked up Lenovo’s new LaVie Z laptop, I thought the company rep who handed it to me was playing one of those hidden-camera jokes. “There’s just no way this laptop is real,” I thought.
Why the disbelief? Well, it’s because of how little the LaVie weighs.
I know that sounds ridiculous, but at less than two pounds, the LaVie Z is incredibly lightweight. Seriously, it’s almost as light as the original iPad.
Yes, it’s that light.
But a great laptop — something you can actually use on a daily basis — has to be more than a featherweight. It has to be powerful, have a great screen, and come with battery that lasts all day.
While the LaVie Z meets some of those standards, it falls short on others. It’s a powerhouse laptop in a tiny package. But the lightweight construction feels flimsy, and the display is less than stellar. And at $1,500, it’s one of the priciest portables around.
Lighter than (the) Air
I’ve said it already, but it bears repeating, the 13-inch LaVie Z is really lightweight. I’ve been fighting the urge to use it as a Frisbee all week.
Ever since I received my review unit, I’ve be playing a game in which I give people a 13-inch MacBook Air and then hand them the LaVie Z, just to see the look of shock on their faces.
It’s not like the Air is a heavyweight, either. At 2.96 pounds, it’s one of the lightest laptops in the world. But at just 1.87 pounds, the LaVie Z is in a class all its own. It even undercuts Apple’s new superthin 12-inch MacBook, which weighs a paltry 2.03 pounds.
Lenovo got the LaVie Z to be so light by building it out of a magnesium-lithium alloy. The company claims that the material is lighter than aluminum yet just as sturdy as the standard magnesium used in today’s laptops.
But the LaVie Z also feels flimsy. You can actually see the screen bend when you open and close the laptop. And forget about accidentally sitting on it or tossing it in a bag that’s going to get knocked around. Apple’s aluminum MacBooks, on the other hand, are far more rigid and sturdy.
The LaVie Z’s looks don’t exactly get the blood pumping, either. Unlike the sleek industrial designs of the MacBook and MacBook Air, the LaVie Z looks like a black slab. While that’s basically Lenovo’s go-to design, it would still be nice to see one of its most interesting products get an equally interesting design.
A not-so-distinguished display
The LaVie Z comes with an extremely sharp 13-inch display. With a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, the LaVie Z’s screen is crisper than the one found on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air, which has a resolution of 1440 x 900. The 12-inch MacBook’s 2304 x 1440 resolution screen, however, is just as clear as the LaVie Z’s.
Unfortunately, colors viewed on the LaVie Z screen certainly didn’t pop nearly as much those on the MacBook Air and MacBook.
By Daniel Howley
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