Here's something different from Lenovo, the LaVie Z and the LaVie Z 360. Yes, they're still unassuming matte black rectangles like most ThinkPads, but these are wafer thin and are currently the lightest 13.3" laptops on the market. The non-touch LaVie Z weighs less than the 12" Retina MacBook, while the touch model with a 360 degree hinges weighs the same as the tiniest MacBook. NEC developed both LaVie Z models, and we first saw an NEC-branded LaVie Z (never sold in the US) in 2012. NEC now brands it as a VersaPro and through a joint venture with Lenovo; Lenovo sells it around the world as the Lenovo LaVie Z. That partnership began a few years ago and extends to 2026, so the LaVie Z models aren't a one time venture.
In terms of specs, the LaVie Z models are quite impressive given their diminutive weight and slim profiles. There's no one port constraint here: the laptops have full side HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot and 3.5mm combo audio. Both the non-touch and touch models are sold with the same high-end configuration: the Intel Core i7-5500U, 8 gigs of RAM and an M.2 256 gig SSD. They have Intel 7265 dual band WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 and the usual webcam. The Sharp IGZO QHD 2560 x 1440 displays are quite good and battery life is decent even though we have to wonder how NEC managed to squeeze an adequate battery in the slim chassis.
The Lenovo LaVie Z is a conventional laptop with a matte display and a 180 degree hinge. The LaVie Z 360 has a gloss touch screen and a 360 degree hinge that allows you to use it in laptop and tablet models.
Here's our video review of the Lenovo LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360. Our full written review will follow soon.