Upon receiving this Notebook from Lenovo, I thought to myself “eh, another laptop. Not much different from what I’ve used before.” Well, I was wrong. This Notebook is worth speaking of highly. I can see why Lenovo has won the CES Best of 2015 award.
Specs for this laptop goes as follows:
- OS: Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
- Display: 13.3″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) LED anti-glare
- Processor: Intel Core i7-5500U CPU @ 2.40GHz
- Graphics: Intel HD 5500
- Storage: Up to 256GB SSD
- Memory: 8GB RAM
- Camera: 720p HD Webcam
- Weight: 2.04lbs
- Battery: Up to 7 hours MM12, up to 9 hours Video Playback
- Audio: Yamaha AudioEngine
- Communication: WiFi 802.11 a/c + Bluetooth 4.0
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI-out, SD card reader, Combo headphone and mic
Lenovo states they have used specialized magnesium-lithium to keep the frame slim and light, but kept toughness in mind for people on the go. When they say light and slim, they mean it. I’ve never held a laptop that only weighs 2.04lbs.
Using the keyboard did take some getting used to. The Function and Control keys were on opposite sides of each other and on the right side, the Backspace and Shift keys were size of the other keys. I kept tapping on the right click menu key or the up arrow. Annoying, but can easily be forgotten when constantly using the keyboard. The top of the laptop feels like plastic with a hint of rough texture which threw me off guard. It does scuff easily, but those scuffs can be taken off by running your finger over them. Left side is home to the power button volume rocker, and charging port. Trying to power the LaVie on, I had to look and make sure I was pressing it. The same goes for the volume rocker too. The volume up and down also seem to be set up the wrong way. Volume up is where volume down should be and volume down is where volume up should be. Right side you’ll see two 3.0 USB ports, the one HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone port, and an SD card slot. Not much going on at the bottom, but there are two speaker grills.
One thing that surprised me that I didn’t know about is that LaVie is a convertible laptop. Basically, it goes from being a laptop to a tablet with a 13.3″ screen. Lenovo made a smart move on the keyboard and trackpad from not functioning when using it as a tablet.
As high end phones and other laptops these days coming with 2,560×1,440 (2K) resolution, the LaVie Z 360 also seems to follow the trend. The 2k display is being partnered with a 13.3″ anti-glare display. It’s also a touch screen too which makes Windows 8 a lot easier to use when it comes to maneuvering through your pinned app/programs. At times my fingerprints were visible, but that was only when a dark screen came up. Other than that, I could not notice any smudges. Something that I have always liked was not being able to see fingerprints and smudges.
I tend to have my phones on auto brightness, and my laptops at half brightness, so trying out the brightness on the Z 360 was a change of pace. I enjoyed it very much and didn’t want to have it on half brightness any time during the review period. Colors were accurate as well as black and whites.
The Z360 comes with Windows 8.1 installed and was easier to use with the touch screen as described in the “Display” section. Lenovo did install their own software: REACHit, SHAREit, and System Update. There is also the “ThinkVantage Tools” programs too. McAfee is the security program. Microsoft Office also comes pre-installed, but it’s more for you to either try, buy, or activate. If you do need to download any kind of applications, you always have Microsoft’s app store. Sure it may not have as many apps as Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store, but there’s enough to get you by. Though many people did not enjoy Windows 8, I enjoyed it because it was something different and I found it easy to use.
Coming with YAMAHA AudioEngine™, sounds itself will make it seem as if you would have heard it live. Having the volume anywhere from 2-20 definitely needed to be turned up further. The sweet spot for the volume was 46. Anything higher wasn’t an issue, but I don’t see myself ever having to turn the volume up any louder.
The speaker grills are on the bottom of the laptop towards the front corners so sound will be able to bounce off whatever the laptop is resting on and create a louder sound. That will also depends on what the laptop is resting on.
Packing a fifth generation Intel Core i7 processor clocking at 2.40GHz, this slim laptop does not come short on speed. Also on board is 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD, and Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics. I did not test how well the integrated graphics work as I do not play any games on computers. Multitasking was a breeze when I needed to run different applications. A few hiccups here and there, but it’s definitely not a big deal.
Coming standards on most laptops these days, the camera will record video in 720p. Quality of the camera was decent for those who will be using it for video calls.
When I first turned on the LaVie Z 360, battery life was at 98% and the power plan was set for “Lenovo Power Optimized.” After having it on and left alone for close to 4 hours, the battery life dropped to 60% and gave me 4 hours and 52 minutes left for usage. After using it for first few days, I left it on and alone again and powered it on/off when using it and the battery is life is still going. Sure, this is common for laptops, but others I have used ended up losing battery life much faster. Lenovo says you’ll get up to 9 hours with standard battery. Charging the battery did take some time, even when powered off.
Price for the LaVie Z 360 is $1,699.00USD, and while it’s not the cheapest laptop in the market especially with the small hard drive size, it’ll be able to handle most any task you throw at it. If you’re in need of a light-weight, high end laptop, this should be one of your choices, but that’s really only if you don’t have a problem spending $1.699. In comparison the new Macbook is $200 or $400 cheaper (depending on the model), but you’re losing processing speed with the new Macbook.
I know I’ve already stated it before, but Lenovo definitely has a reason why they won the CES Best of 2015 award. The build, the specs, a gorgeous screen, and the “light as a feather” moment when holding it. This is a laptop that I would use until it dies. I would have no other need for one with better specs. Sure the internal storage is only 256GB, but that’s what external hard drives are for. The price is a bit too much to fork out, but if you’re on the go a lot and need something very light, this laptop will work out for you.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Lenovo LaVie Z 360 for the purposes of this review.
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