Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 review: Disappointing webcam, great everything else

execs and cons Professionals Construct high quality feels ultra-premium Usually glorious ThinkPad keyboard Carried out above expectations throughout all duties Cons Webcam was a significant disappointment Battery life wasn’t something particular Touchpad haptics are terrible out of the field extra shopping for selections Lenovo’s ThinkPad line has lasted for many years in consistently evolving product … The post Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 review: Disappointing webcam, great everything else appeared first on Ferdja.

Jun 2, 2023 - 13:00
Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 review: Disappointing webcam, great everything else


execs and cons

  • Construct high quality feels ultra-premium
  • Usually glorious ThinkPad keyboard
  • Carried out above expectations throughout all duties
  • Webcam was a significant disappointment
  • Battery life wasn’t something particular
  • Touchpad haptics are terrible out of the field

extra shopping for selections

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line has lasted for many years in consistently evolving product class. That spectacular feat was achieved by means of a mixture of persistently nice construct high quality, spectacular specs, and a bizarre little crimson nub that nearly nobody makes use of, however ThinkPad die-hards nonetheless love. 

Right this moment, we’re Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16, 16-inch model that boasts spectacular energy in a skinny and lightweight chassis. Whereas its construct high quality is impeccable, and efficiency was blazing quick, it was held again from scoring even larger by a surprisingly mediocre webcam. 

Positive, webcams are extra necessary than ever in our distant work and studying world, however the Z16’s premium development and uncooked energy may nonetheless make it the best journey PC for you. 

Learn on to see if this new ThinkPad from Lenovo ought to be your subsequent laptop computer.

Additionally: The very best laptops: Does Apple take the crown?


Processor AMD Ryzen 9 PRO
Show 16-inch 1920×1200 IPS panel (4K OLED possibility obtainable)
Reminiscence 32GB DDR5 RAM (soldered)
Storage As much as 2TB PCIe NVMe
Webcam FHD 1080p f/2.0 digital camera, fastened focus
Battery 72Wh, rated for as much as 20.5 hours
Ports 2 x USB4 40Gbps, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x combo audio jack (3.5mm), SD Card Reader
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight and dimensions 3.99lb | 354.4 x 237.4 x 15.8 mm (13.95 x 9.35 x 0.62 inches)


The Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 with its lid closed, on a desk.

The smooth, well-built lid screams high quality, but additionally features a few extra badges than could have been strictly needed.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

It ought to be clear proper from the beginning that Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16 is not a funds mannequin. The most affordable configuration we discovered was $1,800. So, it positively wanted to really feel premium in each means attainable. 

Fortunately, it does. 

I’ve lengthy loved Lenovo’s construct high quality, and this is among the most impressive-feeling entries in that saved line.

From its full textured steel enclosure to the smartphone-esque band round its edges, this laptop computer feels extra fastidiously designed than every other Home windows transportable I’ve used not too long ago, together with premium fashions.

Additionally: The very best Home windows laptops 

The ThinkPad logo on the lid of Lenovo's ThinkPad Z16

You have to admit, the glowing dot is much more artistic than your common energy indicator.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Little touches just like the “respiratory” LED on the dotted in “i” in ThinkPad additionally proceed to endear me to the road by exhibiting only a little bit of playfulness on this severe machine. 

The keyboard of Lenovo's ThinkPad Z16

The well-spaced keys present a wonderful, comfy typing expertise.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The Z16 additionally feels nice in use. It is usually glorious keyboard consists of the trademark TrackPoint. However, not like some current fashions, the unit depends on a non-moving glass trackpad, with out discrete left and proper click on buttons.

The trackpad of the Lenovo Z16

The trackpad is totally stationary, utilizing haptic suggestions to simulate clicks, like current MacBooks.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

I used to be initially dissatisfied by the brand new trackpad. By default, the haptic suggestions it makes use of to exchange mechanical clicks was very weak, virtually undetectable close to its edges. Fortunately, as soon as I would raised the haptic suggestions stage within the laptop computer’s settings, it improved dramatically, and was laborious to discern from mechanical clicks. 

Options and ports

The ports on the right side of the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16

The appropriate aspect of the laptop computer features a energy button, a combo 3.5mm jack for headphones and microphones, a single USB-C port, and a Kensington lock port.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Like many current premium laptops, the Z16 depends virtually totally on USB-C. Its USB-C connections consists of one 3.2 Gen 2 port and two USB4 40Gbps ports that provide knowledge switch, Energy Supply (PD) 3.0, and DisplayPort 1.4. 

The ports on the left side of the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16

And on the left aspect we have got two extra USB-C ports and a full-sized SD card reader.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The one different connectivity choices are a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and a full-sized SD card reader. The latter will probably please photograph and video editors engaged on the go. 

Additionally: The very best 5 laptop computer docking stations

I will not delve into the heated debate over what ports a high-end laptop computer ought to have. Nonetheless, this one requires customers to lean closely on dongles for connecting non-USB-C peripherals and shows. In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to have USB-C storage, displays, and peripherals, nice. In any other case, you will want adapters in your bag for cameras, screens, and so forth. Be sure to’re comfy with that earlier than selecting this mannequin.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16's display.

The 1920×1200 show makes use of an IPS panel with some ultra-slim bezels.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The included show on my assessment unit runs at 1920×1200 pixels. You possibly can see particular person pixels in the event you sit shut. Nonetheless, I discovered the general high quality and readability glorious. If you need one of the best show obtainable on the Z16, Lenovo provides a 4K OLED panel. However, 4K resolutions are overkill for shows beneath 24 inches. 

Shade accuracy and saturation have been stable, though some brighter shades (like our trademark ZDNET colour) seemed barely anemic at decrease brightness. With brightness turned up, the show was attractive, albeit energy hungry.


The lid-mounted “Communications Bar” homes each the included webcam, and the Z16’s twin array microphones.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The final merchandise on this part was probably the most disappointing a part of the laptop computer. Situated within the “Communications Bar” on the lid are the unit’s webcam and microphones. 

The webcam and IR camera on Lenovo's ThinkPad Z16

The within of the bar reveals a traditional-looking webcam lens, and an IR digital camera that can assist you login through facial recognition with Home windows Hiya.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Whereas I discovered the twin microphones to be nice for any probably job, I could not say the identical for the webcam. I’ve recorded a video (beneath) utilizing the built-in digital camera and microphones, so you possibly can decide for your self. 

As talked about within the video, I’ve given the webcam one of the best probability to carry out nicely by utilizing the setup I make use of for my movies on ZDNET’s YouTube channel. However, even with ample mild, the digital camera nonetheless seemed noisy. The video above appears extra like one thing recorded utilizing a generic 720p webcam, not the highly-touted “FHD f/2.0” cam the Communications Bar lists. 

Additionally: The very best webcams

It is nonetheless higher than most budget-laptops. However, the Z16 is a premium mannequin, and you must count on its digital camera to rise to that designation. Sadly, it did not. 

Efficiency and battery life

Lenovo's ThinkPad Z16 laptop sitting on a desk

The unit was basically silent all through my testing, even once I was actively pushing it to its processing limits. Bonus preview of what a several-year-old ThinkPad begins to seem like within the prime left nook.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Whenever you spend almost $2,000 for a laptop computer, you are probably an influence consumer. This implies efficiency is paramount for you. 

My assessment unit got here geared up with a Ryzen 7 Professional CPU and 16GB of DDR5 RAM. The mixture deftly dealt with the whole lot I threw at it, even some mild gaming. 

Fundamental duties like shopping and accessing community recordsdata have been near-instant, because of Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. In the meantime, extra advanced, processor-intensive duties like rendering movies confirmed processing occasions on par with my recently-built Twelfth-gen Core i7 desktop. 

Additionally: In search of one of the best laptop? Listed here are the highest desktops, laptops, and extra

Between the ample efficiency headroom and above common show, I would wholeheartedly advocate this mannequin to content material creators that desire a cell workhorse for processing pictures, video, and audio. 

Talking of audio, the built-in audio system outperformed most laptops I’ve used not too long ago. They might get very loud whereas sustaining readability and glorious constancy. They don’t seem to be one of the best laptop computer audio system I’ve ever heard (that crown nonetheless goes to the previous couple MacBook Pro models), however they’re unquestionably ok for music listening when you work, or film viewing on the street. 

The ThinkPad Z16 is by no means marketed as a gaming laptop computer, however I used to be curious the way it may deal with some light-weight titles. The reply was shockingly nicely. 

A screenshot from Overwatch 2 with the FPS counter highlighted

You possibly can see the FPS counter within the prime left. It might drop after leaving the spawn room, and through huge battles, however not by a lot.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Working the recently-released Overwatch 2 (a comparatively easy-to-run title for a first-person shooter) on “Finest Efficiency” energy administration settings resulted in body charges nicely previous the 60 frames per second the included show helps. Even upping the sport’s settings significantly solely resulted within the occasional dip into the mid-40s. 

In the end, I discovered the ThinkPad Z16 can deal with something in need of AAA gaming titles with absurd graphical necessities (suppose Cyberpunk 2077).  I would not fear about dragging my crew down whereas getting in just a few rounds of multiplayer video games on the street. 

Additionally: The very best gaming laptops

This stage of efficiency was significantly spectacular given the thinness and lightweight weight of the unit. At beneath 4 kilos and barely over 1/2-inch thick, I would count on something pushing this many pixels and bits to be a fireplace hazard. However, the system ran extremely cool and quiet all through my testing. 

The battery data in Windows 11 for the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16

A mean session with 3 hours, 12 minutes left at about half battery energy. I used to be shopping web sites and streaming music in Finest Energy Effectivity mode, for reference.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

All of that energy does, after all, affect the laptop computer’s battery life. Lenovo charges the unit’s most lifespan at 20.5 hours. I’ve by no means seen an estimated battery life larger than about 12 to 13 hours, based on Home windows 11, even in Battery Saver mode. 

Throughout extra intense duties, that estimate usually landed round 5 to 7 hours. Thoughts you, that is nonetheless spectacular for a number of, simultaneous jobs like recording video, enjoying streaming media, and transferring giant recordsdata throughout my house community. 

Extra: The 5 finest USB-C laptop computer chargers

I doubt you will have hassle getting by means of a full day of labor with a single cost, except you are rendering high-def video all through. Going by means of what I consider is a typical consumer’s mixture of shopping, watching, emailing, and writing, I averaged 10 to 12 hours of use earlier than I needed to plug in. For a reasonably light-weight laptop computer with a 16-inch show, that is fairly nice. 

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z16's charger

The handily-labeled 135W charger that is included within the field.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

In the event you do must prime up mid-day, the included 135W charger makes fast work of refilling the included battery through its USB-C connection. 

Backside line 

I opened by noting that the ThinkPad Z16 may be very a lot a premium laptop computer, with the excessive expectations that designation carries. From the construct high quality, by means of the efficiency, to the battery life, I used to be persistently impressed. The one adverse standout was that pesky webcam. If Lenovo hadn’t branded the lid with its specs and created a devoted “Communications Bar” to deal with it, I may need shrugged at its mediocre efficiency. However, if you are going to make one thing a showpiece of a $2,000ish laptop computer, it had higher be a spotlight. It wasn’t.

If you need a do-it-all, desktop alternative pocket book that can final nearly all day, look no additional. There are programs that carry out simply as nicely for lots of of {dollars} much less, however none that provide the identical stage of wow-inducing construct high quality or the eye to element that is made Lenovo’s ThinkPad line a favourite of enterprise vacationers for 30 years. 

Alternate options to think about 

MacBooks are sometimes seen because the gold commonplace for what laptops ought to be. Essentially the most comparable mannequin, in type and value is Apple’s newest 16-inch MacBook Pro. It sports activities an M1 Professional processor and all of the blazing-fast efficiency and epic battery life that features. 

Evaluate: 16-inch M1 Professional MacBook Professional assessment

LG is not generally known as a laptop computer maker, however its Gram sequence has produced been well-reviewed, light-weight entries for a number of years. The 2022 mannequin isn’t any exception, providing ones of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market with a 16-inch show.

Evaluate: LG Gram 16 assessment

If you need one thing a bit smaller with the identical ultra-premium vibes as Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16, Dell’s brand-new XPS 13 might be the way in which to go. The design seems like a laptop computer from the long run, whereas the configuration choices skew excessive sufficient that can assist you create a beast of a cell workstation. 

The post Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 review: Disappointing webcam, great everything else appeared first on Ferdja.