Hoping to claim the title for the world’s lightest laptops, Lenovo has introduced two new 13-inch portables that weigh less than a 32-ounce bottle of water. Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas this week, both models rival the MacBook Air in terms of weight, and are aimed squarely at executives on the go.
The Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550 is the lighter model, coming in at just 1.72 pounds, while the LaVie Z HZ750, a convertible laptop similar to those in the company’s Yoga line, is only slightly heavier at 2.04 pounds. Both are the result of a partnership between Lenovo and NEC Personal Computers (NECP).
The companies have been cooperating through a joint venture to produce computers for the Japanese market since 2011. Lenovo holds a 51 percent interest in the joint venture company and recently extended the terms of its agreement through 2026. The devices are Lenovo’s first NECP models to be sold outside of Japan.
Converts to a Tablet
The LaVie line is already well established in Japan, with a reputation for lightweight portables. The LaVie Z HZ750 follows the same general design as the devices in Lenovo’s Yoga line. Each of the models is equipped with a 360-degree hinge that allows a user to use the device as either a laptop with a full keyboard, or to fold the monitor down to work in tablet mode.
Although the HZ550 will not have the full conversion capability of the HZ750, users will still be able to open it to a full 180 degrees.
Both of the LaVie Z models are also extremely thin, measuring just 16.9 mm, a feature that will likely make them attractive to executives looking for devices that will not encumber them too much while standing in line to go through security at the airport.
Each of the devices also sports a magnesium-lithium body for increased durability, along with a similarly constructed magnesium-lithium back cover. According to Lenovo, the alloy is 50 percent lighter than aluminum, allowing for both increased strength and lower weight compared to similar aluminum-bodied laptops. That's another feature likely to make the LaVie Z popular with harried travelers.
Coming in May
The LaVie HZ750 features a touch screen display while the LaVie HZ550 does not, but they both have an 2560 x 1440 pixel screen resolution. The HZ750 also includes a direct bonded touch screen that uses a film instead of cover glass. It will also be powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, while the HZ550 will be powered by Intel’s i5 processor.
The convertible model will come with a standard 44Whr battery, but the HZ550 will have a slimmed down 29.6Whr battery that could prove too skimpy for road warriors without access to outlets. Each model will come with Microsoft Windows 8.1 and a 128 GB SSD storage hard drive.
Both machines will be available in the U.S. beginning in May 2015, starting at approximately $1,299 for the HZ550 and $1,499 for the HZ750.