Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 Review

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 Evaluation


Should you suppose Lenovo’s enterprise laptops are the epitome of enterprise IT, you do not know the ThinkPad Z sequence. Constructed for nonconformists (with AMD as an alternative of Intel silicon) and tree-huggers (with recycled and sustainable supplies), the ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 (begins at $1,225.26; $2,488.85 as examined) even encompasses a silvery Arctic Grey aluminum shell as an alternative of the standard matte black magnesium chassis. The Z16 is a high-performance desktop alternative that is as smooth and well-built as you count on from a ThinkPad, nevertheless it is not low cost and has a few flaws not widespread to the model.

Design: A Field Made from Bamboo and Sugar Cane 

Crafted from recycled aluminum and delivered in plastic-free, compostable packaging, the ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 begins at $1,225.26 with an AMD Ryzen 5 Professional 7640HS processor, 16GB of reminiscence, a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive, a 1,920-by-1,200-pixel non-touch IPS show, and Home windows 11 House

Our $2,488.85 assessment unit (mannequin 21JX0027US) is the highest of the road, leapfrogging the accessible Ryzen 7 Professional for an eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 9 Professional 7940HS chip, the max 64GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, Win 11 Professional, a 4GB AMD Radeon RX 6550M discrete GPU as an alternative of the processor’s Radeon 780M built-in graphics, and a 3,840-by-2,400-pixel 4K contact display screen with OLED expertise. The one accessible improve is a 2TB drive.

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(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

The laptop computer measures 0.63 by 14 by 9.4 inches and weighs 3.99 kilos (IPS variations weigh a bit extra). That is trimmer than the Gigabyte Aero 16 OLED (0.87 by 13.9 by 10.1 inches, 4.2 kilos), however hefty in contrast with the two.73-pound Acer Swift Edge 16. Skinny bezels encompass the 16:10 facet ratio display screen, and a slight bump on the high homes the webcam, which has a privateness toggle (the F9 key) as an alternative of Lenovo’s normal sliding shutter.

The face-recognition webcam is not the one method to skip passwords with Home windows Good day, as you may discover a fingerprint reader on the underside row of the keyboard. Like most ThinkPads, the unit has handed MIL-STD 810H exams for journey hazards like shock, vibration, and excessive temperatures—you may really feel nearly no flex in the event you grasp the display screen corners or press the keyboard deck.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 left ports

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

The Z16’s connectivity is a serious disappointment, nevertheless, and we do not imply its use of Wi-Fi 6E as an alternative of absolutely the newest Wi-Fi 7. All you get are three USB Kind-C ports: two USB4 plus an SD card slot on the left, and one USB-C 3.2 plus an audio jack on the best. (The cumbersome AC adapter has a USB-C cable.) You possibly can join an exterior monitor through a DisplayPort dongle, however I see no excuse for a non-ultraportable laptop computer to lack HDMI and USB Kind-A ports.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 right ports

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

Utilizing the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2: Much less Fantastic Than Common 

We have typically known as Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards one of the best within the laptop computer enterprise. The Z16’s keyboard has a first-class snappy (if barely shallow) typing really feel and is brightly backlit, however I used to be dismayed that its cursor arrow keys are organized within the clumsy row seen on HP laptops—half-height up and down arrows stacked between full-size left and proper—as an alternative of the standard and correct inverted T. 

Additionally, whilst you’ll discover devoted House and Finish keys on the highest row as with most ThinkPads, you could pair the Fn key with the hard-to-hit up and down arrows for Web page Up and Web page Down. (On a a lot happier be aware, Lenovo has lastly moved the Ctrl key to the left as an alternative of the best of Fn at backside left.)

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 keyboard

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

Loyal followers of Lenovo’s TrackPoint keyboard mini-joystick cursor controller will look in useless for the normal three mouse buttons beneath the area bar—their function is carried out right here by a haptic strip alongside the highest of the buttonless touchpad. Tapping the slim high space’s left and proper sides for left- and right-clicks work wonderful, however the remainder of the pad is irritating, typically ignoring faucets on the default setting (dialing in additional sensitivity helps), popping up an undesirable right-click menu, or typically not following my fingertips in addition to I am accustomed to from different laptops and definitely from ThinkPads.

The keyboard has helpful shortcuts in addition to the digicam shutter and microphone mute, like F10 and F11 that place and finish Microsoft Groups calls. Plus, double-tapping the TrackPoint nubbin now pops up a helpful menu—although I needed to set up Microsoft .NET 6.0 first—with audio and mic settings and voice typing or dictation. However general I contemplate the Z16 Gen 2’s inputs a step backward.

Lenovo’s keyboard deck has massive speaker grilles on both aspect of the keys as an alternative of creating room for a numeric keypad. Their sound is actually loud—too loud at greater than 75% quantity—and supplies each clear instrumentals and a welcome little bit of bass, however is moderately hole when turned up. Dolby Audio software program supplies dynamic, film, music, sport, and voice presets in addition to optimization for VoIP.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 lid

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

The 1080p webcam captures well-lit and colourful pictures and movies with minimal noise or static. Lenovo View software program supplies video enhancement (on AC energy solely), auto framing, background blur, and the choice to superimpose you in your shared display screen or PowerPoint, in addition to over-the-shoulder onlooker and poor-posture warnings. 

The ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2’s greatest characteristic is its high-resolution OLED contact show, which is splendidly shiny with wealthy and vivid colours. Photos, movies, webpages, and even Phrase paperwork look fabulous, with broad viewing angles and sky-high distinction. Blacks are inky and white backgrounds are clear as an alternative of dingy, although the display screen does not tilt again fairly so far as I might like. You will discover zero pixelation round wonderful particulars or the perimeters of letters.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 front view

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

Lenovo Vantage software program centralizes system updates, Wi-Fi safety, and battery in addition to microphone settings. The usual guarantee is skimpy by company requirements—one 12 months of carry-in or ship-to-depot service—however extensions and on-site choices are plentiful.

Testing the Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2: Ryzen 9 Challenges Core i9 

A lot of the 16-inch desktop replacements we have examined have skewed extra towards content material creators than workplace staff. Two with OLED screens already talked about are the Intel Core i9-powered Gigabyte Aero 16 OLED and the light-weight, AMD Ryzen 7-based Acer Swift Edge 16. The Asus Vivobook Professional 16 is a cut price (about $1,400 as examined), due to a comparatively low-resolution IPS show. The Editors’ Selection award-winning Dell XPS 15 has a 15.6-inch OLED panel.

Productiveness Assessments 

We run the identical basic productiveness benchmarks throughout each cell and desktop techniques. Our first check is UL’s PCMark 10, which simulates a wide range of real-world productiveness and workplace workflows to measure general system efficiency and likewise features a storage subtest for the first drive.

Three different benchmarks give attention to the CPU, utilizing all accessible cores and threads, to charge a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a fancy scene, whereas Geekbench 5.5 Professional from Primate Labs simulates well-liked apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Subsequent, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease occasions are higher).

Lastly, we run PugetBench for Photoshop by workstation maker Puget Methods, which makes use of the Artistic Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to charge a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia functions. It is an automatic extension that executes a wide range of basic and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The Lenovo completed close to the highest of those exams (and was the one system in addition to the Gigabyte to finish our Adobe Photoshop benchmark, narrowly beating the latter although each had sky-high scores). Like its rivals, the Z16 obliterated the 4,000-point rating that signifies wonderful on a regular basis productiveness in PCMark 10 and confirmed greater than sufficient muscle for gentle to average photograph and video modifying

Graphics Assessments 

We check every Home windows PC’s graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night time Raid (extra modest, appropriate for laptops with built-in graphics) and Time Spy (extra demanding, appropriate for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). 

Moreover, we run two exams from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses each low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automobile Chase exams are rendered offscreen to accommodate completely different show resolutions. The extra frames per second (fps), the higher.

The laptops with discrete GPUs simply (and predictably) outran the built-in graphics of the Acer, although within the ThinkPad’s case that was solely ok for fourth place, with its AMD Radeon RX 6550M trailing the three Nvidia GeForce techniques. It is wonderful for informal and average gaming, although it is happier dealing with workplace work and video streaming. 

Battery and Show Assessments 

We check every laptop computer’s battery life by enjoying a domestically saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Metal) with show brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100%. We be certain the battery is absolutely charged earlier than the check, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off. 

Moreover, we use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Home windows software program to measure a laptop computer display screen’s colour saturation—what share of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 colour gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter).

The Z16 and the opposite three notebooks with OLED screens delivered the dazzling colour replica, brightness, and distinction you count on from that expertise, although the Asus did exceedingly nicely for an IPS panel. The ThinkPad trailed solely the Dell in battery life, exhibiting prolonged unplugged stamina for a desktop alternative system.

Verdict: An Eco-Pleasant Letdown 

The ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 is a good-looking, comparatively trim full-size laptop computer with a terrific OLED show, and it is a highly effective performer for something wanting workstation CGI rendering. However changing the TrackPoint buttons with an uncharacteristically balky touchpad does not work for us, and we’re postpone by the lacking USB-A and HDMI ports. Lenovo’s exemplary construct high quality is what finally earns this laptop computer a 3.5-star assessment, however this time an Editors’ Selection award is off the desk.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2


  • Beautiful 4K OLED show

  • Speedy efficiency

  • Ample battery life

  • High quality construct

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The Backside Line

Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 is an almost nifty full-size workplace laptop computer, however the firm forgot that previous saying: ‘If it ain’t broke, do not repair it.’

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