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  • Kyle Chua

CES 2022: Lenovo Debuts New ThinkPad Z Series, Smart Home Devices

Lenovo is back at the CES show floor this year with a slew of new announcements, debuting new ThinkPad Z series laptops and smart home devices.

ThinkPad Z Series

Credit: Lenovo

The all-new ThinkPad Z laptops, the Z13 and Z16, are powered by AMD’s next-gen Ryzen Pro mobile chips and feature Microsoft’s Pluton security processor, which increases protection against various types of attack from chip to cloud on Windows 11.

The brand says that it has worked closely with AMD to streamline aspects of the system, allowing the two laptops to deliver an optimised experience that’s highlighted by improved audio and video performance, enhanced responsiveness and better battery life for video call applications like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Furthermore, you’ll be able to further boost the CPU, GPU and battery efficiency with AMD’s Smart Shift Max capabilities, a technology that can dynamically budget resources to suit the demand of the workload.

The Z13 ships with Ryzen Pro U-series processors while the Z16 ships with H-series processors. The Z13 will also be available with an exclusive Ryzen Pro processor offering. Meanwhile, you can configure the Z16 with an optional AMD Radeon discrete graphics for use in content creation applications or casual gaming.

Credit: Lenovo

Lenovo additionally touts that both laptops have been redesigned, not only with aesthetics in mind but also sustainability. You can choose from either an aluminium or leather finish, both of which are made from recyclable materials. The sustainability effort extends to the packaging which is made from 100% recyclable and compostable bamboo and sugarcane, and the AC power adapter also uses 90% Post-Consumer Content (PCC).

When it comes to the design itself, the brand says they’ve narrowed the bezels of the screen to accommodate 16:10 aspect ratios, thus achieving the highest screen-to-body ratio within the ThinkPad portfolio; 91.6% for the Z13 and 92.3% for the Z16. The Z13 has a 13.3-inch 2.8K panel while the Z16 has a 16-inch 4K panel. Both are OLED with Dolby Vision support, low blue light and touch support.

Credit: Lenovo

There’s a new Communications Bar where the FHD webcam with a larger 1.4µm sensor and dual-array microphones are situated. What’s more, this new series introduces a larger 120mm glass haptic ForcePad for rapid inputs. The iconic red TrackPoint is still present and double-tapping it now launches a Communication QuickMenu where you can access your camera and microphone settings.

The two ThinkPad Z laptops ship with Windows 11 pre-loaded. Local pricing and availability have yet to be announced. You can check Lenovo’s CES 2022 homepage for the full specs.

Smart Home Devices

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential. Credit: Lenovo

Moving on to smart home devices, Lenovo today also announced its new Smart Clock Essential, which has Alexa built-in.

The device flaunts a big LED display that shows the time and the weather. In case you can’t see it from when you’re, say, across the room, you can always just ask Alexa. You can similarly ask the virtual assistant to set timers, alarms and reminders. It also doubles as a speaker for playing your music or other audio content. Lenovo says that you don’t have to worry about your privacy because the clock doesn’t include a camera and has a built-in mute switch for the microphone. To top it off, the smart clock is wrapped in a stylish soft-touch fabric that comes in two colours, Misty Blue and Clay Red.

Lenovo Ambient Light Dock. Credit: Lenovo

Lenovo also unveiled the Ambient Light Dock, an optional nightlight add-on that connects to the clock’s base. The squid and sea lion-shaped docks feature eight different lighting modes, such as solid colours like cherry, for example, or warm sunset tones or even rainbow.

Lenovo Smart Frame. Credit: Lenovo

The Lenovo Smart Frame received quite a substantial refresh, with it now letting you upload photos from your phone directly to the device’s built-in memory instead of requiring a Google Photos account. Another new addition is the ability to leave virtual sticky notes on the screen in case you want to leave your loved ones with a personal message. The frame also supports video channels, both from your local phone library or from your Google Photos, and soon Instagram as well, showcasing your posts on the platform.

At CES, Lenovo also demonstrated other potential uses for the smart frame, including a new Interactive Activities channel concept. This essentially transforms the frame’s screen into a pop-up interactive experience, where you can, for instance, use it as a fitness companion.

The brand has yet to announce local pricing and availability for all the announced smart home devices.

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