Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US) Review

October 5, 2015
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Take a look at Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US), what can you see? An elite notebook with high-performance components and sleek design? That’s what it seems to be. There are i7 processor and real SSD speeding the system up, and the unit definitely looks professional. But it’s also very pricey, and in my opinion not everybody should spend this much on a laptop. On the other hand, some people would benefit from having such a powerhouse at their disposal. Who those people are, and what this notebook could do for them, will be discussed in the review below.

General performance

It’s a solid set of components you find in the engine room of Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US). The processor is familiar Intel Core i7-5500U which gives you two cores to play with and 2.4GHz clock speed – that will be increased to 3.0GHz with the turbo boost. It’s indeed i7, the processor series considered the best of Intel, however this model features ultra low voltage design – hence the U suffix. You shouldn’t need to worry about excess heat here, but on the other hand performance isn’t on par with “real” i7s. For example, the regular voltage i7-4720HQ gets over 8000 CPU Mark points while this i7-5500U receives around 4000. A huge difference indeed, but I’d say any processor with over 3000 grade is excellent for everyday computing. When it’s 4000 or more, a power user with demanding/simultaneous applications will also enjoy the notebook.

The laptop has 8GB memory available, a proper amount for professionals indeed. I’m not actually sure if you’re able to put in more, there are no information about the possibility for RAM upgrade on Lenovo website. The 256GB solid-state drive means excellent system performance, and you won’t have to deal with hard drive upgrades here.

Is it any good for gaming?

Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US) is quite expensive, but it’s no gamer’s dream. See, the computer doesn’t have any kind of dedicated graphics card – only the basic Intel HD 5500 that comes integrated on the processor. However, it doesn’t outright suck, you’re able to get playable frame rates if you reduce eye candy. To give you an example, the popular Grand Theft Auto 5 would get ca. 25 FPS played on medium settings and 1366×768 resolution. League of Legends, on the other hand, is likely to give +40FPS with Full HD and default settings on.

Is the screen also professional?

Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US) features a small anti-glare 13.3″ display, but its specifications look rather interesting. For example, it features 2560×1440 maximum resolution, a so-called Quad HD. It’s certainly a professional’s choice but it’s uncertain if you actually need that much in a 13-inches display, the icons and text will surely look small. Of course the resolution can always be changed to, say, Full HD or less. And somebody working with photos or videos would appreciate the high resolution anyway. Touch isn’t supported, you’ll have to deal with operating system (pre-installed Windows 8.1) using keyboard and mouse.

What devices can I connect?

Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US) features all the common ports a 13.3 inches notebook often has. There are two USB 3.0s at your disposal, also HDMI-out is there so you can plug in an external display. As you might guess, there’s no DVD drive (no space for that), but feel free to get an external drive for discs.

This thing connects to Internet via 802.11 A/C standard WiFi card. Bluetooth 4.0 works too. RJ-45 port isn’t available, but with USB adapter you can get that as well.

Other things you might put to good use are SD card slot and 720p front-facing webcam.

Something else I should know?

Portability is the best thing in Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US). It weighs a mere 1.9 pounds, compare that to 5 pounds weight of a regular 15.6″ laptop. Also thickness is 0.67 inches, much less these units often are. Finding place in your purses/backpacks will be easy and you won’t get exhausted carrying this Lenovo around.

The battery specifications were not available, but benchmarks show it is good for 7 hours web browsing. It’s not the best of ultrabooks, but lasting almost a full day is still quite an achievement.

The keyboard seems to be “Japanese” style, in that some keys are in different places than you’re probably used to. For example, Delete and Insert keys are on the front row, next to the space bar. Also keep in mind the keyboard doesn’t have backlight.


Lenovo Lavie Z (20FG0013US) offers plenty of power for guys with heavyweight applications – that would include power users, office workers with special programs and digital artists. But gamers I don’t include on that list, because despite all these powerful components, one essential thing is missing: a dedicated graphics card. With the current integrated chip, gamers are not going to find much use for this notebook. Others however are, but the computer would offer much better value with a dedicated graphics. Anyway, if you don’t care about gaming and have the money, by all means go for it. This Lenovo won’t slow down, no matter what (non-gaming) applications you throw at it!

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