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Lenovo unveils ThinkPad Z13 laptop with a shell made of plant fiber

Laptop owners who own one of Lenovo’s various ThinkPad laptop models probably know that late February is the season for new releases. Lenovo usually unveils notebook and desktop refreshes across its product lines at the annual Mobile World Congress show. At MWC 2023, the list includes the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2, a flagship laptop that offers high-end features and, for the first time, an outter shell made of plant fiber.

Additionally, Lenovo unveiled the ThinkPad Z16; fourth-gen ThinkPad X13 and X13 Yoga; fourth-gen ThinkPad T14s and T14; second-gen ThinkPad T16; fourth-gen ThinkPad L13, L13 Yoga, L14 and L15; fifth-gen ThinkPad E14; ThinkPad 16; ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One Gen 5 monitor; IdeaPad Duet 3i; and IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook.

As expected, the new Lenovo ThinkPad laptops will support high-end specs, including the latest Intel and AMD processors along with fast LPDDR5 RAM. We’re looking at SSD storage boosts across various models, as well as improvements to existing features. The screens are brighter, and some of these devices feature larger displays thanks to the adoption of Lenovo’s uniquely designed web camera bump. The new webcams also feature improvements across the line.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 has a plant-based shell

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 is easily one of the standout ThinkPad models at MWC 2023. The laptop features a 13.3-inch 16:10 touchscreen display with an optional 2.8K OLED screen upgrade. Specs-wise, we’re looking at the latest AMD Ryzen 7000 processor with AMD Radeon Graphics, up to 64GB LPDDR5x RAM, and up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD.

The top case of Lenovo's ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 laptop next to plat fiber.
The top case of Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 laptop next to a plant fiber sample. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

The ThinkPad Z13 also supports Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, and optional 4G LTE. Add two USB-C ports, one 3.5mm audio port, up to Windows 11 Pro OS, and a 51.5Whr battery with Rapid Charge, and you get the complete picture. This is a flagship laptop that can meet all your needs.

The most exciting thing about the ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 might be the Flax Fiber Bronze shell. That’s not just a fancy color name. Lenovo uses woven Flax Material sourced from harvested flax plant fibers. The material is bonded to the 75% recycled aluminum top cover.

Lenovo told BGR that the Flax shell is just as durable as aluminum and plastic options. Moreover, the Flax cases have to pass the same requirements when it comes to cooling, so performance should not be impacted.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 has an outer shell made of plant fiber.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 has an outer shell made of plant fiber. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Interestingly, each shell is unique, as no two Flax case patterns can be identical, considering how they’re manufactured.

Lenovo is testing the Flax shells on the ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2, which also comes in an Aluminium Artic Grey option. Depending on consumer response, we might see other ThinkPads with similarly eco-friendly components.

More new ThinkPads from Lenovo

Lenovo updated its traditional ThinkPad fleet with new features to meet the current needs of PC users. While they don’t feature plant-based shells, Lenovo is pushing for a circular economy in its products. The company is using recycled materials across the board, including Post Consumer Content (PCC) plastic.

The company’s new ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 and ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 4 have narrower bezels, front-facing Dolby Audio speakers, and a 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED panel that emits less blue light.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga shown at MWC 2023.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga shown at MWC 2023. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

The same Eyesafe Certified Natural Low Blue Light 2.8K OLED panel is available on the ThinkPad T series, the T14 Gen 4, T16 Gen 2, and T14s Gen 4. The laptops can make use of an optional 5-megapixel camera with infrared support.

The ThinkPad L14 Gen 4 and L15 Gen 4 now come with up to 2TB of storage.

The ThinkPad E Series gets the E14 Gen 5 and the brand-new 16-inch ThinkPad E16. The laptop features a distinctive webcam camera bump, which lets Lenovo increase the screen-to-body ratio to 90%. The laptops also feature a new keyboard and a larger touchpad design.

Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 5 shown at MWC 2023.
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 5 shown at MWC 2023. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

The IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook also got an update at MWC 2023. The 14-inch laptop features a MediaTek Kompanio 500 Series processor, a brighter 100% sRGB display, Waves MaxxAudio speakers, a full-function USB-C port, a Full HD webcam with physical shutter, and a mute key.

IdeaPad Duet 3i convertible laptop features a larger display

The IdeaPad Duet 3i is also a standout product that Lenovo unveiled at MWC 2023. It’s a 2-in-1 convertible that gives you either a laptop or a tablet Windows 11 experience.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i convertible shown at MWC 2023.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i convertible shown at MWC 2023. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

The highly-portable laptop is just 8.95mm thick and features a larger 11.5-inch 2K 400-nit touchscreen display with 100% DCI-P3 color support.

Lenovo also upgraded the front and rear cameras of the Duet 3i. We’re looking at a 5-megapixel shooter on the front and an 8-megapixel camera on the back.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i: Tablet and keyboard dock. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

The IdeaPad Duet 3i runs on the latest Intel N-series processor and supports up to 32GB LPDDR5 RAM and up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSDs. The 46Whr battery lasts up to 8.5 hours. The Rapid Charge Boost charging gives you 2 hours of battery life after a 15-minute charge.

Prices and release dates for Lenovo’s MWC 2023 ThinkPad releases

Choosing one of the ThinkPads in the list below will come down to your or your company’s needs. As you can see in the following list, starting prices range from $274 to $1,749, depending on make and model:

  • ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 launches in July 2023 with prices starting from $1,249
  • ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2 launches in August 2023 with prices starting from $1,749.
  • ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 launches in May 2023 with prices starting from $1,099.
  • ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 4 launches in May 2023 with prices starting at $1,379.
  • ThinkPad T14s, T14, and T16 launch in May 2023, with prices starting from $1,479, $1,239, and $1,269, respectively.
  • ThinkPad L13 and L13 Yoga launch in April 2023, with prices starting from $869 and $1,099, respectively.
  • ThinkPad L14 and L15 launch in April 2023, with prices starting from $869 and $869, respectively.
  • ThinkPad E14 Gen 5 and E16 Gen 1 launch in May 2023, with prices starting from $739 and $759, respectively.
  • ThinkPad Professional Sleeves launches in April 2023, with prices starting from $50 for the 13-inch and $50 for the 14-inch.
  • ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One (TIO) Gen 5 Monitors launches in August 2023. Prices will start from $274 for the 22-inch and $294 for the 24-inch.
  • IdeaPad Duet 3i currently has no availability in North America, in EMEA, starting June 2023 with prices starting from €449 (VAT inc.)
  • IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook launches in May 2023 with prices starting from $340.
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