Lenovo Updates Enthusiast Z-Series And IdeaPad Series With Three New Laptop Lines

At Lenovo Tech World, Lenovo announced three new consumer laptop lines in the IdeaPad series as well as the enthusiast Z-series.

In the IdeaPad series, the IdeaPad 100 line of laptops was created to target users who want a simple system for web browsing and basic office work. There will be 14-inch and 15-inch models upon release, which will feature Intel-based CPUs ranging up to the BayTrail-M N3540. The systems will utilize Intel HD graphics and contain up to a 500 GB HDD.

The 14-inch system measures only 20.2 mm thick, while the 15-inch system measures 22.6 mm thick. The two systems are nearly identical except for their respective sizes and the optical drive on the 15-inch model. The lowest model will cost only $249, making this one of Lenovo's most affordable systems available.

The enthusiast 14-inch Z41 and 15-inch Z51 systems are more feature rich, utilizing up to 5th-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs. Discrete next-generation AMD graphics solutions are optional upgrades, ranging up to an AMD R7-M360 for the Z41 and M9-M375 for the Z51. The storage options range up to a 1 TB HDD or 1 TB SSHD, with up to 16 GB DDR3L.

Both the Z41 and Z51 systems will make use of a 1080p FHD display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a backlit Accutype keyboard, and a 41 Whr battery.

For connectivity, the Z-series laptops come with two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI connector, a VGA connector, an RJ-45 connector, an audio jack and a 4-in-1 card reader.

When we asked why the system does not utilize a new USB Type-C connector, a Lenovo rep stated that the company felt the technology was too new and lacked sufficient peripheral devices capable of making use of the new connector, and as a result one was not added.

One of the more interesting optional upgrades for the Z51 system is an Intel RealSense. The standard camera on the system is only rated at 1MP, but the RealSense camera full 1080p recording (i.e., 2.1MP+) in addition to adding 3D camera technologies and features.

The Z41 system will weigh 2.1 kg while measuring 24.4 mm thick. The larger 15-inch Z51 system will be slightly heavier and thicker at 2.3 kg and 24.6 mm thick.

U.S. pricing for both systems starts at $499. Lenovo indicated that a Lenovo Z51 system with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and the RealSense camera will only cost $599, which will help to quickly spread RealSense to more users.

"We've created the new Lenovo Z41, Z51 and Ideapad 100 laptops specifically for customers who want simple and functional design," said Bai Peng, vice president and general manager of the Lenovo Notebook Business Unit, PC Group. "But because our customers are diverse, so our products are not 'one size fits all' either. Our three new laptops offer customers the choice to select the one that's right for them -- two specialized for multimedia and one all-rounder."

Lenovo's new notebooks are expected to hit the market sometime in June.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.