Thanks principally to its featherweight frame, the Lenovo LaVie Z made it to the top of many ultrabook rankings, including our best ultrabooks 2018\u00a0and top laptops of 2018. But the LaVie Z isn\u2019t without flaws. Its uncomfortable Japanese-style keyboard and underwhelming battery life unfortunately keep it out of the ultrabook hall of fame. But let's find out more in my Lenovo LaVie Z review. You can find a similar keyboard tablet in our HP Split X-2 review. If you want to keep your eyes towards the future of Lenovo, you should also read our article on the Lenovo Notebook the pocket yoga is just a concept, but a cool one at that.\u00a0\r\nOverview\r\nPrice: $939.00 on Amazon\r\nAvailable: Now\r\n\r\nWhat We Liked\r\n\r\n \tOne of the lightest laptops on the market\r\n \tSolid WQHD Display\r\n \tExcellent performance for its class\r\n\r\nWhat We Didn\u2019t\r\n\r\n \tNo touch screen\r\n \tBaffling keyboard\r\n \tRelatively poor battery life\r\n\r\nLenovo LaVie Z Specs\r\n\r\nDesign\r\n\r\n\r\nGlance at the the Dell XPS 13 or the MacBook Air, and you\u2019d think they were the latest advances out of the Jet Propulsion Lab or Skunk Works. Glance at the Lenovo LaVie Z and you\u2019d think it was a failed prototype out of the Frisbee factory.\r\n\r\nBut lift this ultrabook and you'll see the Frisbee comparison is actually a compliment; the LaVie Z is about as light as one. Why not also check out our review of the HP 2013 Envy 15 and Envy 17, with slashed prices.\r\n\r\nThe LaVie Z does make some sacrifices in its quest for \u201clightness.\u201d Most notably is its magnesium-lithium chassis, which feels plastic and flimsy. The design is a double-edged sword. The LaVie Z is easy to throw in a bag \u2013 and it\u2019s easy to dent and scratch.\r\n\r\nThe overall aesthetics of the LaVie Z are forgivable; what\u2019s not is the NEC manufactured Japanese keyboard. Typing on the Lenovo LaVie Z is like listening to a heavily accented foreigner muddle through your native language: communication is possible \u2013 but it\u2019s a strain.\r\n\r\nTyping \u2013 a ubiquitous and absolutely necessary method-of-input \u2013 should never take time, but on the LaVieZ it does, and a great deal of practice as well.\r\n\r\nThe keys are appropriately spaced, but any comfort this provides is undone by their \u201cmushiness\u201d and short travel. Furthermore, important keys like the space bar, enter key, back space, left-side control and right-side shift are either too small, oddly shaped, or \u201cout of position.\u201d\r\n\r\nLuckily the LaVie Z\u2019s elegant touchpad saves it from input disaster. Simplicity was Lenovo\u2019s design watchword, and with touchpads, that\u2019s rarely a bad thing.\r\n\r\nThe LaVie Z\u2019s touchpad sits slightly recessed in the center of the base. Its click is short and firm and its multi-touch is responsive. It is incredibly satisfying to use \u2013 especially when compared to the \u201caccented\u201d nature of the keyboard.\r\nDisplay\r\n\r\n\r\nThe LaVie Z\u2019s exterior may not be a head-turner, but its Quad HD screen certainly is. Resolution is (almost) everything in today\u2019s devices, laptops included, and its one very important area where the LaVie Z delivers.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s matte, anti-glare surface allows for viewing in all environments, regardless of brightness \u2013 a key feature for a laptop as portable as the LaVie Z. And the 2560 x 1440 resolution provides clear, distinct colors from edge to edge.\r\n\r\nWhile its diminutive size makes group watching impractical, movie night with the LaVie Z and a plus one should be no problem. Its screen provides consistent fidelity from any viewing angle.\r\n\r\nThe only downsides are the LaVie Z\u2019s bezel, which occupies not an insignificant amount of space around the screen, and the lack of touchscreen support.\r\nHardware\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Lenovo LaVie Z fits big hardware into a small package. It weighs nearly a pound less than competing ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface Book, yet features very similar specs: a fifth generation Intel Core i7, a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM.\r\n\r\nAll the ultrabooks in our Best Ultrabooks 2016 list offer at least 2 USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and a combo headphone\/mic jack \u2013 and the LaVie Z is no different. The LaVie Z, however, also has an HDMI-out \u2013 particularly useful for those who still need to connect to their Bluetooth and WiFi-less legacy technology (i.e. the eight year old TV chugging along on the bedroom dresser).\r\nPerformance\r\nAs you\u2019d expect from its hardware specs, the Lenovo LaVie Z is no napping kitten. Its benchmark test results prove\u00a0it can rumble with any of its ultrabook rivals. That's no\u00a0small feat for a device that weighs a little more than a coaster.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nClearly, like all ultrabooks, the Lenovo LaVie Z won't be\u00a0a staple of hardcore gamers\u2019 wish lists; its 3DMark scores ensure that. But as the PCMark 8 test results indicate, the LaVie Z is a master multi-tasker, perfect for both the creative or casual who wants to run Netflix, surf the Internet and craft a PowerPoint all at the same time.\r\nBattery\r\nThe Lenovo LaVie Z\u2019s Quad HD display comes with a price: a deadbeat battery. On PCMark 8\u2019s Battery Life test, the LaVie Z mustered only 3 hours and 39 minutes of operation. The test is rigorous \u2013 the laptop runs through a series of tasks from web browsing to video chat to video editing in order to estimate battery usage under a variety of stressors.\r\n\r\nA less rigorous test \u2013 running a continuously looped HD video at 50% volume and brightness \u2013 yielded a better battery time of 6 hours, 35 minutes. But both the LaVie Z\u2019s PCMark 8 and \u201csolo video\u201d times were below average for an ultrabook. This may be a deal breaker for some users who are expecting long battery life out of this type of laptop.\r\nWrap Up\r\nAs the lightest ultrabook currently available, the Lenovo LaVie Z is a worthy ambassador for the\u00a0category. Its dazzling display and potent hardware would be impressive in any laptop, let alone one as small as the LaVie Z.\r\n\r\nYes, its keyboard requires patience, and yes, it loves wall outlets a little more than an ultrabook should, but overall the Lenovo LaVie Z deserves its second place ranking in our Best Ultrabooks 2016 list. Users in need of a punchy ultra-portable laptop should consider the LaVie Z before pricier options like our\u00a0Dell XPS 13 or the MacBook Air.