New Lenovo IdeaPad Z Series: 25 Percent Slimmer, Still Lots of Power

Traditionally, you could have a sleek laptop or you could have a powerful laptop, but not both. Lenovo thinks it has found the happy medium with the IdeaPad Z400 and Z500, which the company claims are 25 percent slimmer than a standard notebook.

Speaking of design, the Z-series notebooks sport tactile soft-touch covers with luxuriant rubber pink, white, brown or blue paint jobs. The white finish is exclusive to the 15.6-inch IdeaPad Z500, while "Peony Pink" is a 14-inch IdeaPad Z400 exclusive. 

At just a hair over an inch, the Z Series notebooks barely miss out on claiming an Ultrabook-like level of thickness.  Lenovo puts every centimeter to good use, too; options include third-generation Core i7 processors and up to 1TB of storage or 16GB of RAM. Add in discrete Nvidia GPU options and the Z Series specs start to look awfully familiar to the internals found in the gaming-friendly IdeaPad Y Series Lenovo also announced today. The difference is that the Y Series notebooks sport a much more aggressive design and can be customized with more powerful GPUs than the IdeaPad Z400 and Z500.

Both models include a 1366 x 768 display, 720p webcam, a DVD drive (upgradeable to Blu-ray), Dolby Home Theater technology and a number of preinstalled Lenovo applications, including Lenovo Companion and Lenovo Cloud Storage.

The IdeaPad Z Series laptops mirror the new Y Series entries in another way, as well, though this isn't a positive: both the IdeaPad Z400 and the IdeaPad Z500 are only rated for up to 3 hours of battery life. Battery woes have reared their head in previous iterations of Lenovo's Z Series laptops, as well
The 15.6-inch IdeaPad Z500 will be available in September with prices starting at $549. The 14-inch IdeaPad Z400 will set you back the same amount, but you'll have to wait until November to get your hands on one.