Since we here started writing at Ultrabook-News we have witnessed a number of Ultrabooks which claim to be the lightest in the world. It is important with any of these so called ‘lightest’ devices however that you split them in to segments by screen size, as the size of a screen generally dictates how light an ultra-portable can really be.
In the case of the NEC LaVie Z, however, this Ultrabook is incredibly light whichever way you look at it. This 13.3” display-totting thin and light is for sale only in Japan currently however it was created in partnership with Lenovo the second largest PC manufacturer in the world, leading some analysts to predict that this here laptop could make its way over to UK and European shores at some point in the future, if by the products second flavour.
The NEC then joins the Gigabyte X11 which claims to be the lightest 11.6” Ultrabook in the world and the Lenovo Carbon X1 which claims to be the lightest 14” Ultrabook in the world. Joining the ranks of giants is no easy task, however NEC have more than pulled the cat out of the bag with this one.
Light is not the word
Following on from the above, let’s compare the X11, Carbon X1 and LaVie Z in the weight department:
Gigabyte X11 11.6” – 975g
Lenovo Carbon X1 14” – 3lbs, or 1360g
NEC LaVie Z 13.3” – 875g
From the above, you can make out quite easily that the NEC LavieZ is one incredibly light Ultrabook and so much so that it is a full 100 grams lighter than Gigabyte’s 11.6” option, which is quite an amazing feat to say the least. What’s more, the NEC laptop is a full 475 grams lighter than the Lenovo Carbon X1 despite it having a marginally smaller display (0.7”); to put that in to context, that’s almost a weight saving of an Amazon Kindle Fire which weighs in at 413g.
So how is the NEC LaVie Z so light and how does it make its ‘lightest’ brothers look so fat? Well that’ll be down to the build. It is made from a magnesium lithium alloy which is both great at expelling heat and is also extremely strong, offering up little to no flex in the lid and a great foundation for the keyboard. Whilst its two lightest competitors above use carbon fibre for their build, the alloy the LaVie Z uses can be created thinner and still produce the strength.
Specification wise from the weight, it is hard to believe that as standard NEC will ship the LaVie Z with an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U processor, 128GB SSD, HDMI out and a built in card reader. Of course, USB 3.0 also makes an appearance here, as part of Intel’s Ultrabook guidelines. Any doubts surrounding the 13.3” display can be put to rest too, as this here Ultrabook packs a 1600 x 900 screen resolution.
Overall then there is plenty to like about the NEC LaVie Z, namely its weight and its build quality. The specifications are pretty amazing too, and with a claimed battery life of 8.1 hours, it’ll keep on going way past your bed time. NEC look to have hit pretty much every single nail on the head with this book’, and in the future, a touch screen version is more than likely as to keep up with the latest releases from the IFA in Berlin.
In Japan, the base specification Core i5 model will cost ¥130,000 whilst the more powerful Core i7 version will cost ¥160,000. Roughly that translates to £1030 and £1250 respectably in the UK, however as noted there is no word on the street as to when if ever we will see it in stores.