Quick Review: ThinkPad Z13 Gen 1

Bingxing Wang
4 min readJul 8, 2022


ThinkPad Z13 running Windows 11 22H2.

It’s two days since I received this laptop and I am pretty happy with it so far. Surprisingly, I haven’t found any full review article of it yet and I have no idea why. So, here’s my two cents on it.


Good things

  • Performance meets my expectation for scenarios where I need it. Without AC power it’s quiet, fan not moving/or inaudible, and I don’t feel uncomfortable using it on my lap (cold to a little warm); With full power (plugged in) stressing it can be noisy, and you probably not want to use it on lap in that case. However, the keyboard side stays cool.
  • The RDNA2 iGPU can handle a bunch of games. Casual games run out of box; AAA titles need some tuning but it’s possible to play them on the go.
  • Good battery life: 5%-12% battery usage per hour on mixed load (a bunch of browser tabs, two terminals, one messaging app, one music player) and surprisingly good Connected Standby battery consumption (1% every 2 hour)
Connected Standby Power Consumption
  • The OLED screen (note: it’s optional configuration) is nice. It supports HDR out of box as well. Enabling HDR on AMD mobile platform doesn’t hurt battery life significantly (unlike Intel.) In SDR mode, the color looks a bit oversaturated.
  • Haptic trackpad is great. The haptic tries to simulate the real button feeling and I don’t feel weird using the trackpad as TrackPoint buttons.
  • It has transparent system memory encryption turned on by default.

Some Issues

  • Out-of-box requires access to AC adapter (or just any USB-C power) once, and the very first firmware initialization takes about 1–2 minutes without any screen output. I almost thought the device was dead on arrival and it turned out it was just doing some initialization things.
  • Pluton HSP is not enabled by default. Hmm why?
Pluton needs to be enabled in firmware settings
  • AMD Ryzen processor and “EyeSafe (R) Certified” stickers are not fully aligned; they are just randomly placed. Fortunately, it’s trivial to remove these stickers.
Completely random placement of stickers
  • The USB4 support quality is half baked; Thunderbolt support is not fully ready. After upgrading to Windows 11 22H2, the current USB4 driver will block the laptop from entering low power sleep state, a workaround is provided below.
  • Windows Hello Face login might not work if enhanced security biometrics (VTL1 biometrics) enabled, however, it doesn’t affect fingerprint login.

Some random Benchmarks

I just decided to compile a medium scale enlistment (C++17/20, GCC, -O2) that I actively work on every day to test its performance as it’s one of those representative workloads to me. Here’s the result:

The result is quite impressive to me. Note when unplugged, the CPU frequency is heavily constrained by power policy:

The USB4 Sleep Workaround on Windows 11 22H2

Until Microsoft and Lenovo fully resolve the issue, this workaround can be used to make sure the laptop enters low power mode in sleep:

  1. Download the AMD USB4 Host Router driver for Windows 10 from the Lenovo website.
  2. Install it. It will complain the best driver is already installed, ignore it.
  3. Go to Device Manager, swap two USB4 Host Routers’ driver from inbox driver to AMD driver.
  4. Disable two PCIe root ports with exclamation marks.
  5. It should look like this upon completion:

6. Reboot the laptop. Low power sleep mode should be functional now.