* Prices may differ from that shown
That makes the internal components and the performance of the LaVie Z all that much more impressive. Inside this 1.9 pound (0.86kg) 13-inch laptop is not one of Intel's low-power Atom or Core M CPUs, or even a standard low-voltage Core i5. The single currently available configuration uses a new fifth-generation low-voltage Intel Core i7 processor, making this the first time we've seen such a powerful chip in such a slim and light system.
That Core i7 is paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD at $1,499 in the US (Lenovo is not currently offering the system in the UK or Australia, but that converts to £973 or AU$1,936). That's a premium price, to be sure, but only $200 more than Apple's lauded 12-inch MacBook. Yet the LaVie is lighter than the MacBook at 1.9 pounds versus 2.04 pounds (0.86kg to 0.93kg), and it has a larger screen and a much more powerful processor plus most of the standard ports and connections missing from the USB-C-only MacBook.
Lenovo is also offering a hybrid variation, called the LaVie Z 360, for $1,699. That includes a touchscreen and Yoga-like 360-degree hinge. While perhaps more practical, that model has been criticized for limiting the function of its built-in accelerometer for automatically changing the screen orientation as you fold the hinge into different positions. The Z 360 version will rotate its screen as needed when folded all the way back into tablet mode, but not if you flip it upside down into a tent-like shape. The extra features and limitations of that system will be discussed in the separate review of the LaVie Z 360.
An impressive engineering feat such as this does not come without some tradeoffs. The keyboard is far from Lenovo's usual standards, with misplaced and mis-sized keys making even simple typing a chore, especially because of a small, easy-to-miss right Shift key that seems deliberately designed to frustrate.
Been using the HP Pro book 4720s for close to 2 years now and i can say that i have not had many regrets when it comes to buying a system. The HP pro book 4720s is very clean and stylish in its appearance with a brush metal exterior finish. One of the reasons i like this laptop is its very professional appearance. the build is very good and it is resistant to day to day carrying around which includes scratches and fingerprints. The screen has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, the hd has a very excellent display quality and streaming high definition videos online was really remarkable. When it came to its port access, i am only concerned with its lack of a USB 3.0 jack. but it has three USB 2.0 jacks. It also has an HDMI port which can be used for external video sources. The CPU is Intel Core i5 and it comes with a 4 GB Ram.
Another thing that is worthy of note about the HP Pro book 4720s is the battery life which last for a very long time and clocks about four hours of usage. the keyboard is very well spaced and will not be getting between your fingers and also on the keyboard, there is the numeric section which makes it good for someone who does arithmetic calculations very often. So, I can only end by saying that the HP Pro book 4720s is a really good system if you are looking for a 17 inch business notebook that is worth consideration.
I have had the HP Probook 4720s for about 7 months now, replacing a much older Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 which had performed admirably over a number of years (4+) heavy use.
As an IT consultant looking for a laptop for all purposes my requirements were very high. Put simply, I wanted the following:-
* Huge hard disk - the 4720s has 500GB (actually 450GB is available as the other 50GB is hidden for recovery)
* Lots of RAM as I want to be able to run virtual machines and capable of running SQL Server 2008 Developer/Enterprise (i.e. 4GB RAM minimum whereas old Tosh had 2GB max) - this comes with 4GB RAM, expandable to 8GB which I ordered at the same time
* future-proofed as much as possible as I probably won't be able to afford another one for another 5 years - this has Windows 7 Pro, facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, integrated webcam and microphone and almost every single connection that you can think of
* decent battery life - this was reputed to have 4 hours (the Tosh started with 2 and ended up with less than 60 seconds!)
* Sensible size for daily use but also portable - this has a 17" screen with separate numberpad, so no RSI for me! It is big to lug, but you get used to it.
* durable as the grey plastic on the Tosh was actually wearing out and massively discoloured - this one is a metal construction
Huge expectations then, and the HP Probook 4720s promised to meet most of what I needed for under £900. Today, 7 months later, I still have 290GB free on the hard drive, despite some seriously large downloads (how I managed with 70GB on the Tosh is unfathomable). I currently have MS Office 2010 Pro and SQL Server 2008 R2, along with other web development software and virtual machines. It still seems to be as future-proof as it was 6 months ago (a rare feat).
Where have I noticed problems?
* MS Outlook 2010 often stops working and closes. It then re-opens and cannot restart because a file is in use. The event logs indicate that the problem relates to the preloaded HP QuickLook Add-in integration with Outlook 2010. Simply waiting a few minutes and restarting Outlook is a temporary workaround.
* There are techniques to try to maintain a decent battery. I take out the cable when the battery has been fully charged and don't leave it plugged in overnight. I think it is starting to wear down, but slowly. The Tosh had halved its battery life in the first 6 months and I'm sure this still has over 3 hours grace.
* seems to be slower starting up now, so may need to think about making some adjustments
* a slightly disconcerting clicking sometimes eminating from the hard drive
* construction between the keboard and the DVD drive doesn't seem as sturdy as the rest
In summary, the HP Probook 4720s has and still is bearing up well to a hard life. It is a high spec machine, designed for heavy duty IT work in a solid construction. The only issue that really annoys is Outlook crashing so frequently. Hopefully HP will resolve this software bug soon.