The NEC LAVIE Pro Mobile is a super-portable 13" notebook with some weird decisions

Lenovo and NEC have updated the LAVIE Pro Mobile notebook, with a revamped version for CES 2021 that promises longer battery life and more performance. Turning more than a few heads last year with its handsome and restrained styling and slender profile, the LAVIE Pro Mobile dresses its hints of Surface Laptop in an unusual navy blue finish, and now taps Intel's latest chips.

That means Intel's 11th Gen Core i7-1165G7 processor, with Iris Xe graphics and 16GB of LPDDR4 dual-channel memory. Storage is courtesy of a 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD, and there's a microSD card slot on the side, which is a nice touch.

The 13.3-inch display runs at 1920 x 1080 resolution, using an IPS LCD panel. Connectivity includes WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, along with a USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2 0 – which can provide power to charge devices even when the notebook is turned off – and HDMI 2.0b, plus a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, and a second USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 that also supports power input and Display Port. Finally, there's an audio combo jack.

Stereo 2W speakers and an IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition are standard, too. The 49 Wh battery is rated for up to 10 hours of use, NEC says, and supports Rapid Charge: that means a top-up of up to 80-percent in an hour plugged in.

It's 1.95 pounds – which NEC credits the lightweight carbon fiber structure used on the top and bottom case for – and 0.66-inches thick. The keyboard has 1.5mm stroke, and there's what NEC describes as a "lift-up hinge structure" that can tilt the keyboard for more typing comfort. That can apparently increase typing pitch to 19mm.

That's all great, but there are some weird decisions. The Full HD screen resolution isn't quite as pixel-dense as some rivals in the 13-inch notebook category, for a start, and NEC didn't manage to fit backlighting into the LAVIE Pro Mobile's keyboard. Considering the portability on offer could very well be intriguing to mobile professionals, at least once they can get back on the road, the fact that it'll only be offered with Windows 10 Home 64-bit is a weird decision too.

Lenovo and NEC haven't said when, exactly, the LAVIE Pro Mobile will come to the US, though – unlike several of the other notebooks Lenovo announced today – that does at least appear to be on the cards. It'll be priced from $1,699.99 when that happens.