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New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

A285, A485 and later series specific matters only
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Quardah
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New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#1 Post by Quardah » Tue May 15, 2018 1:31 pm

Hi folks.

Lenovo has been teasing a new ThinkPad lines made with AMD APUs instead of the regular Intel CPU or Intel CPU + NVIDIA dGPU.

More info here :
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-AM ... 102.0.html
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-Th ... 194.0.html

The new ThinkPads seem to be copycats of X and T series (A285 looks like an X280, and A485 looks like a T480 from my understanding).

What are your thoughts on this? I think newer Ryzen CPUs are very decent and having a single APU with general performances instead of the old Optimus setup might just be better for certain usecases.

(Right now, dGPUs are a mess imo)

Let me know!

To mods and admins :

There is already a subforum for 'ThinkPad R, A, G and Z Series' but the new A series has no real connexion with the previous A series. I'd like to know if we can ask to create a new subforum for this new line.

Also the newer A series should go under 'Post-Classic Lenovo Hardware' too (because it's brand new stuff :D).
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Tue May 15, 2018 2:01 pm

They should not even be a new series. There are historically E530 - E535, E540 - E545, E550 - E555. They are just T and X series clones and should be named as such: T485 and X285.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#3 Post by Summilux » Tue May 15, 2018 3:11 pm

Would love to buy a Ryzen-powered Thinkpad... were it fitted with a proper screen and keyboard. Sigh.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#4 Post by Ibthink » Tue May 15, 2018 5:07 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:01 pm
They should not even be a new series. There are historically E530 - E535, E540 - E545, E550 - E555. They are just T and X series clones and should be named as such: T485 and X285.
Well, its not the first time that Lenovo does it like that. After all, the W series was – with the notable exception of the W700(ds)/W701(ds) – also just a clone of the corresponding 15" T series model of the time, with a few small differences and a different GPU. Leaving the W700(ds)/W701(ds) aside, they could have continued with the Txxp-naming-style, but they didn't.

As for the E series, no one cares about those anyway :lol: Small jokes aside, I do consider the new A series to be more of a "momentous occasion" compared with some E series models. After all, this is the first time that the "mainline" ThinkPad models are also available with AMD CPUs. Calling them T485 and X285 feels like slightly underselling their importance, as ThinkPads were pretty safely a part of the Intel camp (with the exception of the ThinkPad 800 series and also a few low-end Lenovo machines like the X100e and E series laptops) since IBM created the brand in 1992.

Naming, after all, is also marketing. Though, if you are cynical, you may also think that they did this so the T/X series don't get harmed if the A series flops. :twisted:
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#5 Post by TPFanatic » Tue May 15, 2018 7:48 pm

There was also the X100e and newer series available with AMD processors, which were pretty slow until they got Core i3 processors.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#6 Post by Saucey » Tue May 15, 2018 7:54 pm

The new A-Series have OK performance, the passmark scores are somewhere between the i3 and i5.
I don't know if Lenovo would make a Ryzen ThinkPad yet, they might do an Ideapad gaming laptop first and see how it goes.

It would be nice to see an Ryzen workstation with a decent AMD FirePro but I doubt that'll happen.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#7 Post by Puppy » Wed May 16, 2018 3:29 am

Be careful, Lenovo creativity to use extremely crappy displays might reach another level on this series.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#8 Post by Quardah » Wed May 16, 2018 10:02 am

You guys are bringing some good points to check prior to purchase. I like that!

- Check the display quality
- Check if it's only a rebranded E series (if so, extend the E subforum to include A new laptop since the E series will die)
- Check if the graphical capacities are decent.

Btw what's the difference between L and E then? I've heard a lot of folks saying the E series is just reskined ideapads but then what is the L series? Just cheaper T?
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#9 Post by Quardah » Wed May 16, 2018 12:30 pm

Admin made a new subforum for this new line!

Thx admins you're the BEST!!! :D
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#10 Post by penartur » Thu May 17, 2018 6:54 am

I wonder if A485 could be upgraded with Thinkpad 25 Anniversary keyboard (which goes for $100 on ebay). That would make for a nice laptop...
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#11 Post by Self_Propelled_Crane » Mon May 21, 2018 12:40 pm

Not to rain on the parade or anything, but aren't AMD laptops kinda run hot ("AMD turned my laptop into a toaster" is the common refrain)? I hear that complaint from almost all my peers who have AMD-based laptops.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#12 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon May 21, 2018 8:25 pm

Self_Propelled_Crane wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 12:40 pm
"AMD turned my laptop into a toaster"
I guess it is a throw back to the original A-series and specifically the A31p which ran HOT! The continuation of the TP Retro?
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#13 Post by penartur » Tue May 22, 2018 9:11 am

Self_Propelled_Crane wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 12:40 pm
Not to rain on the parade or anything, but aren't AMD laptops kinda run hot ("AMD turned my laptop into a toaster" is the common refrain)? I hear that complaint from almost all my peers who have AMD-based laptops.
AMD CPUs were not competitive for ~decade now, both in terms of performance and of power consumption.
It all changes with Ryzen though, which is why you might see that demand for ThinkPad A485 (while its predecessor, A475, was not popular). Mobile Ryzen is roughly on par with Intel Kaby Lake-R (8th gen quad-core mobile CPUs). Additionally, it features powerful integrated graphics (far better than Intel CPUs); and it does not have all these Intel security problems: there is no Intel ME, it's not affected by most of Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities, AMD has not been caught lying or deliberately concealing information of its vulnerabilities, etc.
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#14 Post by Quardah » Thu May 31, 2018 10:58 am

penartur wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:11 am
Self_Propelled_Crane wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 12:40 pm
Not to rain on the parade or anything, but aren't AMD laptops kinda run hot ("AMD turned my laptop into a toaster" is the common refrain)? I hear that complaint from almost all my peers who have AMD-based laptops.
AMD CPUs were not competitive for ~decade now, both in terms of performance and of power consumption.
It all changes with Ryzen though, which is why you might see that demand for ThinkPad A485 (while its predecessor, A475, was not popular). Mobile Ryzen is roughly on par with Intel Kaby Lake-R (8th gen quad-core mobile CPUs). Additionally, it features powerful integrated graphics (far better than Intel CPUs); and it does not have all these Intel security problems: there is no Intel ME, it's not affected by most of Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities, AMD has not been caught lying or deliberately concealing information of its vulnerabilities, etc.

Yes indeed the new AMD APU have very good graphical capabilities (Ryzen 2700 Pro runs Rise of the tomb raider at default graphics 30FPS stable on 1080p, very impressive for integrated graphics). It has comparable graphical capabilities of nvidia MX150. While being a little less performant (i guess it's because of the RAM versus graphic dedicated RAM), it has the advantages of:
- It's no additional costs, and actually it's cheaper than even a single intel chip (and mega cheaper than intel + nvidia setup)
- It not an option therefore every laptop has it.
- It's not a [censored] optimus setup which is a pain to setup on Linux and crashes all the time.
- You only gotta deal with AMD, not both intel and nvidia
- Only one chip to cool and to maintain.
- Easily overclockable since there's only one single chip.
- No outputs wired to the GPU like on the T420 or T540p, where the DisplayPort is wired to the nvidia dGPU therefore it must be turned on to use them which means cripples battery life only to use an output (horrible engineering if you ask me). Oh and the sound is impossible to route to a GPU output using an optimus setup on Linux because nvidia drivers are half-assed.

The cooling in the newer generation is lackluster because newer laptop manufacturers just picked up the new intel quad core chips and slapped them into the old design and called it a day (which isn't good engineering if you ask me... kinda lazy botched job). Kinda did the same for Ryzen chips which makes it throttle.

But from what i understand the chips have variable power consumption and can peak up to whatever the manufacturer allowed them to, so some chips under heavy load can go up to 45W power consumption. That means the potential for power is deffo present but the cooling solutions simply suck right now.

Most probably my next pick will be an AMD Ryzen ThinkPad so i'm deffo monitoring how this series performs.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#15 Post by WarhawkCZ » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:38 am

penartur wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:54 am
I wonder if A485 could be upgraded with Thinkpad 25 Anniversary keyboard (which goes for $100 on ebay). That would make for a nice laptop...
This is a nice idea, but it is also sad when the first thought is about frankenpading a brand new machine...

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#16 Post by penartur » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:12 am

WarhawkCZ wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:38 am
penartur wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:54 am
I wonder if A485 could be upgraded with Thinkpad 25 Anniversary keyboard (which goes for $100 on ebay). That would make for a nice laptop...
This is a nice idea, but it is also sad when the first thought is about frankenpading a brand new machine...
I have purchased my first ThinkPad in 2009 (it was X200), already planning to "frankenpad" it with a decent screen. Back then, it was not easy to purchase the screen, so I've just bought some Gateway 2-in-1 laptop (with tablet IPS screen), exchanged the screens between these, and sold that Gateway with TN screen from X200 locally... oh, those were the days. It's all much easier now.
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#17 Post by Arc » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:28 pm

They also posted E485 and E585, if nobody noticed.

https://www3.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/t ... 2TP2TEE485
https://www3.lenovo.com/pt/pt/laptops/t ... 2TP2TEE585

Guessing they are based off of the E480 and E580. So yeah, you have your T-series analogue (with A) and E-series analogue. Threadripper P-series when???
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#18 Post by Quardah » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:36 am

Arc wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:28 pm
They also posted E485 and E585, if nobody noticed.

https://www3.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/t ... 2TP2TEE485
https://www3.lenovo.com/pt/pt/laptops/t ... 2TP2TEE585

Guessing they are based off of the E480 and E580. So yeah, you have your T-series analogue (with A) and E-series analogue. Threadripper P-series when???
Yea it's a funny new way to design stuff at Lenovo.

They come afterward with a cheaper laptop (with AMD chips) inside the shells of their existing ones. A laptops are X and T flagships with AMD chips and E laptops are E 14 and 15 inches with AMD chips instead.

Very funny.

But my guess is it'll work decently with the E series that has always been the cost-efficient go-to option. Yet Lenovo also has L series??????????

This naming scheme can become hell very fast. They should be careful not to mix too many things up.
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#19 Post by thinkpadgeek91 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:25 pm

I'm pretty excited to get my hands on a A485. I have a Ryzen 7 1700X desktop at home and man is Ryzen doing great things! :banana:
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#20 Post by j-dogg » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:02 am

Threadripper 2990x A-series drops in 2019, comes with hybrid LN2 / Vapochill phase change cooling apparatus to keep it under 70*C
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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#21 Post by KRDucky » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:14 am

I am definitely interested in a Thinkpad or thinkpad X1 Carbon outfitted with a Ryzen APU or Ryzen 7 chip and Discrete Vega GPU. This would make for an amazing workstation/gaming rig. Especially under Linux with Kernel 4.18. No additional drivers needed to install and definitely not needing to fight with the sub-par Nvidia proprietary drivers.

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#22 Post by KRDucky » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:18 am

Quardah wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 10:58 am
penartur wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:11 am


AMD CPUs were not competitive for ~decade now, both in terms of performance and of power consumption.
It all changes with Ryzen though, which is why you might see that demand for ThinkPad A485 (while its predecessor, A475, was not popular). Mobile Ryzen is roughly on par with Intel Kaby Lake-R (8th gen quad-core mobile CPUs). Additionally, it features powerful integrated graphics (far better than Intel CPUs); and it does not have all these Intel security problems: there is no Intel ME, it's not affected by most of Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities, AMD has not been caught lying or deliberately concealing information of its vulnerabilities, etc.

Yes indeed the new AMD APU have very good graphical capabilities (Ryzen 2700 Pro runs Rise of the tomb raider at default graphics 30FPS stable on 1080p, very impressive for integrated graphics). It has comparable graphical capabilities of nvidia MX150. While being a little less performant (i guess it's because of the RAM versus graphic dedicated RAM), it has the advantages of:
- It's no additional costs, and actually it's cheaper than even a single intel chip (and mega cheaper than intel + nvidia setup)
- It not an option therefore every laptop has it.
- It's not a [censored] optimus setup which is a pain to setup on Linux and crashes all the time.
- You only gotta deal with AMD, not both intel and nvidia
- Only one chip to cool and to maintain.
- Easily overclockable since there's only one single chip.
- No outputs wired to the GPU like on the T420 or T540p, where the DisplayPort is wired to the nvidia dGPU therefore it must be turned on to use them which means cripples battery life only to use an output (horrible engineering if you ask me). Oh and the sound is impossible to route to a GPU output using an optimus setup on Linux because nvidia drivers are half-assed.

The cooling in the newer generation is lackluster because newer laptop manufacturers just picked up the new intel quad core chips and slapped them into the old design and called it a day (which isn't good engineering if you ask me... kinda lazy botched job). Kinda did the same for Ryzen chips which makes it throttle.

But from what i understand the chips have variable power consumption and can peak up to whatever the manufacturer allowed them to, so some chips under heavy load can go up to 45W power consumption. That means the potential for power is deffo present but the cooling solutions simply suck right now.

Most probably my next pick will be an AMD Ryzen ThinkPad so i'm deffo monitoring how this series performs.

Fun fact, you dont even have to deal with AMD. The newer cards and chips have the AMD driver stack built into the Linux kernel since 4.15. In the case of Linux, they are "Plug 'n Play". Tests have even shown the the Vega 56 and Vega 64 under Linux with the built in kernel drivers outperforms and often outright beat the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080ti at many games.

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#23 Post by WarhawkCZ » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:36 am

Any news?

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Re: New ThinkPad series : A series (A285 and A485)

#24 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:50 am

See here for Notebookcheck reviews: viewtopic.php?f=82&t=127133

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