AMD vs Intel: Does the new AMD ThinkPad X395 challenge the Intel ThinkPad X390?
The ThinkPad X390, the Intel-powered sibling to the ThinkPad X395, scored an impressive 90% overall in our review from April. By contrast, the X395 scored 89%, so does that make it worse than its Intel equivalent? Not at all. We have updated our ratings system since April, which has resulted in lower overall ratings than our old system produced. Hence, the X390 probably would average less than 90% if we re-rated it.
Both subnotebooks have a slightly different focus and their idiosyncrasies while also having plenty in common. They both have, for example, excellent input devices along with a bright and contrast-rich display. Likewise, they both have an ill-thought-out microSD card slot, soldered RAM and a fan vent that will exhaust heat in line with where most people's right-hand will be if they use an external mouse.
However, the X395 offers more security features for businesses, has significantly higher graphics performance and consumes a little less under load. In short, these areas allow the X395 to get its nose in front of the X390, at least in our opinion.
The CPU, on the other hand, throttles heavily to maintain a quiet, cool and economical system. Unfortunately, the AMD version lacks the Intel-proprietary Thunderbolt 3, but it does have HDMI 2.0 instead of the 1.4 port that Lenovo includes in the X390.
Overall, the X395 and X390 are both excellent 13.3-inch subnotebooks. While we would recommend both to business and private users alike, choosing between the two ultimately centres on two areas. If you need consistent performance and Thunderbolt 3, then choose the X390 (on sale now at Amazon). If not, and you prefer long battery life coupled with quiet fan noise and cool surface temperatures, then the X395 would be a better choice. Make sure to check out our ThinkPad X395 review for our full thoughts on Lenovo's latest AMD-powered compact business laptop.