Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad A285 (Ryzen 5 Pro, Vega 8, FHD) Laptop Review

Sebastian Bade 👁 (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/06/2019

Business machine with AMD power! The new design now accommodates an AMD system and is called A285 within the ThinkPad A-series. We check how the 12-inch AMD-powered device can compete with the Intel-based competition.

Three base models (source: Lenovo Germany)
Three base models (source: Lenovo Germany)

Lenovo already sells a very compact subnotebook called ThinkPad X280, and it is a desired business device thanks to its small case. The manufacturer now offers the ThinkPad A285 based on the same chassis, but powered by an AMD Ryzen APU with much more 3D performance compared to Intel's iGPU.

Lenovo Germany currently offers three base models, but they can be configured during the ordering process. The entry-level SKU is based on the AMD Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD storage starting at 1129 Euros (~$1286), so the A285 is 150 Euros (~$170) less expensive than the Intel counterpart X280. However, this entry-level SKU is equipped with an HD panel. The SKU with Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD costs 1919 Euros (~$2187), so the 12.5-inch subnotebook is no bargain. Other features such as multi-touch panels cost even more.

Our test model uses the Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD for 1439 Euros (~$1640) in Lenovo's online shop. The RAM is soldered onto the mainboard and cannot be upgraded, so you should carefully consider the choice between the default 8 GB or the 16 GB option. You also get the integrated graphics adapter AMD Radeon Vega 8.

We want to find out whether the AMD-powered business device can compete with the rivals. We will obviously compare the A285 with Lenovo's own X280, but Dell, Fujitsu, and HP also offer compact subnotebooks with similar price tags. We have summarized the specs of the comparison devices in the table below.

Lenovo ThinkPad X280 Dell Latitude 7390 Fujitsu Lifebook U938 HP Envy 13
CPU Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-8350U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i7-8550U
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620 GeForce MX150
Display 12.5" 1920 x 1080 (IPS) 13.3" 1920 x 1080 (IPS) 13.3" 1920 x 1080 (IPS) 13.3" 1920 x 1080 (IPS)
RAM 8 GB DDR4 8 GB DDR4 12 GB DDR4 16 GB DDR4
Storage 512 GB SSD 256 GB SSD 256 GB SSD 512 GB SSD
Rating 90% 89% 89% 87%

The chassis is identical to that of the ThinkPad X280 we have already reviewed. This means that we will not cover the sections Case, Connectivity or Input Devices in this review. All the corresponding information is available in our comprehensive review of the X280.

Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 - 1024 MB, Core: 1100 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz, Shared Memory, 23.20.826.9216
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, soldered, Dual-Channel
Display
12.5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 176 PPI, N125HCE-GN1, IPS LED
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, 256 GB 
, M.2 SSD (NVMe)
Soundcard
Realtek Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined stereo jack, Card Reader: MicroSD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.4 x 307.7 x 209.8 ( = 0.69 x 12.11 x 8.26 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p with ThinkShutter
Additional features
Speakers: 2 W Stereo, Keyboard: 6-row Chiclet with TrackPoint, ThinkPad Ethernet Extension Adapter Gen 2 , 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.145 kg ( = 40.39 oz / 2.52 pounds), Power Supply: 341 g ( = 12.03 oz / 0.75 pounds)
Price
1439 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Lenovo ThinkPad A285

Size Comparison

307.7 mm / 12.1 inch 209.8 mm / 8.26 inch 17.4 mm / 0.685 inch 1.1 kg2.52 lbs307.7 mm / 12.1 inch 209.8 mm / 8.26 inch 17.4 mm / 0.685 inch 1.1 kg2.51 lbs309 mm / 12.2 inch 212.5 mm / 8.37 inch 15.5 mm / 0.61 inch 920 g2.03 lbs307 mm / 12.1 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.2 kg2.67 lbs305 mm / 12 inch 208 mm / 8.19 inch 16.5 mm / 0.65 inch 1.3 kg2.88 lbs

Connectivity - no Thunderbolt 3

The ports lock identical on the ThinkPad A285 and the X280, but there is one major difference. The A285 has two USB Type-C ports (Gen.2) at the left side, but they lack the Thunderbolt 3 support of the X280. The current mechanical docking stations from Lenovo, like the ThinkPad Pro Dock, are still compatible with the A285, but you cannot attach external GPUs.

The video output is another difference. While the X280 can drive up to three independent display, the A285 supports four at higher resolutions. The HDMI port is now HDMI 2.0 and not 1.4b, so it supports 4K signals at 60 Hz. The maximum resolution via USB-C (via adapter) also increased from 4096x2304 to 5120x2880 pixels (60 Hz).

Left side: 2x USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen.2 w/ DisplayPort), Mini-Ethernet/Docking, USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen.2), HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm stereo jack
Left side: 2x USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen.2 w/ DisplayPort), Mini-Ethernet/Docking, USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen.2), HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm stereo jack
Right side: SmartCard reader, fan exhaust, USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen.1, Always-On), slot for a security lock
Right side: SmartCard reader, fan exhaust, USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen.1, Always-On), slot for a security lock
Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Rear: Combined slot for microSD & Nano-SIM
Rear: Combined slot for microSD & Nano-SIM
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 7390
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
166 MB/s ∼100% +120%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
137.4 MB/s ∼83% +82%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
78.3 MB/s ∼47% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
  (Toshiba Excerie Pro M501)
76.8 MB/s ∼46% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
75.4 MB/s ∼45%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8 - 186, n=111)
61.1 MB/s ∼37% -19%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 7390
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
201.1 MB/s ∼100% +130%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
165.3 MB/s ∼82% +89%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
87.5 MB/s ∼44%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
  (Toshiba Excerie Pro M501)
86.1 MB/s ∼43% -2%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
86 MB/s ∼43% -2%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17.7 - 251, n=113)
78.7 MB/s ∼39% -10%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
634 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
611 MBit/s ∼96% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
610 (min: 579, max: 627) MBit/s ∼96%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (30.9 - 950, n=111)
530 MBit/s ∼84% -13%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
525 MBit/s ∼83% -14%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
510 MBit/s ∼80% -16%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
667 MBit/s ∼100% +11%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
611 MBit/s ∼92% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
599 (min: 579, max: 613) MBit/s ∼90%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
525 MBit/s ∼79% -12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (36 - 949, n=111)
521 MBit/s ∼78% -13%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
507 MBit/s ∼76% -15%

Display - matte and bright, but still not perfect

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement
Visible clouding at the edges
Visible clouding at the edges

Lenovo offers a total of three different display for the Lenovo ThinkPad A285. We cannot recommend the base TN panel with the low HD resolution. Its luminance is rated at just 220 nits and therefore significantly lower compared to the IPS screen in our test model. We also measure more than the advertised 300 nits on our unit with an average value of 321 nits. The HP Envy 13 (289 nits) is a bit darker, but the other comparison devices are very similar. The brightness distribution is good at 89% and only the Dell Latitude 7390 is superior in this respect. The resolution of 1920x1080 pixels results in a pixel density of 176 PPI on the 12.5-inch screen. We also like the matte surface, which prevents reflections very effectively.

Lenovo uses another panel for the A285 (Innolux) compared to the tested X280 (AUO), which is evident when you look at the much higher black value (0.37). In combination with the measured brightness values, this results in a lower contrast ratio of 938:1. Lenovo uses different suppliers for the panels, so you never know the exact panel ahead of the purchase.

The A285 uses PWM to regulate the background illumination, but there should not be any limitations even during longer work sessions thanks to the high frequency. Our test unit suffered from slight backlight bleeding on dark contents in the lower corners, but it was no problem in everyday scenarios.

 

 

309
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
318
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
347
cd/m²
325
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
323
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 347 cd/m² Average: 321 cd/m² Minimum: 3.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 349 cd/m²
Contrast: 938:1 (Black: 0.37 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.7 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 6
ΔE Greyscale 7.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
64.9% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 42.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.24
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
N125HCE-GN1, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 12.5
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
B125HAN02.2, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 12.5
Dell Latitude 7390
AU Optronics AUO462D / B133HAN [DELL P/N:F7VDJ], IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Sharp LQ133M1JW28, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
M133NVF3 R0, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Response Times
4%
-17%
-33%
-16%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41 (22, 19)
40 (22, 18)
2%
48.8 (24.8, 24)
-19%
43 (21, 22)
-5%
31 (15, 16)
24%
Response Time Black / White *
31 (16, 15)
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
5%
35.2 (21.2, 14)
-14%
29 (16, 13)
6%
24 (14, 10)
23%
PWM Frequency
25510 (50)
217 (20)
-99%
1000 (90)
-96%
Screen
21%
35%
32%
39%
Brightness middle
347
344
-1%
329
-5%
344
-1%
289
-17%
Brightness
321
313
-2%
316
-2%
320
0%
310
-3%
Brightness Distribution
88
82
-7%
92
5%
77
-12%
85
-3%
Black Level *
0.37
0.25
32%
0.25
32%
0.31
16%
0.23
38%
Contrast
938
1376
47%
1316
40%
1110
18%
1257
34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.7
4.7
39%
4.3
44%
2.72
65%
1.64
79%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
31
19.4
37%
7.8
75%
5.92
81%
3.31
89%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
6
2.5
58%
0.99
83%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.9
2.2
72%
3.6
54%
2.74
65%
1.71
78%
Gamma
2.24 98%
2.16 102%
2.43 91%
2.38 92%
2.32 95%
CCT
6914 94%
6252 104%
6928 94%
6794 96%
6291 103%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
42.2
41.2
-2%
59.1
40%
61
45%
52
23%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
64.9
64.1
-1%
90.6
40%
94
45%
82
26%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
13% / 18%
9% / 27%
-1% / 17%
12% / 27%

* ... smaller is better

Lenovo ThinkPad A285 vs. sRGB (64.9%)
Lenovo ThinkPad A285 vs. sRGB (64.9%)
Lenovo ThinkPad A285 vs. AdobeRGB (42.2%)
Lenovo ThinkPad A285 vs. AdobeRGB (42.2%)

Our test model shows increased DeltaE-2000 deviations ex-works. The comparison devices are superior thanks to pre-calibrated units. Our A285 also shows a slight color cast (blue-green), but it is fortunately not too strong. Our calibration improves the grayscale performance significantly and the color cast is gone, even though the color deviations do not change that much. The corresponding icc profile is linked in the box above and can be downloaded for free. Both 12.5-inch displays are similar in terms of color gamut and are therefore not suited for (semi) professional picture editing. It is still a decent panel for an office device.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)

Thanks to the matte panel surface, there are no major limitations when you use it outdoors. The luminance is also good and sufficient, but you should still avoid direct sunlight and prefer a place in the shade.

Lenovo ThinkPad A285 outdoors in sunlight
Lenovo ThinkPad A285 outdoors in sunlight
Lenovo ThinkPad A285 outdoors in the shade
Lenovo ThinkPad A285 outdoors in the shade

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
31 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16 ms rise
↘ 15 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 78 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25510 Hz ≤ 50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9533 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The IPS screen ensures wide viewing angles and we only noticed a slight loss of contrast and color deviations from extreme angles. However, this is no problem in practice since those angles are rare in everyday use.

Viewing angle stability Lenovo ThinkPad A285
Viewing angle stability Lenovo ThinkPad A285

Performance - Quad-core Ryzen 5 Pro

The performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U is more than sufficient for common office tasks. You should take into the account the iGPU (AMD Radeon Vega 8), which occupies a part of the memory (shared memory), so you cannot use the full amount. If you want to use the device for virtual machines, we recommend you select an SKU with 16 GB of RAM. LatencyMon also detected increased latencies, so the drivers are not working perfectly yet and we hope this will improve with future updates. During our review, we could not detect dropouts during the playback of multimedia contents.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
DPC-Latencies
HWiNFO

Processor

The AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U is a quad-core processor and can execute up to 8 threads simultaneously at a base frequency of 2 GHz. The maximum turbo clock is 3.6 GHz. The standard power consumption is rated at 15 watts and therefore identical to the Intel competition. The performance comparison shows that the Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U can keep up with the Intel-powered rivals at first, but the single-core performance of the AMD processor is still lower.

Our Cinebench R15 Multi loop shows a performance drop after the first iteration to 438 points and the score levels off at 438 points with the third run.

A direct comparison shows that the Intel CPU in the X280 is faster under sustained workloads. However, you also have to consider the power consumption, because the processor in the X280 is allowed to consume slightly more power. The difference between the two models would be smaller if the TDP configuration would be identical.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U: Ø388 (376.46-534.9)
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00 Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø538 (523.46-671.14)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
160 Points ∼100% +21%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel Core i5-8350U
152 Points ∼95% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼91% +10%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼90% +9%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (132 - 139, n=3)
135 Points ∼84% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
132 Points ∼83%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 184, n=262)
114 Points ∼71% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Core i5-8250U
684 Points ∼100% +26%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel Core i5-8350U
625 Points ∼91% +16%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (541 - 589, n=3)
561 Points ∼82% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
541 Points ∼79%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
531 Points ∼78% -2%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
529 Points ∼77% -2%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 721, n=272)
332 Points ∼49% -39%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.92 Points ∼100% +24%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.63 Points ∼85% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
1.55 Points ∼81%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (1.5 - 1.58, n=3)
1.543 Points ∼80% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.09 - 1.98, n=272)
1.155 Points ∼60% -25%
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
7.17 Points ∼100% +18%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (6.04 - 6.74, n=3)
6.29 Points ∼88% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
6.08 Points ∼85%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
5.63 Points ∼79% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.33 - 7.22, n=411)
2.54 Points ∼35% -58%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
233.53 Points ∼100% +28%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
224.76 Points ∼96% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Core i5-8250U
219.99 Points ∼94% +20%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (34.8 - 277, n=124)
187 Points ∼80% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
182.93 Points ∼78%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (118 - 183, n=3)
161 Points ∼69% -12%
Octane V2 - Total Score
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
33496 Points ∼100% +36%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
30794 Points ∼92% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Core i5-8250U
30696 Points ∼92% +24%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3963 - 41871, n=138)
25062 Points ∼75% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
24713 Points ∼74%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (23903 - 24713, n=2)
24308 Points ∼73% -2%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 30250, n=146)
2020 ms * ∼100% -47%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (1376 - 1659, n=3)
1488 ms * ∼74% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
1376.3 ms * ∼68%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel Core i5-8250U
1297.7 ms * ∼64% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Core i5-8250U
1247.6 ms * ∼62% +9%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
1121 ms * ∼55% +19%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Jetstream 1.1
Jetstream 1.1
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8059
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7183 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
21110 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
8680 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4349
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
12294
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
5.45 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
44.28 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.55 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.08 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
42.64 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.33 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
132 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
46.34 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
541 Points
Help

System Performance

The synthetic PCMark benchmarks show a similar picture. The Intel-powered rivals manage higher scores, even though the difference is just measurable, but subjectively not noticeable. We cannot say that the AMD system felt any slower.

The subjective performance of the ThinkPad A285 is very good, which is also a result of the fast SSD.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
3071 Points ∼100% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3048 Points ∼99% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2806 Points ∼91%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
2711 Points ∼88% -3%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2359 - 2924, n=3)
2696 Points ∼88% -4%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (534 - 3704, n=78)
2404 Points ∼78% -14%
Productivity
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6529 Points ∼100% +24%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
6378 Points ∼98% +21%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
6079 Points ∼93% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5271 Points ∼81%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1014 - 7281, n=78)
5170 Points ∼79% -2%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (3759 - 5271, n=3)
4755 Points ∼73% -10%
Essentials
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7845 Points ∼100% +13%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
7614 Points ∼97% +9%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
7149 Points ∼91% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
6969 Points ∼89%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2062 - 8549, n=78)
6699 Points ∼85% -4%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (5848 - 6969, n=3)
6547 Points ∼83% -6%
Score
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3860 Points ∼100% +15%
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
3802 Points ∼98% +13%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
3577 Points ∼93% +6%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3514 Points ∼91% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
3361 Points ∼87%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2673 - 3376, n=3)
3137 Points ∼81% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 4344, n=81)
3095 Points ∼80% -8%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
5069 Points ∼100% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4868 Points ∼96% +5%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
4768 Points ∼94% +3%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4747 Points ∼94% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4650 Points ∼92%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (4123 - 4650, n=3)
4473 Points ∼88% -4%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=203)
4028 Points ∼79% -13%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
4051 Points ∼100% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
3714 Points ∼92%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3676 Points ∼91% -1%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
3600 Points ∼89% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3574 Points ∼88% -4%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2937 - 3714, n=3)
3415 Points ∼84% -8%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4182, n=231)
3026 Points ∼75% -19%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3714 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4465 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4650 points
Help

Storage Devices

Similar to the ThinkPad X280, Lenovo also equips the A285 with a fast SSD from Samsung. It uses the NVMe protocol and manages very high transfer rates thanks to the PCIe interface. All in all, the performance is still a bit lower compared to the X280 depending on the benchmark. Still, our test sample does not have to hide and beats all the other rivals.

We especially like the excellent 4K read performance, which improves the boot process and application launches. The SSD also supports OPAL, but this is only the case for the 256 and 512 GB drives. The entry-level A285 is only equipped with a 128 GB M.2-SSD via SATA interface.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 3
CDM 3
CDM 5
CDM 5
CDM 6
CDM 6
CDI
CDI
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell Latitude 7390
SK hynix SC311 M.2
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Average Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
 
AS SSD
22%
-60%
-63%
-26%
-7%
Score Total
2829
3774
33%
857
-70%
885
-69%
1961
-31%
2600 (1663 - 3230, n=15)
-8%
Score Write
1285
1553
21%
311
-76%
419
-67%
883
-31%
1209 (514 - 1752, n=15)
-6%
Score Read
1052
1497
42%
359
-66%
306
-71%
698
-34%
932 (724 - 1078, n=15)
-11%
Access Time Write *
0.042
0.036
14%
0.056
-33%
0.057
-36%
0.037
12%
0.0374 (0.026 - 0.049, n=15)
11%
Access Time Read *
0.049
0.041
16%
0.075
-53%
0.099
-102%
0.061
-24%
0.0733 (0.041 - 0.113, n=15)
-50%
4K-64 Write
1067.44
1308.86
23%
210.34
-80%
308.75
-71%
712.48
-33%
971 (274 - 1501, n=15)
-9%
4K-64 Read
762.59
1217.77
60%
282.75
-63%
235.66
-69%
610.64
-20%
692 (530 - 786, n=15)
-9%
4K Write
85.66
105.25
23%
63.57
-26%
73.85
-14%
98.37
15%
104 (77.4 - 144, n=15)
21%
4K Read
43.16
47.2
9%
27.31
-37%
24.41
-43%
38.35
-11%
45 (32.4 - 53.8, n=15)
4%
Seq Write
1314.74
1384.87
5%
369.9
-72%
364.45
-72%
720.49
-45%
1341 (1017 - 1646, n=15)
2%
Seq Read
2482.71
2315.96
-7%
485.52
-80%
455.47
-82%
494.33
-80%
1958 (864 - 2724, n=15)
-21%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Sequential Read: 1834 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1388 MB/s
512K Read: 792.6 MB/s
512K Write: 1302 MB/s
4K Read: 53.07 MB/s
4K Write: 97.34 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 276.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 196 MB/s

GPU Performance

The AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U is an APU and features the integrated graphics adapter AMD Radeon Vega 8. It is much faster compared to the Intel UHD Graphics 620 as shown by the synthetic 3DMarks. The iGPU is equipped with 512 shader units and runs at up to 1100 MHz. There is no dedicated memory, so the Vega 8 iGPU uses 1 GB from the system. The performance of the Radeon Vega 8 is 71% better compared to the ThinkPad X280 with the Intel UHD Graphics 620. The HP Envy 13 on the other hand is even faster thanks to the dedicated GeForce MX150 GPU.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3512 Points ∼100% +12%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1668 - 4317, n=20)
3287 Points ∼94% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
3123 Points ∼89%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1821 Points ∼52% -42%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1657 Points ∼47% -47%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1606 Points ∼46% -49%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 4905, n=351)
1257 Points ∼36% -60%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
843 Points ∼100% +61%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (523 - 742, n=8)
643 Points ∼76% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
523 Points ∼62%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (85 - 1130, n=31)
498 Points ∼59% -5%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2874 Points ∼100% +41%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1095 - 2901, n=18)
2094 Points ∼73% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
2036 Points ∼71%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1197 Points ∼42% -41%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1169 Points ∼41% -43%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3726, n=231)
1035 Points ∼36% -49%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
959 Points ∼33% -53%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
17325 Points ∼100% +23%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (7309 - 19351, n=18)
14077 Points ∼81% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
14071 Points ∼81%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
9711 Points ∼56% -31%
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
9291 Points ∼54% -34%
Dell Latitude 7390
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
8104 Points ∼47% -42%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 22615, n=259)
7531 Points ∼43% -46%
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11 Performance
3153 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
69209 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8099 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1724 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
807 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
587 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Gaming benchmarks turned out to be challenging on the Lenovo A285, because the device often did not support our standard resolution. For example, we could only test Rise of the "Tomb Raider" at 1080p, even though the resolution was not available in "Rocket League". We hope that future GPU drivers will improve the situation. The 3D performance of the Vega 8 is sufficient for less demanding titles in general.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 103.117.2fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 12.3fps
Rocket League (2017) 52.9fps

Emissions - Quiet companion

System Noise

The behavior of the fan in the ThinkPad A285 is very similar to the X280, but the maximum fan noise under load is much lower at 31.2 dB(A) for the new model. The Intel counterpart could be much louder at up to 39.7 dB(A). The fan is not spinning while idling and only starts spinning under load. Otherwise, it is a silent system, and the test model is much quieter than some of the rivals. Only the Fujitsu LifeBook U938 is similarly quiet.

Noise Level

Idle
28.9 / 28.9 / 28.9 dB(A)
Load
31.2 / 31.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.9 dB(A)
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Noise
-10%
-7%
-6%
-12%
off / environment *
28.9
29.2
-1%
29.5
-2%
30.4
-5%
30.3
-5%
Idle Minimum *
28.9
29.2
-1%
29.5
-2%
30.4
-5%
30.3
-5%
Idle Average *
28.9
29.2
-1%
29.5
-2%
30.4
-5%
30.3
-5%
Idle Maximum *
28.9
29.2
-1%
29.5
-2%
30.4
-5%
30.3
-5%
Load Average *
31.2
39.7
-27%
32.4
-4%
33.7
-8%
38.9
-25%
Load Maximum *
31.2
39.7
-27%
39.9
-28%
33
-6%
39
-25%

* ... smaller is better

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2029.127.829.12527.627.226.9312925.226.44027.123.730502524.930.46323.722.822.98022.821.920.810023.92223.612522.121.722.416021.520.221.220021.520.922.125021.720.421.931520.920.420.740021.319.620.45002119.52063020.119.119.180020.318.519.3100019.718.219.6125019.817.519.2160019.916.719.1200019.516.318.4250018.81617.4315020.215.417.6400019.815.216.6500017.1151663001614.915.680001514.714.8100001514.714.51250014.614.414.41600014.514.314.4SPL31.228.930.1N1.51.21.3median 19.9median 17.5median 19.1Delta22.42.2hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE

Temperature

3DMark 11 after stress test
3DMark 11 after stress test

Both the ThinkPad X280 and the ThinkPad A285 use the same chassis, so we are not surprised about similar hot spot locations. There are only minor differences between the two subnotebooks with a small advantage for the X280. The A285 is a bit warmer at 46 °C (~115 °F), but this is not uncomfortable. Dell's Latitude 7390 gets much warmer at up to 55.2 °C (~131 °F).

The AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U has a configurable TDP between 12-25 watts, and it looks as if Lenovo limits it to just 12 watts in the compact chassis. We see a maximum CPU temperature of 79 °C (~174 °F) during the stress test with Prime95 with an average frequency of 1.6 GHz. The chip stays cooler when we add GPU load at 71.8 (~161 °F) or 68 °C (~154 °F), respectively. Both the CPU and GPU have to share the limited TDP envelope of 12 watts, so the Ryzen 5 Pro only runs at 1 GHz and the Radeon Vega 8 is limited to just 200 MHz.

This sustained workload also affects the 3D performance, because the 3DMark 11 run immediately after the stress test only determined 2638 points, a deficit of ~500 points compared to a regular run.

Stress test: Prime95 solo
Stress test: Prime95 solo
Stress test: FurMark solo
Stress test: FurMark solo
Stress test: FurMark+Prime95
Stress test: FurMark+Prime95
Max. Load
 32 °C
90 F
38.1 °C
101 F
42.4 °C
108 F
 
 31.2 °C
88 F
37.6 °C
100 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 28 °C
82 F
30.8 °C
87 F
34.7 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 43 °C = 109 F
Average: 35.3 °C = 96 F
41.3 °C
106 F
41.6 °C
107 F
33.6 °C
92 F
38.6 °C
101 F
46 °C
115 F
32.2 °C
90 F
27.7 °C
82 F
27.8 °C
82 F
26.3 °C
79 F
Maximum: 46 °C = 115 F
Average: 35 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  33.8 °C = 93 F | Room Temperature 20.1 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.3 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46 °C / 115 F, compared to the average of 40.1 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.8 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.7 °C / 94.5 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-6.1 °C / -11 F).
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Heat
3%
-2%
3%
-14%
Maximum Upper Side *
43
43.2
-0%
43.1
-0%
39.3
9%
43.1
-0%
Maximum Bottom *
46
43.1
6%
55.2
-20%
43.1
6%
45.9
-0%
Idle Upper Side *
24.5
24.8
-1%
23.7
3%
25.4
-4%
32.4
-32%
Idle Bottom *
25.9
24.1
7%
23.6
9%
25.6
1%
32.2
-24%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature development top (load)
Temperature development top (load)
Temperature development bottom (load)
Temperature development bottom (load)
Temperature development (load)
Temperature development (load)

Speakers

The speakers of the ThinkPad A285 are located at the bottom and only manage mediocre sound quality. They are pretty loud at up to 71 dB(A), but there is an emphasis on the high tones and there is no bass at all. All in all, the sound is very tinny.

The combined stereo jack on the left side provides a noise-free sound for external speakers or headphones.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2027.829.22527.230.13125.225.64023.724.75024.928.76322.824.48021.9251002223.412521.724.316020.228.620020.931.725020.435.531520.446.640019.648.750019.556.263019.159.180018.560.1100018.261.8125017.560.3160016.757.6200016.357.725001659.5315015.458.3400015.25450001559.1630014.960800014.760.81000014.760.51250014.457.31600014.353SPL28.971N1.227.6median 17.5median 57.6Delta2.48.535.233.129.43035.63331.73130.428.126.928.125.627.225.83025.332.826.13923.345.121.951.12157.818.259.118.259.817.765.117.170.316.868.415.771.715.571.715.771.915.670.515.871.116.174.316.574.816.871.817.16417.267.517.263.417.361.62983.11.255.2median 17.2median 65.12.59.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GEDell Latitude 7390
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 68% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 29% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 50% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Dell Latitude 7390 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 42% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 41% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 50% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

65W PSU
65W PSU

The ThinkPad A285 is unfortunately beaten by the rivals in terms of power consumption. The maximum consumption of the subnotebook is lower at 40.5W, but it is not as efficient while idling. We measure between 5.8 and 9.96 watts for the A285 while idling depending on the power settings and the luminance, which is just too much compared to the other devices.

The power adapter is rated at 65 watts and is more than sufficient for the A285. You can use both USB Type-C ports on the ThinkPad to charge the battery.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.28 / 0.61 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.8 / 8.2 / 9.96 Watt
Load midlight 37.9 / 40.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 12.5
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 12.5
Dell Latitude 7390
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
8550U, GeForce MX150, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Power Consumption
12%
10%
34%
2%
-2%
-9%
Idle Minimum *
5.8
3.11
46%
2.34
60%
2.4
59%
5.3
9%
5.54 (0 - 7.6, n=18)
4%
6.69 (1 - 36, n=587)
-15%
Idle Average *
8.2
5.01
39%
5.6
32%
5.5
33%
7.3
11%
8.66 (6.9 - 12.9, n=18)
-6%
9.9 (2.06 - 39, n=587)
-21%
Idle Maximum *
9.96
8.11
19%
6.5
35%
6
40%
9.3
7%
10.2 (8.1 - 13.7, n=18)
-2%
12.2 (3.9 - 55, n=587)
-22%
Load Average *
37.9
44.6
-18%
43
-13%
31
18%
39
-3%
37.9 (24.1 - 45.7, n=18)
-0%
33.5 (6.3 - 75, n=577)
12%
Load Maximum *
40.5
51.7
-28%
67.4
-66%
32.6
20%
46
-14%
43.6 (26.5 - 57.1, n=18)
-8%
40.5 (7.6 - 111, n=580)
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

3DMark 11 on battery
3DMark 11 on battery
Cinebench R15 on battery
Cinebench R15 on battery

Lenovo has equipped the ThinkPad A285 with a 48 Wh battery, which is non-removable inside the case. The increased power consumption compared to the X280 obviously affects the battery runtime and we determine shorter results. Our practical WLAN test runs for 7:49 hours on the ThinkPad A285, which is a decent result, but it might not be enough for a full day in the office without some recharging. We used an adjusted luminance of 150 nits for this test (71% for our test model).

The H.264 test also determines a poorer result compared to the X280, and it looks that the UHD Graphics 620 is more efficient in this scenario. The battery lasts just 4:46 hours before it has to be recharged. It is still enough for two long movies.

The charging time is comparatively short at 1:40 hours and you can use about 80% after just 50 minutes.

We did not detect any GPU performance drops on battery power; only the CPU performance is a bit lower, which is shown by the Cinebench R15 test.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 34min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (EDGE: 44.17763.1.0)
7h 49min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 46min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 36min
Maximum battery runtime
Maximum battery runtime
Minimum battery runtime
Minimum battery runtime
Wi-Fi battery runtime
Wi-Fi battery runtime
Video battery runtime (H.264)
Video battery runtime (H.264)
Charging
Charging
Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 48 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
Dell Latitude 7390
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Fujitsu Lifebook U938
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
HP Envy 13-ah0003ng
8550U, GeForce MX150, 53.2 Wh
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Battery Runtime
62%
116%
48%
30%
24%
Reader / Idle
574
1212
111%
1660
189%
1167
103%
931
62%
616 (87 - 2557, n=546)
7%
H.264
286
572
100%
749
162%
433
51%
378
32%
461 (182 - 950, n=109)
61%
WiFi v1.3
469
531
13%
506
8%
481
3%
467 (206 - 805, n=204)
0%
Load
96
119
24%
92
-4%
123
28%
116
21%
121 (40 - 347, n=552)
26%

Verdict

Pros

+ high quality and lightweight case
+ excellent ThinkPad input devices
+ very fast SSD
+ fingerprint scanner and SmartCard reader
+ improved serviceability
+ matte IPS screen (>300 nits)
+ case remains comparatively cool
+ fan is usually idling
+ HDMI 2.0 and higher resolutions via USB-C
+ improved 3D performance (vs. X280)

Cons

- no Thunderbolt 3
- non-removable battery
- microSD reader hard to reach
- soldered RAM - non-upgradeable
- increased idle power consumption
- CPU performance slightly reduced on battery power
- low color gamut
- case large enough for a 13.3-inch screen
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad A285. Test model courtesy of Lenovo Germany.
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad A285. Test model courtesy of Lenovo Germany.

The Lenovo ThinkPad A285 finally gives users the chance to get a compact ThinkPad laptop based on an AMD processor. Besides three base models, the compact 12.5-inch device can be further configured and is available with useful features such as a SmartCard reader or fingerprint scanner. The manufacturer also offers an optional WWAN module, so you can use the Internet on the road.

AMD's Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U is a good CPU for the A285 and offers plenty of performance for common tasks. The processor is comparable to an Intel Core i5-8250U, but not for sustained workloads. The X280 with the Intel CPU is faster, but this is also a result of different TDP configurations, which were set by Lenovo.

The biggest difference between the two chips is the integrated graphics adapter. AMD's Radeon Vega 8 is a much faster unit and can easily beat the Intel UHD Graphics 620 in the benchmarks.

Our test model of the Lenovo ThinkPad A285 retails for 1439 Euros (~$1640). We particularly liked the excellent input devices, and the 256 GB PCIe-SSD ensures high transfer rates for a good system performance. The high-quality and robust chassis completes the package. It tips the scale at just 1.1 kg (~2.4 lb), so you can easily carry it around or just put it in your bag.

The Lenovo ThinkPad A285 is a good office device based on an AMD processor and benefits from the lower price point compared to the X280. The A285 is a good choice if you do not need the additional CPU performance of the X280 or the longer battery runtimes.

There are still some drawbacks such as the increased idle consumption, which affects the battery runtime compared to the X280. The display in our test model is also a bit worse, but this is a result of Lenovo's panel lottery. The manufacturer uses different suppliers and you never know what panel you will get before the purchase.

The soldered memory is definitely a bad development for a business devices and you cannot upgrade it later. The A285 also lacks the Thunderbolt 3 support of the X280. Still, the overall impression of the device is good and we can recommend it. Whether users are willing to switch to an AMD system for their business device remains to be seen, but the lower price is definitely an advantage. A similarly equipped ThinkPad X280 with an Intel CPU is almost 200 Euros (~$228) more expensive and does not perform much better.

Lenovo ThinkPad A285-20MX0002GE - 01/06/2019 v6
Sebastian Bade

Chassis
92 /  98 → 94%
Keyboard
89%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
68 / 80 → 85%
Weight
73 / 35-78 → 89%
Battery
84%
Display
84%
Games Performance
64 / 68 → 94%
Application Performance
79 / 87 → 91%
Temperature
90 / 91 → 99%
Noise
99%
Audio
64 / 91 → 70%
Camera
41 / 85 → 48%
Average
78%
88%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 7 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad A285 (Ryzen 5 Pro, Vega 8, FHD) Laptop Review
Sebastian Bade, 2019-01- 6 (Update: 2019-04-30)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.