Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad A485 (Ryzen 5 Pro) Laptop Review

Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Tanja Hinum-Balaz (translated by Mark Riege), 09/26/2018

Worse alternative. A combination of Lenovo's well-known T series and the AMD Ryzen processors: This can really only turn out well, or can it? Find out in this extensive review why in the end the ThinkPad T480 Intel model is a better choice than its AMD sibling, the ThinkPad A485! Update 9/27/2018: UEFI version 1.02

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When Lenovo introduced a completely new sub-series of its ThinkPad business laptops with AMD processors to the market at the end of last fall, it was a bit surprising. After all, the first models of the new ThinkPad A series, the ThinkPad A275 and the ThinkPad A475, were based on the "Bristol-Ridge" processors from AMD. These were already aged at the time and ready to be replaced by the "Raven-Ridge" mobile Ryzen processors. However, it was already clear then that the first two models were only place holders to establish the ThinkPad A series and bridge the time until the Ryzen.

Now, almost one year later, the second generation of the Lenovo ThinkPad A series is on the market, and it finally contains the newest Ryzen processors. The design continues to be based on the current models of the ThinkPad X and the ThinkPad T series. For the smaller ThinkPad A285, the Intel equivalent would be the Lenovo ThinkPad X280, while our current test unit, the ThinkPad A485, is based on the design of the Lenovo ThinkPad T480. We can therefore leave out the description of the case, connections, and input devices, since you can find all this information in the detailed review of the Lenovo ThinkPad T480.

In addition to the ThinkPad T480 as the most obvious reference comparison, the main competitor to the Lenovo ThinkPad A485 is primarily the HP EliteBook 745 G5. While the Dell Latitude 5495 would also be a good comparison device, since we have not been able to test this model yet, we are comparing the ThinkPad A485 with the Dell Latitude 5490 with Intel internals instead.

Our test unit is currently the only best-selling model on the German market. This configuration with the model number 20MU000CGE contains the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, 8 GB of RAM, a 256-GB SSD, as well as an IPS display with Full HD resolution (1920x1080).

Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, 1 of 2 Slots empty, max. 32 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, NV140FHM-N46, IPS LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, 256 GB 
, M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD, 214 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC3287
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 3 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Audio combo port, Card Reader: 4-in-1 SD card reader, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.95 x 336.6 x 232.5 ( = 0.79 x 13.25 x 9.15 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, removeable, External 24 Wh battery plus internal 24 Wh battery
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p with ThinkShutter
Additional features
Speakers: 2 W stereo speaker, Keyboard: 6 row chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Vantage, Microsoft Office trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.636 kg ( = 57.71 oz / 3.61 pounds), Power Supply: 356 g ( = 12.56 oz / 0.78 pounds)
Price
1369 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Size Comparison

Connections

Right: audio combo, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-A, RJ45 Ethernet, SD card reader, Kensington lock
Right: audio combo, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-A, RJ45 Ethernet, SD card reader, Kensington lock
Left: 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, Mini-Ethernet/Dockingport, smart card reader
Left: 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, Mini-Ethernet/Dockingport, smart card reader
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166.4 MB/s ∼100% +124%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.8 MB/s ∼47% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
74.2 MB/s ∼45%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=232)
60.8 MB/s ∼37% -18%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
208.2 MB/s ∼100% +143%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86.4 MB/s ∼41% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85.6 MB/s ∼41%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=209)
78 MB/s ∼37% -9%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
625 MBit/s ∼100% +17%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
607 MBit/s ∼97% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
536 MBit/s ∼86%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=174)
458 MBit/s ∼73% -15%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
409 MBit/s ∼65% -24%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
593 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
581 MBit/s ∼98%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
520 MBit/s ∼88% -10%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
511 MBit/s ∼86% -12%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=174)
425 MBit/s ∼72% -27%

Display

Pixel grid NV140FHM-N46
Pixel grid NV140FHM-N46
Hardly any backlight bleeding (displayed is amplified here)
Hardly any backlight bleeding (displayed is amplified here)

The number of display options for the Lenovo A485 AMD ThinkPad is less than with the ThinkPad T480 Intel model. Instead of four, there are only three different displays. The QHD IPS display (2560x1440), the best display option in the T480, is not offered for the A485. Instead, you have the choice between an HD TN panel (1366x768), which you should definitely avoid, a Full HD IPS display (1920x1080) with touch, and a Full HD IPS screen without touch. All the offered displays are matte.

Our test unit has the Full HD IPS panel without touch. According to Lenovo, it should achieve a brightness of 250 cd/m², but according to our measurements it surpassed this value with an average of 271 cd/m². This makes this display significantly brighter than the very dark Full HD IPS LCD in the Dell Latitude 5490. On the other hand, the HP EliteBook 745 G5 clearly surpasses all the competitors, offering a display brightness of almost 400 cd/m². So in this regard the A485 places between the competitors, but it is unfortunate that Lenovo does not offer the brighter QHD display.

The built-in panel with the model number NV140FHM-N46 from the manufacturer BOE hardly shows any backlight bleeding, and at 85% the  brightness distribution is sufficiently good. Unfortunately, we noticed some PWM, but at 1000 Hz its frequency is high enough to not give any problems to most users. 

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288
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
246
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 288 cd/m² Average: 271.8 cd/m² Minimum: 3.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 273 cd/m²
Contrast: 1058:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.9 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 4.9
ΔE Greyscale 3.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
59.6% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38.1% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.36
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
NV140FHM-N46, , 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Lenovo LP140WF6-SPB7, , 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
AU Optronics AUO263D, , 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AUO383D, , 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
LP140QH2-SPB1, , 2560x1440, 14
Response Times
26%
3%
26%
17%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44.8 (22.8, 22)
35.6 (17.6, 18)
21%
46.9 (23.6, 23.3)
-5%
35 (17, 18)
22%
38.4 (19.6, 18.8)
14%
Response Time Black / White *
35.2 (19.6, 15.6)
24.8 (13.2, 11.6)
30%
31.2 (18, 13.2)
11%
25 (15, 10)
29%
28.4 (15.6, 12.8)
19%
PWM Frequency
1000 (99)
Screen
4%
1%
35%
16%
Brightness middle
275
307
12%
227
-17%
421
53%
352
28%
Brightness
272
295
8%
211
-22%
398
46%
343
26%
Brightness Distribution
85
90
6%
88
4%
86
1%
91
7%
Black Level *
0.26
0.25
4%
0.19
27%
0.27
-4%
0.46
-77%
Contrast
1058
1228
16%
1195
13%
1559
47%
765
-28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.9
5.7
3%
5.6
5%
4.08
31%
3.3
44%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20
21.3
-7%
22.4
-12%
7.48
63%
7.3
63%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.9
4.7
4%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.6
3.7
-3%
2.4
33%
2.92
19%
5.3
-47%
Gamma
2.36 93%
2.11 104%
2.44 90%
2.32 95%
2.22 99%
CCT
6798 96%
7353 88%
6506 100%
7043 92%
6452 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38.1
37.4
-2%
34.5
-9%
57
50%
68.4
80%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59.6
58.7
-2%
54.4
-9%
87
46%
98
64%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
15% / 7%
2% / 2%
31% / 34%
17% / 16%

* ... smaller is better

Color values
Color values
Saturation
Saturation
Grayscales
Grayscales
Color values (calibrated)
Color values (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Grayscales (calibrated)
Grayscales (calibrated)

At 1058:1, the contrast is within a suitably good range. The competitors turn out similarly good, and only the HP EliteBook 745 G5 is clearly better with more than 1500:1. In its original settings, the display of the ThinkPad A485 struggles with some color deviations, although that can be corrected to a large extent via calibration. As always, we offer the corresponding color profile for this.

The color-space coverage is probably the area where the lack of the QHD option hurts most, since the LCD built-in here is only able to cover 59% of the sRGB color space. This is not sufficient for any kind of image-processing, particularly since the missing percentage values also result in some pale colors overall. In this area, the Full HD display of the EliteBook 745 G5 is again significantly better. However, the QHD display that Lenovo has built into the T480 and T480s and has kept from the A485 is even better than that.

sRGB: 59.6%
sRGB: 59.6%
AdobeRGB: 38.1%
AdobeRGB: 38.1%
Outdoors (in the shade)
Outdoors (in the shade)

The outdoor suitability of the display can only be judged as barely suitable. While the matte surface and display brightness of 200 cd/m² basically enable outdoor usage, this is not really sufficient to be comfortable. The LCD is barely bright enough for using it 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
35.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 15.6 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. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
44.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.8 ms rise
↘ 22 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. » 68 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 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 1000 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8922 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Since this is an IPS display, the viewing-angle stability is very good. Although the IPS glow effect is present, it is not very pronounced.

Viewing-angle stability of the NV140FHM-N46
Viewing-angle stability of the NV140FHM-N46

Performance

In the German market, Lenovo currently only sells a single model of the ThinkPad A485, which is also the one that we are testing. It is equipped with the AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U, the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 integrated GPU, an 8 GB DDR4 RAM module (one of two slots occupied, 32 GB max.), as well as the Full HD IPS display and a 256-GB SSD. If you want to purchase the A485 with different components, you have to get it from Lenovo's own shop. The configurator offers additional CPU options such as the AMD Ryzen 3 2300U and the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U, more working memory and SSD storage, and there are also additional display options (starting at $830 in the US).

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
LatencyMon
LatencyMon
 

Processor

The AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U is a quad-core processor with a TDP of 15 watts. Its four "Zen" cores run at a maximum speed of 3.6 GHz, with a basic clock speed of 2 GHz. You can find comparisons with other processors in our CPU benchmark list.

During the Cinebench multicore test, the CPU speed of the Lenovo ThinkPad A485 reaches a maximum of 2.8 GHz, so the CPU is not able to use its full potential. Lenovo allows the processor to use a maximum of 32 watts, but only for a short time. In the Cinebench loop, the CPU achieves relatively high results in the first three iterations of the test. After that, the TDP varies between 8 and 32 watts, so that the CPU runs at 400 MHz for short periods of time. The clock speed varies considerably.

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Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ: Ø504 (495-536)
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00 GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ: Ø628 (624.25-657.27)
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G: Ø539 (523-626)
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G: Ø510 (500.53-589.09)

Overall, the performance offered by the AMD ThinkPad A485 is disappointing. The corresponding Intel ThinkPad T480 achieves a significantly higher CPU performance under constant load as well. Of course, this device has the Intel Core i7-8550U, but even in a ThinkPad A485 with the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U the distance to the Intel model might still be considerable.

The CPU performance is not reduced in battery operation.

Update UEFI version 1.02: Even though the CPU performance overall continues to be far from that of the ThinkPad T480, with the newer UEFI firmware, the ThinkPad A485 is able to maintain its CPU performance a little better than before, at least under constant load. The Cinebench score now levels out at almost 500 points, whereas it was significantly lower under constant load before. 

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
161 Points ∼100% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼89% +7%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
143 Points ∼89% +7%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
142 Points ∼88% +6%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (134 - 139, n=2)
137 Points ∼85% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
134 Points ∼83%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 178, n=478)
108 Points ∼67% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel Core i5-8250U
724 Points ∼100% +31%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel Core i5-8250U
716 Points ∼99% +29%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
657 Points ∼91% +19%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
630 Points ∼87% +14%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
599 Points ∼83% +8%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
  (553 - 589, n=2)
571 Points ∼79% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
553 Points ∼76%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1050, n=482)
318 Points ∼44% -42%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
20209 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
8209 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4204
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
14336
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6955
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6921 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.5 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
30.42 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
5.54 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.04 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
30.22 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.38 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
134 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
553 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
24.5 fps
Help

System Performance

In the PCMark benchmarks that simulate daily tasks, the Lenovo ThinkPad A485 only achieves one of the lower places in our comparison. However, this is not really worrisome. For one, the distance to the HP EliteBook 745 G5 is not really large, and then also the system performance is fine and inconspicuous in everyday operation.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5025 Points ∼100% +22%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
4774 Points ∼95% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4508 Points ∼90% +9%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4403 Points ∼88% +7%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (4123 - 4647, n=2)
4385 Points ∼87% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4123 Points ∼82%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5428, n=303)
3953 Points ∼79% -4%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3695 Points ∼100% +26%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3675 Points ∼99% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3503 Points ∼95% +19%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2937 - 3594, n=2)
3266 Points ∼88% +11%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3155 Points ∼85% +7%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4458, n=355)
3009 Points ∼81% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2937 Points ∼79%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3258 Points ∼100% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3004 Points ∼92% +27%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
2772 Points ∼85% +18%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2359 - 2924, n=2)
2642 Points ∼81% +12%
Average of class Office
  (320 - 3503, n=97)
2524 Points ∼77% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2359 Points ∼72%
Productivity
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6500 Points ∼100% +73%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5739 Points ∼88% +53%
Average of class Office
  (1444 - 7142, n=97)
5372 Points ∼83% +43%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (3759 - 5235, n=2)
4497 Points ∼69% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
3759 Points ∼58%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3408 Points ∼52% -9%
Essentials
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7358 Points ∼100% +26%
Average of class Office
  (2683 - 8787, n=97)
6799 Points ∼92% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6423 Points ∼87% +10%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (5848 - 6825, n=2)
6337 Points ∼86% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5848 Points ∼79%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5732 Points ∼78% -2%
Score
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3686 Points ∼100% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3602 Points ∼98% +35%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 4269, n=98)
3134 Points ∼85% +17%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2673 - 3376, n=2)
3025 Points ∼82% +13%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
2712 Points ∼74% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2673 Points ∼73%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2937 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4123 points
Help

Storage Solution

The Lenovo ThinkPad A485 is equipped with a Samsung PM981 with a 256-GB capacity. This is a very fast PCIe NVMe SSD, even though its full potential cannot be used in the ThinkPad. The reason for this is Lenovo's particular storage solution that is used in some of the current ThinkPads such as the T480, T580, and A485, where either a classical 2.5-inch hard drive or a 2280-M.2-SSD serves as the storage. In a model without an HDD such as our current test unit, the SSD sits in an adapter inside the 2.5-inch slot that is connected with the same connector as the hard drive. This causes the performance to be limited to PCIe-3.0-x2 speeds. However, you should almost never notice this limitation during everyday usage.

Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Average Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-19%
43%
-30%
-3%
16%
Write 4k QD32
205.6
208.4
1%
342.95
67%
300.2
46%
271.4
32%
265 (206 - 325, n=2)
29%
Read 4k QD32
286.5
310.6
8%
444.91
55%
295.6
3%
383.4
34%
344 (287 - 402, n=2)
20%
Write 4k
89.65
97.08
8%
160.65
79%
88.96
-1%
108
20%
115 (89.7 - 140, n=2)
28%
Read 4k
52.15
24.9
-52%
66.88
28%
27.34
-48%
64.39
23%
57.2 (52.2 - 62.3, n=2)
10%
Write 512
1169
298.1
-74%
1715.92
47%
360.7
-69%
566.8
-52%
1283 (1169 - 1396, n=2)
10%
Read 512
764.7
823.4
8%
834.67
9%
410.1
-46%
561.1
-27%
720 (675 - 765, n=2)
-6%
Write Seq
1280
269.7
-79%
1613.2
26%
425
-67%
927.8
-28%
1363 (1280 - 1445, n=2)
6%
Read Seq
1193
1549
30%
1540
29%
465.1
-61%
922
-23%
1535 (1193 - 1876, n=2)
29%
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Sequential Read: 1193 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1280 MB/s
512K Read: 764.7 MB/s
512K Write: 1169 MB/s
4K Read: 52.15 MB/s
4K Write: 89.65 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 286.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 205.6 MB/s

Graphics Card

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 is an integrated GPU that is used in all the laptops with the AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U. It is significantly faster than comparable Intel-iGPU solutions. However, as in all iGPU solutions, its performance is strongly related to the available working memory, since it does not bring its own RAM. In the ThinkPad A485, only one of the two RAM slots is occupied, causing the working memory to operate in single-channel mode. Due to this, the performance of the GPU is significantly lower compared to the HP ProBook 645 G4, which we were able to test with the same GPU and dual-channel RAM.

We did not notice any reduction in the GPU performance in battery operation.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
4300 Points ∼100% +54%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
3608 Points ∼84% +29%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3551 Points ∼83% +27%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1668 - 4317, n=14)
3181 Points ∼74% +14%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
2885 Points ∼67% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
2794 Points ∼65%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1653 Points ∼38% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1633 Points ∼38% -42%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1617 Points ∼38% -42%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 4967, n=603)
1222 Points ∼28% -56%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3585 Points ∼100% +104%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2807 Points ∼78% +60%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
2472 Points ∼69% +41%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1095 - 2901, n=12)
1980 Points ∼55% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
1757 Points ∼49%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
1738 Points ∼48% -1%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1009 Points ∼28% -43%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
981 Points ∼27% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
963 Points ∼27% -45%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=430)
941 Points ∼26% -46%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
21893 Points ∼100% +111%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
17743 Points ∼81% +71%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
15770 Points ∼72% +52%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (7309 - 18177, n=12)
12904 Points ∼59% +24%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
10604 Points ∼48% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
10370 Points ∼47%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
8226 Points ∼38% -21%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
8181 Points ∼37% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
7658 Points ∼35% -26%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=474)
6562 Points ∼30% -37%
3DMark 06 Standard
10336 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2875 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8192 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1585 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Although the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 has a significantly higher potential for gaming than the Intel solutions such as the Intel UHD Graphics 620, it cannot really fully use it in the Lenovo ThinkPad A485. The lack of dual-channel RAM limits the performance considerably, but at least you can upgrade it later, as we already mentioned.

The benchmark comparison using Rise of the Tomb Raider clearly shows what could be possible with the Vega 8, since the HP ProBook 645 G4 achieves a 25% higher result with the same CPU/GPU combination and dual-channel RAM. However, the Nvidia GeForce MX150 in the ThinkPad T480 Intel model remains beyond reach in any case. The unofficial Max-Q version of the MX150, which is built into the ThinkPad T480s, is also slightly faster, with the difference between the Max-Q MX150 and the Vega 8 with dual-channel RAM being about the same as between the Vega 8 with single-channel RAM and the Vega 8 with dual-channel RAM.

Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1024x768 Lowest Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
70.5 fps ∼100% +106%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
54.6 fps ∼77% +60%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
Vega 8, PRO 2500U
42.6 fps ∼60% +25%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (27.7 - 49.3, n=8)
36.2 fps ∼51% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
34.2 fps ∼49%
Average of class Office
  (6.2 - 111, n=95)
26.7 fps ∼38% -22%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
18.1 fps ∼26% -47%
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 29.59.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 34.210.9fps
Civilization VI (2016) 43.611.1fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

The fan of the ThinkPad A485 works in a very subdued manner, being almost always turned off during idle mode, and if it does turn on, it is very quiet. Under load, the fan is also hardly audible. In comparison, the HP EliteBook 745 G5 is much louder under load, and the fan also runs at higher frequencies.

Unfortunately, we noticed some coil whine in the Lenovo A485. However, this is only audible if you put your ear right next to the keyboard.

Noise Level

Idle
29.3 / 29.3 / 29.6 dB(A)
Load
31.6 / 31.6 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: 29.3 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.330.130.32524.627.226.23124.824.626.14022.124.625.35024.323.423.36325.623.321.88022.120.521.810021.620.620.712521.419.720.616020.620.12120020.519.821.125020.519.42231519.320.220.34002019.820.550020.219.420.763019.619.420.680019.31920.410001918.820.3125018.418.120.8160017.817.321200017.516.821.1250016.816.420.3315016.315.920.4400015.915.818500015.715.516.8630015.515.315.9800015.415.315.4100001515.115.21250014.814.814.91600014.714.714.6SPL29.629.331.6N1.31.21.5median 18.4median 18.1median 20.4Delta2.21.81.839.336.332.739.339.237.53539.248.443.237.248.435.337.531.835.332.732.230.332.730.129.230.830.12730.126.62727.227.827.527.226.728.225.526.72525.124.32523.124.723.323.123.724.422.623.722.723.721.822.72222.220.7222121.519.92120.921.719.420.923.623.718.623.624.224.518.424.223.924.117.823.925.725.417.625.7262617.72626.326.517.626.326.12618.126.122.722.918.222.721.721.918.521.719.819.918.519.819.11918.719.11919.118.81919.119.118.919.119.820.219.119.835.93630.735.92.22.21.32.2median 23.1median 23.7median 18.8median 23.12.12.11.82.131.531.131.134.128.93229.334.830.833.331.131.727.129.331.129.226.925.929.728.524.8262626.326.125.626.625.725.625.825.725.624.524.123.924.324.224.223.825.923.622.922.624.721.622.322.424.1212120.422.819.920.918.921.120.421.518.121.920.82317.72320.922.316.722.220.923.216.722.521.323.416.123.521.823.415.722.62123.415.922.521.225.515.923.421.928.215.927.219.32316.322.618.321.316.620.518.12116.920.217.718.517.218.217.718.217.217.918.419.417.317.718.519.517.417.532.535.62934.91.72.21.22.2median 20.9median 22.9median 17.2median 22.61.11.41.71.6hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGEHP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EALenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00

Temperature

Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)

Under load, the temperatures of the ThinkPad A485 exterior remain in a slightly lower range than the ThinkPad T480 with the dGPU, but the difference is not extreme. The A485 reached a maximum temperature of almost 50 °C (122 °F) at the bottom.

During the stress test with Prime95 and FurMark, the CPU and GPU use 25 watts initially. After six minutes, the consumption drops to 22 watts, also causing the CPU clock speed to drop from 2.1 to 1.6 - 1.8 GHz (varying). The fact that the CPU speed dropped below its basic clock speed means that there is TDP-dependent throttling. During the whole test, the temperatures remain within an uncritical range of barely above 70 °C (158 °F).

However, this TDP throttling should not have a negative effect on the everyday performance, since the 3DMark11 benchmark we ran right after the stress test produced normal results.

Max. Load
 38.6 °C
101 F
38.8 °C
102 F
36.2 °C
97 F
 
 28.7 °C
84 F
39.1 °C
102 F
36.5 °C
98 F
 
 32.3 °C
90 F
32 °C
90 F
31.3 °C
88 F
 
Maximum: 39.1 °C = 102 F
Average: 34.8 °C = 95 F
37.1 °C
99 F
43.2 °C
110 F
45.1 °C
113 F
35.3 °C
96 F
49.9 °C
122 F
45.9 °C
115 F
27.6 °C
82 F
31.3 °C
88 F
34.5 °C
94 F
Maximum: 49.9 °C = 122 F
Average: 38.9 °C = 102 F
Power Supply (max.)  38.6 °C = 101 F | Room Temperature 22.3 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.8 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39.1 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 49.9 °C / 122 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.7 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (32.3 °C / 90.1 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (-4 °C / -7.2 F).
Load (top)
Load (top)
Load (bottom)
Load (bottom)
Load (near the fan vent)
Load (near the fan vent)

Speakers

The two speakers are located at the bottom of the laptop. Their performance is fairly average for laptop speakers: The sound is neither very loud nor particularly good, and the bass is lacking completely. Instead of the speakers, we recommend using headphones or external speakers, which can be connected via the audio-combo port that works flawlessly.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.130.82527.227.43124.6264024.625.15023.424.36323.323.68020.52310020.623.712519.724.716020.127.520019.835.225019.44331520.252.240019.859.350019.458.863019.459.18001967.7100018.867.1125018.162.5160017.361200016.859.5250016.461.3315015.963.4400015.859.4500015.558630015.360.1800015.361.81000015.155.31250014.852.51600014.749.8SPL29.374.1N1.233median 18.1median 59.1Delta1.8837.932.737.935.83535.840.137.240.133.231.833.232.630.332.628.730.828.729.326.629.329.227.529.232.725.532.736.524.336.544.323.344.341.622.641.654.821.854.86820.76863.919.963.965.319.465.363.318.663.368.718.468.771.217.871.270.817.670.866.917.766.970.917.670.970.118.170.167.518.267.570.118.570.169.818.569.86618.76670.818.870.86718.96758.119.158.18130.78147.71.347.7median 66.9median 18.8median 66.99.81.89.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGEHP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 31% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 51% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.23 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 36% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 36% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

Until now, laptops with the AMD Ryzen did not really stand out as champions in efficiency. Unfortunately, the Lenovo ThinkPad A485 remains entirely in line with other Ryzen laptops here, since the idle consumption is very high at 8.3 watts on average. The otherwise similarly equipped Lenovo ThinkPad T480 runs significantly more efficiently during idle. The relationship is the opposite under load, but this is of course due to the ThinkPad T480 being equipped with the dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU that drives up the power consumption under load.

The maximum consumption under load is 48.8 watts, so the included 65-Watt power supply is sufficiently large.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.31 / 0.69 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.3 / 8.3 / 11.4 Watt
Load midlight 42 / 48.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
2700U, Vega 10, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
8550U, GeForce MX150, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
Average of class Office
 
Power Consumption
11%
4%
15%
-5%
-0%
-19%
Idle Minimum *
5.3
4.9
8%
3.1
42%
3.3
38%
3.6
32%
5.99 (4.5 - 7.6, n=11)
-13%
7.78 (0.77 - 32, n=913)
-47%
Idle Average *
8.3
8.1
2%
6.8
18%
5.54
33%
7.1
14%
9.01 (7 - 12.9, n=11)
-9%
11.6 (4.2 - 42, n=913)
-40%
Idle Maximum *
11.4
10.6
7%
10.1
11%
6.59
42%
9.5
17%
10.8 (8.1 - 13.7, n=11)
5%
14.1 (5 - 67, n=913)
-24%
Load Average *
42
32.2
23%
48.4
-15%
42.4
-1%
63.9
-52%
38.9 (24.1 - 45.7, n=11)
7%
37.3 (7.43 - 99.3, n=898)
11%
Load Maximum *
48.8
42.3
13%
67.1
-38%
67.6
-39%
67.3
-38%
44.4 (26.5 - 57.1, n=11)
9%
45.8 (12.2 - 129, n=900)
6%
Witcher 3 ultra *
53.9

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Charging time: 174 minutes
Charging time: 174 minutes

The Lenovo ThinkPad A485 has the "PowerBridge" design, which means that the ThinkPad can use two 24-Wh batteries. One is built-in and the other is an external removable battery. This increases the flexibility significantly, as users can take a charged battery with them and replace the battery during operation (hot-swap). Not only that, but you can also use an optional expanded 72-Wh battery, although this will stick out of the case. So you can get a maximum battery capacity of 96 Wh.

Our test unit has the smallest external battery, so it has a total battery capacity of 48 Wh. Unfortunately, the high consumption values create bad results in the battery life tests. After only 4.5 hours in the Wi-Fi test, the lights of the ThinkPad A485 already go out. This is even one step worse than the HP EliteBook 745 G5 that lasted almost two hours longer here. 

Of course the Wi-Fi runtime is not really good at about 6.5 hours either, if you compare it with the laptop models with Intel CPUs. For example, the Lenovo ThinkPad T480s with its slightly larger 57-Wh battery ran for almost 9 hours in the WLAN test. To get a similar battery life with the Lenovo ThinkPad A485, you would have to use the heavier and thicker 72-Wh battery. So that battery, which was meant to be optional, is really almost an absolute requirement with the A485.

Update UEFI version 1.02: With the newer firmware version, the battery life of the ThinkPad A485 has slightly improved. Instead of 4.5, it now lasted 5.5 hours in the WiFi test. The battery life also improved slightly in the H.264 video test, where the constant loop of "Big Buck Bunny" now played for about half an hour longer. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 11min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
5h 30min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 08min
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 48 Wh
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
2700U, Vega 10, 50 Wh
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 68 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
8550U, GeForce MX150, 72 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
Average of class Office
 
Battery Runtime
18%
116%
124%
80%
17%
Reader / Idle
671
639
-5%
1556
132%
1671
149%
557 (101 - 1857, n=770)
-17%
H.264
368
426
16%
791
115%
638
73%
721
96%
413 (139 - 791, n=149)
12%
WiFi v1.3
330
394
19%
897
172%
794
141%
537
63%
404 (105 - 964, n=295)
22%
Load
68
95
40%
97
43%
159
134%
124
82%
101 (37 - 259, n=715)
49%

Verdict

Pros

+ very good input devices
+ robust case
+ extensive equipment
+ almost silent operation
+ flexible PowerBridge battery system

Cons

- CPU performance worse than in the ThinkPad T480
- no Thunderbolt 3
- lacking a QHD display option
- bad battery life
- bottom of the case is hard to remove
- bad color-space coverage
Lenovo ThinkPad A485, provided by campuspoint.de
Lenovo ThinkPad A485, provided by campuspoint.de

The Lenovo ThinkPad A485 really had a high potential: The ThinkPad T series, which the ThinkPad A is based on, is extremely popular, and there is quite a demand for good Ryzen laptops. However, this Ryzen ThinkPad disappoints us in the test.

For one, this is because Lenovo unnecessarily keeps the QHD display from the ThinkPad A485, and the A485 also lacks Thunderbolt 3. Also, the CPU performance remains far behind that of the ThinkPad T480 Intel sibling model. Even worse is the fact that the consumption is too high, resulting in an extremely bad battery life in comparison. This is only partially Lenovo's fault, since laptops with Ryzen generally struggle with higher consumption compared to Intel-based models.

Of course the Lenovo ThinkPad A485 also has many positive sides, leading to the good evaluation score. These include for example the robust case, the excellent input devices, and the extensive connection equipment. But you can also get all that in the ThinkPad T480. Only in the graphics performance is the A485 ahead, but only compared to the T480 with the iGPU. The model with the GeForce MX150 is also better in this regard.

Not recommended: All that makes the ThinkPad A485 a good laptop, the ThinkPad T480 can also do, while also delivering a better CPU performance and battery life than the A485.

So finally, we cannot really give a recommendation to the ThinkPad A485. In practice, the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is really the better choice in all respects. On the other hand, if you want to avoid Intel CPUs in general, you should rather choose the HP EliteBook 745 G5, which has a battery life that is not quite as bad and the LCD panel is also better to some extent in this model.

Update UEFI version 1.02: We were able to retest the ThinkPad A485 with a newer version of the UEFI BIOS. The battery life has now slightly improved, and the CPU performance under load is also higher with the newer firmware. We therefore adjusted the evaluation score and also want to slightly modify our verdict: Although the ThinkPad T480 continues to surpass the A485, the ThinkPad A485 might be an interesting option due to its relatively affordable price, particularly if you need a bit more GPU performance.

Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE - 09/27/2018 v6
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
87 / 98 → 89%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
67 / 80 → 84%
Weight
67 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
86%
Display
85%
Games Performance
64 / 68 → 94%
Application Performance
81 / 92 → 88%
Temperature
90%
Noise
96%
Audio
62%
Camera
39 / 85 → 46%
Average
77%
89%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad A485 (Ryzen 5 Pro) Laptop Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2018-09-26 (Update: 2018-09-28)