Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad E485 (Ryzen 5, Vega 8) Laptop Review

Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Mark Riege), 04/05/2019

Held back on purpose? In addition to the A series, Lenovo is also offering its more affordable E series with AMD processors. We tested how the ThinkPad fares against the Intel competition and also evaluated whether a configuration with dual-channel RAM brings any advantages. Update: Added further measurements for the alternative Innolux display.

While at this point all the major PC manufacturers offer laptops with AMD's Ryzen processors, there are large differences in the model labels. At Lenovo, things are also a little more complicated, since the manufacturer mainly offers the ThinkPad A series with AMD APUs (although with the PRO chips) that are based however on the more expensive business models of the T and X series. On the other hand, our test unit, which is called ThinkPad E485, is part of the E series and is basically the AMD equivalent to the ThinkPad E480 or the new ThinkPad E490.

We test the 20KU000NGE configuration, which is available for about 650 Euros (~$731; starting at $573 in the US). This makes the E485 about 100 Euros (~$112) more affordable than a comparable Intel model. Our test unit includes a Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core processor together with a Vega-8-GPU, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB NVMe SSD, and the 14-inch FHD panel. You can continue to configure the device in Lenovo's online shop, but the optional dedicated graphics card of the E480/E490 is not available. The most affordable model with the Ryzen 3 processor is offered for only 550 Euros (~$618).

The strongest competitors of the ThinkPad E485 are naturally its own E480/E490 siblings, but of course we also compare our test unit with other laptops. These include the HP ProBook 645 G4 (also AMD), the ProBook 440 G6, and the Dell Latitude 3490.

Update: An additional test unit of the ThinkPad E485 was made available to us by notebooksandmore.de. This uses a different panel from Innolux, which differs fairly significantly from that of our first test unit in terms of its quality. The corresponding information is available in the Display section.

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Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, Core: 1100 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, single-channel, max. 64 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, B140HAN04.2, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
Soundcard
AMD Raven - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio port, Card Reader: microSD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168B/8111B (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21.9 x 329 x 242 ( = 0.86 x 12.95 x 9.53 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 65W USB-C charger, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.812 kg ( = 63.92 oz / 3.99 pounds), Power Supply: 356 g ( = 12.56 oz / 0.78 pounds)
Price
650 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case – Identical construction to the ThinkPad E480

ThinkPad E480 (left) vs. ThinkPad E485 (right)
ThinkPad E480 (left) vs. ThinkPad E485 (right)

With its black color, the ThinkPad E485 is visually a typical ThinkPad. Having abandoned the more playful design of the ThinkPad E470 with the E480, the device fits in with everyday business operations significantly better and cannot immediately be identified as a "budget model." While  the design might seem a bit boring to some people, the ThinkPad E485 basically strikes a good figure in the office as well as at your desk at home.  The fairly thick display bezels continue to be a disadvantage in the design, particularly above and below the display. In addition, you have to clean the display lid regularly, since it quickly attracts fingerprints (see pictures).

Basically, Lenovo uses the case we know from the ThinkPad E480 also for the E485, but there is still a difference in terms of its quality. The plastic on top of the base unit is noticeably rougher than that of the Intel model, leaving a slightly lower-quality impression. In the E480, this rough plastic is only used on the display bezels. However, the other materials and surfaces (such as the aluminum display lid) are identical. The different use of materials might have possibly been done to reduce costs, but it could also be to differentiate the devices somewhat.

Fortunately, this has no effect on the stability of the case. The base unit can only be pressed in with the use of a lot of force, which will not impact everyday usage at all. There is also no creaking. While the fairly thin display lid can be warped slightly, it handles single-point pressure very well. The central hinge is very well adjusted and can prevent some wobble. One hand is sufficient to open the display, and the maximum opening angle is 180 degrees.

In the size comparison, all the devices range at a similar level overall, and the same goes for the weight. Only the ProBook 440 G6 is about 200 grams (~0.44 lb) lighter. In addition to the 1.8 kg (~4 lb) of the test unit, you have to add about 360 grams (~0.8 lb) for the power supply when transporting the laptop.

Size Comparison

340 mm / 13.4 inch 240 mm / 9.45 inch 20.9 mm / 0.823 inch 1.7 kg3.81 lbs339 mm / 13.3 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 1.8 kg4.02 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 21.9 mm / 0.862 inch 1.8 kg3.99 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.8 kg3.94 lbs324.2 mm / 12.8 inch 237.7 mm / 9.36 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.6 kg3.43 lbs

Connections

While the ThinkPad E485 offers all the necessary connections, you should not expect too much. The USB-C port (Gen. 2 with alternative DisplayPort mode) is good, but is also used to charge the device. So when you have it connected to the charger, it is not available for anything else. Thunderbolt 3 is also not available, which is not a surprise in this price range though. However, we still have two minor complaints, since instead of the USB-2.0 connection, Lenovo could really have built-in a third 3.0 connection and the case also would have offered sufficient space for a full SD card reader.

Left: USB-C 3.1 Gen.2 (with alternative DisplayPort mode), HDMI 1.4b, 2x USB 3.0 Gen.1 (1x powered), 3.5 mm audio
Left: USB-C 3.1 Gen.2 (with alternative DisplayPort mode), HDMI 1.4b, 2x USB 3.0 Gen.1 (1x powered), 3.5 mm audio
Right: microSD reader, USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, provision for security lock
Right: microSD reader, USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, provision for security lock

SD Card Reader

We evaluate the performance of the integrated microSD card reader with our Toshiba reference card (Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II 64 GB). The transfer rates range at around 80 MB/s, which is completely sufficient. 

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.1 MB/s ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
76.1 MB/s ∼99% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
73.8 MB/s ∼96%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
64.8 MB/s ∼84% -12%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=273)
62.2 MB/s ∼81% -16%
Dell Latitude 3490
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.6 MB/s ∼31% -68%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
87.3 MB/s ∼100% +5%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
85.6 MB/s ∼98% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
82.8 MB/s ∼95%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
81.9 MB/s ∼94% -1%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=248)
78.6 MB/s ∼90% -5%
Dell Latitude 3490
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24.4 MB/s ∼28% -71%

Communication

In this price class, you have to make do with some compromises in the communication modules as well. However, this does not have much of an impact in everyday usage. In addition to the Gigabit Ethernet module, a Qualcomm WLAN card handles the wireless network connections. This is a 1x1 adapter that supports all the usual standards, including 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1. The transfer rates in our standardized WLAN test using the Linksys EA8500 router turn out very good for a 1x1 module and are above the ThinkPad E480 overall. During our test, we did not notice any limitations. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
636 MBit/s ∼100% +109%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
633 MBit/s ∼100% +108%
Dell Latitude 3490
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
580 (99th percentile: 584) MBit/s ∼91% +91%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=218)
467 MBit/s ∼73% +54%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
306 MBit/s ∼48% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
304 MBit/s ∼48%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
670 MBit/s ∼100% +102%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
614 MBit/s ∼92% +85%
Dell Latitude 3490
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
536 (99th percentile: 538) MBit/s ∼80% +61%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=218)
442 MBit/s ∼66% +33%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
332 MBit/s ∼50%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
300 MBit/s ∼45% -10%

Maintenance

Although there is no maintenance cover, the whole bottom of the case can be removed with relative ease. After loosening the screws (only loosen them, do not take them out!), it is best to start removing the bottom cover from the back. After doing this, you will get access to the most important components, including the two RAM slots, the WLAN module, the cooling system, and the M.2 SSD. In addition, there is an empty 2.5-inch slot that is already equipped with a mount and the necessary connection cable, so you can easily insert an additional hard drive or SSD (SATA).

The insides of the ThinkPad E485
The insides of the ThinkPad E485

Warranty

The affordable entry-level price is also reflected in the warranty period, which covers only 12 months and includes a bring-in service. However, as for the more expensive ThinkPads, you can increase the service period as well as the extent of the services for an additional fee. For example, an upgrade to a three-year on-site service costs about 125 Euros (~$141).

Input Devices – A typical ThinkPad, but without backlight

Basically, the keyboard also corresponds to that of the ThinkPad E480, so you get the excellent mechanics of the higher-quality models. Since there is an ample pressure point, sufficient hub, and a very good feedback, prolific writers will immediately feel comfortable. However, the main problem is the lack of a backlight, which we were unable to understand. It is not even available as an option, which reduces the writing comfort, particularly in darker surroundings significantly. We do not really see a good reason for this. Apparently this feature remains purposefully reserved for the Intel models.

The red TrackPoint including the dedicated keys and the ClickPad continue to serve as a mouse replacement. Operation works without a hitch, and you have the choice of your preferred method.

Input devices
Input devices

Display – ThinkPad E485 with a matte IPS panel

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Only slight screen bleeding at the bottom edge
Only slight screen bleeding at the bottom edge

Lenovo lists two display variants in the data sheet of the ThinkPad E485: an HD panel with a brightness of 220 nits and a Full HD panel with 250 nits. However, the small HD panel is not available in the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Full HD IPS panel in our test unit comes from the supplier AU Optronics (B140HAN04.2), but in our experience various panels are used. We are a little surprised about Lenovo's specification of the contrast as barely 400:1, which is very low.

In our case, these values turn out significantly better, leading to a very good overall subjective impression of the image. The average brightness of the matte panels is at 270.6 cd/m² and the black value is a very good 0.19, which results in an excellent contrast ratio of more than 1500:1. Screen bleeding is not very pronounced (only minimal at the bottom edge) and there are also no problems with an impression of a grainy picture. PWM is not used.

252
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
B140HAN04.2
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 289 cd/m² Average: 270.6 cd/m² Minimum: 3.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 289 cd/m²
Contrast: 1521:1 (Black: 0.19 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.6 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.7
ΔE Greyscale 2.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
58.5% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 1.96
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
B140HAN04.2, , 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Innolux N140HCA-EAC, , 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
Innolux N140HCA-EAB, , 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 3490
LP140WF6 / LGD059D, , 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
LG Philips, LGD05F1, , 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
4%
25%
24%
13%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44.8 (20.4, 24.4)
44.8 (23.6, 21.2)
-0%
33 (14, 19)
26%
36.4 (18.8, 17.6)
19%
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
7%
Response Time Black / White *
33.6 (18, 15.6)
31.2 (17.2, 14)
7%
26 (16, 10)
23%
24 (13.2, 10.8)
29%
27.2 (15.6, 11.6)
19%
PWM Frequency
25000 (30)
100 (30)
Screen
-20%
-27%
-12%
-12%
Brightness middle
289
262
-9%
225
-22%
250
-13%
256
-11%
Brightness
271
245
-10%
209
-23%
241
-11%
238
-12%
Brightness Distribution
87
83
-5%
89
2%
81
-7%
85
-2%
Black Level *
0.19
0.19
-0%
0.68
-258%
0.25
-32%
0.23
-21%
Contrast
1521
1379
-9%
331
-78%
1000
-34%
1113
-27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.6
7
-25%
4.54
19%
5.5
2%
6.2
-11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20.8
23.6
-13%
7.2
65%
23.5
-13%
18.2
12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.7
2.87
39%
4.8
-2%
5.2
-11%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.7
6.4
-137%
4.14
-53%
3.5
-30%
3.8
-41%
Gamma
1.96 112%
2.14 103%
2.13 103%
2.27 97%
2.5 88%
CCT
6506 100%
6065 107%
6624 98%
7049 92%
6643 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.2
39.5
6%
39
5%
37.9
2%
36.1
-3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58.5
61.9
6%
61
4%
59.4
2%
56.9
-3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-8% / -16%
-1% / -19%
6% / -7%
1% / -8%

* ... smaller is better

The panel fares quite well already in the state of delivery, since there is no noticeable colored tint and the color temperature is optimal. However, you can see by the colors that it is a fairly affordable panel. There are some very high deviations in parts that cannot even be corrected by a calibration. The screen is simply unable to display the corresponding colors more accurately.

CalMAN Grayscales
CalMAN Grayscales
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)

You should not expect too much in terms of the color space coverage either. While 58.5% sRGB is completely sufficient for everyday work in the office, anyone who likes to process images or videos and needs an accurate color representation has to use an external monitor.

vs. sRGB: 58.5%
vs. sRGB: 58.5%
vs. AdobeRGB: 37.2%
vs. AdobeRGB: 37.2%

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
33.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 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. » 87 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
44.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 24.4 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. » 69 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.8 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 not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9367 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

In principle, the ThinkPad E485 can also be used outdoors, since the reflections are reduced on the matte display surface. Although the brightness is not reduced in battery operation, it is not sufficient for comfortable operation in the sun or in bright surroundings. The viewing angle stability of the IPS displays turns out good and only at an angle from the top or bottom, there is a slight decrease in contrast.

In the sun
In the sun
In the sun
In the sun
Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability

Display #2 - Significantly darker Innolux N140HCA-EAC

We were able to test another Lenovo ThinkPad E485 device. While our second test unit is the same model 20KU000NGE, Lenovo has used a completely different panel here, and instead of the B140HAN04.2 from AUO we now have the E485 with the N140HCA-EAC from Innolux.

On paper, the specifications of this LCD panel are identical to the AUO display: 250 cd/m² of brightness, a Full-HD resolution, a matte surface, and 45% of NTSC color space coverage. However, theory and practice are two completely different things. In our measurements, the Innolux display only achieved an average brightness of 194 cd/m², which is a catastrophic result compared to the AUO LCD, which achieved 271 cd/m². What makes it even worse is that in this test unit the display is automatically darkened if you run it without a connected charger. But at least you can deactivate this setting, if you install the AMD Radeon Control Panel. However, in practice you can still forget almost completely about using it with this display outdoors.

In contrast to the AUO display, the Innolux LCD uses PWM, however, it has an extremely high frequency. So while the PWM does not create much of a problem, we are more annoyed by the backlight bleeding, which is significantly more pronounced in the Innolux display.

Subpixel grid N140HCA-EAC
Subpixel grid N140HCA-EAC
Stronger screen bleeding compared to the AUO LCD
Stronger screen bleeding compared to the AUO LCD
Outdoors (cloudy)
Outdoors (cloudy)
197
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
167
cd/m²
184
cd/m²
164
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Innolux N140HCA-EAC
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 221 cd/m² Average: 193.9 cd/m² Minimum: 2.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 74 %
Center on Battery: 168 cd/m²
Contrast: 1163:1 (Black: 0.19 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.67 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.3
ΔE Greyscale 3.81 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
62% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 39% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.24

In addition, the contrast ratio is also much worse in the Innolux display. However, this is not so bad, since 1163:1 is still a good value. The opposite is the case for the color space coverage, which is very bad in both the AUO display and the Innolux LCD. It hardly matters that the color space coverage is minimally better in the Innolux display.

sRGB: 62%
sRGB: 62%
AdobeRGB: 39%
AdobeRGB: 39%
Viewing angles N140HCA-EAC
Viewing angles N140HCA-EAC

Performance – The ThinkPad E485 only comes with single-channel RAM

Lenovo offers three different processors for the ThinkPad E485: a Ryzen 3 2300U, a Ryzen 5 2500U, or a Ryzen 7 2700U. Depending on the CPU selection, the integrated GPU is also different (Vega 3, Vega 8, or Vega 10), which leads us to the selection of the working memory. In order to use the potential of the integrated GPU to the fullest, the working memory must run in a dual-channel configuration. Unfortunately, Lenovo offers the standard models only with single-channel RAM, so you need to configure it during the purchase or perform the upgrade yourself. This will probably lead to many users being unable to take advantage of the real performance potential of the Vega GPU. You can build in a maximum of 64 GB of RAM.

Unfortunately, the LatencyMon tool shows some dropouts that could interfere with the processing of real-time audio data. Whether the WLAN connection is activated or not has no effect on this.

Note: For the sections below, we ran some of the benchmarks with the standard single-channel RAM as well as with a dual-channel RAM configuration. For this, we expanded the working memory using an 8-GB module from Crucial to a total of 16 GB. However, for our evaluation of the device we only considered the values of our original test configuration which used only a single RAM module.

LatencyMon WLAN activated
LatencyMon WLAN activated
LatencyMon WLAN deactivated
LatencyMon WLAN deactivated
 

Processor – The Ryzen 5 2500U is competitive

The processor in our test unit represents the medium CPU option, the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core processor. Its four cores achieve a maximum of 3.6 GHz, which depends significantly on the TDP configuration. While the Intel competition typically operates at 15 watts, we read only 11 watts for the Ryzen 5 in our benchmarks. From time to time in the past, there have been some problems with reading the consumption of AMD systems correctly, so we are careful at this point. You can find additional technical details on the Ryzen 5 2500U here.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
180 Points ∼100% +29%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼80% +3%
Dell Latitude 3490
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼79% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
139.52 Points ∼78%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
139 Points ∼77% 0%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
  (124 - 142, n=15)
136 Points ∼76% -3%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 199, n=528)
112 Points ∼62% -20%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 3490
Intel Core i5-8250U
646 Points ∼100% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
618 (min: 591.81, max: 618.71) Points ∼96%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
  (510 - 642, n=16)
598 Points ∼93% -3%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
593 (min: 540, max: 585.81) Points ∼92% -4%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
589 Points ∼91% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
540 Points ∼84% -13%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1050, n=536)
342 Points ∼53% -45%

In the Cinebench R15 single test, the processor does not run at the full 3.6 GHz, but varies between 3.2 and 3.5 GHz. In the multi test however, it is 4x 2.9 GHz. While this leaves a lot of potential unused, the Ryzen 5 is still at the same level or even slightly faster than the comparison devices with the popular Core i5-8250U from Intel. It also stands out that the AMD processor is able to maintain the good result from the first run for several minutes, while the Intel competition already loses ground in the second run. The CPU performance is not reduced in battery operation.

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Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE Vega 8, 2500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP: Ø598 (591.81-618.71)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G: Ø507 (502.8-539.23)
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G: Ø510 (500.53-589.09)
Dell Latitude 3490 UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 M.2: Ø596 (586.36-637.92)
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G: Ø535 (519.49-572.2)
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
139.52 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
618 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
51.47 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.99 %
Help

System Performance

The ThinkPad E485 also does not need to hide behind the competition in terms of the system performance, neither in the subjective speed, nor in the benchmark results. Interestingly, the RAM configuration has no effect on the performance in the synthetic PCMarks.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
5160 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
4870 Points ∼94%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
4849 Points ∼94% 0%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 8192
4647 Points ∼90% -5%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (3437 - 4870, n=11)
4211 Points ∼82% -14%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5428, n=343)
4017 Points ∼78% -18%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
5124 Points ∼100% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
4618 Points ∼90% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
4249 Points ∼83%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (3126 - 4249, n=6)
3627 Points ∼71% -15%
Average of class Office
  (869 - 5918, n=248)
3382 Points ∼66% -20%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, 8192
4458 Points ∼100% +26%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
4071 Points ∼91% +15%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 8192
3594 Points ∼81% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
3574 Points ∼80% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
3550 Points ∼80%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (3049 - 3550, n=14)
3340 Points ∼75% -6%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4770, n=401)
3054 Points ∼69% -14%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
3076 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
3014 Points ∼98%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2351 - 3363, n=12)
2971 Points ∼97% -1%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 8192
2924 Points ∼95% -3%
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, 8192
2909 Points ∼95% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
2680 Points ∼87% -11%
Average of class Office
  (320 - 3884, n=143)
2632 Points ∼86% -13%
Productivity
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
7230 Points ∼100% +46%
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, 8192
5930 Points ∼82% +19%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
5555 Points ∼77% +12%
Average of class Office
  (1266 - 7964, n=143)
5471 Points ∼76% +10%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 8192
5235 Points ∼72% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
4964 Points ∼69%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (3113 - 5574, n=12)
4571 Points ∼63% -8%
Essentials
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
7897 Points ∼100% +19%
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, 8192
7458 Points ∼94% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
6999 Points ∼89% +5%
Average of class Office
  (2683 - 9790, n=143)
6947 Points ∼88% +5%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 8192
6825 Points ∼86% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
6646 Points ∼84%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (5288 - 7272, n=12)
6483 Points ∼82% -2%
Score
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 16384
4015 Points ∼100% +21%
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, 8192
3619 Points ∼90% +9%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 8192
3376 Points ∼84% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 8192
3321 Points ∼83%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 4597, n=144)
3252 Points ∼81% -2%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (2501 - 3685, n=12)
3182 Points ∼79% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, 4096
2279 Points ∼57% -31%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3550 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4249 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4870 points
Help

Storage Solution – Lenovo uses the fast PM961 from Samsung

In terms of the SSD, the name of the game is to not take half-measures, since Lenovo uses a very fast PM961 M.2 NVMe SSD from Samsung with a storage capacity of 256 GB in our test unit. The drive is connected via PCIe-x4, so it is not slowed down. The performance is correspondingly good in the benchmarks, and there would be no reason apart from the capacity to replace the drive. However, according to our experience we can say that Lenovo uses various suppliers, and drives from other manufacturers (such as Toshiba) might also be used.

As we have already indicated in the Maintenance section, the ThinkPad E485 still has an empty slot for a 2.5-inch hard drive (SATA). Fortunately, Lenovo includes the corresponding mount and connection cable, so you only have to insert an HDD or SSD.

Additional hard drive benchmarks are available in our extensive SSD/HDD comparison.

Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Dell Latitude 3490
SK hynix SC311 M.2
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Average Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
AS SSD
-82%
-47%
-45%
-2%
-59%
Score Total
2478
638
-74%
1290
-48%
1006
-59%
2040
-18%
2565 (35 - 4653, n=61)
4%
Score Write
575
182
-68%
323
-44%
387
-33%
669
16%
587 (48 - 1029, n=61)
2%
Score Read
1277
324
-75%
638
-50%
409
-68%
954
-25%
1378 (363 - 2545, n=61)
8%
Access Time Write *
0.059
0.235
-298%
0.063
-7%
0.052
12%
0.047
20%
0.4637 (0.023 - 4.15, n=61)
-686%
Access Time Read *
0.054
0.106
-96%
0.144
-167%
0.097
-80%
0.067
-24%
0.0678 (0.04 - 0.49, n=61)
-26%
4K-64 Write
371.47
92.05
-75%
215.98
-42%
286.06
-23%
499.48
34%
419 (15.3 - 1652, n=61)
13%
4K-64 Read
1035.25
190.92
-82%
433.3
-58%
332.74
-68%
724.27
-30%
1112 (199 - 2280, n=61)
7%
4K Write
63.94
78.86
23%
76.83
20%
68.86
8%
119.73
87%
91.6 (1.16 - 161, n=61)
43%
4K Read
38.63
31.13
-19%
25.35
-34%
27.67
-28%
31.17
-19%
45.1 (20.7 - 54.1, n=61)
17%
Seq Write
1395
115.38
-92%
305.23
-78%
318.83
-77%
493.65
-65%
960 (223 - 1395, n=61)
-31%
Seq Read
2030
1014.73
-50%
1797.34
-11%
484.68
-76%
1982.61
-2%
2019 (768 - 2834, n=61)
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Sequential Read: 1667.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1423.2 MB/s
512K Read: 1011.26 MB/s
512K Write: 870.77 MB/s
4K Read: 43.49 MB/s
4K Write: 75.56 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 283.41 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 205.64 MB/s

Graphics Card

Things are getting interesting with the integrated graphics card which is called AMD Radeon Vega RX 8. Like the integrated GPUs from the Intel competitor, the AMD GPU benefits hugely from dual-channel RAM with a high speed. Already in the standard configuration with a single RAM module, the Vega 8 is clearly superior to the Intel UHD Graphics 620 (plus 40-50%). With a second module, you are at the level of the dedicated MX130 GPU from Nvidia and about twice as fast as the iGPU from Intel. The performance is not reduced in battery operation.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, 16384
3756 Points ∼100% +36%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1668 - 4317, n=22)
3292 Points ∼88% +19%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, 8192
2954 Points ∼79% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, 8192
2757 Points ∼73%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U, 16384
1815 Points ∼48% -34%
Dell Latitude 3490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8192
1634 Points ∼44% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U, 4096
1518 Points ∼40% -45%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 5332, n=648)
1298 Points ∼35% -53%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, 16384
2429 Points ∼100% +47%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1095 - 2901, n=20)
2101 Points ∼86% +28%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, 8192
1775 Points ∼73% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, 8192
1647 Points ∼68%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U, 16384
1191 Points ∼49% -28%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=468)
1002 Points ∼41% -39%
Dell Latitude 3490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8192
956 Points ∼39% -42%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U, 4096
882 Points ∼36% -46%
3DMark 11 Performance
2807 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7035 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1469 points
Help

Gaming Performance

We had some problems with the resolutions in the gaming benchmarks, since the tests with 1366x768 pixels did not work. In the other presets, we again saw a clear performance increase with two RAM modules, however, we are still at a low performance level. Those who occasionally want to play some older or less demanding games should definitely expand the working memory. For modern games you are forced to reduce the resolution and also details. Additional gaming benchmarks with the Vega 8 are available here.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
8250U, Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8192
22.35 fps ∼100% +69%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 16384
19.5 fps ∼87% +47%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (7.6 - 20, n=16)
16.3 fps ∼73% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 8192
13.26 fps ∼59%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 8192
12.7 fps ∼57% -4%
Average of class Office
  (1.8 - 54.8, n=249)
10.8 fps ∼48% -19%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 16384
8.2 fps ∼37% -38%
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 8192
7.66 fps ∼34% -42%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 4096
6.8 fps ∼30% -49%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 16384
14.8 fps ∼100% +37%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (5.9 - 15.4, n=10)
12.2 fps ∼82% +13%
Average of class Office
  (4.2 - 32.9, n=61)
11.7 fps ∼79% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 8192
10.8 fps ∼73%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 8192
10.6 fps ∼72% -2%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 16384
6.9 fps ∼47% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 4096
5.9 fps ∼40% -45%
1024x768 Lowest Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 16384
47.2 fps ∼100% +55%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (27.7 - 49.3, n=9)
37.4 fps ∼79% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 8192
30.4 fps ∼64%
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 8192
29.9 fps ∼63% -2%
Average of class Office
  (6.2 - 111, n=106)
27.2 fps ∼58% -11%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 16384
20.6 fps ∼44% -32%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 4096
16.9 fps ∼36% -44%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 74.413.26fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 30.410.8fps
Doom (2016) 25.110.4fps
Civilization VI (2016) 56.312.4fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 26.59.1fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

Basically, the ThinkPad E485 is a very quiet companion. In everyday operation, the fan is often quiet or only starts up briefly, which does not interfere in any way. Even under load, the cooling remains restrained and will only rarely reach the maximum of 35.3 dB(A) in everyday operation. Our test unit did not produce any annoying electronic noises such as coil whine.

Noise Level

Idle
29.4 / 29.4 / 31.2 dB(A)
Load
32.7 / 35.3 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: 29.4 dB(A)
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Vega 8, 2500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Dell Latitude 3490
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Noise
2%
-4%
-7%
2%
off / environment *
29.4
29.1
1%
30.8
-5%
29.8
-1%
29.4
-0%
Idle Minimum *
29.4
29.1
1%
30.8
-5%
29.8
-1%
29.4
-0%
Idle Average *
29.4
29.1
1%
30.8
-5%
29.8
-1%
29.4
-0%
Idle Maximum *
31.2
30.3
3%
30.8
1%
29.8
4%
30.2
3%
Load Average *
32.7
31.8
3%
34.7
-6%
39.1
-20%
31.8
3%
Load Maximum *
35.3
33.8
4%
36.4
-3%
44.3
-25%
33.1
6%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The surface temperatures are not problematic even under load, since the keyboard always remains at a comfortable level. Only at the area of the fan vents do we measure up to 45 °C (113 °F) on top, but you do not really come into contact with this area anyway. There is a hot spot along the heat pipe on the bottom, which you can see well in our pictures of the heat map. 

In the stress test with the two Prime95 and FurMark tools, we are shown a TDP limit of 11 watts again, which is barely sufficient for 4x 1.9 GHz for the processor and ~330 MHz for the GPU. During the stress test, the value drops to about 9.5 watts (4x 1.8 GHz CPU, ~280 MHz GPU). The APU temperature level is at only 64 °C (147 °F), so the presets from Lenovo are extremely conservative.

Max. Load
 37 °C
99 F
38.2 °C
101 F
42.3 °C
108 F
 
 33.5 °C
92 F
33.9 °C
93 F
33.8 °C
93 F
 
 24.5 °C
76 F
24.8 °C
77 F
25.2 °C
77 F
 
Maximum: 42.3 °C = 108 F
Average: 32.6 °C = 91 F
43.2 °C
110 F
45.2 °C
113 F
38 °C
100 F
37.6 °C
100 F
39 °C
102 F
39.8 °C
104 F
24.3 °C
76 F
24.7 °C
76 F
24 °C
75 F
Maximum: 45.2 °C = 113 F
Average: 35.1 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  33.6 °C = 92 F | Room Temperature 19.7 °C = 67 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.6 °C / 91 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 42.3 °C / 108 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 45.2 °C / 113 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.9 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 25.7 °C / 78.3 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.1 °C / 82.6 F (+2.4 °C / 4.3 F).
Stress test, top
Stress test, top
Stress test, bottom
Stress test, bottom

Speakers

Unfortunately, business laptops are often equipped with relatively bad speakers, and the ThinkPad E485 is no exception here. For everyday work at the office where you mostly need a comprehensible voice quality for conference calls, the speaker modules are surely sufficient, but we would recommend headphones or external speakers for anything else.

The built-in microphone works reliably and generally makes an external microphone unnecessary.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.928.22526.527.13128.4314023.727.55025.924.56322.424.38021.923.310022.22212521.521.916021.227.120021.734.325021.442.131520.647.640020.350.350020.151.263019.450.980018.957.3100018.560.7125018.156.7160017.156.5200017.163.2250016.362.831501660.440001654500015.754.4630015.651.9800015.554.41000015.555.61250015.354.31600015.245.7SPL29.470.5N1.224.8median 18.1median 54Delta2.46.934.834.227.228.131.531.928.630.624.529.824.333.92227.325.525.923.628.924.542.122.55123.254.221.955.620.859.720.560.619.460.11962.118.265.217.470.21765.416.563.116.26315.668.115.767.415.669.515.467.515.557.315.358.215.253.914.950.429.478.11.341.6median 17.4median 60.13.46.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGEHP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (70.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.8% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 70% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 62% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 57% 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, 7% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

One of the main problems of the ThinkPad E485 is the high power consumption in idle operation compared to the Intel competition. Particularly during tasks that are not very demanding and that often dominate during everyday operation, the Intel models are simply more efficient. Under load, the AMD combination also needs more power, but is also able to maintain this performance for a longer period. Even at the end of our stress test we are still measuring more than 40 watts.

The included 65-watt power supply (USB-C) is sized sufficiently and is also able to charge the battery under load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.43 / 0.57 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.2 / 8.6 / 9.7 Watt
Load midlight 37.4 / 44.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix SC311 M.2, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
Average of class Office
 
Power Consumption
29%
-9%
8%
24%
3%
-20%
Idle Minimum *
6.2
3.5
44%
7.2
-16%
3.2
48%
2.98
52%
5.43 (3.8 - 7.6, n=20)
12%
7.6 (2.34 - 32, n=962)
-23%
Idle Average *
8.6
5.3
38%
9.7
-13%
5.5
36%
5.4
37%
8.49 (6.3 - 12.9, n=20)
1%
11.4 (4.2 - 42, n=962)
-33%
Idle Maximum *
9.7
6.1
37%
10.3
-6%
8.1
16%
7.9
19%
10 (6.8 - 13.7, n=20)
-3%
13.8 (5 - 67, n=962)
-42%
Load Average *
37.4
30
20%
42
-12%
40.8
-9%
34.5
8%
37.5 (24.1 - 45.7, n=20)
-0%
37.2 (7.43 - 99.3, n=947)
1%
Load Maximum *
44.8
42.3
6%
44.2
1%
68.1
-52%
43.3
3%
43.3 (26.5 - 57.1, n=20)
3%
45.9 (12.2 - 129, n=949)
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

As in the ThinkPad E480, Lenovo also uses a 45-Wh battery (3 cells) here, but due to the increased power consumption the battery life turns out significantly shorter. In practice, we are speaking about barely 5.5 hours, while the ThinkPad E480 lasts for almost 8 hours. This can be a huge difference if you don't have an outlet close by. Thus, you have to decide how important the battery life is for your personal usage scenarios.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 05min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41)
5h 23min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 05min
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
2500U, Vega 8, 45 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
HP ProBook 645 G4 3UP62EA
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 48 Wh
Dell Latitude 3490
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 56 Wh
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
Average of class Office
 
Battery Runtime
61%
1%
115%
78%
29%
Reader / Idle
545
1106
103%
560
3%
1024
88%
571 (101 - 1857, n=796)
5%
H.264
341
431
26%
253
-26%
458
34%
434 (139 - 834, n=181)
27%
WiFi v1.3
323
495
53%
290
-10%
694
115%
504
56%
414 (105 - 964, n=344)
28%
Load
65
105
62%
88
35%
151
132%
101 (37 - 259, n=748)
55%

Verdict

Pros

+ robust case
+ excellent keyboard
+ decent IPS display
+ pleasantly quiet
+ good system performance
+ low entry-level price

Cons

- no keyboard illumination (not even optionally)
- microSD card reader only
- AMD processor is not used to its full potential
- single-channel RAM standard only
- in some parts more affordable materials than in the similarly built E480/E490
- 12-month warranty only
Testing the Lenovo ThinkPad E485. Test unit provided by campuspoint.
Testing the Lenovo ThinkPad E485. Test unit provided by campuspoint.

The ThinkPad E485 leaves a slightly mixed impression. Looking at it by itself, it is a solid entry-level business notebook with a robust case, a decent display, and great input devices. However, if you compare it to the ThinkPad E480, the supposedly identical model with an Intel processor, there are several differences. We are speaking mainly about the lack of a keyboard backlight, which is not even available as an option, and also the plastic material on top of the base unit, which is of slightly poorer quality. Sometimes we have the feeling that the manufacturer wants to artificially distance it from the Intel models.

On the other hand, there is of course the lower price of the ThinkPad E485 and most users should be able to live with the differences in the materials. Another issue is the slightly unfortunate equipment. While everybody knows that the integrated AMD GPUs benefit massively from dual-channel RAM, all the preconfigured models are unfortunately only equipped with a single RAM module. Although you can upgrade relatively easily, in principle 8 GB should be sufficient for many users and more RAM also costs more. It would have been better, if Lenovo had built-in two 4-GB modules directly. But the most significant problem is probably the higher power consumption that leads to a much shorter battery life. Whether this is only due to a lack of optimization or AMD's platform simply consumes more power is a different question.

A missed opportunity: Compared to its Intel sibling, the ThinkPad E485 shows some weaknesses that have nothing to do with its AMD processor. For example, it is incomprehensible why users of the E485 have to make do without a keyboard backlight. However, anyone who can live with this and also the shorter battery life will receive a very solid entry-level device at an attractive price with the ThinkPad E485.

The ThinkPad E485 also offers a whole series of advantages that are not a given at this price range. The processor offers more than sufficient performance for most tasks, and thanks to the fast SSD from Samsung, you can look forward to a very responsive device in everyday operation. In addition, there is a decent IPS display (however, there might possibly be some small differences depending on the supplier). Particularly for the low price, we can recommend the E485 in any case.

Update: Unfortunately, the alternative Innolux display turns out much worse in our test than the model from AU Optronics, particularly in terms of the brightness. Using the alternative panel, the overall evaluation would drop from 86.4 to 85.8%. Unfortunately you do not have any influence on the built-in panel variant when purchasing the device, so you have to live with Lenovo's panel lottery. 

Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE - 04/05/2019 v6(old)
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
85 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
51 / 80 → 63%
Weight
65 / 20-67 → 96%
Battery
84%
Display
85%
Games Performance
63 / 68 → 93%
Application Performance
89 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
91%
Noise
96%
Audio
64%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
76%
86%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad E485 (Ryzen 5, Vega 8) Laptop Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-04- 5 (Update: 2019-04-30)