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Lenovo ThinkPad E490 Office Laptop in review: The Radeon GPU is too much for the cooling solution

Still a hot machine. The ThinkPad E490 is available with an optional dedicated GPU. Similar to the predecessor, however, the cooling solution struggles with the additional heat, and even multiple BIOS updates did not change that.
Andreas Osthoff (translated by Andreas Osthoff),

Lenovo has already launched the new ThinkPad E14, but you can still get the ThinkPad E490 from many retailers and it is also interesting as a used device. The E490 (our test unit has the designation 20N90004GE) is also available with a dedicated Radeon GPU. In addition, you get a Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. The case and the input devices are identical to the old ThinkPad E480, so we refer to our reviews of the E480 and the E490 with the integrated GPU for more details on these sections.

Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE (ThinkPad E490 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-8565U 4 x 1.8 - 4.6 GHz (Intel Core i7)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop) - 2048 MB, Core: 1176 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR5, Adrenalin 17.12
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2400, Single-Channel, 2 Slots, up to 64 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, B140HAN04.2, IPS, glossy: no, 60 Hz
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G, 512 GB 
, 439 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: microSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wireless-AC 9260 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.9 x 329 x 242 ( = 0.78 x 12.95 x 9.53 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 1.5 Watt Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65W PSU (USB-C), Lenovo Tools, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.864 kg ( = 65.75 oz / 4.11 pounds), Power Supply: 337 g ( = 11.89 oz / 0.74 pounds)
Price
1120 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
85 %
05/2020
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
i7-8565U, Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
1.9 kg19.9 mm14"1920x1080
84 %
09/2019
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
R5 3500U, Vega 8
1.8 kg19.9 mm14"1920x1080
86 %
03/2019
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
i7-8565U, UHD Graphics 620
1.6 kg18 mm14"1920x1080
86 %
04/2020
Schenker VIA 14
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620
1.1 kg16.5 mm14"1920x1080
85 %
03/2020
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620
1.6 kg17.9 mm14"1920x1080

Case & Connectivity

Size Comparison

329 mm / 13 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.9 kg4.11 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.8 kg3.94 lbs325 mm / 12.8 inch 232 mm / 9.13 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.6 kg3.63 lbs324.2 mm / 12.8 inch 237.7 mm / 9.36 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.6 kg3.43 lbs322 mm / 12.7 inch 216.8 mm / 8.54 inch 16.5 mm / 0.65 inch 1.1 kg2.37 lbs
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
78.8 MB/s ∼100% +5%
Schenker VIA 14
 
77.5 MB/s ∼98% +4%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.1 MB/s ∼98% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
74.8 MB/s ∼95%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=320)
63.2 MB/s ∼80% -16%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
87.7 MB/s ∼100% +3%
Schenker VIA 14
  (Toshiba Exceria pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
87.1 MB/s ∼99% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
85.4 MB/s ∼97%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
81.9 MB/s ∼93% -4%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=293)
78.9 MB/s ∼90% -8%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1532 (788min - 1670max) MBit/s ∼100% +138%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
935 (472min - 956max) MBit/s ∼61% +45%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼42% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
644 (588min - 703max) MBit/s ∼42%
Average Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  (363 - 1154, n=31)
635 MBit/s ∼41% -1%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
633 MBit/s ∼41% -2%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1472 (1403min - 1492max) MBit/s ∼100% +118%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
674 (657min - 683max) MBit/s ∼46%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
670 MBit/s ∼46% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
640 (581min - 690max) MBit/s ∼43% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
621 MBit/s ∼42% -8%
Average Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  (83 - 1048, n=31)
593 MBit/s ∼40% -12%

Display – Dark IPS screen

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Backlight bleeding
Backlight bleeding

Lenovo uses 1080p screens from different suppliers for its 14-inch ThinkPads, and the customer does not have any influence over the exact model. Our test unit, for example, is equipped with a panel from AU Optronics, and the brightness is inferior compared to the BOE panel in the ThinkPad E14. However, there is at least no PWM flickering.

With an average luminance of around 260 cd/m², the E490 is still sufficiently bright and also slightly above the advertised luminance. The subjective picture impression is okay and bright areas do not appear too grainy. Our test unit did not suffer from heavy backlight bleeding, either.

236
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
B140HAN04.2
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 278 cd/m² Average: 256.8 cd/m² Minimum: 2.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 278 cd/m²
Contrast: 1463:1 (Black: 0.19 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.1 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8, calibrated: 4.5
ΔE Greyscale 2.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6
58.4% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37.1% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.21
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
B140HAN04.2, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
N140HCA-EAC, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
LG Philips, LGD05F1, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Schenker VIA 14
B140HAN06.2, a-Si AHVA-IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
NV140FHM-N48, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
2%
7%
-28%
-25%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44 (22, 22)
40.8 (22, 18.8)
7%
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
5%
60.8 (28.4, 32.4)
-38%
52 (26, 26)
-18%
Response Time Black / White *
30 (17.2, 12.8)
30.8 (17.6, 13.2)
-3%
27.2 (15.6, 11.6)
9%
35.2 (17.2, 18)
-17%
39.2 (22, 17.2)
-31%
PWM Frequency
25000 (40)
1250 (99)
Screen
1%
-13%
36%
-1%
Brightness middle
278
241
-13%
256
-8%
335
21%
305
10%
Brightness
257
230
-11%
238
-7%
309
20%
292
14%
Brightness Distribution
85
75
-12%
85
0%
84
-1%
89
5%
Black Level *
0.19
0.17
11%
0.23
-21%
0.17
11%
0.17
11%
Contrast
1463
1418
-3%
1113
-24%
1971
35%
1794
23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.1
4.7
8%
6.2
-22%
2.3
55%
5.9
-16%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
19.3
19.7
-2%
18.2
6%
5
74%
18.4
5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.5
4.2
7%
5.2
-16%
1
78%
4.6
-2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.7
2.6
4%
3.8
-41%
3.9
-44%
4.4
-63%
Gamma
2.21 100%
2.12 104%
2.5 88%
2.19 100%
2.05 107%
CCT
6685 97%
6507 100%
6643 98%
6556 99%
6921 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.1
40.3
9%
36.1
-3%
65.5
77%
38.2
3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58.4
63.3
8%
56.9
-3%
99.6
71%
59.6
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
2% / 1%
-3% / -10%
4% / 26%
-13% / -4%

* ... smaller is better

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
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 ms rise
↘ 12.8 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. » 73 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
44 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 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 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 64 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (38.7 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 17531 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

The grayscale performance is pretty decent out of the box and there is no annoying color cast. A look at the color accuracy reveals that this is an inexpensive IPS panel. Because of the high color deviations and the limited color gamut, this screen is not suited for any serious picture or video-editing, even after our calibration.

The viewing-angle stability of the IPS screen is good, but a brighter panel would be better outdoors, despite the matte display surface.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
Viewing angles
Viewing angles
In the sun
In the sun
In the sun
In the sun

Performance

 

Processor – E490 with Core i7

The Core i7-8565U in the ThinkPad E490 performs very well. The TDP is rated at 25 Watts, but this level cannot be maintained for sustained workloads. During our Cinebench loop, the performance drops slightly. All in all, the E490 is still clearly ahead of the new ThinkPad E14 with the Core i5-10210U, while the ThinkPad E495 with the AMD Ryzen CPU is ahead and offers stable performance. The CPU performance is not reduced on battery power.

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Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø608 (594.96-638.99)
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U: Ø658 (656.79-659.13)
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel Core i5-10210U: Ø526 (486.23-547.65)
Cinebench R20: CPU (Single Core) | CPU (Multi Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Single 64Bit | CPU Multi 64Bit
Blender 2.79: BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
Geekbench 5.1 / 5.2: 64 Bit Single-Core Score | 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core) - CPU (Single Core)
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
421 Points ∼100% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (342 - 472, n=20)
409 Points ∼97% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
397 Points ∼94%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
395 Points ∼94% -1%
Average of class Office
  (79 - 497, n=84)
387 Points ∼92% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
349 Points ∼83% -12%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core) - CPU (Multi Core)
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
1490 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
1477 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Office
  (143 - 3050, n=85)
1342 Points ∼90% -10%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (954 - 1645, n=20)
1257 Points ∼84% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
1254 Points ∼84% -16%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
1150 Points ∼77% -23%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit - CPU Single 64Bit
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
180 Points ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
173 Points ∼96%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (138 - 193, n=51)
173 Points ∼96% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
166 Points ∼92% -4%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
154 Points ∼86% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
140 Points ∼78% -19%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 202, n=596)
117 Points ∼65% -32%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit - CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
722 (555min - 722max) Points ∼100% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
658 (656.79min - 659.13max) Points ∼91% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
639 Points ∼89%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (452 - 815, n=52)
612 Points ∼85% -4%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
593 (540min - 585.81max) Points ∼82% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
548 (486.23min - 547.65max) Points ∼76% -14%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1346, n=604)
374 Points ∼52% -41%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU - BMW27 CPU
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
1175.1 Seconds * ∼100%
Average of class Office
  (367 - 9415, n=79)
1081 Seconds * ∼92% +8%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
1004 Seconds * ∼85% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
832 Seconds * ∼71% +29%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (687 - 1175, n=22)
821 Seconds * ∼70% +30%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
820.9 Seconds * ∼70% +30%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
696 Seconds * ∼59% +41%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1 - 7z b 4 -mmt1
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
4760 MIPS ∼100% +135%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2029 - 5923, n=23)
4558 MIPS ∼96% +125%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
4282 MIPS ∼90% +111%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
4099 MIPS ∼86% +102%
Average of class Office
  (1286 - 5923, n=79)
4047 MIPS ∼85% +99%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
3530 MIPS ∼74% +74%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
2029 MIPS ∼43%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 - 7z b 4
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (10531 - 24847, n=23)
17993 MIPS ∼100% +71%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
17348 MIPS ∼96% +65%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
16902 MIPS ∼94% +60%
Average of class Office
  (2794 - 39649, n=79)
16873 MIPS ∼94% +60%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
16590 MIPS ∼92% +58%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
15424 MIPS ∼86% +46%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
10531 MIPS ∼59%
Geekbench 5.1 / 5.2 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score - 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (1108 - 1163, n=2)
1136 Points ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
1108 Points ∼98%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
1089 Points ∼96% -2%
Average of class Office
  (431 - 1327, n=45)
1083 Points ∼95% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
1063 Points ∼94% -4%
Geekbench 5.1 / 5.2 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score - 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
3831 Points ∼100% +16%
Average of class Office
  (873 - 6444, n=45)
3492 Points ∼91% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
3308 Points ∼86%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
3275 Points ∼85% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2839 - 3308, n=2)
3074 Points ∼80% -7%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset - 4k Preset
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (3.24 - 5.5, n=22)
4.66 fps ∼100% +44%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
4.52 fps ∼97% +40%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
4.37 fps ∼94% +35%
Average of class Office
  (0.4 - 9.55, n=77)
4.31 fps ∼92% +33%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
3.9 fps ∼84% +20%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
3.69 fps ∼79% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
3.24 fps ∼70%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF - 20 Documents To PDF
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
 
69.6 s ∼100%
Average of class Office
  (51 - 244, n=40)
68.2 s ∼98%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
0 s ∼0%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean - Overall mean
Average of class Office
  (0.613 - 3.11, n=44)
0.792 sec * ∼100% -16%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (0.682 - 0.851, n=2)
0.767 sec * ∼97% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
0.735 sec * ∼93% -8%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel Core i5-10210U
0.712 sec * ∼90% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Intel Core i7-8565U
0.682 sec * ∼86%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
173 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
639 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
79.06 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help

System Performance

Thanks to the combination of quad-core processor and the fast NVMe-SSD from Toshiba (512 GB), you can enjoy a very good subjective performance impression. All inputs are quickly executed and there are basically no waiting times. The device also performs well in the synthetic benchmarks and can even benefit from the dedicated GPU. The SSD is not one of the fastest drives (only attached via PCIe-x2), but there are no limitations for everyday office tasks.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
3892 Points ∼30%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (3884 - 3892, n=2)
3888 Points ∼30% 0%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3076 Points ∼24% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
3015 Points ∼23% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Vega 8, R5 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
2989 Points ∼23% -23%
Average of class Office
  (320 - 5547, n=210)
2830 Points ∼22% -27%
Schenker VIA 14
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD ZP1000GM30002
2649 Points ∼20% -32%
Productivity
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (7611 - 7964, n=2)
7788 Points ∼75% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
7611 Points ∼73%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7230 Points ∼69% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
6563 Points ∼63% -14%
Schenker VIA 14
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD ZP1000GM30002
6450 Points ∼62% -15%
Average of class Office
  (1266 - 8567, n=210)
5776 Points ∼55% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Vega 8, R5 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
5485 Points ∼53% -28%
Essentials
Schenker VIA 14
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD ZP1000GM30002
8791 Points ∼77% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
8649 Points ∼75%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (8523 - 8649, n=2)
8586 Points ∼75% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
8149 Points ∼71% -6%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7897 Points ∼69% -9%
Average of class Office
  (2683 - 9846, n=210)
7350 Points ∼64% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Vega 8, R5 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
7008 Points ∼61% -19%
Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (4533 - 4597, n=2)
4565 Points ∼56% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
4533 Points ∼56%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4015 Points ∼49% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
3901 Points ∼48% -14%
Schenker VIA 14
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD ZP1000GM30002
3810 Points ∼47% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Vega 8, R5 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
3485 Points ∼43% -23%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 5409, n=211)
3478 Points ∼43% -23%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (5256 - 5389, n=2)
5323 Points ∼78% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
5256 Points ∼77%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5160 Points ∼76% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
5001 Points ∼73% -5%
Schenker VIA 14
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD ZP1000GM30002
4917 Points ∼72% -6%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5570, n=395)
4118 Points ∼60% -22%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (5792 - 5918, n=2)
5855 Points ∼54% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
5792 Points ∼53%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5124 Points ∼47% -12%
Average of class Office
  (869 - 5918, n=270)
3436 Points ∼31% -41%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (4704 - 4770, n=2)
4737 Points ∼78% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), i7-8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
4704 Points ∼77%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
UHD Graphics 620, i7-8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4071 Points ∼67% -13%
Schenker VIA 14
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD ZP1000GM30002
3587 Points ∼59% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
3402 Points ∼56% -28%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4770, n=457)
3117 Points ∼51% -34%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4704 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5792 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5256 points
PCMark 10 Score
4533 points
Help
Toshiba KBG30ZMT512G
Sequential Read: 841.7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 614.4 MB/s
512K Read: 607.59 MB/s
512K Write: 497.41 MB/s
4K Read: 48.37 MB/s
4K Write: 94.39 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 368.63 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 154.17 MB/s

GPU Performance – Radeon RX 550X

GPU-Z Radeon RX 550X
GPU-Z Radeon RX 550X

The Radeon RX 550X is noticeably faster than the integrated Intel UHD Graphics of the processor. The clock of the Radeon RX 550X goes up to 1176 MHz (core) and 1500 MHz (memory), respectively. The size of the video memory is 2 GB (GDDR5). The dGPU is also much faster than the AMD iGPU of the ThinkPad E495. So if you need the additional GPU performance, you are better off with the combination E490 + dGPU. However, the GPU performance is reduced by around 40% on battery power.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8565U
5357 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (5332 - 5357, n=2)
5345 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 2000/3000), AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
2940 Points ∼55% -45%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
1815 Points ∼34% -66%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
1768 Points ∼33% -67%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
1537 Points ∼29% -71%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 5422, n=717)
1422 Points ∼27% -73%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (1049 - 1051, n=2)
1050 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8565U
1049 Points ∼100%
Average of class Office
  (76 - 1164, n=96)
517 Points ∼49% -51%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
357 Points ∼34% -66%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8565U
3698 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (3678 - 3698, n=2)
3688 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 2000/3000), AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
1834 Points ∼50% -50%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
1230 Points ∼33% -67%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
1191 Points ∼32% -68%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
1168 Points ∼32% -68%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=533)
1091 Points ∼30% -70%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8565U
20147 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Radeon RX 550X (Laptop)
  (19931 - 20147, n=2)
20039 Points ∼99% -1%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
9599 Points ∼48% -52%
Schenker VIA 14
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
9349 Points ∼46% -54%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
9050 Points ∼45% -55%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=575)
7491 Points ∼37% -63%
3DMark 06 Standard
21483 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
14409 points
3DMark 11 Performance
5565 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
10371 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3258 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
1167 points
Help

Gaming Performance

It is possible to play some games with the E490, but you will have to reduce the details or the resolution in modern titles. The 3DMark stress test (Fire Strike) is easily passed at 99.1%, so the performance is stable even during longer sessions.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 165.7 101.5 83.8 29.1 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 62.3 39 20.2 12.5 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 74.8 69.6 52.1 49.1 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 65.7 39.8 20.2 fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 69.1 52.2 23.8 fps
For Honor (2017) 75.7 26.5 25.3 16.3 fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 46.9 20.5 13.6 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 11 9.57 9.23 fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 47 21 18 15 fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

The fan is usually deactivated during light workloads. If you stress the system more, the fan will often fluctuate between 32 and 34 dB(A), which can be a bit annoying. We did not hear any other electronic sounds (like coil whine).

Noise Level

Idle
29.3 / 29.3 / 29.3 dB(A)
HDD
30.2 dB(A)
Load
34.2 / 34.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.3 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.233.435.92528.824.928.13135.227.935.14028.727.326.65023.723.924.86325.923.6278025.323.523.810023.62322.512522.622.122.416022.721.722.920022.822.523.125023.522.122.831522.321.222.740023.120.422.750022.919.923.363023.619.624.880022.519.122.7100022.417.922.5125023.217.622.8160022.61722.2200021.116.521.4250022.316.222.631502315.723400022.715.522.5500022.415.422.1630021.315.420.780001815.417.41000016.715.316.11250016.215.115.51600016.514.915.1SPL34.229.334.2N2.11.22.1median 22.6median 17.6median 22.5Delta0.92.61.7hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE

Temperature – ThinkPad gets pretty hot

Stress test
Stress test

A look at the surface temperatures under load – and not just in our stress test but also in our The Witcher 3 test – clearly shows that the cooling solution cannot handle the additional heat from the dGPU. 50 °C at the top and 60 °C at the bottom of the base unit is a lot, so you should always place the device on a solid surface when under load.

The GPU is clearly prioritized during the stress test (~1100 MHz), and the processor is heavily throttled and only runs at 4x 400 MHz (5 Watts). The performance is not affected immediately after the stress test.

Max. Load
 45.8 °C
114 F
55.6 °C
132 F
46.5 °C
116 F
 
 40 °C
104 F
42.3 °C
108 F
42.1 °C
108 F
 
 28.1 °C
83 F
28.9 °C
84 F
29.4 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 53.1 °C = 128 F
Average: 39.3 °C = 103 F
52.9 °C
127 F
65.3 °C
150 F
46.3 °C
115 F
42.2 °C
108 F
43.7 °C
111 F
40.5 °C
105 F
26.5 °C
80 F
27.4 °C
81 F
26.3 °C
79 F
Maximum: 63.8 °C = 147 F
Average: 41.1 °C = 106 F
Power Supply (max.)  40.3 °C = 105 F | Room Temperature 19.9 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.3 °C / 103 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 53.1 °C / 128 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 63.8 °C / 147 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.5 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 37.7 °C / 100 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 29.4 °C / 84.9 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28 °C / 82.4 F (-1.4 °C / -2.5 F).
Surface temperatures stress test (top)
Surface temperatures stress test (top)
Surface temperatures stress test (bottom)
Surface temperatures stress test (bottom)
Surface temperatures The Witcher 3 (top)
Surface temperatures The Witcher 3 (top)
Surface temperatures The Witcher 3 (bottom)
Surface temperatures The Witcher 3 (bottom)

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.431.32524.926.23127.936.74027.330.95023.925.96323.625.58023.526.91002328.612522.127.516021.737.120022.546.725022.154.631521.258.740020.461.350019.96063019.661.880019.168.2100017.965.7125017.654.516001753.5200016.550.8250016.253.9315015.750.2400015.558.5500015.450.7630015.450.1800015.449.21000015.355.41250015.153.71600014.941.3SPL29.371.5N1.227.4median 17.6median 53.7Delta2.65.334.834.227.228.131.531.928.630.624.529.824.333.92227.325.525.923.628.924.542.122.55123.254.221.955.620.859.720.560.619.460.11962.118.265.217.470.21765.416.563.116.26315.668.115.767.415.669.515.467.515.557.315.358.215.253.914.950.429.478.11.341.6median 17.4median 60.13.46.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GEHP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.5% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 44% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 48% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

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
» 35% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 37% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Power Consumption

The idle power consumption of the E490 is a bit high, especially considering the dark display. We can see a maximum consumption of around 64W under load, but this value quickly drops to ~50 W and then 40 W over the course of the stress test. The included 65 W power adapter is therefore completely sufficient.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.41 / 0.63 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.8 / 9.4 / 12.4 Watt
Load midlight 57.2 / 63.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

Our Wi-Fi test runs for almost 7 hours on the ThinkPad E490. This is not a bad result, but all the other comparison devices still manage longer runtimes. You will drain the battery after around 100 minutes under maximum load.

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Schenker VIA 14
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620, 73 Wh
843 min ∼32% +101%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
507 min ∼19% +21%
HP ProBook 440 G6-5TK01EA
i7-8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
504 min ∼19% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
R5 3500U, Vega 8, 45 Wh
497 min ∼19% +19%
Average of class Office
  (105 - 1124, n=412)
430 min ∼16% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE
i7-8565U, Radeon RX 550X (Laptop), 45 Wh
419 min ∼16%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 24min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44.17763.10)
6h 59min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 12min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 42min

Pros

+ matte & high-contrast IPS screen
+ sturdy chassis
+ excellent keyboard
+ good mouse replacement
+ high system performance
+ can handle light gaming

Cons

- very high case temperatures under load
- heavily reduced CPU performance under combined workloads
- microSD instead of SD reader
- only 12 months' warranty
- low color accuracy

Verdict – Radeon GPU is too much for the E490

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad E490. Test model courtesy of Campuspoint.
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad E490. Test model courtesy of Campuspoint.

The ThinkPad E490 with the dedicated AMD graphics cards offers a noticeable bump in GPU performance, so the business laptop can also handle some light gaming. However, you will have to live with high surface temperatures in return. Up to 60 °C is a lot and shows that the cooling solution is insufficient. The fan is still comparatively quiet, so it seems Lenovo accepts high temperatures in favor of a quieter device. Users should be aware of the temperatures and not put the device on the lap under load.

More GPU performance but also higher temperatures: The ThinkPad E490 is a decent choice if you want to play some games after your work is done.

Otherwise, there are the same advantages and disadvantages of the E490 and E495, respectively. The biggest highlight of the ThinkPad is definitely the excellent keyboard, but the display is a bit of a lottery due to different panel suppliers. If you do not want to play games, we recommend you look at the ThinkPad E495 or the new ThinkPad E14 with the iGPU.

Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N90004GE - 05/18/2020 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
84 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
65 / 80 → 81%
Weight
65 / 20-75 → 81%
Battery
75%
Display
83%
Games Performance
62 / 78 → 80%
Application Performance
84 / 95 → 88%
Temperature
81%
Noise
92%
Audio
59%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
75%
85%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad E490 Office Laptop in review: The Radeon GPU is too much for the cooling solution
Andreas Osthoff, 2020-05-20 (Update: 2020-05-21)
Andreas Osthoff
Editor of the original article: Andreas Osthoff - Managing Editor Business Notebooks
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.