Lenovo ThinkPad L490/L590: Affordable, upgradeable enterprise laptops with Whiskey Lake CPUs
"ThinkPad" is a pretty popular brand, but not every ThinkPad laptop is interesting for consumers. In the end, ThinkPads are still business laptops, which target company purchasers first and foremost.
Of all the different ThinkPad series, the L series is probably the one series that is focused the most on this target group. Together with the ThinkPad E series, the L series is the most affordable ThinkPad series, but different from this one, the L series has all the enterprise features like vPro, the mechanical docking port and a Smartcard slot. Compared with the more expensive T series, the L series forgoes the more expensive chassis materials and screen option as well as Thunderbolt 3. Also, the L ThinkPads are a little bit thicker.
Now, there are two new models: The Lenovo ThinkPad L490 and the Lenovo ThinkPad L590 follow up the 2018 models ThinkPad L480 and ThinkPad L580. Both are small updates, which means that Lenovo has not changed the chassis design, nor are they introducing any new screen options.
Compared with the predecessors, the new Whiskey Lake processors are the biggest new feature. Apart from the new CPUs, there is Bluetooth 5.0 as well as optional WiFi 6 / AX. Plus, Lenovo has upgraded the optional dGPU from the AMD Radeon 530 to the AMD Radeon 535.
In contrast to recent T series ThinkPads like the ThinkPad T490 and the ThinkPad T490s, the L series ThinkPads continue to be upgradeable. Both the L490 and the L590 can take in up to 64 GB DDR4 RAM, thanks to their two memory banks. The WiFi card is also still socketed, according to the manual.