Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad T495 Review: business laptop with AMD processor, long battery life, and good display

Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 09/13/2019

AMD is the better choice. Lenovo's ThinkPad T495 is finally a full-fledged AMD business notebook with almost no compromises compared to its T490 sibling with Intel CPU. It might even be the better choice for many office users thanks to its lower price.

Lenovo’s 14-inch ThinkPad T490 is a typical office notebook, and we liked both the SKU with dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX250 and the one with just the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. For the first time Lenovo is now also offering an AMD-powered model dubbed the ThinkPad T495, and unlike previously there are no obvious glaring flaws and disadvantages when compared to the Intel SKU this time around. Naturally, we are inclined to find out whether or not there are any limitations that you simply will have to live with, or whether the T495 will turn out to be the better choice of the two thanks to its lower price.

Today’s review unit is a ThinkPad T495 20NKS01Y00, which is available through Lenovo’s Campus program for 999 Euros without operating system. It is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 400 nits FHD display, and a 512 GB PCIe SSD. A similar model can be configured on Lenovo’s website for around $1,400, and thus nearly $250 cheaper than a similarly fast Intel-equipped T490.

Given the overall similarities between the T490 and the T495, we are not going to cover case, input devices, and speakers in this review. Instead, we would like to refer you to our previous T490 reviews: 

Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Graphics adapter
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666 limited to 2400, dual-channel, max. 40 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, N140HCG-GQ2, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB 
, 456 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Raven - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
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: 3.5-mm headset, Card Reader: microSD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168B/8111B Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC (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): 18.9 x 329 x 227 ( = 0.74 x 12.95 x 8.94 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Ion
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2 Watt stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65 Watt charger (USB-C), 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.487 kg ( = 52.45 oz / 3.28 pounds), Power Supply: 345 g ( = 12.17 oz / 0.76 pounds)
Price
999 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Differences between the ThinkPad T490 and T495

Both case and material are identical between the two models, and at first glance the only visible difference are the stickers on the palm rests. Upon closer inspection, however, we also noticed a few connectivity discrepancies. Namely, the T495 lacks Thunderbolt 3 entirely but does offer a HDMI 2.0 port in return. Unlike the HDMI 1.4b port on the T490 the AMD-powered ThinkPad is capable of [email protected] Hz via HDMI. Both USB-C ports (USB 3.2 Gen. 2) carry a DisplayPort signal and support for PowerDelivery, and thus both can be used for charging or connecting to external displays via DisplayPort dongle. In total, the T495 supports up to four displays. Unique to the AMD model is its support for AMD’s FreeSync technology, which synchronizes frames to the display’s refresh rate to avoid tearing during gaming. That said the usefulness of this feature is somewhat limited by the comparatively slow GPU and the 48-60 Hz display itself.

Size Comparison

331 mm / 13 inch 226.8 mm / 8.93 inch 18.45 mm / 0.726 inch 1.4 kg3.01 lbs331 mm / 13 inch 220.9 mm / 8.7 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.6 kg3.44 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 1.5 kg3.28 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 1.4 kg3.18 lbs326 mm / 12.8 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.5 kg3.4 lbs
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 7490
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
137.6 MB/s ∼100% +76%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
78.3 MB/s ∼57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
77.8 MB/s ∼57% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s-20NYS02A00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
68.3 MB/s ∼50% -13%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=279)
62.5 MB/s ∼45% -20%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 7490
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
203.2 MB/s ∼100% +125%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
90.3 MB/s ∼44%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s-20NYS02A00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
87.8 MB/s ∼43% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
84.3 MB/s ∼41% -7%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=254)
78.9 MB/s ∼39% -13%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
655 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
650 MBit/s ∼99% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
626 MBit/s ∼96%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
536 MBit/s ∼82% -14%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=224)
469 MBit/s ∼72% -25%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
409 MBit/s ∼62% -35%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
680 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
652 MBit/s ∼96%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
593 MBit/s ∼87% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
581 MBit/s ∼85% -11%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
513 MBit/s ∼75% -21%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=224)
446 MBit/s ∼66% -32%

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Unlike the T490, the T495 is not available with the high-resolution WQHD HDR display and limited to no more than FHD resolution. Considering the T495’s 14-inch display and its calling as business and office workhorse we would not necessarily consider resolutions higher than FHD essential. Our review unit was equipped with the tantalizing 400 nits LowPower display manufactured by Innolux. As previously reported there are a total of four different 1080p LowPower panels in use by Lenovo, and there is no way of knowing which one you are going to get.

Subjectively, image quality was superb. Average brightness was measured at 390 nits with an acceptable black level of 0.29 nits resulting in an excellent contrast ratio of 1.400:1. In the past, we had quite a few bones to pick with Lenovo’s choice of display for their business notebooks, but the new LowPower FHD display is excellent. We found the display to flicker at a very high frequency of 26 kHz at brightness levels of 50% and below, however this was not traditional PWM. Given the high frequency it should not be an issue even for sensitive users. Screen bleeding was minor and only found around the vertical edges, and it was only visible on completely black backgrounds with brightness cranked (almost) all the way up.

The following table contains all four available LowPower FHD panels. Overall quality between the four is very similar. The biggest differences lie in response times – the BOE and AU Optronics panels are much slower and thus more susceptible to ghosting.

368
cd/m²
394
cd/m²
378
cd/m²
395
cd/m²
420
cd/m²
415
cd/m²
371
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
390
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
N140HCG-GQ2
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 420 cd/m² Average: 390.7 cd/m² Minimum: 11.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 423 cd/m²
Contrast: 1448:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.1 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 0.7
ΔE Greyscale 3.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
98.6% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 63.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.22
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
N140HCG-GQ2, , 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NE140FHM-N61, , 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s-20NYS02A00
B140HAN05.7, , 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QES01L00
LP140WF9_SPF1, , 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
-140%
-123%
-60%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
32.4 (16.4, 16)
74 (33.6, 40.4)
-128%
61.6 (30.8, 30.8)
-90%
44.8 (21.2, 23.6)
-38%
Response Time Black / White *
15.2 (6.8, 8.4)
45.6 (22.8, 22.8)
-200%
38.8 (21.2, 17.6)
-155%
27.6 (15.6, 12)
-82%
PWM Frequency
26040 (50)
2451 (50)
-91%
Screen
-39%
-9%
-26%
Brightness middle
420
418
0%
391
-7%
381
-9%
Brightness
391
400
2%
389
-1%
375
-4%
Brightness Distribution
88
88
0%
87
-1%
94
7%
Black Level *
0.29
0.24
17%
0.23
21%
0.24
17%
Contrast
1448
1742
20%
1700
17%
1588
10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.1
4.7
-124%
3.4
-62%
4.6
-119%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.5
8.7
-58%
4.7
15%
8.5
-55%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.7
2.1
-200%
1.1
-57%
1.2
-71%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.4
5.9
-74%
4
-18%
5.1
-50%
Gamma
2.22 99%
2.06 107%
2.49 88%
2.52 87%
CCT
7168 91%
7350 88%
6809 95%
7052 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.5
59.9
-6%
62.4
-2%
60.7
-4%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.6
92.1
-7%
97.4
-1%
95.7
-3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-90% / -61%
-66% / -26%
-43% / -31%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)

Color and grayscale accuracy were perfectly fine for a business laptop out of the box already. We were particularly surprised by the high color accuracy with all measurements reading less than 3, which is ideal. After calibration, we were able to achieve the same level of accuracy for grayscale, and were also able to improve upon the slightly increased color temperature.

Thanks to an almost complete coverage of sRGB the panel is well-suited for photo and video editing in the sRGB color space.

vs. sRGB: 98.6%
vs. sRGB: 98.6%
vs. AdobeRGB: 63.5%
vs. AdobeRGB: 63.5%

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
15.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 8.4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 17 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
32.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 16 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. » 23 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.5 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 26040 Hz ≤ 50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 26040 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 26040 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9268 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

By default, brightness was slightly reduced on battery. However, this power saving feature can be disabled in AMD’s driver settings. Outdoors, the T495 benefitted from the bright panel combined with its matte coating. As long as you avoid direct sunlight the T495 will remain very well usable even in bright outdoor environments.

As expected of an IPS panel viewing angles were superb and very wide, and the image remained easily recognizable from all angles.

Outdoors
Outdoors

Performance

 

Processor

The ThinkPad T495 is available with AMD’s Ryzen Pro processors. Unlike the consumer series these support additional security and management features in the same way as Intel’s vPro processors. Our review unit was equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U with four cores (eight threads) running at up to 3.7 GHz. And while the Ryzen 5 Pro lags a bit behind Intel’s CPUs in both single and multi-core benchmarks it still offers more than enough oomph for a business laptop.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
180 Points ∼100% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U
163 Points ∼91% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s-20NYS02A00
Intel Core i5-8265U
162 Points ∼90% +13%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel Core i5-8350U
153 Points ∼85% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
144 Points ∼80%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
 
144 Points ∼80% 0%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
143 Points ∼79% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
140 Points ∼78% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
134 Points ∼74% -7%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 199, n=537)
112 Points ∼62% -22%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s-20NYS02A00
Intel Core i5-8265U
686 (min: 566.02, max: 686.12) Points ∼100% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
680 (min: 592.15, max: 661.89) Points ∼99% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
658 (min: 656.79, max: 659.13) Points ∼96% +8%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
630 Points ∼92% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U
617 (min: 613, max: 658) Points ∼90% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
611 Points ∼89%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
 
611 Points ∼89% 0%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel Core i5-8350U
569 Points ∼83% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U
553 Points ∼81% -9%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1050, n=544)
345 Points ∼50% -44%
CineBench R15 multi-thread
CineBench R15 multi-thread

The ThinkPad T495’s thermal envelope is more or less identical to the ThinkPad T490’s. The processor can draw up to 30 W for short periods of time but no more than 25 W under sustained long-term load, and our CineBench R15 multi-thread test reflects these specs. The differences in the first four iterations of our CineBench loop are due to minor differences in the exact amount of time that the CPU is allowed to draw up to 30 W. At its long-term TDP level of 25 W the CPU ran at 4x 2.8-2.9 GHz, and was thus slightly slower than both the Core i7-8565U and Core i5-8265U-equipped T490. Compared to the older ThinkPad A485 the T495 is around 15% faster.

Full CPU performance is available on battery as well, however not immediately. CPU power consumption peaks at 16 W for a few seconds before rising to 30 W and eventually settling at 25 W.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00 Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ: Ø576 (569.82-610.73)
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00 GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G: Ø639 (632-673)
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ: Ø504 (495-536)
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G: Ø617 (613-650)
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE Vega 8, 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG: Ø658 (656.79-659.13)

To be honest we were pretty disappointed by these findings, especially when comparing them to the ThinkPad E495 with the Ryzen 5 3500U consumer-grade processor, and we were able to identify two culprits for the ThinkPad T495’s degraded performance. First of all, there seem to be quality differences between the two chips. We cannot say whether we received a particularly good copy of the Ryzen 5 or a particularly bad copy of the Ryzen 5 Pro but regardless, both devices were regular retail products that everybody could have ended up with. The same is obviously also true for Intel CPUs.

The Ryzen 5 3500U in aforementioned ThinkPad E495 ran at 4x 3.0-3.1 GHz while transforming 25 W of energy into heat. The T495’s Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U ran only at 4x 2.8-2.9 GHz. This may be due to yet another difference in the TDP configuration. In addition to short- and long-term power consumption AMD processors also use another thermal threshold called STAPM, which stands for “skin temperature aware power management”. This setting is supposed to prevent overly hot surface temperatures. Think of this as a big jar that keeps on filling up continuously under load until it reaches its specified limit. For the T495, this limit is set to 22 W and reached after the fourth run of CineBench R15 multi-thread. Only then does this STAPM limit take effect and throttle the CPU to 22 W. Now let us take a look at the ThinkPad E495. It, too, has a STAPM thermal limit. However, unlike the T495’s the E495’s is set to 25 W and thus coincides with the processor’s long-term TDP limit. Accordingly, we did not notice a sudden performance drop during our CineBench R15 multi-thread loop.

According to Lenovo, this all works as designed. The ThinkPad T495 is slightly thinner than the E495, and thus potentially less capable of cooling the CPU under load. This, in turn, begs the question why the Intel CPU in the T490 is allowed to consume a full 25 W of power...

Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
611 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
50.11 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help

System Performance

Subjectively, the Lenovo ThinkPad T495’s system performance was excellent, and we did not encounter any issues during our review period whatsoever. This is reflected in its great PCMark benchmark scores, where the T495 was only bested by the T490 with dedicated MX250 GPU.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3778 Points ∼100% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3392 Points ∼90%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
3392 Points ∼90% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3036 Points ∼80% -10%
Dell Latitude 7490
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
2911 Points ∼77% -14%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
2772 Points ∼73% -18%
Average of class Office
  (320 - 3884, n=154)
2655 Points ∼70% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2359 Points ∼62% -30%
Productivity
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7392 Points ∼100% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
6083 Points ∼82% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5896 Points ∼80%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
5896 Points ∼80% 0%
Dell Latitude 7490
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
5721 Points ∼77% -3%
Average of class Office
  (1266 - 7964, n=154)
5479 Points ∼74% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
3759 Points ∼51% -36%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3408 Points ∼46% -42%
Essentials
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7981 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7556 Points ∼95%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
7556 Points ∼95% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
7471 Points ∼94% -1%
Dell Latitude 7490
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
7376 Points ∼92% -2%
Average of class Office
  (2683 - 9790, n=154)
6971 Points ∼87% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5848 Points ∼73% -23%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5732 Points ∼72% -24%
Score
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4341 Points ∼100% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3818 Points ∼88%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
3818 Points ∼88% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3704 Points ∼85% -3%
Dell Latitude 7490
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
3564 Points ∼82% -7%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 4597, n=155)
3270 Points ∼75% -14%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
2712 Points ∼62% -29%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2673 Points ∼62% -30%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5277 Points ∼100% +8%
Dell Latitude 7490
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
4906 Points ∼93% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4880 Points ∼92%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
4880 Points ∼92% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
4824 Points ∼91% -1%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4403 Points ∼83% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4123 Points ∼78% -16%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5428, n=350)
4024 Points ∼76% -18%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5740 Points ∼100% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4947 Points ∼86%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
4947 Points ∼86% 0%
Average of class Office
  (869 - 5918, n=250)
3381 Points ∼59% -32%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Vega 8, PRO 3500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4072 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
4072 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4052 Points ∼100% 0%
Dell Latitude 7490
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
3723 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3436 Points ∼84% -16%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3155 Points ∼77% -23%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4770, n=410)
3058 Points ∼75% -25%
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Vega 8, PRO 2500U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2937 Points ∼72% -28%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4072 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4947 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4880 points
Help

Storage Devices

Our ThinkPad T495 review unit was equipped with a 512 GB Samsung P981 NVMe SSD, which performed exceptionally well in our benchmarks. As mentioned before Lenovo sources its storage devices from various manufacturers, and there is no way of knowing which one you are going to end up with. A secondary M.2-2242 slot can be used for either an additional SSD or a WWAN modem. It is connected to the system bus via PCIe x2. Further benchmarks can be found here.

Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Dell Latitude 7490
Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-12%
-33%
-61%
-34%
Write 4K
137.73
126.6
-8%
114.8
-17%
79.41
-42%
119.5
-13%
Read 4K
44.11
43.61
-1%
41.33
-6%
27.37
-38%
31.9
-28%
Write Seq
2713.99
1342
-51%
1271
-53%
343.9
-87%
351.1
-87%
Read Seq
2664.91
1251
-53%
1171
-56%
472.7
-82%
1665
-38%
Write 4K Q32T1
251.24
297.7
18%
218.4
-13%
206
-18%
268.4
7%
Read 4K Q32T1
336.57
376.4
12%
308.5
-8%
188.3
-44%
333.1
-1%
Write Seq Q32T1
2993.9
2969
-1%
1460
-51%
343.3
-89%
351.8
-88%
Read Seq Q32T1
3546.9
3228
-9%
1529
-57%
532.6
-85%
2705
-24%
Write 4K Q8T8
1245.5
1207.8
356
Read 4K Q8T8
1397.3
982.6
453.2
AS SSD
5%
-51%
-74%
-79%
Copy Game MB/s
1172.87
356.13
302.91
Copy Program MB/s
440.5
209.45
212.21
Copy ISO MB/s
1963.28
811.61
282.51
Score Total
4514
4406
-2%
1669
-63%
947
-79%
1288
-71%
Score Write
1822
1733
-5%
567
-69%
357
-80%
426
-77%
Score Read
1790
1773
-1%
724
-60%
391
-78%
615
-66%
Access Time Write *
0.041
0.026
37%
0.049
-20%
0.056
-37%
0.061
-49%
Access Time Read *
0.046
0.061
-33%
0.081
-76%
0.112
-143%
0.172
-274%
4K-64 Write
1494.12
1349.84
-10%
378.06
-75%
248.06
-83%
321.48
-78%
4K-64 Read
1475.37
1463.57
-1%
558.96
-62%
316.06
-79%
420.53
-71%
4K Write
94.71
154.05
63%
77.39
-18%
79.15
-16%
85.27
-10%
4K Read
48.28
52.78
9%
42.46
-12%
26.66
-45%
26.77
-45%
Seq Write
2330
2293.99
-2%
1117.7
-52%
294.93
-87%
188.96
-92%
Seq Read
2661
2571.1
-3%
1223.72
-54%
486.16
-82%
1681.91
-37%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-4% / -2%
-42% / -43%
-68% / -68%
-57% / -60%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3546.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2993.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 336.57 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 251.24 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 2664.91 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 2713.99 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 44.11 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 137.73 MB/s

GPU Performance

GPU-Z Radeon Vega 8
GPU-Z Radeon Vega 8

All things graphics are handled by an AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU. It is highly dependent on system RAM performance, which can be seen very clearly in our benchmarks. The T495’s Vega 8 with access to dual-channel RAM actually outperformed the nominally faster Vega 10 in the ThinkPad E595 with access to single-channel RAM only. If you end up purchasing a T495 with a single RAM module running in single-channel mode you can always add a second module. More details about AMD’s Vega 8 can be found here.

Performance-wise, the T495’s Vega 8 sits in-between the UHD Graphics 620-powered T490 and the GeForce MX250-powered T490.

Our 3DMark Fire Strike stress test is completed without any issues at 99%, which means that performance does not degrade after long periods of sustained load. Just like the CPU the GPU is also throttled slightly on battery (3,535 vs. 2,843 points in 3DMark 11 Graphics). More benchmarks can be found hMobile Graphics Cards - Benchmark List.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
4748 Points ∼100% +34%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
3535 Points ∼74%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1668 - 4317, n=29)
3308 Points ∼70% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E595-20NF0000GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3287 Points ∼69% -7%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
2885 Points ∼61% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1718 Points ∼36% -51%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1648 Points ∼35% -53%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1633 Points ∼34% -54%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 5332, n=661)
1322 Points ∼28% -63%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
1134 Points ∼100% +64%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
693 Points ∼61%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (523 - 742, n=13)
647 Points ∼57% -7%
Average of class Office
  (76 - 1158, n=55)
483 Points ∼43% -30%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
3863 Points ∼100% +65%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
2344 Points ∼61%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (1095 - 2901, n=26)
2092 Points ∼54% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E595-20NF0000GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
2025 Points ∼52% -14%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
1738 Points ∼45% -26%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=480)
1016 Points ∼26% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1008 Points ∼26% -57%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1001 Points ∼26% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
963 Points ∼25% -59%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
23354 Points ∼100% +33%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U
17610 Points ∼75%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  (7309 - 19351, n=25)
14378 Points ∼62% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad E595-20NF0000GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
13891 Points ∼59% -21%
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
10604 Points ∼45% -40%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
8448 Points ∼36% -52%
Dell Latitude 7490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
7943 Points ∼34% -55%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
7658 Points ∼33% -57%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=526)
7051 Points ∼30% -60%
3DMark 11 Performance
3670 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
76723 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
12398 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2141 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
779 points
Help

Gaming Performance

As expected, gaming performance was somewhere between the Intel-equipped T490 with iGPU and the Intel-equipped T490 with MX250. AMD’s Vega 8 is great for older and less demanding games. Keep in mind that unlike the T490 the T495 does not support Thunderbolt 3, and does thus not support eGPUs. Further gaming benchmarks for AMD’s Vega 8 can be found here.

BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
38.1 fps ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
19.7 fps ∼52%
1366x768 High Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
99.7 fps ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
59.3 fps ∼59%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
22.93 fps ∼23%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
114.6 fps ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
70.8 fps ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
28.33 fps ∼25%
1280x720 Very Low Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
192.9 fps ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
107.1 fps ∼56%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
53.04 fps ∼27%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 107.1 70.8 59.3 19.7 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 69 64 38 35.2 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 26.8 19.9 18.6 fps

Emissions

System Noise

The flip side of lower performance and slightly elevated temperatures is a quiet and seldom running fan. Even under load it never manages to emit more than an inconspicuous and quiet hum. Even better, it can take several minutes of low to medium load to even trigger the fan to start spinning in the first place. The result is a very quiet and often completely silent office notebook. We found no evidence of coil whine or other electrical noise whatsoever.

Noise Level

Idle
28.4 / 28.4 / 29.4 dB(A)
Load
29.9 / 31.4 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.4 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.829.131.633.82530.930.327.530.93126.926.324.224.74026.124.123.927.15022.928.22727.9632320.623.1248024.121.422.722.310022.221.622.322.612522.322.422.623.416021.720.721.621.620021.220.620.821.925022.120.120.522.131521.219.820.22140020.81919.720.15002118.518.920.263020.218.618.419.980020.518.417.820.610002018.41720.2125019.617.716.319.4160019.418.115.619.7200018.617.115.518.7250020.518.915.420.4315020.61915.120.3400020.619.115.120.5500017.916.31517.8630016151516.1800015.614.51515.41000015.214.114.915.1125001514.214.6151600014.713.814.514.7SPL31.529.928.431.4N1.51.31.11.5median 20.5median 18.5median 16.3median 20.2Delta21.721.630.726.429.330.629.230.325.12626.127.329.931.1313131.927.727.429.531.427.222.824.72430.625.923.225.82422.225.124.523.222.422.4262222.322.822.322.521.921.52221.622.222.62222.521.321.722.822.923.222.622.323.122.724.521.82321.82221.321.521.622.321.921.421.32222.821.621.52022.323.622.121.419.823.524.522.821.618.724.224.722.32118.224.423.821.720.417.723.624.722.420.417252522.920.716.625.124.422.119.916.12426.724.32115.926.729.526.621.815.729.127.622.418.715.526.921.919.217.515.521.719.317.416.615.518.918.216.616.415.417.716.5161615.116.316.315.91614.915.837.234.732.429.4372.62.11.71.22.5median 22.8median 22.1median 21median 17.7median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median 22.5median 21.5median 20.3median 19.7median 17.3median 201.41.31.71.42.71.4hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE

Temperature

Overall temperatures remained far from critical. When idle, the device remained cool and unnoticeable. Under load, we found no more than two hotspots with more than 47 °C (116.6 °F). Nevertheless, we would not advise anyone to use this laptop on their lap under load. Compared with the ThinkPad T490 the AMD-powered T495 does get a little bit warmer than the T490 with iGPU but nowhere near as hot as the T490 with dedicated GeForce MX250 GPU.

Stress test after 1.5 minutes
Stress test after 1.5 minutes
Stress test after 75 minutes
Stress test after 75 minutes

The results of our stress test are reflective of those obtained during our CPU benchmarks. After an initial drop to 25 W we see another decrease to just 22 W. Since these 22 W are shared between CPU and GPU clock speeds are comparatively low, accordingly. The CPU runs at 1.1-1.3 GHz, and the GPU at just 320 MHz.

Max. Load
 35.8 °C
96 F
38.7 °C
102 F
43.8 °C
111 F
 
 34.9 °C
95 F
38.2 °C
101 F
43.9 °C
111 F
 
 30.7 °C
87 F
31.5 °C
89 F
32 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 43.9 °C = 111 F
Average: 36.6 °C = 98 F
44.9 °C
113 F
49.6 °C
121 F
38.6 °C
101 F
41.5 °C
107 F
47.1 °C
117 F
37 °C
99 F
28.8 °C
84 F
28.7 °C
84 F
28 °C
82 F
Maximum: 49.6 °C = 121 F
Average: 38.2 °C = 101 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.1 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 22.8 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.6 °C / 98 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 43.9 °C / 111 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 49.6 °C / 121 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.9 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (32 °C / 89.6 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.1 °C / 82.6 F (-3.9 °C / -7 F).
Heatmap stress test (top)
Heatmap stress test (top)
Heatmap stress test (bottom)
Heatmap stress test (bottom)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

When idle, AMD’s SoC requires a little bit more energy than Intel’s equivalent. However, we can clearly see the benefits of the LowPower 1080p panel when comparing the T495’s power consumption to that of the ThinkPad A485. Despite the latter’s significantly dimmer display its power consumption was actually noticeably higher.

Power consumption during our stress test reflected that of the CPU alone. After an initial 43.2 W (30 W TDP) it drops to 37 W (25 W TDP) for a few minutes, and eventually settles at 34 W (22 W TDP). The 345 g (0.75 lbs) power supply is rated at 65 W, and is thus more than sufficiently dimensioned.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.29 / 0.71 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.1 / 7.7 / 10.7 Watt
Load midlight 35.8 / 43.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
PRO 3500U, Vega 8, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
8565U, GeForce MX250, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, IGZO IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G, IGZO IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 7490
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KSG60ZMV256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
2700U, Vega 10, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 
Average of class Office
 
Power Consumption
-4%
19%
-10%
30%
2%
-2%
-27%
Idle Minimum *
5.1
2.16
58%
2.34
54%
5.3
-4%
2
61%
4.9
4%
5.26 (3.7 - 7.6, n=27)
-3%
7.56 (2.34 - 32, n=972)
-48%
Idle Average *
7.7
5.04
35%
5.22
32%
8.3
-8%
4.7
39%
8.1
-5%
8.16 (5.86 - 12.9, n=27)
-6%
11.4 (4.2 - 42, n=972)
-48%
Idle Maximum *
10.7
8.64
19%
8.82
18%
11.4
-7%
5.7
47%
10.6
1%
9.85 (6.36 - 13.7, n=27)
8%
13.8 (5 - 67, n=972)
-29%
Load Average *
35.8
63.2
-77%
35.8
-0%
42
-17%
38.4
-7%
32.2
10%
37.5 (24.1 - 50.6, n=27)
-5%
37.2 (7.43 - 99.3, n=957)
-4%
Load Maximum *
43.2
67.5
-56%
47.3
-9%
48.8
-13%
38.9
10%
42.3
2%
44.3 (26.5 - 61.6, n=27)
-3%
46 (12.2 - 129, n=959)
-6%
Witcher 3 ultra *
50

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Previously, AMD laptops very often suffered from very poor battery life when compared to their Intel-equipped siblings. However, the ThinkPad T495 is finally different, and not only ran comparably long to its Intel-sibling in our Wi-Fi test but even managed to outlast the T490 in our video test with up to 12 hours of battery life. At maximum brightness, battery life in the Wi-Fi test dropped from 9 to 7:20 hours, which is once again similar to the T490’s results.

Wi-Fi battery life at maximum brightness
Wi-Fi battery life at maximum brightness
Charging time
Charging time
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
9h 04min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 48min
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1h 40min
Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00
PRO 3500U, Vega 8, 50 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
8565U, GeForce MX250, 50 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad A485-20MU000CGE
PRO 2500U, Vega 8, 48 Wh
Dell Latitude 7490
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
HP EliteBook 745 G5 3UN74EA
2700U, Vega 10, 50 Wh
Average of class Office
 
Battery Runtime
-17%
21%
-40%
1%
-24%
-20%
H.264
708
523
-26%
677
-4%
368
-48%
426
-40%
437 (139 - 862, n=184)
-38%
WiFi v1.3
544
543
0%
572
5%
330
-39%
548
1%
394
-28%
417 (105 - 1104, n=355)
-23%
Load
100
75
-25%
161
61%
68
-32%
95
-5%
101 (37 - 259, n=755)
1%

Pros

+ robust case
+ very comfortable input devices
+ extensive connectivity
+ bright colorful low-power FHD display
+ very good system performance
+ long battery life
+ Radeon FreeSync & HDMI 2.0
+ quiet fan
+ cheaper than Intel sibling

Cons

- no Thunderbolt 3
- CPU performance limited slightly
- no full-size SD slot
- case is hard to open

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad T495. Review unit courtesy of campuspoint
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad T495. Review unit courtesy of campuspoint

The ThinkPad T495 is Lenovo’s first AMD-equipped business notebook. Unlike the A-series, it does not come with a huge set of compromises when compared to its Intel-siblings. Case and display are identical, save for the lack of the WQHD HDR option, and battery life is finally on a par as well.

The only real downside is the lack of Thunderbolt 3 and a slightly reduced overall CPU performance. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be an artificial restriction imposed by the manufacturer, especially considering that the Intel-equipped T490 is allowed to consume more energy. Nevertheless, the T495’s quad-core remains powerful and fast enough, especially for an office laptop.

Great display, long battery life, and good performance. Given its lower price, the ThinkPad T495 is a great alternative to the Intel-equipped ThinkPad T490. The only real downside is the missing Thunderbolt 3 port. Whether or not this is important to you depends on how you intend to use it, but it is definitely not a must-have for an office laptop.

We also very much liked the LowPower FHD display. With its bright high-contrast panel and its high ex-factory color accuracy it is very well suited for photo editing in the sRGB color space. We also consider FHD to be a sufficiently high resolution for a 14-inch panel, and it helps minimizing scaling issues.

Overall, we have to admit that the ThinkPad T495 is the better T490, especially considering its lower price.

Please note that we have recently updated our scoring system, see here for details. With the new V7 scoring system the ThinkPad T495 scored 89%. With the old V6 scoring system it would have scored 90%.

Lenovo ThinkPad T495-20NKS01Y00 - 09/12/2019 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
86 / 98 → 87%
Keyboard
93%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
69 / 80 → 86%
Weight
69 / 20-75 → 89%
Battery
87%
Display
90%
Games Performance
58 / 78 → 74%
Application Performance
83 / 95 → 87%
Temperature
89%
Noise
98%
Audio
55%
Camera
39 / 85 → 46%
Average
77%
89%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad T495 Review: business laptop with AMD processor, long battery life, and good display
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-09-13 (Update: 2019-09-14)