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Lenovo ThinkPad E485 (AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, 16GB RAM, 256GB NVMe) $957.61 Delivered @ Lenovo

1210
AMD10

Hi all, first post, please be gentle.

After searching Ozbargain, I believe this to be the best deal for this particular model, beating these deals by between $45-$100 depending on configuration:
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/394258
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/392977

Alternatively, wind back to 8GB of ram to bring price down to $845.10, and/or drop down to 128GB SSD and $755.10. Remember to activate coupon AMD10 on final checkout page after customisation to get stated prices.

Note - when selecting memory configuration, its best to choose 2X 4GB or 2X 8GB modules instead of single 8 or 16GB module, (price is identical) as apparently the GPU performance on the 2500u suffers when paired with single channel memory config.

Seems to be a pretty good deal to me (I bought one), but feedback/suggestions/rebuttals welcome of course.

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  • +2

    It a pretty decent specs for the money.

    • +2

      It sure is mate, I can't find anything else like it for the money, plus the 2500u can do light/medium gaming unlike the equivalent Core i5/7. 16GB of RAM should future-proof it to some extent as well

      • Hey man thanks I just needed a thinkpad was thinking of carbon or t series.
        Whats the cpu? Compared to Intel? I5?

      • plus the 2500u can do light/medium gaming

        'Medium' gaming would be a stretch on a laptop-class CPU.

        • Yeah true, kinda depends on your definition of medium. Will handle most eSports titles on medium with decent fps and some AAA titles on low settings/resolution. Probably better to get dedicated GPU for more serious gaming

      • +1

        Should be right running with lower ram counts if you're in a tight (ish) budget right now. ThinkPad upgrade-ability seems pretty great, in the sense that you can change the RAM, SSD and HDD pretty easily that is.

  • Interesting! thinking of getting one, any ideas if the GPU is great on this?

    • Hey mate, check this out: https://www.techspot.com/review/1545-amd-ryzen-5-2500u/page7...

      Not the same laptop, but the same chip. Seems good for light to medium gaming.

    • -3

      AMD laptop chips tend to have a worse CPU but a better GPU than their intel counterparts.

      • +9

        Not so much any more for the current generation (ie Ryzen) =)

      • +9

        *used to

        Now its around the same CPU performance with much better gfx performance: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/amd-ryzen-mobile-vs-intel...

        • +4

          People really need to throw out all of their preconceived notions on Intel vs AMD prior to the Ryzen launch in Feb17. A lot has changed in that time.

        • +3

          @Jorkus: what about my notions of back when the K7 Athlon smoked the pentium 3!

    • +1

      This review looked at GPU performance using Fortnite , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwObtlHEwbs (AMD Ryzen 5 2500U vs Intel Core i5-8250U)
      Like mentioned above, not the same laptop, but the same 2500U chip at 15W configuration.

    • TMK the r5 2500u is a slightly worse i5 8250(?), but with a vastly superior iGPU

  • Whats the difference between E480 and E485 models? Did a quick google search and couldn't really find a difference (aside from specs).

    • +2

      Isn't it AMD vs Intel CPU?

    • Intel version vs AMD version

      • Or Intel + Nvidia vs AMD + AMD

        • Think the dGPU on the E models is actually AMD, the 550 if I'm not wrong.

  • Anyone a ram guru? is this single channel or dual?

    • +1

      You can either get a single channel or dual, it's in the customise option

      • +5

        so 8GB(4+4) DDR4 2400MHz SODIMM = dual channel? like 2 4gig sticks?

        • +1

          Yes.

        • @zrmx: thanks guys!

  • +12

    If anyones purchasing dont forget the 4% cashrewards as well. Approx 38 bucks your getting back too. Seems like a good deal.

  • Backlit keyboard ?????

    • Good question. I've got a ThinkPad and it's the bane of my existence. Also the ctrl key is one key further in than any other keyboard in the world and it messes with me daily

      • +2

        Also the ctrl key is one key further in than any other keyboard in the world and it messes with me daily

        There is a BIOS setting which changes the CTRL and FN keys around.

    • Don't think the 485/585 have the option for a backlit keyboard.

      If you wanted to shell out a bit more, the 480/580 have the option I believe. It's under the "keyboard - english" option. Seems a bit steep at $50 though.

  • +3

    Even better price than the last AMD10 deal! =D

    Great post OP =)

    For those wanting the 15.6" E585, https://www.lenovo.com/au/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-edge/..., $98.90 more.

    • +1

      Thanks mate!

  • +4

    First post awesome, cheers OP!

    • +1

      Cheers!

  • Would it be possible to upgrade the SSD? If so would it be wise to just get the 128gb SSD and then buy say a 500GB SSD to install myself?

    • +5

      The Thinkpad E485 and E585 models have an unoccupied internal 2.5" SATA port for storage expansion.

      The SSD it comes with occupies the M.2 slot, so you can either upgrade via the M.2 slot, or just simply add a 2.5" drive for storage expansion.

      See this comment for a youtube how-to for internal components access.

  • What's the delivery timing? I need to send to overseas in 2 weeks. Will it reach by then?

  • -2

    For a laptop those are okay specs. I think the monitor is too small for me. 16gb ram might be overkill unless you do heavier work on it. 4gbx2 would be sufficient

    • True, for most users 16GB isn't necessary

  • Pity hdmi2 is still so rare in laptops

  • +1

    For $845.10 you can get the AMD Ryzen 7 2700U, 8GB single dimm, 128 Nvme SSD. Add another 8GB ram on your own and a 1TB hdd and you have a great little machine for just around a grand.

    • +1

      i searched to compare the 5 vs the 7 and it did not seem like it was worth the extra 100 bucks??

      http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-7-2700U-vs-AM...

      • The Ryzen 7 also comes with Vega 10 instead of Vega 8 (although I have no idea how much better they are)

      • For the 15W configuration, the performance difference is probably noticeable, although maybe not by much in real life.

        The real benefits/value will be most noticeable in the 25W configurations (likely machines 15" and above).

        • +1

          Yeah I watched a side by side gaming comparison of the 2500u and 2700u and the framerates were basically identical. As you say, in 15w config the 2700u throttles back to the same performance as the 2500u due to the limited thermal envelope

        • I currently have a i5 6200u and it just doesn't cut it for graphic design (illustrator/photoshop). Will the Ryzen 5 be enough or should I look at the 7? will do the odd video edit to, also will go the 15"

        • +1

          @worthy1:

          It will be much better than your current i5 6200U

        • @ChickenAdobo:
          Been a hard one to work out. Im keen on a touch screen and my current laptops backlit keyboard comes in handy. Leaning towards the Dell 15 7000 now. This would be great if it had those 2 options. the 7000 is $1,199 with the Dell 20% off and you get another 3% cashrewards.

  • +1

    It's a shame the A485 or the A285 aren't out yet (and don't seem to have any release date set). The E-series just doesn't look as nice (although the price is tempting).

  • +1

    Tempting but reviews suggest screen brightness is not the highest. Can anyone please confirm? For use on public transport.

  • +1

    Come on Amex bring in a casback offer

  • +1

    The last laptop I owned from lenovo was a Thinkpad which felt pretty flimsy and wasn't a huge fan of the keyboard layout.

    Does this laptop feel more solid (mainly around the hinge) and has anything changed with the keyboard over the past 4 years?

    • +2

      Does this laptop feel more solid (mainly around the hinge) and has anything changed with the keyboard over the past 4 years?

      Lenovo are well-known for their keyboard layout, so I doubt it has changed much, if not at all.

    • It's the E series so I wouldn't expect much. With that said I've been using an E570 for a year and a half and it has had no issues with the build design.

  • +2

    EBates has 8% cashback at the moment:
    https://www.ebates.com/lenovo.com?query=lenovo

    • Does ebates work in Australia? First time hearing about it and they even have $10 sign-up and $25 refer a friend bonus which could potentially stack…

      • I have used it and received cashbacks. No idea if it will work with this, but when I did a quick test the lenovo website redirected to the AU website and said I would get a cashback of $X.xx at the end of checkout (after it offered to try coupons and none were valid).

  • +20

    As someone who bought one of these from the last deal, I'll offer some insights:

    • 2700u processor is fast and powerful. So many cores
    • no backlight on the keyboard
    • you will really only get 3-4 hours of battery time
    • generally quite good build quality
    • screen is bright enough (not super bright) but has the huge bottom bezel that just seems like a waste
    • m.2 drive and spare spot for 2.5". Takes about 5min to swap one in
    • good selection of ports
    • charger is only 45W so can be a little slow

    The biggest concern, however, has been the keyboard. It is an absolute joy to type on physically but there is a problem with the embedded controller that will jumble characters up. It's okay if you type slow… but once I start typing to my full speed hten someitmes it'll muck up like htis sentence. There's a fix for it in the beta BIOS 1.28 that should be coming out soon.

    Linux is also a PITA to get running :/

    Overall, I am quite happy with the laptop and it is a good deal for the price. Just be aware that there are teething issues that should sort themselves out in the next couple of months.

    • +4

      Thanks for the review mate, very helpful

    • Interesting, for comparison.
      I have the E480 with no GPU.
      Come with a 60W fast charger
      Battery life has been 6-10 hours depending on how I’m using it.
      Machine generally runs 24/7 as a HTPC / Torrent / Server & Will run for 12+ hours if the display is off.
      I got the backlit keyboard and am happy with it.
      I haven’t had overheating or fan noise issues, though I use TP fan control.

      Bonus, using the USB C gen 2 port, I use a dongle for HDMI 2. Can confirm with intel CPU this machine outputs 2160P @ 60Hz, not 30Hz like your restricted to with HDMI 1.x

      Overall I would recommend highly for the price point, though can’t comment on the AMD configuration.

      • Very interesting, thanks for that. I have a feeling the AMD configuration will have poorer battery life than the Intel. All reviews seem to confirm significantly higher load power consumption

    • Thanks for the info! What in particular made Linux difficult to install?

      • There's some missing table in the BIOS so getting things to boot was awful. That and kernel 4.15 was really the only thing that worked with the latest Ryzen but even that was barely… graphics were absolute garbage.

        This blog post specifies how to get Linux booted and this guy on Github compiles latest kernel with graphics drivers. Everything is a lot smoother on 4.18

    • I thought the typing thing was just me. For example, whenever I type .com at full speed it 9 times out of 10 it will spell cmo.

    • idk if this helps

  • +3

    8GB of RAM is plenty to be honest.

    • +1

      I thought the same… Then wondered how much the GPU requires to do its thing the best..? Couldn't really find much.

      • +2

        If you're buying this laptop for proper gaming, you're doing it wrong. :P

        • +1

          Nope, but I want to be able to game a little bit if I want.

        • @fiend: I purchased the E585 in the previous deal, I needed it primarily for work, and it does the job nicely, including light Photoshop work. I'm no technology aficionado (so can't comment on specs and what not), but I have been playing Unreal Tournament Alpha & Tomb Raider (2013) all very comfortably on medium to high settings, downloading Overwatch as we speak, fingers and toes. I've got no complaints re. the keyboard and build, feels solid to me. The only draw backs, battery life is as stated, you will only get 3 - 4 hours, and smudge marks galore, they are unavoidable due to the finish.

        • @chrysm:
          Mate, let me know how OW runs that's all I really want to play on it! I tried steam link to run it but with my already crappy ping it makes it even worse.

          Just want to be able to chill in The lounge room with the missus and play the odd QP or something there.

        • @fiend: It runs perfectly fine, 1920x1080 w/ High Graphics. Was averaging 45 - 65 FPS. Definitely a decent machine for the price.

      • Its not the amount. Its the number of channels. See this review.

        Secondly, the system runs in single-channel mode, which restricts GPU performance. We would typically advise adding a second RAM module to enable dual-channel mode, but the RAM is soldered so the system is stuck in single-channel mode.

        The Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R6J9 shows what the Radeon RX Vega 10 can do when running in dual-channel mode. The Swift 3 scores between 39% and 67% higher than our test device depending on the benchmark. This improved benchmark performance corresponds with a noticeable improvement in graphics performance in daily use too.

        • So as long as there's 2x 4 gig sticks, it wont be a bottleneck? Whereas 1x8 gig stick will be a big bottleneck?…

        • +1

          That may be true for the laptop in the review you linked (Lenovo IdeaPad 720s) but this one runs in dual channel config as per manufacturer specifications: https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PDF/ThinkPad/ThinkPad%2...

  • Detailed specs on lenovos site in case anyone was wondering… https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PDF/ThinkPad/ThinkPad%2...

  • +3

    Considering the current Computer Alliance eBay sales, for those wanting 16GB Ram configuration, if you've got eBay Plus (just register a new acc lol), you'll be able to save $29.81 by buying a 1x8GB SODIMM RAM stick ($95.20 after PCSAVE eBay code, https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/173331042529) and adding it in yourself.

    Same story with storage upgrade, by getting a SSD from current sales.

  • +1

    I've never owned a Lenovo, but I won an X260 12.2" model (i5, 8GB, 256 SSD, SIM card slot) at a golf day recently. Unsure whether to keep it or sell…are they any good?

  • I was using the Carbon X1 a lot for work last year. Are the dimensions drastically noticeable? Unable to find a comparison image/video

  • +3

    Theres also a 10% cashback with cashrewards

  • can we replace the battery ?

    I seen few models can't replace the battery :(

    As they have option to add secondary hdd, is there a slot. I have a laptop hdd and can add for additional storage..

    • +1

      You can replace battery…. But you need to take the bottom panel off the laptop and unscrew it from the chassis.

  • +2

    Just bought one of these myself. Based off what I've seen pretty much anywhere else it's a stupid good deal for us.

    Would recommend buying and installing your own HDD for mass storage though, way to expensive on the store. Also heard some bad things about some of the SSDs used, so I went with the 128 gb model, will likely switch it out later for a decent 250 gb one.

    • +2

      Especially when there's a Computer Alliance eBay sale =)

      Note the M.2 drive of the E485/E585 only supports NVMe

  • FYI There is 10% off cashrewards BUT -

    Special Terms
    Important:

    Purchases made with coupon codes not advertised on Cashrewards may result in cashback not being paid.

    So I guess its worth a try?…

    • My cash back has been logged by cashrewards, let's see if lenovo confirm it on their end.

  • +1

    Question on invoicing. Will you get the tax invoice when you get your laptop shipped or it is issued on point of sale? Thinking of going away around early Nov so if i get the invoice when the laptop is shipped out then i might make TRS.

    • Don't you need to have the item in your carry-on for TRS anyway?

      • Yeah i do. Asked lenovo through their chat and they said custom config laptop generally built around 1 week time and then add another week or less for shipping. Invoice will be issued when the laptop is shipped so i should make the 60 day for trs. Wohoo!

  • +3

    Ordered the base model 2500u with 4+4gig ram. Will fit another HDD myself.
    Guess its time to start looking for a USB-C power bank I guess… :P

  • +1

    Pulled the trigger on the deal plus can also claim the TRS. Thanks OP.

    • All good, cheers!

  • Similar price for https://www.lenovo.com/au/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-edge/...
    8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (6M Cache, 1.6 GHz, 3.4 GHz max)

    Any comment on which is better?

    • +3

      Configured with same 16GB ram and 256GB M.2 drive, that unit is $1,064.01 (no AMD10 discount). $106.40 extra for a basically identical CPU, and a GPU that is half as powerful. Doesn't seem great value to me

      • +1

        Thanks for explaining :)

        • +1

          No worries 😀

      • -1

        Agreed with this. The i5 is pretty much the same CPU, albiet slightly better according to comparison sites, but the iGPU on the ryzen chip is vastly better according to those same sites.