expired Lenovo ThinkPad E485 (14" FHD/Ryzen 5 2500U/Integrated Vega 8 Graphics/8GB DDR4 2400/128GB NVMe) $759 (+8% CR) @ Lenovo AU

1130
AMD5

Another round of Thinkpad E485 14" with Ryzen Mobile 2500U (good for 'back to school' I guess), see the previous deals here for details & info if you have questions about the device. Not exactly the lowest price point for this device, but it's still a fair one. Considering the new-gen platform (Ryzen Mobile 3000-series) has launched earlier this month, it is possible later on there'll be better sales to clear out this now ex-gen. However, I don't expect this to happen until at least 6-9 months later (considering how slow companies have been taking up Ryzen Mobile platform, and limited Australian market releases). So this will be more suitable for those wanting a reasonably priced general all-rounder machine within the next 6 months.

While the website states "Ships within 1-2 weeks", depending on the volume, and with upcoming Lunar/Chinese New Year holiday in China, there may be delays (guessing up to 4 weeks?) with shipments.

CashBacks!: Now, BEFORE you take the plunge to order, I've noticed previously whenever CashRewards or ShopBack increased their cashback rate (to ~8-12% from 4%, which is the current rate as of posting time), it's towards the end of the promo. This promo ends on 31st Jan so no need to rush if you've decided to get one, and I'd recommend wait until maybe 30th or 31st to see if the cashback rate might go up.
EDIT (31/01/2019) 4:25PM: as commented by ooooooooyeahhhhh below, the cashback rate from CashRewards has increased to 8% (which is $55.20, after removing GST from $759). Got clarification with TA, if your transaction tracks, it'll be fine, but if your browser have config that interfere with tracking, then you likely will NOT be able to get help from CR (as the code was not listed on CR).
TA's previous tips on using CR and tracking:

A small education piece if I may - please ensure your last click before purchase is from Cashrewards. Simply click Shop Now and complete your purchase without leaving the Lenovo site. A lot of untracked claims come from the fact members have other tabs open and/or are using Google or comparison sites to review their product/s before purchase. All cashback/rewards sites work off a simple principle - last click. The winning affiliate is always the one that receives the last click. Also, please turn off any AdBlock/uBlock/Ghostery as well as Safari (mobile and/or desktop) Cross-Site Tracking.


TL;DR

Lenovo Thinkpad E485

14" IPS FHD, Ryzen 5 2500U, 8GB (4x2, OR 8x1) 2400 MHz DDR4 Dual Channel RAM, 128GB NVMe
$759

Storage upgrades: +$50 for 256GB upgrade, which I think is okay priced, but personally I'd install either a ~500GB SATA SSD or a 1TB HDD in the 2.5" bay

Memory upgrades: If your usage will be sufficient with 8GB, get 4GBx2 config, but if you know you'll use more, then get 8GBx1 config and buy a RAM stick separately (Lenovo's prices are exorbitant). Currently cheapest I can find is from Newegg, slightly above $70 delivered for a stick of 8GBx1 SODIMM DDR4 2400MHz.
For those who'd like to upgrade, but see no need for max performance at the moment and can make do with the halved bandwidth of 8GBx1 (still sufficient for office usage and general browsing and media consumption, but not gaming), I'd recommend 8GBx1 and get RAM when you need it. As DRAM prices are expected to fall further in 2019, ~15% in the first quarter then progressing to ~20% throughout.

Software updates: As noted by 00000000, if you're getting one, make sure you update BIOS and all softwares to latest version on Lenovo's Support page, as they fixed quite some of the earlier complaints of the laptop.


Brief Spec:

  • AMD Ryzen™ 5 2500U Quad-Core (4 Cores 8 Threads, 2 GHz base frequency, 3.6 GHz boost)
  • Integrated AMD Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics
  • 14.0" FHD IPS (1920x1080) AntiGlare Display
  • 8GB(4+4) DDR4 2400MHz Memory
  • 128GB Solid State Drive PCIe OPAL2.0 M.2 2242
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • WiFi Qualcomm QCNFA435AC, 1x1 + Bluetooth 4.1
  • Internal 2.5" bay (7mm) available for storage expansion. (See this comment here for a video link that shows how to access the internal 2.5 SATA3 bay)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 (1 x AlwaysOn), 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1x HDMI, Ethernet (RJ45), MicroSD, Combo audio/mic jack
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 329 x 242 x 21.9 mm
  • Starting at 1.75 kg

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closed Comments

  • +3 votes

    Great advice regarding cashback, OP

  • +2 votes

    +1 for effort!

  •  

    Do they run hot? Really don't like laptops that run hot after a few months.

    •  

      Depending on the workload, but it is likely (for most computers) to get hot if it's in full workload after certain amount of time.

      For E485, due to the form factor, various comments online do suggest it can get warm with moderate use (but mostly fine, especially lighter computer strain tasks eg office/multi-media use), and for extended full load, it can get "hot" (again, everyone's tolerance for "warm/hot" can be different).

      •  

        Hmmm I don't mind if they get hot under workload thats understandable but laptops that have poor design and airflow I want to avoid.

        •  

          I'm expecting it to be warm in moderate use, but that's purely speculating from what I've read.

          It'd be nice if current owners can share some of their experience =)

          • +7 votes

            @zrmx: Current owner here, just sharing my experiences with it so far using it for work (air conditioned environment)

            I mainly use it for analysing data, so I constantly have rstudio, multiple excel sheets, word, and 2 firefox windows (with about 8 and 2 tabs open) opened at the same time. The fan is relatively quiet (or at least I can't hear it in the office environment), and doesn't overheat with just those programs running (right now, coretemp readings say CPU #0 45c, Min. 45c, Max. 68c)

            I haven't had an opportunity to run anything intensive on it, but the laptop definitely can overheat and I have experienced it before, with windows 10 updates causing it (will either need to install linux or disable updates). Whenever win10 wants to download and install updates, the laptop will start heating up very quickly, fan (only 1 fan) gets loud, and expels a lot of hot air onto the screen.

            Which brings up my other issue with the design itself, fan placement. all the hot air is expelled through that right vent and will make that part of the monitor very hot (I don't think the left side does anything).

            Another point I should add is that the monitor does not get very bright, so using it outside in the sun may be troublesome.

            Initial setting up was very annoying with removing win10 bloatware and update, but overall, I'm fairly happy with the purchase as it does what I need it to do.

    • +4 votes

      Yes, if in Melbourne today.

    • +1 vote

      typing from an e485 with ryzen 7, the laptop throttles before it gets too hot under load, runs cool enough to sit on your lap for web use and word processing and generally does well for my needs

      driver updates have made the laptop alot more usable since i bought it 6 months ago (was getting random BSODs due to graphics drivers) with the new amd laptop chips around the corner i'm hoping it will continue to get better with more updates

  •  

    I thought the U at the end of the cpu meant it was dual core.

    •  

      Not necessarily, just a designation by the companies to denote a particular platform. E.g. CPUs without the U can still be dual cores.

    • +3 votes

      The U is more related to low power these days. Since Intel 8th gen both Intel and AMD are quad core even the U series

    •  

      Only true in respect of Intel CPUs 7th gen and older.

      This is also an AMD CPU, the Ryzens are all 4 or more cores.

  • +2 votes

    Great Laptop.

    Can run linux but you need to modify the kernel parameters for it to boot. Have found iommu=soft to be the most reliable.
    You will want to update the bios to 1.48 as it fixes a few issues.
    Easy enough to install a second sata hdd, they supply all cables and mount inside.

    You can upgrade certain parts without voiding the warranty.
    Battery life is about 3-4 hours.

    •  

      What are the 'certain' parts that can be upgraded without voiding the warranty?

    •  

      So tempted to get this if it wasnt for the poor battery life.
      Did the latest bios update fix the throttling issue?

    •  

      Have you had issues with it showing blank screen after waking from suspend sometimes?

      • +2 votes

        Nope im using kernel 4.20.3 and now 4.20.4 with iommu=soft as the parameter, sleep/suspend has been good.

        •  

          Hmm, I couldn't update to 4.20+ - it just endlessly loaded on the purple splash page.

          I have different params I had to use to get it to work at all though:

          ivrs_ioapic[32]=00:14.0
          spec_store_bypass_disable=prctl

          So you don't have any of that, just "iommu=soft"? Where did you put that param? on the Linux line?

    •  

      Which distros are known to work on this laptop? Thanks!

      •  

        Most will need the iommu=soft kernel parameter to boot.
        Only clear linux was able to boot without issue.

    •  

      Which distro do you recommend?

    • -1 vote

      HighAndDry and supasaiyan reckon updating the BIOS voids warranty if the procedure goes wrong.

      • +1 vote

        first I've heard. That said i've never had a bios update fail.

        • +1 vote

          Their views are controversial and untested. Basically they are saying flashing the BIOS is unauthorised repair by the end user, thus voiding manufacturer's warranty & ACL, unless instructed to do so by the manufacturer or its authorised repairer. The opposing view is that if flashing the BIOS voids warranty, then why do manufacturers make available the necessary tools and BIOS files for download by everyone, and advertise the ease of flashing as a product feature?

          • +2 votes

            @alvian: That's utter crap (on their part not you).

            Making updates available to the end user to fix issues acknowledged by the manufacturer would most certainly not violate the ACL. Flashing the BIOS using a tool they created is about as far from unauthorised as I can imagine.

    •  

      Where can I find the bios update?

      • +2 votes

        https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/au/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-edge-laptops/thinkpad-e485-type-20ku/downloads?linkTrack=Caps:Body_SearchProduct&searchType=3&keyWordSearch=E485%20(Type%2020KU)%20Laptop%20(ThinkPad)

  •  

    I bought this using cashrewards from last deal and I still haven't received the cashback (Pending). Good laptop though for the price. Don't expect good battery life but charging is super fast.

  • -2 votes

    Dont buy any Lenovo. I just purchased an E585 and after 4 weeks the motherboard is gone. Now its in repair for 3 weeks and still no idea whats wrong with it.

    • +9 votes

      Happens with absolutely every brand of everything on the market mate, and especially true in computing.

    • +1 vote

      This happens to every brand.
      In general, buying a business grade laptop for a less chance.

  •  

    If you want the larger screen the E585 is also discounted:
    https://www.lenovo.com/au/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-edge/...?

  •  

    Is this good for gaming??

  •  

    FHI. We have few in our office ( intel instead of AMD), i7, 8gb, 256. all have issues ( wifi, reboot).

  •  

    Can I do 4k video editing? ( premie pro )
    If I buy upgrade 16gb ram

  •  

    I have been waiting for a x1 carbon deal for long time, but just keep seeing E485 deals :(

  •  

    Is AMD Ryzen better than Intel Core i?

  •  

    Is it worth paying extra $100 to upgrade the processor to Ryzen 7 2700u?

  •  

    Battery life 3-4 hours means it'll be a poor choice for school

    • +2 votes

      Can't say I've seen this? Basic word (writer in my case), chrome and discord resulted in about 6-8 (would've been about 7 before I put it on charge) hours of battery life.

      Have never had it close to running out at school either.

      Not sure if this 3-4 hours came from bad drivers? But yeah, haven't encountered it.

  •  

    Is it better to spend a bit more and get a E580 or X1 Carbon?

    •  

      X1 would be a lot more?

      But no, not better to get the intel equivalent for more.

      It would, however, be better to spend more to get a T or A series (T480 or A485)

  • +2 votes

    Wondering what the chances are of the cashback going up.

  • +1 vote

    FWIW, I purchased one just before this offer came out. I emailed Lenovo, and they have finally written back that "we also have price protection policy and you are eligible for it".
    Nice, thanks Lenovo. Now just deliver my laptop.

    I can't find this policy on their website, only the "Lenovo Competitive Price Match Policy". I've asked for a link, and will update.

    •  

      They've simply said "at the moment the global Lenovo policy is that if you advise us within 7 business days from when you receive your order we will price match to current promotion".

      This is not on their website.

  • +3 votes

    Cashback up to 8%

  •  

    thanks for sharing! was looking for a replacement laptop after multiple poor experiences with a refurb

  •  

    With the right ebay codes you can pick up a near new t480s for about $900 which isnt too bad. Thats what i did after reading reviews of the e and t series

  •  

    Just looking at getting this now and it's offering a charger as an optional extra in cart.. am i to assume that because this is USB C that a charger isn't included as standard?!

    • +1 vote

      It does have one.
      They're just offering chargers as extras just in case you want a 2nd one or a better charger.

  •  

    If I buy this with 1 stick of 8GB RAM, and I want to buy another 8GB stick from somewhere else later (as suggested by OP), does it matter if the brand of RAM is different?

    • +2 votes

      The brand doesn't matter, as long as same speed (and if different speed, the RAM will run at the lower spec speed of the two sticks).

    • +1 vote

      As long as same speed you still get 16GB adding 8GB later. However if timings and voltage are different you may not get dual channel mode - basically may not be as fast as if you had two equal sticks however it still work and you still have 16GB available.

    •  

      Normally dual channel memory has the sticks sold as matching pairs. At minimum, try to get exactly the same memory (brand, model) and cross your fingers.

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