Lenovo just announced the new ThinkPad T495, T495s, and X395 business laptops, which run on AMD’s second-generation Ryzen processors.
From the outside, the new ThinkPad laptops look the same as the equivalent Intel-powered laptops since they share identical chassis that are Mil-Spec 810G certified to prove how touch and spill-resistant they are.
The new AMD processors come with the AMD Vega graphics processing unit (GPU) which has 10 cores. Lenovo estimates that the overall performance improvement over the previous generation is ~18%. AMD laptop probably have an edge when it comes with graphics-based workloads, while Intel may keep the upper-hand for CPU tasks, so keep an eye out for our reviews and benchmarks.
Another graphics advantage that AMD has is the optional AMD FreeSync display technology that improves the graphics and gaming experience by being stutter-free.
The performance gap (and maybe the absence of support for LPDDR memory for AMD) also means higher power-consumption, and Lenovo says that the AMD versions of these laptops could have ~45mn less battery life in standard tests, so it’s something to keep in mind when deciding which CPU platform you want these ThinkPad laptops to come with.
The lack of Thunderbolt 3 port for the AMD laptops might also be of importance, for example, if you have a desk setup that relies on TB3 for connectivity and charging.
Computing platform aside, the ThinkPad 495s and X395 also include ThinkShutter, the physical webcam privacy protection that Lenovo introduced a while back along with ThinkPad PrivacyAlert, a new system that uses the webcam and face detection to spot other people peeking at your screen.
If that happens, the laptop can automatically enable PrivacyGuard, a feature that reduces the visibility of your screen from either side by activating something like a polarizing filter. Neat when you’re working on sensitive information in a public place like a train or plane. You can see it in action in the video below:
The ThinkPad 495 ($939+, May) and 495s ($1089+, June) are 14-inch laptops, and the T495s is the one with the most robust configurations. The ThinkPad X395 ($1089+, June) is a 13-inch laptop designed to be a bit more portable as sometimes, every ounce count!