AMD has been on a tear over the last couple of years in the desktop space, thanks to its powerful Ryzen chips. However, the company has been relatively absent in the laptop space –– particularly in the business laptop arena, until now. Lenovo just announced its new ThinkPads: the T495 (available May 2019, starting at $939), T495s and X395 (available June 2019, starting at $1,089) will include AMD’s 2nd-generation Ryzen 7 Pro processor and Vega graphics among the configuration choices.
Each laptop rocks the familiar ThinkPad look with its ink-black, soft-touch chassis. And like most ThinkPads, the new models are MIL-SPEC rated for a variety of durability tests, including Crash Hazard Shock, which ensures the laptop can withstand drops at high Gs. In other words, these laptops can easily stand up against random wear-and-tear and beyond. Both the T495 and T495s are 14-inch systems while the X395 is a slightly more portable 13-inch laptops.
Having a tough laptop is great, but for business laptops, security is also an important feature. Since, these ThinkPad variations are using AMD components, you’re not going to get Intel's vPro software. Lenovo picks up the slack with its customizable ThinkShield security platform, where IT can cherry pick the software designed to keep your system safe.
But Lenovo doesn’t stop at software. The company has a few physical measures to keep your precious data safe such as ThinkPad Privacy Guard, which makes the display almost impossible to read –– unless you’re sitting directly in front of the laptop. Lenovo’s going to make Privacy Guard more seamless sometime in July with ThinkPad Privacy alert. When enabled, the software will automatically launch Privacy Guard when it detects prying eyes. The notebooks are also equipped with a ThinkShutter, a sliding switch that covers the webcam to prevent any clandestine spying.
When they ship, the laptops will feature up to a 2nd-gen AMD Ryzen 7 Pro mobile CPU with integrated Vega graphics. Other specs on the laptops include a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080, 400 nit display on the T495 and T495s. The X395 will also have a 1080p display. And since you’ve got AMD under the hood, the laptops will also feature the chipmaker’s FreeSync technology which helps to deliver high frame rates and smooth graphics.
For better conference calls, the laptops are outfitted with a pair of far-field microphones. In terms of ports, you get several USB Type-A 3.1 ports, a USB Type-C port, HDMI and a microSD card reader. Since it’s an Intel technology, Thunderbolt 3 has to sit this one out. The good news is that each of these laptops will have Lenovo’s ThinkPad keyboard, which is a gold standard whether you’re a touch typist or a hunt-and-peck type of person.
We’re looking forward to seeing how Lenovo’s latest business machines will stack up against the competition. Stay tuned for reviews of each system.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.