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Laptops

Lenovo expands X, T series ThinkPad laptops with AMD CPUs

Goodbye A series, hello "5."

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The ThinkPad T495 (left) and T495S (right) are the AMD variants of the Intel-based T490 and T490 S.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo's bringing its AMD-based ThinkPad laptops out of A-series exile and rolling them into its main X- and T-series, indicated by "5" in the model number. The first models welcomed into the stable: The Thinkpad T495, T495s and X395, variations on the Intel-based T490, T490s and X390 introduced at MWC in February 2019.

The new models incorporate second-generation Ryzen Pro processors -- up to the Ryzen 7 Pro 3700U -- which incorporate the company's AMD graphics.

Though they use the same chassis and screens as their Intel counterparts, the Ryzen Pro U chipset doesn't yet support Thunderbolt 3 or alt-mode on USB-C, so the AMD models are bolstered with a more modern version of HDMI for monitor connections -- 2.0 vs. 1.4 -- two USB-A and a single USB-C, in contrast to the single USB-A and a second Thunderbolt-supporting USB-C connection on the Intel models.

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The AMD-based version of the ThinkPad X390, the X395.

Sarah Tew/CNET

They also include the security technologies added to the lines in February, the ThinkShutter physical camera cover, local encrypted storage of biometric information (i.e., your fingerprint) and PrivacyGuard, which can alert you when the camera spots a shoulder surfer looking at your screen.

Otherwise, they're identical. Lenovo says that performance and battery life for the AMD processors have improved significantly over the previous generation, which in part prompted this consolidation of the lines. 

One nice perk of going AMD is the systems support Radeon FreeSync, AMDs adaptive refresh technology. So if you try to play games on the laptop on an external monitor, it can help to reduce artifacts when your frame rate doesn't match the screen's refresh rate.

Pricing and availability:

  • ThinkPad T495, late May, starting at $939
  • ThinkPad T495s, early June, starting at $1,089
  • ThinkPad X395, early June, starting at $1,089