Lenovo Japan on Thursday said that it would begin selling its ThinkPad A285 laptop on September 21. The mobile PC is one of the thinnest and lightest notebooks based on AMD’s Ryzen PRO introduced thus far. Besides being very compact, the ThinkPad A285 is among the first Ryzen PRO-based laptops to feature a suite of business and enterprise-oriented features from AMD and Lenovo.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad A285 notebooks will be available in a variety of configurations aimed at various price points. Different configs will be based on AMD’s Ryzen 7 PRO 2700U with Radeon Vega 10, Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U with Radeon Vega 8, or Ryzen 3 PRO 2200U with Radeon Vega 3 APUs. Other options will include 8 or 16 GB of soldered-down DDR4-2400 memory, and depending on exact model they will be equipped with a PCIe/NVMe SSD (up to 512 GB) with OPAL 2.0-encrypted options available to interested parties.

Besides different internal hardware options, Lenovo intends to offer its ThinkPad A285 laptops with two 12.5-inch display options: lower-end machines will come with a 1366×768 display, whereas higher-end models will be equipped with a 1920×1080 panel and 10-point multitouch capabilities. Meanwhile, Lenovo Japan plans to offer an A285 with a non-touch Full-HD screen.

Next up is connectivity. On the wireless side of things, the Lenovo ThinkPad A285 features a 2×2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 controller, which is a standard feature for today’s business notebooks. As for physical connectors, the notebook is equipped with a GbE port that requires a dongle, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports (used for data, power, display, and docking connectivity), two USB Type-A (3.0 and 2.0) ports, an HDMI 1.4 output, a micro SD card reader, a 720p webcam, a TRRS audio jack for headsets, Dolby Audio Premium-certified speakers, a microphone array, and so on.

As noted above, since we are dealing with a Lenovo ThinkPad based on AMD’s Ryzen PRO APU, all A285 models are outfitted with a match-in-sensor fingerprint reader, a Windows Hello-compatible webcam with ThinkShutter cover, a dTPM 2.0 chip, AMD’s Transparent Secure Memory Encryption (TSME), DASH remote management, and so on. Lenovo is the first notebook vendor to offer Ryzen PRO-based mobile PCs pervasively featuring all of the aforementioned security and management features. Lenovo also notes that all A285 machines comply with 12 military-grade requirements to ensure that they can work in extreme conditions.

Moving on to dimensions and weight. Since Lenovo plans to offer ThinkPad A285 with two display options and with and without multitouch capabilities, the resulting dimensions and weights differ between the variants. Non-touch SKUs weigh 1.13 kg and are 17.4-mm thick. By contrast, touch-enabled models weigh 1.26 kg and are 17.8-mm thick. To put these numbers into perspective, Lenovo’s own IdeaPad 720S comes in a 13.6-mm thick aluminum chassis and weighs around 1.14 kilograms. The consumer laptop lacks numerous features that the ThinkPad A285 has (e.g., toughness, biometric security, TrackPoint, docking capabilities, just to name a few), but its indisputable trumps are the 13.3-inch LCD (there is even a 4K option) as well as portability.

Time to talk about battery life of Lenovo’s ThinkPad A285 laptops. Evidently, 12.5-inch notebooks are used by road warriors because of their dimensions and such customers need to work autonomously for prolonged periods of time. Lenovo in turn would appear to be using a 45 Wh battery pack with all of the ThinkPad A285 SKUs. This battery can last for 7.4 – 10.9 hours, depending on display panel/APU configuration (see the table below for details), which is not bad, but which is well below what the company’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers with its 57 Wh battery (i.e. 12 hours with a WQHD display, 15 hours with a Full-HD LCD).

General Specifications of Lenovo's ThinkPad A285 Laptops
  ThinkPad A285
HD
ThinkPad A285
FHD
Display Diagonal 12.5" 12.5"
Resolution 1366×768 1920×1080
Type TN IPS
Touch No 10-points multitouch
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 2200U: 2C/4T, 2.5 - 3.4 GHz, 1 MB L2 + 4 MB L3,
Vega 3 iGPU with 192 SPs at 1.1 GHz
15 W
AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U: 4C/8T, 2.0 - 3.6 GHz, 2 MB L2 + 4 MB L3,
Vega 8 iGPU with 512 SPs at 1.1 GHz
15 W
AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 2700U: 4C/8T, 2.2 - 3.8 GHz, 2 MB L2 + 4 MB L3,
Vega 10 iGPU with 640 SPs at 1.3 GHz
15 W
RAM Capacity 8 GB or 16 GB
Type DDR4-2400
Storage Capacity up to 512 GB PCIe/NVMe SSD
Options OPAL 2.0-compatible SSD
Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi module (unknown vendor)
Bluetooth 4.2
USB 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A (one always on)
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (power, data, DP 1.2)
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (power, data, DP 1.2)
Ethernet GbE with dongle (sold separately)
Other I/O HDMI 1.4, 720p webcam with Windows Hello and ThinkShutter, TRRS connector for audio, speakers, microphone, microSD card reader
Figerprint Reader Match-in-Sensor fingerprint reader from Synaptics
Security discrete TPM 2.0 chip
Dimensions Width 307.7 mm | 12.1 inches
Length 209.8 mm | 8.3 inches
Thickness 17.4 mm | 0.68 inches 17.8 mm | 0.7 inches
Weight 1.13 kg 1.26 kg
Battery Capacity 45 Wh (?)
Life Ryzen 7 PRO with 12.5" TN LCD: 10.9 hours
Ryzen 5 PRO with 12.5" IPS/TN LCD: 9.5 hours
Ryzen 3 PRO with 12.5" TN LCD: 7.4 hours
 
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
Support & Services

Premier Support by 'advanced-level technicians with the expertise' by phone.
Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) - a fixed-cost, fixed-term protection plan.
Warranty extensions.

Price ? ?

Lenovo Japan plans to start selling the ThinkPad A285 starting today (Friday). The most affordable SKU in the Land of the Rising Sun is priced at ¥178,000 w/o tax ($1,582), whereas the most advanced model costs ¥223,000 w/o tax ($1,983). Keeping in mind that PCs are somewhat overpriced in Japan, expect the ThinkPad A285 to be cheaper in other parts of the world. In the meantime, keep in mind that their configurations may be a little different as well.

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Sources: Lenovo Japan, Lenovo, PC Watch

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  • Kaggy - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    It all looks good until "GbE port that requires a dongle" Reply
  • neogodless - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    I'm not sure I agree. Obviously, it's personal preference. But I find that when I need proper wired connectivity (i.e. in the office) I also want bigger screens. So what I want is a dock - USB-C is all I need for that. The rest of the time, when I'm not using a bigger screen, I want portability and wireless, rather than being wired in. I can't think of scenarios where I want to be tied down with wires working on a 12.5" laptop, but I'm sure there are others with different use cases. Reply
  • darckhart - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    It's becoming a bit of a rarity, but a small lightweight laptop size like this, that can handle more than just "office" work, can definitely use an ethernet port, especially for field engineers. A lot of equipment I work on needs a connection via cable (usb or ethernet), not depending entirely on wireless, and ugh ensuring the driver speaks through the usb-to-ethernet adapter is hit or miss. Reply
  • Valantar - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    The dongle here isn't USB, it's just a proprietary port that's physically smaller than an ethernet port to allow them to fit it in a laptop this small/thin. The signaling is to an internal ethernet controller, the dongle is passive. Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, September 22, 2018 - link

    Agreed. I think HP has shown us how to integrate an RJ45 port into a thin laptop using a collapsible hinge port. Leaving the port out and using a proprietary dongle is a dealbreaker for many people looking at a machine like this. For the sake of transparency: HP also leaves out the connector and substitutes a proprietary dongle on various ultrathins - but nothing with the "Elite" name on it.

    I'm perfectly happy with my coffee lake Dell Latitude 5290. Dell has really focused on USB-C through their entire lineup. Amazing laptop, except for the bogus PCIe x2 interface on the M.2 port :(

    I also imported it from Canada (French model) that has the IPS screen. Like the Lenovo, it was only available in the USA with a TN screen. I changed out the French keyboard (which also wasn't backlit) with a US backlit keyboard for $40.
    Reply
  • ChasePack - Monday, September 24, 2018 - link

    Yes HP did that collapsible hinges thingy. However. the systems are just as thick as any system out there with a fixed R45port. It just looks slim on the side due to the rounded base.

    These Thinkpads are slimmer than any of the equivalent Elitebook series.

    HP's slim Spectre series dont have a RJ45 connector at all and are dependent on a USB dongle
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - link

    I agree, it is mostly a visual cue to appear thinner. But it does help slip them into a bag as all the corners are thinner.

    And sadly, it isn't even a USB dongle on many models such as the Folio 1020, it's a proprietary dongle that breaks out ports from the dock connector. You could use a USB NIC, but it wont use the native chipset MAC.
    Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, September 22, 2018 - link

    The screen options are both shit. Why in the hell do I have to choose between a low-res TN panel and a glossy touch screen panel?

    There is so much irony in that Japan gets the "good" model, because 17 years ago I imported an X40 with an SSD, and ONLY IN JAPAN could you get the paltry 40GB PATA SSD, even if it cost $500, they didn't even attempt to sell that config in the US market until years later with the X41.

    So I suspect we will be waiting on this one for a good config as well.
    Reply
  • anaconda79 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Thank you Lenovo for creating this wonderful piece of art with AMD Ryzen PRO cpus. It is nice to see that some OEMs can create thin laptops with Ryzen CPUs while others are claiming that AMD is not enough efficient for thin laptops, like Asus sellers. Reply
  • Kaggy - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    But the price should have been cheaper given that this is pretty much costing the same as those with discrete graphics. Reply

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