Hey all. I picked up the ThinkPad E585, thought I would do a mini review of the laptop now that I’ve had some time to play around with it. This will not be a thorough review, just some general thoughts and info. I intend to edit it as I continue tinkering with it.
- Ryzen 5 2500U with Vega 8 Mobile graphics
- 16GB (8+8 dual channel) DDR4 2400
- 256GB m.2 NVMe SSD
- (mod) 500GB SSD for dual booting
- 1080P IPS
TL;DR: I like the laptop. Good build quality, decent display, good performance. Battery life isn’t great… around 4 hours give or take. Linux works well with the latest kernel/mesa… only bluetooth doesn’t work.
Note: I got cinebench GPU score slightly over 40 on another run… not pictured here.
Here are some general thoughts:
Very happy with the laptop in terms of quality. It feels very solid, no creaks or pops, no keyboard flex. Everyone seems to complain about the E-series thinkpads being cheap but I was pleasantly surprised. Top is aluminum, the rest is plastic. The lid does attract fingerprints pretty bad, but it’s not a big issue.
Disclaimer: I’ve never used a laptop with windows precision trackpad drivers, so I can’t compare to that. This laptop uses a synaptic trackpad and it seems to track well. Everything works as expected in both Windows and linux. Clicking feels VERY nice on the bottom trackpad buttons… it’s like a muffled clicky sound which is really satisfying. Difficult to explain. I like the keyboard a lot. The keys have good travel, no flex. I have issues with palm rejection on linux… sometimes my hand touches the trackpad while typing, which is really annoying (any tips for this?). One issue I did notice, at least under Linux, is that you cannot use the trackpad while using WASD keys. You can use the trackpoint, but not the pad. Just something I ran into while testing CS:GO without a mouse. Keyboard is not backlit.
KEYBOARD UPDATE: There is a serious problem with the keyboard on the E485 and E585. If you type too fast, characters will get typed out of order. This is a firmware-level issue, not OS-dependent. Big thread about it HERE. Lenovo acknowledged and are preparing a new bios update to fix this.
KEYBOARD UPDATE #2: This has been fixed with the 1.32 BIOS update
I’m happy with the CPU performance. It runs as well as I expected and is on par with mid to upper-mid range Intel systems.
I will update this again when I get more testing done. Things have changed. So far, so good. It runs about how I expected after some updates. 3DMark cloudgate scores over 12,800. Uningine Heaven scored 564 with avg framerate of 22.4.
GRAPHICS UPDATE: Make sure to check my note below about the Power Management Driver. This made a considerable improvement in Windows. I’ve now tested Skyrim and Banished via SteamPlay, and I’m pretty impressed by the results. Skyrim runs through the intro scene between 30-40FPS on high settings @ 1080p. Banished runs about 70FPS on high at 1080p.
Overall, I’m satisfied with the display, I just wish it was brighter. Sharp graphics, good blacks, no bleed and a fantastic matte finish (I really like the quality matte layer). It’s only 250 nits max brightness, which is comfortable to view, but any dimmer and it gets too dark.
Meh. Speakers are down-firing and tinny. Very little bass.
Taking the laptop apart is a matter of unscrewing about 10 phillips-head screws. It takes some gentle prying to get the back cover off. It snags on some of the ports so be careful. Also, be SUPER careful if you add a drive to the 2.5" bay. It comes with a plastic decoy SSD that you have to pull out, it takes some strong pulling and it kind of releases from the chassis unexpectedly… it is very easy to accidentally yank the tiny SATA cable out of the motherboard. Expandability: 2 DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, 1x 2280 m.2 NVMe slot, 1x m.2 for Wifi+BT, 1x 2.5" drive bay.
Not bad. The fan seems to run a lot in Windows, but it’s not very loud. It’s much quieter in linux… I guess there’s just not as much going on in the background. Even at full tilt while playing a game, the noise isn’t bad. I’ve heard much worse.
Windows: The majority of my time here has been working in visual studio and other work-related software. I’ve not yet tested any games, just Fusion 360. Everything seems to run pretty well. After unplugging from a full charge, Windows reports an estimated 4 hours 20 minutes of battery life. I haven’t let it drain the battery on Windows yet, but I expect that number to be pretty accurate for casual use. I will add more info as I continue to use it.
UPDATE: Install Lenovo’s updated power management driver for significantly improved graphics performance. https://support.lenovo.com/mn/en/downloads/ds032258
This update improved my 3DMark CloudGate benchmark from a score of ~10,900 to ~12,800.
UPDATE: You’ll probably want to uninstall Lenovo App Explorer. It has a tendency to hog lots of CPU and keep the fans spinning loud for hours at a time. Pointless bloatware.
Linux: To get linux to work at all, you must add this kernel parameter in Grub due to a firmware bug, otherwise you will just get a black screen:
Huge thank you and credit goes to this blog, which also has some more information about booting linux on the E585 https://evilazrael.de/comment/914 … he also recommends adding
spec_store_bypass_disable=prctl, but it was not necessary for me.
Out of the box, all hardware works fine on Ubuntu 18.04.1 except for Bluetooth. Media keys all work, trackpad works good, sound works fine, etc. I simply cannot get bluetooth working, I have a thread open HERE.
UPDATE: Bluetooth seems to be a bigger problem than I thought. I ordered an Intel Wireless AC 9260 (9260.NGWG.NV) and swapped it out. Same exact problem. Wifi works, bluetooth won’t. I’ve done everything I can think of to try. I ended up submitting a bug to the linux kernel developers, so hopefully they can figure something out. Wifi+BT combo chips seem to just flat out not work on this thing.
Resume from sleep works fine when the laptop lid is opened (that tends to be an issue on linux).
If you run linux, make sure to run very new stuff, even nightly builds where possible. I’m using KDE Neon 18.04 testing release, kernel 4.18.5, latest mesa from the padoka PPA. Everything is running stable for me now. It was a little crashy a few weeks ago when I originally tested.
I get about 4.5 hours of very active use on Linux, which was on par or better than I get on Windows. I haven’t tested
- Test more games on both windows and linux
- Test some non-Ubuntu distros
- Get some proper benchmarks (any specific requests?)
- Test thermal throttling