Upgradability of the Lenovo ThinkPad A485

Hi everyone,

I am considering buying the ThinkPad A485 and when I checked their configurator, I saw they offer various RAM configurations and that made me wonder if I could opt for a lower amount of memory and upgrade later myself.

Does anyone know, if the A485 has socketed DIMMs that can be swapped or are they soldered like with many laptops these days?

Another thing I was wondering is whether I can install my own M.2 drive in it as well, since they offer an M.2 as an alternative to a SATA drive too.

If anyone has details or maybe the previous model for reference that would be great.


From what I’ve seen so far regarding the laptop, it should be possible. This user on reddit got their hands on an A485 and opened it up if you want to verify.

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Thanks a lot for the link!

Looks like there are two modules that both seem to be socketed, which is great news. I haven’t seen the NVMe socket yet, though*. :thinking:

But that link contains a lot of Linux-related information which is great, since I am planning to run Linux on it too. :smiley:

*Is it maybe under that black cover below the SATA drive?

According to the Lenovo platform spec document:

System has one HDD slot or one M.2 2280 slot exclusively for storage

So I would think that this means, that if in the future if you would like to have a ssd and hdd setup on the same computer, you would not be able to… At lease, that is what I think. Sometimes i can be very stupid.

This would then mean that most likely, you are correct in that the m.2 port is under the sata port. Because Lenovo say that only one slot can be used, and that makes sense because how can you put a HDD on top of a m.2 ssd. It’s not going to fit.

It also says that some models have the m.2 and that others don’t. So I wonder, if that means if you buy the model with a sata HDD you can’t upgrade to a m.2 drive because the port is not on the actual computer. Hmmm :thinking:

Or maybe they are just saying “Hey if you buy the HDD model, don’t expect a m.2 ssd”. And vice versa.

It doesn’t give the local of the port tho.

EDIT: Bro. Found the user manual.

I’ll read it thru and see if it gives a location on the drive.

EDIT2: Start reading on page 107 down on the user manual. It looks like you are right, it is under the HDD bay.


Thanks for researching this further!

What I meant by it possibly being below the SATA drive was what I now learned is the WWAN card slot. But apparently you are able to replace the (optional) WWAN card with an M.2 storage drive too (page 111).

But I am still not sure whether I can buy the laptop with a SATA drive and then upgrade to an M.2 later. It seems though that the stock M.2 drive is just using an adapter and that if I got the SATA equipped model I could connect a M.2 drive by removing the SATA drive and connecting it with that adapter. (I feel like the quote from the platform spec means that you can only have one drive type running at the same time?) :thinking:

EDIT: I think my assumption is correct that you can have a SATA drive and a M.2 drive running at the same time if the latter is plugged into the WWAN slot.


And I guess as long as you could manage to find an adapter for the M.2, it should be possible to upgrade the laptop’s main drive from SATA to M.2. I might need to contact Lenovo though to ask if they provide the adapter in the box or on their store or if they really want people to decide ahead of time and don’t want to offer it after it’s shipped.

Someone just uploaded a tear down video of this laptop. On mobile now. Will link tomorrow.

It’s on YouTube.

Do you mean this one?

I just watched it but I don’t think he knows more than we already knew :wink:

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Whoops. I forgot. My bad.

But yeah. That is the one I was talking about.

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This laptop looks pretty interesting. I have a yoga 14 and really need more memory. however I do not want to spend 170 bucks for 16gb. This seems to be a good upgrade even though I picked my current laptop up less then 6 months ago. I did see a few weeks ago mobile ryzen and linux has been hit and miss. The vega gpu seemed to be hit and miss. For my desktop I havnt used linux on it since I upgraded to a vega gpu so havnt played with it. Is that still the same or have they moved a long at a decent pace? I use linux for the most part and run windows in a vm/bootable. I do web dev so need the windows from time to time so booting and vm is nice.

I also noticed that the custom build one buying your own ram and storage much much cheaper else where. 32gb yum yum!

Brief summary:
An important detail: touching the hardware breaks the warranty.

Long story:
I am precisely looking into this now. I commented this option to a shop (in Spain), to buy it through them. As they usually do maintenane, upgrade, and fix motherboards or replace parts. The shop owner forewarned me: I [or they] cannot open the laptop to replace or upgrade the content with my “SSD 1TB”. Because the warranty is broken upon opening the original package. Therefore I should keep the laptop as delivered for as long as the warranty applies. Not being able to port the hardware from my previous laptop to the new one.

In that regard the ThinkPad A485 comes in Spain with 3 years warranty. While the ThinkPad E485 comes with 1 year warranty. Therefore placing myself in a difficult position. I do not like spending cash in a new 512GB SSD, while I already have a 1TB SSD available.

It would be nice to know if this is true world wide: “customers cannot upgrade the laptop to avoid breaking the warranty”. If so, I guess this applies to all brands, not just Lenovo.

Simply opening up a device does not void the warranty. This has been an issue for a while, but basically as long as you don’t have a problem with a part you changed, the manufacturer can’t deny warranty services for stuff that is clearly broken. Here is some more information.