Lenovo has two new low-cost laptops for the education market coming in September. Priced at $219 and up, they’re designed for students and schools that want to balance performance, all-day battery life, and low cost.
They’re also powered by previously unannounced AMD chips.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd-gen and Lenovo 300e 2nd-gen laptops feature some of AMD’s first 6-watt chips to feature AMD Zen CPU cores and Radeon Vega graphics.
While you probably shouldn’t expect the same level of performance from these budget laptops with entry-level chips that you’d find in higher-end products with AMD Ryzen processors, these new chips should be a big step up from the last AMD chips with an “e” at the end of their names, which AnandTech notes were released way back in 2011.
Lenovo says starting prices for its laptops are for models featuring AMD 3015e processors, but there appear to be at least three new 6-watt processors in AMD’s Education lineup:
|Athlon Silver 3050e||2 / 4||?||2.8 GHz||Vega 3||1 GHz||2400||6 W|
|AMD 3020e||2 / 2||1.2 GHz||2.6 GHz||Vega 3||1 GHz||2400||6 W|
|AMD 3015e||2 / 4||1.2 GHz||2.3 GHz||Vega 3||600 MHz||1600||6 W|
It’s interesting to note that that while the AMD 3020e processors supports higher speeds than the AMD 3015e chip, it lacks support for hyperthreading. So it will probably perform better at single-core CPU tasks, while the AMD 3015e might actually be better for multi-threaded applications… although that chip also has a slower graphics processor.
All told, it looks like AMD is ready to take on Intel in the entry-level laptop space. Intel has largely dominated that market in recent years with its Atom-based “Gemini Lake” and “Gemini Lake Refresh” chips showing up in many Windows laptops that sell for around $300 or less, as well as some Chromebooks — although Intel faces competition from ARM-based chip makers including Rockchip and MediaTek for the entry-level Chromebook market.
Update: An article at CNX Software reminded me that Lenovo has already introduced a computer powered by the AMD Athlon Silver 3050e. We just didn’t know that it would be a 6-watt processor at the time.
The upcoming Lenovo ThinkCentre M75n IoT Nano Desktop is a 7.1″ x 3.5″ x 1.4″ fanless desktop computer with 4GB of RAM and support for PCIe solid state storage.
First introduced in June, the little computer is designed for corporate, enterprise, and industrial applications and it will sell for $329 and up. Lenovo also has a consumer/business model called the ThinkCentre M75 Nano Desktop on the way.
That model will be available with a either a 15-watt Ryzen 3 Pro 3300U or Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U processor and it’s expected to sell for $539 and up.