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Lenovo’s smallest and best-selling ThinkPad laptops get refreshed for 2019

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More affordable IdeaPads get thinner display bezels and privacy features

Lenovo is making some largely incremental updates to its more affordable IdeaPad laptops and its ThinkPad X and T series today. While $1,000 and above laptops might be the more exciting and premium devices, it’s the models under $1,000 that most consumers opt for. Lenovo is now trying to bring some its more premium features to these lower price points.

Lenovo’s updated IdeaPad S540 now includes Intel’s 8th Gen Core i7 processors or AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700U processors and an option for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics card. Lenovo has also trimmed its bezels by more than 25 percent, and added a privacy guard for the webcam — both are trends that started at the premium end of laptops. The IdeaPad S540 will be available in both 14- and 15-inch (1920 x 1080) versions, with up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage. Lenovo is launching three versions in April and June, with the 14-inch Intel model starting at $879.99, the 15-inch Intel version at $849.99, and a 14-inch AMD variant starting at $729.99.

This year’s IdeaPad S340 is also getting some similar upgrades, with a choice between Intel’s 8th Gen Core i7 processors or AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700U processor. Both models will include up to 12GB of RAM, and 14- or 15-inch display options. Lenovo is also trimming the bezels here and adding a webcam privacy feature, alongside using carbon fiber and an aluminum finish. Both models will be available in March and April, with the 14-inch Intel variant priced from $369.99, the 15-inch at $449.99, and the 15-inch AMD model priced from $429.99.

Over on the ThinkPad side, the smallest ThinkPad is getting a bigger 13-inch display this year. That doesn’t mean it’s getting bigger overall, though. Lenovo has squeezed this 13.3-inch display (1920 x 1080) into the ThinkPad X390, with 50 percent thinner bezels. Inside there’s the 8th Gen Intel Core vPro i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. Lenovo says this tiny ThinkPad will run for nearly 18 hours on battery power, and it has a Thunderbolt 3 port, USB-C, two regular USB ports, and even a HDMI port and microSD support.

Lenovo has also built a clever PrivacyGuard feature into the ThinkPad X390 that uses the IR camera to detect if someone is behind you to enable privacy alerts or even the ability to darken the display and make it only viewable if you’re sitting directly in front of the laptop. ThinkPads are aimed at businesses big and small, so it’s a smart feature to stop people peering over your shoulder if you’re working on a confidential document in a coffee shop or on a plane. There’s also a ThinkShutter webcam cover for extra privacy. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X390 will be available in June starting at $1,099, and the company is also releasing a ThinkPad X390 Yoga variant with its typical 2-in-1 features priced from $1,359.

Lenovo is also updating its best selling T series of ThinkPads for 2019. Much like the IdeaPads, it’s mainly refinements for the ThinkPad T490 this year, with the PrivacyGuard feature, ThinkShutter webcam cover, dual far-field microphones, and a new HDR IPS display option. The slimmer T490s is also getting a HDR display option or a low power 1080 panel, the PrivacyGuard feature, a new aluminum top cover, and overall it’s 13 percent thinner than last year’s model. Both the ThinkPad T490 and T490s will be available in June, with the T490 priced from $999 and the T490s priced from $1,279.