The Bottom Line
- Extremely Strong Intel Processor
- Solid Design and Construction
- Only 1GB of Memory
- Small Hard Drive
- Uses Combo Drive Rather Than DVD Burner
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 24x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
- 15.4" WXGA (1280x800) Wide LCD Display
- Intel GMA X4500 Integrated Graphics
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, FireWire, DisplayPort, ExpressCard/54, Type II Card Slot
- 14.1" x 10.2" x 1.4" @ 6.5 lbs
- Vista Basic, Roxio Media, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Lenovo ThinkPad R500 15.4-inch Budget Laptop PC
10/8/08 - Lenovo's ThinkPad R series has been about affordable business class laptops. The new R500 isn't as inexpensive as the previous generations due to the SL series, but it is still possible to get one configured for under $750. To do this, it pretty much comes with the bare minimum configuration available on the platform.
One area where Lenovo didn't compromise the ThinkPad R500 is on the processor. It uses the new Centrino 2 package that includes the GM45 chipset and a Core 2 Duo P8400 dual core processor that puts other budget laptops to shame in terms of computing power. They even managed to include faster DDR3 memory in this platform. The downside to this is that it only comes with a single gigabyte of memory limiting the overall performance of the OS without upgrading. DDR3 memory is still significantly more expensive than DDR2.
The biggest sacrifice that comes from configuring a low cost ThinkPad R500 is the storage. It comes only equipped with a tiny 80GB hard drive. This is probably fine for a business, but consumers can quickly fill this up with digital media files. In addition to this, it has a CD-RW/DVD combo drive that lacks the ability to burn DVDs. That is pretty much a standard feature on just about every consumer laptop these days.
Software is also going to be a issue for consumers. The Vista Basic operating system lacks many of the media features that consumers will likely wish to use. There is also no real productivity or application software that can be of real use. This will likely necessitate purchasing software with the PC that will raise the cost.
What the ThinkPad R500 makes up for those is in its build quality. This system is much more solid than budget laptops from other companies.