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IBM ThinkPad R51e

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The Bottom Line

Lenovo's IBM ThinkPad R51e is in major need of an update as the specifications are far below that of competing budget notebook computer systems.
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Pros

  • Sturdy Design
  • Excellent Keyboard

Cons

  • Only 256MB Memory
  • Dated Processor
  • Below Average Storage

Description

  • Intel Celeron M 360 (1.4GHz) Processor
  • 256MB PC2-4200 DDR2 Memory
  • 40GB 4200rpm Hard Drive
  • 24x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
  • 15" XGA LCD
  • Radeon Xpress 200M Integrated Graphics with 128MB Shared Memory
  • v.92 56Kbps Modem, 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11b/g Wireless
  • Two USB 2.0, One Type II PC Card Slot and Express Card/54 Slot
  • 13.1" x 10.6" x 1.5" @ 6.6 lbs.
  • Windows XP Home and ThinkVantage Suite

Guide Review - IBM ThinkPad R51e

4/19/06 – The IBM ThinkPad R51e is powered by an Intel Celeron M 360 processor. This processor is much slower than the higher level Celeron M, Pentium M and even Core processors that are found in competing budget notebook systems. To make matters worse, the system only comes equipped with 256MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 memory. This is the bare minimum that should be used in a system running Windows XP and users will encounter a lot of slow down running applications unless the memory is upgraded.

Storage is also quite poor for the ThinkPad R51e. The system comes with a fairly small 40GB hard drive that spins at the slower 4200rpm rate reducing its performance. Along with this, the system uses a 24x CD-RW/DVD combo drive rather than a DVD burner that is becoming more frequent on low cost notebooks.

Because the R series ThinkPad design was made several year ago, the system continues to use the traditional 15” LCD panel instead of the wide screen versions. It is powered by the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 integrated graphics. This poses a bit of a problem as the graphics shares the system memory and can use as much as 128MB of the already limited system memory.

If there is one thing going for the ThinkPad R51e it is the reliability of a tested design. The sturdy case and excellent keyboard have been used for years and have shown that they can withstand usage. Now Lenovo just need to get the specifications more in line with other similarly priced notebooks.

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