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IBM ThinkPad R51 – 15″ – Pentium M – 2GB RAM – 40GB HDD – Window XP Professional

$495.00 $185.00

The Good Fast mobile performance; big, 15-inch screen; wide, comfortable keyboard; 802.11b/g wireless.

The Bad High-end models are expensive; lacks a handy Windows key.

The Bottom Line Check out the basic IBM ThinkPad R51 if you’re low on cash, but think twice before loading up on expensive options.

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SKU: IBM-TP-R51 Category:

Description

Review summary

IBM’s new ThinkPad R51 focuses on function. The mainstream laptop’s plain black case doesn’t elicit excitement, but its fast Pentium M processor and ATI Mobility Radeon graphics chip deliver ample horsepower for the average user in the home or business. In addition to speed, the IBM ThinkPad R51 boasts some cool component options, such as a 15-inch display with a fine 1,400×1,050 native resolution, a DVD-RW drive, and integrated 802.11b/g wireless. Load up on these options, however, and you could owe IBM a pretty penny, because high-end configurations are pricey. If you’re a typical business or home user on a budget and you’d be satisfied with a basic configuration, give the IBM ThinkPad R51 a try. Those with a few more Ben Franklins, however, should graduate to a better-equipped thin-and-light laptop, such as the IBM ThinkPad T41 or the HP nc8000. The IBM ThinkPad R51’s no-nonsense design doesn’t knock our socks off, but this mainstream laptop successfully meets the demands of mobile computing on a tight budget. The 1.5-by-10.6-by-13.1-inch laptop weighs 6.5 pounds on its own, and it’s 7.3 pounds with the AC adapter. One of its best features is a big, 15-inch screen with a high 1,400×1,050 native resolution that renders crisp graphics. The wide, comfortable keyboard comes in a close second, offering a familiar, desktoplike layout with one glaring omission: a useful Windows key that activates the Windows Start menu and gives you instant access to applications and system tools. IBM’s signature red pointing stick rests above the B key, with a trio of complementary mouse and scroll buttons in the wrist rest below. The company also keeps touch-pad fans in mind, including a pad with two additional mouse buttons. Three handy volume-up, volume-down, and mute buttons sit in the upper-left corner above the board, along with an Access IBM button that connects you to online help and support for the R51.

The IBM ThinkPad R51 includes one convenient, swappable drive bay that supports various modules, including a cutting-edge DVD-RW drive. The 9.5mm-high modules for the thin-and-light IBM ThinkPad T42 conveniently fit in the R51’s 12.7mm bay, but not vice versa. The bay opens out of the right edge, which also has a VGA port. A smattering of standard ports and slots reside on the left edge: there are ports for 56Kbps modem, Ethernet (either 10/100 or Gigabit, depending on which configuration you choose), headphone, microphone, S-Video out, two USB 2.0, and two Type II (one Type III) PC Card slots. FireWire isn’t included in the offering. A lone parallel port occupies the back edge. The front edge slopes in, making the system appear slightly slimmer from a head-on view. Unfortunately, however, this design also points the speakers and their tinny sound down at your desk rather than straight at you. IBM offers a dizzying array of component options for the ThinkPad R51, including Celeron M or Pentium M processors, ranging from 1.3GHz to 1.7GHz; up to 2GB of fast 333MHz SDRAM; a CD, DVD, DVD/CD-RW, or DVD-RW drive; a 4,200rpm hard drive measuring between 20GB and 80GB; and a 5,400rpm hard drive at 40GB or 80GB. The R51 comes with IBM’s Active Protection System, designed to protect your hard drive from sudden jolts. You can choose among three graphics options: the Intel Extreme Graphics 2 (855GME) integrated graphics subsystem, which borrows up to 64MB of video memory from system RAM, as well as ATI’s Mobility Radeon 7500 or 9000 graphics chips with 32MB of dedicated video memory. Screen sizes range from 14.1 to 15 inches, and they feature native resolutions of either 1,024×768, which makes for large, easily readable text, or 1,400×1,050, which results in smaller text but more detailed graphics. You can also choose between 802.11g and dual-band 802.11g/a adapters.

The IBM Web site doesn’t list all of these options, though. If you don’t see an option online, order your system by phone. Keep in mind, however, that you can usually save a little cash by choosing an Express (that is, preconfigured) model from the site.

With all these options, how do you configure the ideal laptop? Luckily, based on the IBM ThinkPad R51’s impressive performance in CNET Labs’ tests, you can likely pick low-end parts without sacrificing too much speed. Plus, high-end models tend to cost more than comparably configured systems, such as the Gateway M405XL.

General

  • Packaged Quantity
    1
  • Embedded Security
    Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Security Chip
  • Operating System
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Manufacturer
    Lenovo

Processor / Chipset

  • CPU
    Intel Pentium M 735 / 1.4 GHz / 1.5 GHz / 1.7 GHz
  • Cache
    L2 – 2 MB
  • Data Bus Speed
    400 MHz
  • Chipset Type
    Intel 855GME
  • Features
    Enhanced SpeedStep technology, power-optimized processor system bus

Cache Memory

  • Type
    L2 cache
  • Installed Size
    2 MB

RAM

  • Memory Speed
    333 MHz
  • Memory Specification Compliance
    PC2700
  • Technology
    DDR SDRAM
  • Installed Size from Factory
    512 MB / All have been expanded to 2 GB

Memory

  • Max Supported Size
    2 GB
  • Technology
    DDR SDRAM
  • Speed
    333 MHz / PC2700
  • Form Factor
    SO-DIMM 200-pin
  • Slots Qty
    2
  • Empty Slots
    1

Storage

  • Optical Drive
    CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo – removable
  • Type
    none
  • Read Speed
    24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
  • Write Speed
    24x
  • Rewrite Speed
    24x
  • Type
    portable

Display

  • Widescreen Display
    No
  • Color Support
    24-bit (16.7 million colors)
  • Diagonal Size (metric)
    38.1 cm
  • Display Resolution Abbreviation
    XGA

Environmental Parameters

  • Sound Emission
    40 dB

Hard Drive

  • Spindle Speed
    5400 rpm
  • Type
    HDD
  • Capacity
    40 GB

Audio & Video

  • Graphics Processor
    Intel Extreme Graphics 2
  • Memory Allocation Technology
    Dynamic Video Memory Technology 2.0
  • Sound
    Stereo speakers , microphone
  • Audio Codec
    AD1981B

Input

  • Type
    TrackPoint, UltraNav, keyboard

Communications

  • Wireless Protocol
    802.11a/b/g
  • Wired Protocol
    Gigabit Ethernet

Processor

  • Type
    Pentium M
  • Processor Number
    735
  • Manufacturer
    Intel
  • Clock Speed
    1.7 GHz

Optical Storage

  • Drive Type
    CD-RW / DVD
  • Type
    CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo
  • Form Factor
    removable

Floppy Drive

  • Type
    none

Modem

  • Features
    V.92 upgradable
  • Type
    fax / modem

Battery

  • Installed Qty
    1
  • Capacity
    4000 mAh
  • Run Time (Up To)
    4 sec

AC Adapter

  • Input
    AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )

Connections & Expansion

  • Expansion Bays
    1 x Ultrabay Enhanced
  • Slots
    2 x memory ( 1 free )
    1 x CardBus ( 1 free )
  • Interfaces
    1 x docking / port replicator
    1 x audio – line-out/headphones – mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
    1 x microphone – input – mini-phone 3.5 mm
    1 x infrared – IrDA
    1 x parallel – IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) – 15 pin D-Sub (DB-15)
    1 x modem – phone line – RJ-11
    1 x display / video – S-video output – 4 pin mini-DIN
    2 x USB 2.0 – 4 pin USB Type A
    1 x parallel – IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) – 25 pin D-Sub (DB-25)
    1 x display / video – VGA – 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
    1 x network – Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T – RJ-45
    1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire) – 4 pin FireWire

Header

  • Brand
    Lenovo
  • Product Line
    Lenovo ThinkPad R51
  • Model
    2888
  • Packaged Quantity
    1
  • Compatibility
    PC

Miscellaneous

  • Integrated Options
    ThinkLight
  • Security
    Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Security Chip
  • Features
    ThinkVantage Embedded Security Subsystem 2.0, administrator password, hard drive password, power-on password, security lock slot (cable lock sold separately), wake on LAN
  • Compliant Standards
    ACPI 1.0b, ACPI 2.0, DDC-2B

Networking

  • Max Transfer Rate
    56 Kbps
  • Data Link Protocol
    Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
  • Wireless LAN Supported
    Yes

System

  • Notebook Type
    notebook
  • Platform
    Windows
  • Hard Drive Capacity
    40 GB
  • Embedded Security
    Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Security Chip

Monitor

  • Diagonal Size
    15 in
  • Color Support
    24-bit (16.7 million colors)

Dimensions & Weight

  • Width
    13.1 in
  • Depth
    10.6 in
  • Height
    1.6 in

Chassis

  • Built-in Devices
    ThinkLight

Audio Output

  • Compliant Standards
    AC ’97, DirectSound
  • Type
    stereo speakers

Mainboard

  • Data Bus Speed
    400 MHz
  • Chipset Type
    Intel 855GME

Audio Input

  • Type
    microphone

Operating System / Software

  • OS Provided: Type
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Video Output

  • Graphics Processor
    Intel Extreme Graphics 2

Video Memory

  • Memory Allocation Technology
    Dynamic Video Memory Technology 2.0

Input Device

  • Type
    TrackPoint, UltraNav, keyboard

Expansion Bays

  • Specific Bay Type
    Ultrabay Enhanced
  • Total Qty
    1

Expansion Slots

  • Type
    CardBus, memory
  • Form Factor
    SO-DIMM 200-pin, type I/II/III
  • Total Qty
    1, 2
  • Free Qty
    1, 1

OS Provided

  • Family
    Windows XP
  • Edition
    Windows XP Professional
  • Type
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Power Device

  • Nominal Voltage
    AC 120/230 V
  • Frequency Required
    50/60 Hz

Supported Battery

  • Max Supported Qty
    2

General

  • Manufacturer
    Lenovo

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