Earlier in the year Lenovo announced a few new models to their ThinkPad line, the R61 was one of them. R-Series ThinkPad's were considered more of a value notebook than anything. People who could not afford the pricey T-Series ThinkPad's would get an R-Series instead.
The new R61 features a 14.1-inch widescreen display, Core 2 Duo processor, wireless antenna built into the lid, and a thinner and lighter design weighting in at just 5.5lbs. Let's see if the R61 can breathe new life into the R-Series.
The design of the ThinkPad R61 is built for punishment. The clamshell enclosure and reinforced lid allows the notebook to be carried with one hand without fear of damaging the screen. There is absolutely no flex in any part of the case. Pressure exerted in the center of the LCD screen yielded merely tiny specks of distortion. The colour is of course all black as seen in the photos while the design remains consistent with traditional ThinkPad designs. Attempting to wobble the LCD lid back and forth resulted in the movement of the whole notebook and the thick metal hinges provide ample protection from even severe torture.
The actual benchmarks show slight improvement over the previous generation of Core2Duo processors. The processor is definitely fast enough for everyday usage and ran Mat LAB benchmarks very well. However, the performance of the hard drive is questionable. Since the notebook has a 5400 rpm hard drive, its access and seeks times are relatively slow and this seems to be the bottleneck for the current setup.
This conclusion is drawn from loading certain applications once (stored in RAM), then the second time the application is loaded or calculations are made, the processor hits much higher speeds and results in better performance. The time it takes to reach the logon screen for Windows Vista is roughly 58 seconds from a full shutdown, 36 seconds from hibernate and 12 seconds from standby. The 14.
1-inch wide-screen LCD display offers a 1,440x900 native resolution, which is a bit finer than the 1,280x800 resolution commonly found on 14- and 15-inch laptops. Text and icons are highly readable, and the screen has a matte finish. While many consumer laptops have glossy screen coatings, which make for a more vibrant multimedia experience, most business systems stick with the matte look, which we generally prefer for its glare-fighting properties. The first-rate keyboard includes both a touchpad and an eraser head nub, as well as dedicated Internet forward and back buttons.
An integrated fingerprint reader, located in the right palmrest, makes log-ins a breeze once you set it up. You can hot-swap devices--the dual-layer DVD drive or an extra battery, among others--in and out of the right-side modular bay with one hand. On-screen documentation and system recovery utilities are just a button press away. The ThinkPad R61 ran for an acceptable, if not impressive, 2 hours, 8 minutes on our DVD battery drain test; we expected it to run longer since the new Centrino platform is meant in part to improve battery life. Our review unit used a six-cell battery; and the Gateway E-475M ran 29 minutes longer on a similar six-cell battery.
Our DVD battery drain test is especially grueling, so you can expect longer life from casual Web surfing and office use. Specifications * Processor: Intel T7300 Core 2 Duo (2.0GHz, 800MHz FSB, 4MB Cache) * Chipset: Intel Mobile 965 Express chipset (Crestline) * Graphics: Intel X3100 (Integrated graphics card) * Operating System: Windows Vista Business 64-bit * Display: 14.1" WXGA+ 1440 x 900 * Hard Drive: 120GB 5400RPM * Memory: 1GB (1 x 1GB, 1 slot open), up to 4GB max * Ports: 3 USB 2.0, Ethernet, Modem, Monitor out, Headphone OUT, Microphone IN * Slots: 1 PC Card Slot, 1 Express Card slot * Optical Drive: Ultra-bay DVD Recordable DL (8x) * Interfaces: Bluetooth, Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG LAN, Fingerprint scanner * Dimensions: 13.2" x 9.
3" x 1.20 - 1.37" (335mm x 237mm x 30.0 - 34.9mm) * Weight: 5.
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