Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Acquired new IBM Thinkpad R51e

Intel Celeron M 370 (1.5Ghz) 1MB L2 Cache / FSB 400Mhz
Display: 14" - 1024x768
Ram: 1 GB DDR2 4200
Chipset: ATi Xpress 200m
Graphics: ATI X200m IGP / 128MB
Hard Drive: 2.5" Hitachi Travel Star 5K100 / 40GB / 5400rpm
Media: Ultrabay Enhanced DVD/CD-RW Combo
Other features: PCMCIA / Xpress Card 64 Slot / Thinklight
Connectivity: Wireless Lan B & G
1 Year Warranty
Price paid: HK$5,900-

Key Points:
1. User upgradeable CPU / mFCPGA Socket
Max: Pentium M 780 (2.26 / 533mhz)
2. Max ram of 2 GB
3. Weight-saver included / can remove DVD-drive to save weight
4. Ultrabay battery priced at HK$900 only
5. Spec should be good enough for Windows Vista

Am I pleased with it?
Well, considering the price I paid for it . . . yes. Solid good working machine, extremely reliable. Excellent power management software, I am getting about three hours from the six cell battery on everyday web browsing/emailing/typing task. The thinklight orange glow on the keyboard is lovely. The indicators are placed where they should be. Machine is quiet, really quiet. Hard drive uses fluid dynamic bearings, so it damn quiet.

I have been using Sony VAIOs all my life . . . this is my first Thinkpad. And this Thinkpad is good! I don't miss my VAIO. I got this Thinkpad for cheap as Vista will be launched next year (i.e. Jan 2007, nine months to go) so I don't want to spend too much but I do need a notebook given that I've been doing a lot of work at the library lately.

Besides almost everything in the R51e is upgradeable. Will upgrade the CPU when the fastest Pentium M's halves in price :) Intel Core Dual is out selling at over HK$10,000 . . . I really hate being an early adopter and given that prices on notebooks drop so fast nowadays, waiting a bit gives you enormous savings (btw, the same goes for Digicams too). Waiting 'A bit' means only 4-6 weeks only . . .

Thinkpad R51e with Celeron M 370 gets a 3DMark05 benchmark of 560 points. Intel GMA 950 graphics processor and a 1.66 GHz T2300 Core Duo CPU will produce a 3DMark05 score of about 530. So ATi Xpress 200M isn't bad at all. Of course it goes without saying the Celeron CPU is slower than the T2300 Core Duo . . .