Product Type: Lenovo laptops
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Lenovo Thinkpad R61 8918
Member Name: mtpatton
Lenovo Thinkpad R61 8918
Advantages: Battery life, Powerful processor, wide screen
Disadvantages: To heavy, difficult to build
This is the laptop that I use and support at work. My job is that of an IT Desktop Support Analyst and therefore I need to have quite an in depth knowledge of the product.
This laptop can be used both with windows XP and Windows Vista. The machine comes with 512mb of Ram installed by default, but this is expandable if you wish to put more memory into the machine. My laptop has now has 1gb installed in it due to the pressure we put on it in the working environment.
The machine has a powerful processor in the machine as well. This is a intel duo core processor which has a clock speed of 1.8 ghz. The duo part of the processor is the how and why vista can be run on the machine and compared to previous models of laptop we have used the processor is nearly double the speed of other machines.
The machine also comes with a 60gb hard drive which provides ample space to save data in a work environment. As with most laptops these days the machine comes with an inbuilt wireless network adapter, which can be switched off and on by sliding a button towards the front left hand corner of the machine as you look at it.
The machine comes with an inbuilt CD-RW and DVD Rom drive.
I personally think the laptop has two main advantages. The first of which is that the laptop has a wide screen 15.4 inch display which is highly noticeable and makes looking at the screen all day easier. This also allows you to watch DVD's on the laptop with a decent display size if required while looking at your documents is made that bit easier.
I think the biggest advantage of the machine is the Battery life. In the modern world where you try to minimise the energy impact of your daily working environment I feel this is vitally important. Firstly the battery life of the machine is top notch.
This model also has an inbuilt power management system. This allows you to adjust the settings of your laptop to maximise the amount of time that you laptop battery will last. For example tonight I increased by battery life (which was at 60% when I started this) from just over 70minutes to 130 minutes by changing the settings from maximum performance to maximum battery life.
The only difference you will notice from this is that the screen doesn't display as brightly.
The DVD drive. This is attached via a USB connection and although the screen size allows you to watch DVD's on it, the noise that is made by the DVD drive on the machine whilst performing such a function means that you will probably avoid doing this.
The weight of the laptop is a major concern. I am used to machines of this size, but no machine I have had have been this bulky. The machine coupled with a power pack is quite heavy and discourages many people from using this machine as a laptop and simply storing the machine in one place unless the machine is by the user in another office. Many of our users used to take home their laptops and used applications for home working, however I feel this happens less with this model.
Trying to build/image the machine - Ok if you get this laptop your probably going to get it pre-built from PC world or IBM themselves, however let me tell you now, finding drivers for this model, or in fact any IBM machine is much harder then Dells or HP's. If you build the machine from a windows disk you are left with around 10 unrecognised devices, getting drivers for half of these was easy and was easily done by the IBM site. However the final five proved to be much harder. In fact three of the drivers were installed via the same package which we only found by hunting around on the IBM forums for a couple of hours.
What would I do to improve the machine?
A few suggestions I have for this machine are
- Replace the CD/DVD drive
- Upgrade the memory in the machine to at least 1gb for windows XP or 2gb for windows vista.
- Only use the battery in one location IE keep the battery at home or in the office. This will make the model far lighter for carrying around
This is a good laptop for a work environment. However I feel that for a home situation you can get better from other suppliers. The machine battery life is a a very good selling point and the wide screen makes looking at a machine to do your work a little bit easier.
However the weight of this laptop spoils the machine to me. Also from my IT support perspective Trying to build a machine is a lot harder then other models of machine.
Overall, I would probably avoid this model of machine. Simply because I know that a newer model of IBM laptops is available (R400) which is far lighter and does not seem to give the DVD drive problems.
Thanks for reading
Summary: A useful machine for the office environment, but need better for home
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