Affordable Thinkpad? – The R50e

Award winning Thinkpad notebooks are known for their sturdy, no nonsense designs, great keyboards, and overall rock solid performances. The jury is still undecided on how Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s PC division will affect the long term quality of Thinkpads, however the X41 Tablet – the first Thinkpad to be released by Lenovo – received excellent reviews.

With a price tag the best part of 2000 dollars though, the X41 was not in everyone’e budget. But for folks looking for Thinkpad quality at a bargain price, Lenovo also have a budget laptop in their portfolio, the R50e.

This is one of the cheapest Thinkpads to date, and though lacking none of IBM’s usual build quality, it has to be said, it is a little light on tech specs.

The R50e ships with an Intel Celeron M Processor, but alas the R50e’s robust chassis contains no FireWire port or Bluetooth connectivity.

However Thinkpads typically have excellent linux compatibility, so if you’re looking for an affordable laptop to run a Linux operating system on, the R50e may be worth a more detailed examination.

In the UK you can pick up an R50e for around 550 quid, a discounted price for a new Thinkpad.

Gamers, graphic designers, and music producers would be advised to look elsewhere for a more multimedia friendly laptop.

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By Lucy Layman

Sunday, July 24, 2005