Lenovo ThinkPad R52
- ThinkLight LED to illuminate keyboard in dark environments, solid battery life
- Speakers not all they could be
The ThinkPad R52 is a decent but bland Pentium M notebook.
Price$ 2,049.00 (AUD)
If you've been waiting for a ThinkPad R51 with improvements, you'll like the R52, a very similar black business laptop with a slightly faster processor. Lenovo (which bought IBM's PC business) has updated the processor, but not much else with the ThinkPad R52. It does have a couple of new connections, including a ExpressCard slot, which takes the place of a second PC Card slot.
The R52 has dual pointing devices: a well-behaved touchpad and a comfortably squishy stick embedded in the keyboard, each equipped with its own deep-depressing mouse buttons. The keyboard is firm and quiet, topped by a launch button for Lenovo's excellent animated manual and a handy set of volume-control buttons; unfortunately, audio from the front-mounted speakers is not especially robust.
A squarish unit with a gently bevelled front, the R52 offers most of its connections on the left side, with a parallel port for legacy peripherals as the sole rear connection. A FireWire port is included for fast video downloads. The modular right bay can accommodate any one of three devices: an optical drive such as the combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive in our test unit, a second battery, or a second hard drive. A pop-out tab release built into each device lets you swap it in and out using one hand. The unit's hard drive and memory are user-upgradable, although only one DIMM slot is accessible.
No wide-screen wonder, our review R52 came with a sensible 14.1" screen capable of a native 1024 x 768 pixel resolution (models with 15" screens at 1024 x 768 or 1400 x 1050 are also available). The screen has one thing most others don't, though: the tiny ThinkLight LED embedded in the top edge to illuminate the keyboard in dark environments. The ThinkLight may not be the most exciting invention, but I find it quite useful.
On our benchmark tests, the 1.73-GHz Pentium M 740-equipped R52 performed like the typical 1.7GHz Pentium M laptop. The R52 earned a WorldBench 5 score of 77, which was near the average for notebooks using the same processor. Battery life in our tests was a solid 3.5 hours.
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GGG Evaluation Team
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For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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