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My Thinkpad R500

R400/R500 series specific matters only
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beko1987
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Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

My Thinkpad R500

#1 Post by beko1987 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:23 pm

Hi! I have so many updates to do, so thought I would start with a relativly new machine, my R500!

The story begins that my T400 broke. I like to have a fairly modern device lying around, and the C2D T400 was filling the hole nicely, until the backlight broke on the screen. I threw a new inverter in it, bought a tested mainboard to rule out fuses, and even bidded on a few parts machines for a screen, but the prices were nuts, I was seeing bodily smashed T400's with working screens go for £30/£40, so I drew a line under that

Then, I found and won an R500 for £21!

When it came I was nicely surprised by the condition. Here is the first picture I took of it at work! I'd taken the hard drive from the T400 in so I could check it when it arrived incase I needed to contact the seller, but it booted up fine!

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfd

Later that night I took the many stickers off it and gave it a wipe down and buff up

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfQ

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfj

The non rubberised screen lid took a while to get used to, it has a few light scratches on, but nothing too bad. I prefer it not being mint, means I don't worry about it!

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSf2

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSf3

Keyboard is mint, but I did not like that trackpoint cap, so replaced it with a domed one (bought 10 new ones!)

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSf5

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSf6

Very happy with that. Quite quickly it got it's first upgrade as the hard drive from the T400 really was trash!

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfA

That also shows the spec! ATM it has 5gb of RAM installed, the 1gb it had, and a 4gb stick I had lying around. When I get a sec I'll swap the 1gb for the 2gb thats in the T400 still (haven't thrown the T400 away, if anything I'll lob it on ebay and get the money I paid for the main board back even as a parts machine). Seems it shares its RAM with a macbook, so it's annoyingly expensive. 5/6gb is more than plenty for my workload anyway!

With a fresh Ubuntu on it just got used really!

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfD

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfc

My daughter has a cracking game of Rollercoaster Tycoon (the original) going on the T40!

Slowly though, my mind wandered over to naughty thoughts...

A T9600 CPU is on the slow boat from china, and will hopefully arrive next month, that was £9. Whilst I''m in there I can clean the fan and re-paste the heatsink.

My second naughty purchase actually arrived today. I found WSXGA+ LCD panel for £19.99! I had found the WXGA panel it had far too big resolution wise, so this was a welcome find. I fitted it after work

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfI

Trusty X60t holding the HMM for me! And it worked, but the quality was flipping terrible. This picture makes it look better than it really is

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OSfe

Some googling later, and 2 threads from these very forums confirming the same thing, I needed a different LCD cable! 1 on ebay, from spain and £17... A good browse over dinner, and tucked away under 'R500 Bluetooth' was the correct cable (FRU was pictured but not written in the listing) with a bluetooth module attached (so another upgrade as it currently does not have it) was bought for £6.90.

So the R500 is away now. Not going to swap the old screen back in for a few days use, I am currently typing this on the X60t which I will use in the mean time, or I can use the T40, or T43, it's no big deal really!

So what do I think of the R500? First off it's FLIPPING HUGE! I've been thoroughly spoiled by svelte T series machines, the R is a big heffer. But, I quite like it now I've spent some time with it. It sits on my legs nicely, or on the table. The large wrist rest makes it very nice to type on, once I get the screen sorted it'll be lovely to look at, and I've got over the lack of rubber coating, which is one less thing to start peeling off if I scuff it! The R500 is a laptop to be used, I have the T40, 43 and X60t for keeping nice and occasionally using, but I do need something to just grab and go with, for Amy to use, to take around with me, and after my daughter knocked it off the sofa the other night and it dented the laminate floor and shrugged it off, it fits the bill well!

I do need a battery for it though, it barely lasts 20 minutes! I wiped Ubuntu off earlier and lobbed windows 7 on to check my screen issues were not driver related, and the first thing W7 did was flash 'You might consider replacing your battery soon'... Once the current issues are solved I'll treat it to a cheap ebay battery!

So there we go, my R500! I'll do another update when it's working again and I've fitted the CPU! It can go back to Ubuntu as well, it likes Ubuntu!
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

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Re: My Thinkpad R500

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:24 pm

Nice purchase. I've gotten two R500 one for $40 (with 2.1 ghz Core 2 Duo and webcam) and one for $35 (lowest model Celeron, I upgraded to P8600), they are dirt cheap and very easy to upgrade, although I haven't gone up in resolution from WXGA. It uses the same cables as R61. In fact you swap the entire lid with a 15.4" R61 if you want the IBM logo.
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


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beko1987
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#3 Post by beko1987 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:30 am

Interesting to know, thanks! I don't mind it having the Lenovo logo though.
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

Zach123
Freshman Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm
Location: Winthrop, Massachusetts

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#4 Post by Zach123 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:16 pm

The Thinkpad r400/r500 are great laptops. In fact my main laptop is a Thinkpad r400.
Daily Drivers:

ThinkPad R400/T9550/2GB/256GB SSD

Collection: R61i, T60p, TR452, R31

beko1987
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#5 Post by beko1987 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:49 am

I'm at work so cant post the pictures but the new LCD cable came, and the screen is buttery smooth now, I am in awe every time I use it! Coupled with the 2.8ghz CPU I fitted at the same time whilst it was all apart to do the lcd cable swap and an install of Kubuntu it's lightning quick.

Once I figure out how to map my windows shares to it it'll be sorted! Need to stick my broken T400 up for spares and get shot of it!
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

Zach123
Freshman Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm
Location: Winthrop, Massachusetts

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#6 Post by Zach123 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:23 pm

@beko1987 Can you post a picture of the final project?
Daily Drivers:

ThinkPad R400/T9550/2GB/256GB SSD

Collection: R61i, T60p, TR452, R31

beko1987
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#7 Post by beko1987 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:52 am

I sure will! Away this weekend, but I'll take some, it's as done as it'll be!
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

beko1987
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#8 Post by beko1987 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:52 pm

Here we go then, I'm home now! I was using the old girl at a McDonalds yesterday to cancel a new broadband order and I got a mixture of odd glances and a massive beaming smile from one chap, which made my day!

Anyway, here we go! Once I get some nicer pictures of the rest I'll make a picture heavy post in the section that I'm allowed to, but for now they are here and clickable!

The new screen is utterly fantastic, the new ribbon works well and I now have Bluetooth! Those of you paying attention when the picture comes may notice a little carry over from the T400! I bought an ebay battery for it, and it works, but only lasts an hour. A fair tradeoff as I didn't fancy the extended battery with the lump out of the back, it's a massive enough device anyway, and is never far from the wall! If I want a device that lasts 4 hours I'll grab the X60 Tablet!

Kubuntu is amazing! Apart from a few niggles, like it asking for passwords to turn the wifi on and other things that I just google and disable, it's fab. Runs really really well, plays nicely with everything I've asked it to so far and looks gorgeous. The only slight niggle is the rubbish speed when using my Windows 10 PC over Remmina, which must be a Linux thing as the slower X60 Tablet with 7 and the even slower T40 with XP are as-if I was sat at the PC itself over remote desktop. Don't fancy putting windows on this though!

Anyway, pictures!

Excuse the mess, we got in, dumped the bags and put the kids to bed! And now cant quite be bothered to tidy up...

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OLp0

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OLpG

It's almost a shame about the scratches on the LCD Lid, but then I found and fitted a brand new NOS LCD lid on the X60t and immediately started using it less so as not to damage it, and as this is an (uglier) daily driver, I'm leaving it be (for now) so I don't have to be precious about it!

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OLpn

The only screw missing is the one that locks the optical drive in, which is no big deal

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OLpv

The screen resolution is fab! So chuffed to find the screen for £20! (still got the old screen, must sell that at some point, or find another broken thinkpad that it will fit...)

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OLpO

A lot of people have commented on the 4gb of RAM! It's just cobbled together with the 1gb it had, and a 4gb I had lying around! I might up it to the max 8gb one day, but it's expensive (well, more expensive than I would like) because it shares it's RAM with a macbook, plus there's not really much need! It's only used for flicking about on the internet, it (just about) plays 1080p youtube videos fine and more RAM won't fix that! CPU is the top one it'll take too!

https://www.ultraimg.com/image/OLpZ

So there we go! This probably cost me £70 all in, which isn't bad! It looks quite ugly, and is very heavy, but sat here with it on my lap on the sofa now I can't say it's feeling heavy, and up on the table it's even lighter! It's a good, solid workhourse! If I want power I'll remote into my i7 16gb loft PC, which I can do from all of them, which is very handy and again, makes people look twice when I screenshot my T40 with the windows 10 desktop!

So, 1 done! Just the T40, T43, scrap T43 I must do something with and sell and X60t to do! X60t is done actually, I must round some pictures of that together and post up!
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

Zach123
Freshman Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm
Location: Winthrop, Massachusetts

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#9 Post by Zach123 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:02 pm

Thanks for the pics! You have yourself one pretty dam nice ThinkPad there.
Daily Drivers:

ThinkPad R400/T9550/2GB/256GB SSD

Collection: R61i, T60p, TR452, R31

beko1987
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#10 Post by beko1987 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:37 pm

Zach123 wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:02 pm
Thanks for the pics! You have yourself one pretty dam nice ThinkPad there.
Thanks! Yes, it's quite lovely, and was a complete accident too! This will be the one that now doesnt really get much more done to it, as it works so well. The rest can be ongoing projects!
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

Zach123
Freshman Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm
Location: Winthrop, Massachusetts

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#11 Post by Zach123 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:06 am

I have a R400 and it runs perfectly fine with my trusty Samsung SSD and a install of Debian mate. These machines are still perfectly usable in 2018. You can browse the web on these machines without a hitch and can watch youtube at 1080p perfectly fine :D.
Last edited by Zach123 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daily Drivers:

ThinkPad R400/T9550/2GB/256GB SSD

Collection: R61i, T60p, TR452, R31

beko1987
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:53 am
Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: My Thinkpad R500

#12 Post by beko1987 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:02 pm

Yep, I've had no trouble with Kubuntu and a Kingston SSD! Mine plays 1080p too! Won't quite strech any further, although gives it a good go!
Thinkpad T40
Thinkpad T43
Thinkpad X60 Tablet
Thinkpad R500

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