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R500 build quality

R400/R500 series specific matters only
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R500 build quality

#1 Post by magnusm » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:22 pm

I'm investigating whether to buy a R500 or a T500.

I have had a N100 3000 for the last few years which I have been very happy with.

Does anyone know how the R500 compares to the N100 with respect to build quality?

Browsing the web I stumbled upon the following clips on YouTube:

The last video is bit pedantic, but I am wondering if this is the general experience with the quality of the R500?

I have two candidates, one R500 and one T500, with the same specs. The price difference is almost 40%.

In your opinion, will the T500 be worth the additional 40%?

(PS: I could quote prices in USD, but i'm outside the U.S. so I don't think that would make sense.)

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Re: R500 build quality

#2 Post by underclocker » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:27 pm

I just picked up an R500 and mine is nothing like the flimsy one in that second video. I have no idea what thay guy did to his machine or if he received the worst one ever made, but mine is solid. I also own an R61 and the build quality is identical.

Plastics have gotten thinner on all ThinkPads, including the T400/T500's, so I wouldn't base the decision on that. I also own a T60 15.4" widescreen. The T60 feels a little more solid and the cover finish is much nicer, the cover is rubbery vs. shiny plastic. The 15.4" T60/T61/T500 isn't thin or light, and the R500 is even thicker and heavier. That is the real issue. If you can handle the extra thickness and weight, it's a fine machine. If not, T500. With similarly spec'd machines, it's an enormous price difference for no real performance difference.

(From what I recall, if you were happy with the N100 quality, you'll be happy with the R500 quality.)
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Re: R500 build quality

#3 Post by tirant » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:22 pm

The same happened to a colleague after opening hist R500 and not putting the screws corretly.
Thinkpad T42: PM1.7 2048M 14.1in
Thinkpad T23: PIII1.0 640M 14.1in
Thinkpad R61: C2D2.0 2048M 15in

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Re: R500 build quality

#4 Post by ll357355 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:50 pm

R500 build quality is IMPRESSIVE imo.
Thinkpad T410 - Discrete Graphics, i5 540
Thinkpad R500 - T9600, SSD

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Re: R500 build quality

#5 Post by sportfreak » Wed May 05, 2010 6:07 pm

yup.. i agree with underclocker ..

i just purchased an R500 from one of our forum members and trust me, the build quality is awesome..

i own a X61 and thats thin and light. But this one is like a monstrous truck ( in appearance )
i would rather spend extra money on increasing the warranty or adding RAM or better Motherboard rather than an over priced similar configured machine..

but again, it boils down to your requirements and decisions :thumbs-UP:
Thinkpad X61
Intel T8100, 6GB RAM, Ubuntu 11.04, 16GB SSD, X6 Ultra-base ( hell yeh .. )
Thinkpad R500
Intel T6750, 4GB RAM, 80GB 7200rpm, Win 7 Professional.
2 X Mac Mini, Apple Retina Mac Pro
Not getting any younger thinkpads:
Thinkpad R40 - RIP

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Re: R500 build quality

#6 Post by corvette » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:17 pm

I know it's an old threat, but...

Having owned a few R4x and R5x series, I'd partly disagree with mentioned impressive quality of R500. Maybe I got a "friday afternoon" version, maybe not. But especially previous R52 was way more solid. It had less flex in certain areas and felt more sturdy. Of course, "feel" is very subjective and tricky to describe. The R500 has creaky palmrest on both sides, creaky LCD bezels and more flex overall.

The most noticeable is probably keyboard. I didn't know how world class the R52 with old, proper NMB keyboard was, until I've tried the R500 with Chicony. At the beginning, literally every keystroke was "painful". After a while... well, they say that human gets used to everything, but the animal dies :) Now with T60 series NMB inside, it's way better, though not as smooth & solid as R52. Maybe tapemod will fix that.

But not everything is that bad. The hinges for example are more solid on R500. Speakers better positioned. More ports and outputs. Also the machine runs very quiet and quite cool. Intel P8400 is idling around 40-45° C. With TPFancontrol, all can be almost inaudible up to 60° C or more...

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Re: R500 build quality

#7 Post by Harryc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:49 pm

corvette wrote:Also the machine runs very quiet and quite cool. Intel P8400 is idling around 40-45° C. With TPFancontrol, all can be almost inaudible up to 60° C or more...
That's because the installer knew what he was doing ;). I just bought an R52. It's one of my favorite Thinkpads.

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Re: R500 build quality

#8 Post by danibracara » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:18 am

Hi, all

I have a R500 from 2009 and build quality is impressive. It is very quiet and never gets warm. Cooling system of these laptops are awesome.
My R500 has 4Gb of RAM and is a C2D, 2.4Ghz. I can use Autocad 2013 and Sketchup Pro with no problems so far.

At least, I can say R500 is a very good laptop.

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