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What exactly was the R series trying fit?

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What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#1 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri May 26, 2017 10:53 am

According to Thinkwiki, the R-Series was meant to be a cheaper model, which does make sense for the E/I type R series, but otherwise they usually come with more features (Firewire, QXGA LCD on R50p, S-Video(I think), Etc..). It would seem like it would be the heavy desktop replacement machine like the A series but that was the point of the A30 while the R30 was out. It also isn't very heavy compared to any other Thinkpad. I also don't get the point of the amber leds that the R series used. Are while leds more expensive or what? Also, are the R series any different than the T series, especially in the 6x/400/500 series?? Is confusing!



It! It is confusing. Say your darn pronouns!
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Now stop complaining and get back to work with your "wrongly configured" box of pixels.

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#2 Post by Puppy » Fri May 26, 2017 11:15 am

R series were noticeably cheaper than their T siblings having similar configuration but 1 cm more thicker. For instance my R51 (that had similar specs to T42) was more than 25% cheaper 13 years ago.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#3 Post by TPFanatic » Fri May 26, 2017 12:40 pm

R-series was built of different plastics to make it cheaper. I recall R60 series was all ABS, like the Z-series, unlike the T-series that's built of metal alloys. Also in the R50-T40 gen, T-series had some magnesium frame pieces in its base while R-series used plastic parts instead, for example in the battery bay.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#4 Post by MustardOrMayo » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:38 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 12:40 pm
R-series was built of different plastics to make it cheaper. I recall R60 series was all ABS, like the Z-series, unlike the T-series that's built of metal alloys. Also in the R50-T40 gen, T-series had some magnesium frame pieces in its base while R-series used plastic parts instead, for example in the battery bay.
Ah, so that explains why the rear right corner of my R52 had been cracking. Thanks for the info! :)
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:39 am

And R40 and earlier R-models were built by Acer (YUK!), probably meant as a poor man's IBM lookalike...
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#6 Post by dr_st » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:53 am
According to Thinkwiki, the R-Series was meant to be a cheaper model, which does make sense for the E/I type R series, but otherwise they usually come with more features (Firewire, QXGA LCD on R50p, S-Video(I think), Etc..)
T series was slimmer and lighter. Some features were sacrificed on it (Firewire, 12mm CD bay). QXGA option could only fit into the R's thicker lid, although it was never a standard option on a R50p.
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:53 am
It would seem like it would be the heavy desktop replacement machine like the A series but that was the point of the A30 while the R30 was out.
Note that this was a short-time overlap. The A series was discontinued after A31p (Pentium 4 era). The R series continued well into Core 2 Duo era.
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:53 am
Also, are the R series any different than the T series, especially in the 6x/400/500 series?? Is confusing!
Up to and including R60, it was noticeably thicker and heavier. With the 61 series a switch happened - 14" R series became infinitesimally close to the 14" T, while 15" R continued to be noticeably thicker and heavier, using different materials. You can look at the ltwbook.pdf if you are curious about actual measurements and weight.

But overall you correctly observed that the R-series got closer and closer to the T-series, and eventually it wasn't contributing enough differentiation. So it was discontinued, and replaced with the L-series.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#7 Post by FryPpy » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:18 pm

Some my observations about R-series.
RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:39 am
And R40 and earlier R-models were built by Acer (YUK!)
Moreover schematics for R40 was designed by LG. I have seen pictures of R32 with LG badge on palmrest (where "IBM Thinkpad" should be). I heard that IBM used LG to conquest Asian markets (cheaper laptops was needed for these markets).

Yes R50p is unique model but it was cheaper than top notch T40p.

Naming policies for R series are different too. R40 (and R40e) have mixed 2 generations of thinkpads T30 + T40 and have cheaper R40e + R40 14" and more able R40 15" laptops in a single serie.

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#8 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: LG R32
Indeed it is real... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf07RFcvTwE

I mean it looks like a Thinkpad and it has classic keyboard + touchpad, and true IBMs of the era aren't particularly known for reliability in the long run anyway. Are they known to be unreliable?
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:20 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:18 pm
Re: LG R32
Indeed it is real... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf07RFcvTwE
Wow, I guess LG was the first to get a laptop with RGB according to that video :lol: !

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#10 Post by Omineca » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:36 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:53 am
According to Thinkwiki, the R-Series was meant to be a cheaper model, which does make sense for the E/I type R series, but otherwise they usually come with more features (Firewire, QXGA LCD on R50p, S-Video(I think), Etc..). It would seem like it would be the heavy desktop replacement machine like the A series but that was the point of the A30 while the R30 was out. It also isn't very heavy compared to any other Thinkpad. I also don't get the point of the amber leds that the R series used. Are while leds more expensive or what? Also, are the R series any different than the T series, especially in the 6x/400/500 series?? Is confusing!
I had an R400 at work for a few years. I liked it so much that I bought an R500 new in 2010 and it is still my everyday machine. There really wasn't much of a difference between the R and T series by then, and the R500 has been very durable (internally -- externally, it has developed a couple of cracks over the years) and reliable.

As for the amber ThinkLight, I like it. It's kind of quirky. Like you, I've wondered if it was cheaper, but I doubt it. I don't think there could have been any difference in cost.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#11 Post by FryPpy » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:37 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:18 pm
I mean it looks like a Thinkpad and it has classic keyboard + touchpad, and true IBMs of the era aren't particularly known for reliability in the long run anyway. Are they known to be unreliable?
I have 3 R40 (centrino models. 1 x 14" and 2x 15") and this is my observations:

Plastic on R40 is similar to A30/A31. But A3Xp have thick plastic and reinforsed with MG inset.
One 15" have broken audio chip (it is soldered on motherboard but absent in device manager or lspci) - never seen this on other Thinkpads. May be this is due body flexing, But T40 even with MG inset have body flexing and problems with video chip.
Sometimes Ultranav woun't work but after restart it begin working.

All have low res LCDs (1024 x 768) even one have top notch ATI 7500 with 32Mb VRAM.
Have spend SOME time and have found LCD cable for 15" for SXGA+. I think SXGA+ R40 was rare those days. The cable have 2 LVDS channels - so it can handle more than SXGA+. LCD cable have unpopulated pads (on motherboard connector) to choose resolution - but i haven't tested all possibilities. SXGA+ LCD was option only for 15" R40 and i think it was common TN LCD.
They use only single channel PCMCIA controller but cage can accept 2 PCMCIA (II) cards.
"e" models have trackpoint only.
My 14" R40 haven't FireWire port.

Conclusion
I think that all design steps was made to make R series cheap. If this is true story, that Asian market was chosen for R series - this thesis becomes more adequate.
I want to build IPS R40 with Dothan CPU. Yes i have T43 already but i want R40 because of Ultrabay 2000 and all this warietty of storage devices acceptable by Ultrabay 2000 (FDD, LS, ZIP, PATA and SATA caddy, CD, DVD and even BlueRay;). And yes - i know that GLORIFIED TYPEWRITER (A31p) can be better than this R40 IPS too;)

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#12 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:26 pm

FryPpy wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:37 am
One 15" have broken audio chip (it is soldered on motherboard but absent in device manager or lspci) - never seen this on other Thinkpads. May be this is due body flexing, But T40 even with MG inset have body flexing and problems with video chip.
I've seen this on a number of A31 units and a couple of T4x systems. Mind-boggling and outright frustrating to deal with.
Conclusion
I think that all design steps was made to make R series cheap. If this is true story, that Asian market was chosen for R series - this thesis becomes more adequate.
I want to build IPS R40 with Dothan CPU. Yes i have T43 already but i want R40 because of Ultrabay 2000 and all this warietty of storage devices acceptable by Ultrabay 2000 (FDD, LS, ZIP, PATA and SATA caddy, CD, DVD and even BlueRay;). And yes - i know that GLORIFIED TYPEWRITER (A31p) can be better than this R40 IPS too;)
Good luck with getting a Dothan to work in an R40. You'll have to do some BIOS patching/modding from what I'm to understand, since I have yet to see a successful mod of this nature and many have tried it.

As for R series in general, here's my take...

R30/31 - unremarkable cousins of T2x, nothing about them screams "buy me", be it then or now

R32 - arguably the worst ThinkPad to ever bear an IBM logo.

R40 - an interesting palette altogether. Great battery life with PM models when new. Some *really* weird design solutions, such as a single type of heatsink being used over the entire range, regardless of CPU/GPU specs.

R5x - OK now we're talking. R50p with QXGA...yummy, for those with good eyesight, unlike me.

R6x - well built, the most mature platform altogether.

R*00 - the point of these machines escaped me altogether, since the differences between them and their T-series contemporaries were almost non-existent, apart from the materials used.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#13 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:45 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:26 pm

R*00 - the point of these machines escaped me altogether, since the differences between them and their T-series contemporaries were almost non-existent, apart from the materials used.
Indeed. R500 and T500 have exactly the same ports, only the modem and firewire rotate 90 degrees, but R500 uses the same LCD connector as R61/T61/T60/Z60, is missing a 2nd proprietary Mini PCI slot, and has no WWAN option.

Meanwhile R400 is T400.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#14 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:32 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:26 pm
R32 - arguably the worst ThinkPad to ever bear an IBM logo.
I don't object to that conclusion, but what makes you think that?

EDIT: I just saw the R32 had the P4M instead of a Tualatin P3. Let me guess, that little Northwood chip runs so hot it melts the poorly constructed ABS case, struggles to load XP SP2 with a horrid Samsung TN display at 1024x768, driven by a graphics card slower than a potato, all while using its 20GB HDD as a page file from an extreme lack of RAM.
"Its not what screen ratio you have, it is what you do with it." -me

Now stop complaining and get back to work with your "wrongly configured" box of pixels.

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#15 Post by Mac Workin » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:50 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:32 pm
I don't object to that conclusion, but what makes you think that?

EDIT: I just saw the R32 had the P4M instead of a Tualatin P3. Let me guess, that little Northwood chip runs so hot it melts the poorly constructed ABS case, struggles to load XP SP2 with a horrid Samsung TN display at 1024x768, driven by a graphics card slower than a potato, all while using its 20GB HDD as a page file from an extreme lack of RAM.
he had most likely faced common issues related to its gpu. i am not completely sure, but i reckon that most early production R32s had several problems one way or another. another problem for the R32 was that the no-1802 bit trick didn't work, so some had to wait till 2007 or 2008 for Zender to release a BIOS that specifically removes the whitelist check.

a little correction at your non-serious post about the R32, i don't think i've had ever seen one equipped with a samsung panel. a secondary R32 i used to own had a boe-hydis ht14x14-101, this was also the case in my daily driver R32 for some reason.

also, have you tried using the R31's gpu? that is the true definition of a potato, it is painstakingly slower than the R32's.

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#16 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:01 pm

I've never touched any R-series except I think an R51 once. I just referred back to the Samsung panels in the T61p, so I could joke about how awful the panel in the R32 must be.
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Now stop complaining and get back to work with your "wrongly configured" box of pixels.

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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#17 Post by wujstefan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:34 pm

You should put a finger on R61i 4:3. The best R-series ever, and in my opinion the best dual-core thinkpad considering build quality.
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#18 Post by dr_st » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:49 pm

wujstefan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:34 pm
You should put a finger on R61i 4:3. The best R-series ever, and in my opinion the best dual-core thinkpad considering build quality.
What are the differences between the 15" R60 chassis and 15" R61 (4:3) chassis?
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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#19 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:23 pm

dr_st wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:49 pm
wujstefan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:34 pm
You should put a finger on R61i 4:3. The best R-series ever, and in my opinion the best dual-core thinkpad considering build quality.
What are the differences between the 15" R60 chassis and 15" R61 (4:3) chassis?
Nothing except for the R61 badge, as far as I know.
lenovo T61 T7500, SXGA+, 8GB
lenovo T410s i5 520m, WXGA+, 4GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m, FHD, 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
lenovo T520 i7 2760QM, FHD, 8GB



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Re: What exactly was the R series trying fit?

#20 Post by wujstefan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:49 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:23 pm
Nothing except for the R61 badge, as far as I know.
There are some minor differencies, but again - minor. Swapping the mobo is fairly easy with no frame modding needed. If I take some time I will compare those two; I own them both. These are systems to admire. Too bad 52nb guys did not mod out some R61 board...

Thing of beauty. Really. I owned a couple of them, and most of them (pristine shape!) were shipped to Peru to a forum user as far as I remember. He made a fantastic deal on them.
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