Lenovo ThinkPad R500 review

A rock-solid business laptop with great usability and an impressive battery life

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Our Verdict

This machine offers solid build quality and price but the limited graphics power and absence of a HDMI port may deter some

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Fantastic battery life
  • Build quality
  • Excellent usability
  • Matt finish to screen eliminates reflections
  • ThinkVantage software
  • Fingerprint scanner


  • Bulky
  • Matt finish reduces the impact of colour and contrast
  • Limited graphics power

When Lenovo acquired IBM's computer division in 2005, it took on the famed ThinkPad laptop range – renowned as being among the world's best business laptops. The ThinkPad R500 is an entry-level model and a rock-solid work tool with a fantastic battery life.

Build quality is some of the sturdiest we've ever seen, with firmly mounted panels and resilient matt-finish plastics. All ThinkPads are built for frequent and demanding daily business use and this is a laptop that will easily withstand the rigorous test of all-day use on the move.

The 2.9kg chassis measures 43mm in depth, making it quite cumbersome, though the Lenovo ThinkPad R500 has an excellent battery life of 364-minutes.

ThinkPads are renowned for having arguably the best laptop keyboards around, providing a smooth and firm typing action, resulting in excellent usability. The left Ctrl key is indented by one key, however, which may irritate some users.

Lenovo thinkpad r500

The 15.4-inch TFT screen adds to its usability. Its matt finish eliminates reflections, making it easy to view in all conditions. While it also reduces the impact of colour and contrast – leading to a slightly dull picture – it is a worthwhile trade-off for daily portable use.

A key feature of the R500 is the preinstalled proprietary ThinkVantage software. Activated by a blue button above the keyboard, it allows even inexperienced users to quickly and safely configure advanced system tasks and settings.

Data protection

Excellent data protection features add to the business usability. A fingerprint scanner lets you biometrically secure the laptop and, once configured, only authorised users can access data on the laptop with a quick swipe of their finger.

The Lenovo ThinkPad R500's dual-core Intel processor provides ample performance for frequent multi-tasking. Graphics power is less capable, but you'll have no trouble creating and running PowerPoint office presentations.

An analogue VGA port lets you connect to external monitors, but the inclusion of DisplayPort technology, rather than HDMI, for connecting to high-definition (HD) screens may deter some buyers, due to the limited compatibility presently available.

Offering rock-solid build quality, great usability and an impressive battery life, the ThinkPad R500 is a great entry-level business laptop. While it is quite bulky and has some questionable design choices, its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, making it easy to recommend.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 4500MHD
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time4.50 Hour
Finger Print ReaderYes
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
Product FamilyThinkPad R500
Processor ModelT6570
Operating SystemWindows Vista Business
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed2.10 GHz
Processor TypeCore 2 Duo
Screen Size39.1 cm (15.4")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory2 GB
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityEPEAT Silver, ENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height38.5 mm
Width358.6 mm
Depth260 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesR500
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model27148TG
Product NameThinkPad R500 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad, Trackpoint
Product LineThinkPad
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberNP28TUK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationBy combining the latest Intel technology, graphics and a variety of wireless solutions, the ThinkPad R500 Notebook is designed to boost performance and help you work smartly and efficiently. It features 15.4" widescreen display, camera and a wider Touchpad for improved ergonomics.
Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • ThinkPad R500 Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed800 MHz