Lenovo R500

Fingerprint reader (back of the palmrest)

Quite solid metal chassis

BCM5787 (LAN controller), MAX6622 (temperature monitor), Turbo Memory slot

Intel 5100 WiFi

Matsushita (Matshita) / Panasonic optical drive

Back of the palmrest - IBM/Lenovo/Foxconn


  • solid construction; slightly weaker points are display twisting resistance and palmrest plastic (although metal chassis is directly under palmrest, so this is only minor crackling when pushing at right side)
  • mat finish and probably very high wear resistance (plain black plastics with no coating of any kind)
  • still perfectly fine performance for most home/office uses; inexpensive to upgrade with DDR3
  • low temperature (exhaust at both back and left side) and fan noise (although fan seems to be active all the time)
  • relatively small touchpad (I've disabled it completely in BIOS as it often generated random clicks for me when typing)
  • display proportions: 16:10
  • decent WiFi range / antenna set
  • great trackpoint (comparing with my previous Dell D600)
  • poor USB port placement - all three are placed on left side near the front and also susceptible to mechanical damage - there are numerous reports of broken ports and they are quite expensive to replace
  • some noises from switching on-board voltage converters (quite disturbing at first, although I stopped noticing it after some time); surprisingly I haven't hear them when working on second R500 with T5870 processor - it might be individual issue
  • bad speaker sound quality at higher volume (resonating at some frequencies, especially right one - fixed partially by putting foam layer between speaker and optical drive)
  • quite fragile when it comes to fluids - that's how my first R500 died; it was just a small amount of water spilled at left bottom keyboard area, but there is nothing to prevent fluids from entering through the crack between palmrest and top bevel and DC/DC converters are very close to this area

Update. While R500 is definitely not resistant to water it turns out mine has survived. At first, after days of drying, laptop was reacting to power switch but screen was blank with inactive backlight. It started working again after resetting CMOS by removing backup cell (well, pity I got this idea very, late buying T500 in meantime).