ThinkPad R60 & Vista Experience in Malaysia

I just got a new laptop.

It is a Lenovo ThinkPad R60. I bought this in Malaysia at a local store. It was a display unit.

- Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 CPU (T550@1.66GHz 1.67GHz)
- Memory: 512 MB (DDR2 SDRAM)
- Hard disk: SATA 80GB, 5400RPM (HTS541080G9SA00 ATA Device)
- Graphics : Mobile Intel (R) 945GM Express Chipset Family (a.k.a Intel GMA 950)
- Drive : Matshita DVD/CDRW UJDA770 ATA Device
- Modem : ThinkPad (Built-in)
- Network : Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet (Cat-5)
Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
- Monitor : 14.1" XGA TFT
- 6 Cells battery with potential operation duration of up to 3 hours. (discussed more later)
- 3 USB slot.
- 1 Firewire slot.
- Weight : 2.5 KG
- Software: MS DOS

Total Cost: RM 3,399

Upgraded memory to 2038 MB (TwinMos DDR2 SO-DIMM) - (additional RM 500)
With installment payment basis from HSBC credit card, it occurred additional surcharge of 4% which therefore the total price for my new machine is RM 4,050.

ThinkPad R60

IBM ThinkPad

However, the dealer has visibly earned more than his expected commission due to two reasons:

1. The unit which I bought was a display unit.
2. They keep the original 512 MB memory with them.

So, it is a good deal for them!

What I like about it is that those with similar specifications (with pre-installed Windows Vista Business) would cost RM 4,388.

This means that RM 989 would be allocated for Windows Operating System.

Since I have Microsoft ISV at my disposal, I can save up this amount.

Vista (Business) Experience:

Drivers' support:

1. No Windows Vista USB driver support for Sony DSC-P50.

Check out this link.

However, according to this link. The model is compatible with Vista.

but there is really no driver for Windows Vista.

2. Brother's printer support.

Check this out.

However, I may be able to install the LPR printer with this tip.

LPR is the de-facto protocol for peer-to-peer connection (direct connection) using TCP/IP. (Usually, a printer is connected through a central server, but in this case, the printer is assigned with an IP address and thus it can be done directly using LRP method).

Thus, no need to use any external installer, however you still need the Vista driver downloaded from Brother's web site.

From windows vista, add printer, then add "local printer", then "create a new port", then "standard TCP/IP port", then go for "custom setting", select "RAW" protocol.

And don't go for Custom-LPR (protocol) which doesn't prove to function well. (Can install but doesn't print)

User Experience (Not all bad news):

1. Even with its born-supremacy, mounting an iso image still requires external party. You can't do that with any built-in function. This one(elby free software) works for me in Vista.
And further so, its built-in CD burning software doesn't translate ISO images into normal CD format.
2. No built-in decoder for viewing DVD. Have to purchase instead.

The free alternative is to use VLC Media Player. Make sure you read this to turn on the "OpenGL Video Output" setting. Otherwise, you will see no video!!

3. Going into "standby" mode and come back, the wireless network is disabled and couldn't "wake" up. Have to restart. This has occurred 2/3 times. Let me try somemore.
4. Support for dbx files (Outlook Express).

Vista doesn't support dbx file and Outlook Express is known as "Windows Mail". The only way to get dbx file into Vista is through the import method. It works!!

The import will extract data from dbx files into eml files (which would also contain proper hierarchical structure)

But, what if you want to export(from eml) to dbx files of older Windows versions ? Haven't tried yet.

5. Battery can last 2.5 to 3 hours (under power saver) for normal operations (MS Office, Emails, web browsers and some background processes)

UAC and Technical Problems:

The biggest problem with Vista is related to technical. To give you some previews.

1. Access denied from Vista when attaching & restoring database. This is caused by Windows Vista extended security control where even though one is login as "Administrator", under normal circumstances unless specified otherwise, one still is considered "normal users".
Therefore, either you run the process as "administrator" or you have to alter the security permission to the specific folder to grant MS SQL Server's sa account tagged as "SQLSERVER2005MSSQLUSER$XXXX" with permission for "write".
2. Installing Windows component such as "IIS" is done through "Control Panel/Programs and Features/Turn on or off Windows Features"


Differences from T60:

T60 looks better because it is slimmer and also it has external ATI graphic card (which is good for 3D) as well as finger printing technology. T60 looks better and lighter while R60 is more rugged. T60 cost RM 2,000 more.

Conclusion:

1. To use Windows Vista, at least 1GB RAM. (Currently, upgraded to 2GB doesn't create problem for me).
2. Lenovo ThinkPad R60 is a good machine.
3. Vista doesn't hang or restart automatically.
4. The machine doesn't generate too much heat except when the power plan is switched to "High Performance" - noticeably. Fyi, Vista offers three types of power plans which are namely "balanced","power saver" and "High performance"

Comments

Stephen said…
I bought a Lenovo R60 as well last month, before the memory upgrade I had to wait 5~6 minutes before it finishes booting up, now with 2GB RAM it's loading faster and smoother.

The build in intel 945GM Express Chipset graphic cannot handle most games with only 64MB RAM including shared memory, tried to download a newer driver from intel to see if there's any option to select different memory size, but it will not install because it says the driver is not compatible??

Would you have any idea on how to increase the on board display memory?
Brandon Teoh said…
hi taiko,

It is a good machine to me.

I have no idea yet about increasing the on-board display memory. I think should be not possible. Will find out from some hardware experts.

I also haven't tried out the new driver.
Stephen said…
Somehow the graphics memory increased to 256MB (64MB system video memory + 192MB shared system memory)??

I didn't even do anything...
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