IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad Z61p

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Construction: Field Tested - Internal (cont'd)

Unlike your typical DTR notebooks by Alienware or Dell, the Z61p has few internal upgradeable parts aside from the standard components.  We will start with the memory.  By default the Z61p ships with 2 x 512-MB DDR2-667 SDRAM SO-DIMMs (PC2-5300) with no option to upgrade with more during customization. If a user requires more memory, then they must order optional memory in addition to what is installed.  To access the SODIMM sockets you must first unscrew one screw pictured in the lower left photo.  Once this is removed, the user can then flip the unit over and remove the palm rest by gently applying pressure to each side and popping it off.  Once removed, the user is presented with two 200 pin SODIMM sockets where users can upgrade to a maximum of 4GB of Ram. 

         

Accessing the Mini PCI-E and Mini PCI requires a tad more work.  Users must must first remove the memory screw and then remove four screws on the underside of the chassis as pictured below. 

        

Once the screws are removed, users can then flip the unit over and remove the keyboard.  Once removed, users have access to the Mini PCI-E wireless adapter pictured dead center above the keyboard cable below.  There is also a Mini PCI slot to the right of the CPU which is occupied by a modem daughter card.  Note the copper heatsink covering both the CPU and Video chips.  If this unit had a Wireless WAN adapter, there is another dedicated Mini PCI-E slot just forward of the heatsink where it would reside. The processor on the Z61p is removable, but is to only be done so by an IBM service rep.  Otherwise doing so could void the warranty.

Now although the Intel Core Duo (Yonah) processors are socket compatible with the newer Core 2 Duo (Merom) chips, current reports from other Thinkpad users on the web indicate that a BIOS update is required in order to perform this upgrade on the Z61p.  Some users of the T60p series (indentical internal components minus Firewire and Card Reader) have posted limited success on Thinkpads.com with a beta BIOS update.  At the time of writing this review, Lenovo had not released an official BIOS update for the Z61p which would add official Merom support.

Tags:  Lenovo, ThinkPad, IBM, Pad, ink, thin, think, K

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