This is a great little laptop (disclaimer -- I work for Ricoh, though not in the part that makes or sells computers). It runs Linux with no problems that I can detect so far, weighs 2.7 pounds, and fits in a (large) fanny pack.
One of the best things about it is that all the ports are on the case: there's no need to carry a port replicator around. Another is that the batteries are separately hot-swappable. I discovered recently that it seems to be set up to take physically larger batteries, though this would probably require new covers for the battery compartments.
I spent a week at a conference during which I learned how to touch-type on it. The key spacing is 15mm, which is marginal but possible. I wouldn't want to use it full time, but for a week's worth of note-taking and hotel-room hacking it's eminently useable.
My main gripes are that the audio input is monophonic (no line in), and that there aren't any USB drivers for Linux yet.
I used RedHat 5.1, which had some challenges in the install process; 5.2 should be a piece of cake. With 5.1 I had to rebuild the kernel to recognize the PCMCIA controller chip.
This was a little tricky:
The full install involved:
initrdonly to discover that it won't install from a FAT32 partition. This may just be a directory-name problem.
I am told that recent versions of TurboLinux have all the correct drivers. Use any PCMCIA-card ATAPI CD-ROM drive and it just up and installs, including the kernel with APM support. This is probably true of any distribution that boots from a single floppy and has the right PCMCIA drivers.
The X configuration is the only really tricky part:
Section "Pointer" Protocol "ps/2" Device "/dev/psaux" Emulate3Buttons ... Section "Monitor" HorizSync 31.5-36 VertRefresh 55-60 ... Section "Device" Identifier "65555" Option "sw_cursor" Option "use_vclk1" Option "suspend_hack" ...
The "use_vclk1" option was the trickiest to find.