As a fan of ultralight, ultraportable PCs--I'm typing on one now at CES--I'm always interested in seeing what Fujitsu has on deck. More often than not, Fujitsu introduces new features and innovations in the ultraportable space, always packing in something more.
The company's latest offering is no exception: The LifeBook P8000 Series represents a marked evolution from the current P7100 Series.
For starters, the industrial design has been overhauled to provide a glossy, piano black cover and a slimmer, lighter chassis. As compared with current models, the P8000's weight goes down to about 2.4 pounds (2.6 pounds with the extended-life battery).
The dimensions grow slightly, too, to 11.2- by 8.3- by 1.4-inches (Currently, the P7100 Series measures 10.7- by 7.9- by 1.2-inches). According to Fujitsu's Paul Moore, senior director of mobile product marketing, the extra length and height accommodates the switch from a 10.4-inch screen to a 12.1-inch widescreen display, while the extra depth is to accommodate the battery and optical drive).
The 12.1-inch display is the centerpiece of this new model, but also notable is that the display is LED backlit, which helps with the weight and improved battery life over previous P-Series notebooks.
The display's borders are noticeably thinner than usual, too. According to Moore, the border of the screen went from three-quarters of an inch to less than a one-quarter of an inch.
"We've taken all of that space and filled it with the display," says Moore. Fujitsu put the display's inverter down along the bottom instead of with the display itself. "Without an inverter, it opens up a lot of possibilities. And when you don't have something you have to mount on the side, you can get creative about how you mount the display," he adds.
The unit includes an integrated optical drive and Web cam, which makes this a great mobile companion both for work and for fun. It still has a PC Card slot, an SD Card slot, plus three USB ports, and one FireWire port.
One other design point I noticed and give kudos for: Fujitsu dramatically increased the surface area of the touchpad and the corresponding buttons. The small touchpad and tiny buttons were a drawback on the 7100 Series model.
Look for the unit in February, with pricing starting at US$1699.