Fujitsu Australia LifeBook T4010

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Fujitsu Australia LifeBook T4010

Pros

  • Long warranty

Cons

  • A little slow, pale keys become dirty quickly

Bottom Line

Fujitsu's flagship tablet has a number of clever features to help it appeal to the mobile crowd. A long warranty and good battery life make it ideal for a road warrior, but it's a little slow for the demanding power user.

Would you buy this?

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Fujitsu's dark grey and silver LifeBook T4010 tablet is an impressive blend of form and function in a lightweight package. At first glance, the Fujitsu unit looks much like other tablets on the market, but there are a few small design elements that make it stand out from the pack. For example, most other vendors favour a stylus that slips into cavity on either the screen or chassis. The Fujitsu model includes a recess beside the screen to hold the pen, which immediately makes it obvious if you've left it somewhere.

Another elegant inclusion is a small LCD strip next to the screen to show battery life, power status, hard disk activity and other system indicators. It's a great feature, and more tablet manufacturers should go down this path as it provides easy access to information on the status of the machine.

The clamshell design features a small cam that allows the screen to rotate and click lightly into place. It feels sturdy during use and we found ourselves using tablet mode most of the time during testing.

Fujitsu has bundled an on-screen menu that allows access to a keyboard, system settings, LCD brightness and system resources, and acts as a central repository for settings. A button on the chassis interfaces with a rotating latch to secure the clamshell in either tablet or notebook modes.

For the security conscious, there's a biometric fingerprint scanner recessed between the two trackpad buttons, and bundled software allows authentication via a fingerprint swipe (don't worry, you can always authenticate using the keyboard or stylus if required).

The machine runs Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and features a Pentium M-750 and 512MB RAM. The 12.1" screen runs at a native resolution of 1024 x 768, driven by the bundled Intel 915GM display adaptor. The right-hand panel of the machine features a DVD/CD-RW combo drive along with a Kensington lock to secure the device to a desk, while the left includes a USB port, mini FireWire connector, and smartcard and PC Card adapters.

For a small device, the LifeBook T4010 is well appointed. VGA, Ethernet, another USB, infrared, modem, and power connectors can be found on the back panel, while headphone and microphone slots sit on the front next to a card reader. Other useful additions include 802.11b/g wireless networking, Bluetooth support and a physical switch to disable Wi-Fi access in busy areas.

One problem we encountered during testing was the pale keys. Unless you were fastidious about only using the notebook with extremely clean hands, it wouldn't take long for the surface to get dirty and look second-hand.

At a little over 2kg, the Fujitsu is light enough to carry around all day. It managed to run for 4.5 hours in battery testing, indicating you should be able to get by for most of a day, and a three-year warranty should keep you out of trouble.

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