With only a 10in screen, the tiny Fujitsu LifeBook P7230 ultra portable notebook provides some reasonable connectivity and despite its size, it even includes an optical drive. Like many ultra portable notebooks the long battery life was impressive, but its performance left a little to be desired.
- Good battery life, 10in screen, Eco mode button, optical drive can be replaced with a spare battery.
The Fujitsu P7230 ultra portable notebook doesn't offer stellar performance, but its impressive battery life will keep you up and running for long periods of time and its light-weight design with the 10in screen make it very easy to carry around.
Price$ 3,399.00 (AUD)
To keep battery life up and heat emissions down Fujitsu has used the Intel U1400 single core 1.20GHz Ultra Low Voltage CPU, but might have benefited from using Intel's slightly more powerful Dual Core Ultra Low Voltage CPU, the U2500.
Overall our experience using the P7230 with Windows Vista Business Edition was smooth, but some small performance hiccups during basic tasks suggest that it may struggle a little with more taxing applications. The P7230 encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files in four minutes and 36 seconds, which is a fairly slow but not unexpected result. We tested the system with its out-of-the-box configuration using 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 RAM, but increasing the RAM to the maximum of 2GB will certainly help performance. Its other specifications include an 80GB hard disk and onboard graphics.
Keep in mind, the slower performance is not necessarily a downside, as ultra portable notebooks are not necessarily aimed at high performance. The P7230 is light for easy transport (1.4kg without PSU) and it impressed us in our battery life tests. To push the limits of the P7230's battery we put it through a DVD rundown test, where we drain the battery by playing a DVD. This is considered a worst-case scenario test as the optical drive and speakers are draining the battery, as well as the screen and other core components. It took three hours of looping DVD playback at maximum volume for this machine to shut down. Although the speakers were too soft to comfortably watch to a DVD movie, even at maximum volume, the three hours playback indicates that under normal circumstances this unit will keep on without a power source for a considerable amount of time.
To help conserve battery life Fujitsu has placed an Eco button below the screen, which quickly switches the notebook into a low power mode by disabling the optical drive, PC and media card slots, wired LAN port, modem, FireWire and decreases the brightness of the screen (though this can be increased manually while remaining in Eco mode).
Another useful feature is the ability to hot-swap the optical drive with a spare battery, giving you the option for greater uptime while on the road. As well as the Eco button, a programmable "Application" (A) shortcut button can be set to open any application at a touch. This can be programmed using Fujitu's LifeBook Application Panel.
As well as the DVD re-writer the P7230 also comes with a media card reader (SD/MS/xD, Smart Card support) and a 0.3 mega pixel web camera built into the top of the screen.
The screen itself is bright and clearly visible with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels. As long as it isn't tilted too sharply from the optimum straight-on viewing angle it projects a strong clear image. The keyboard, though small, was comfortable to type on as none of the most commonly used keys have been downsized to fit. The touchpad is responsive and easy to use. Two USB 2.0 ports are available as well as the FireWire port, 56k modem, 802.11 a/b/g wireless and 10/100/100 LAN port.
FW: The Fujitsu P7230 ultra portable notebook doesn't offer stellar performance, but its impressive battery life will keep you up and running for long periods of time and its light-weight design with the 10in screen make it very easy to carry around.
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