Fujitsu LifeBook P1610
- Convertible form factor, compact, lightweight, fingerprint scanner
- Cramped keyboard, poor battery life, squint-inducing resolution
It's rare to find a notebook as versatile as the LifeBook P1610. There are certainly compromises to be made for its tiny frame and convertible design, but if blistering performance isn't essential, the P1610 is well worth a look.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
An A5 form factor, the Fujitsu LifeBook P1610 has all the features you would expect of both a tablet and a notebook while also offering 3.5G wireless Internet. While the build quality and design are attractive, the performance could have been better with a Core Duo processor at around the same price.
Utilising an ultra-low voltage U1400 1.2GHz Core Solo CPU and 1GB of RAM, this device is clearly not built for high performance. Since the CPU is low voltage, the notebook doesn't produce an excessive amount of heat so it should be comfortable to use on your lap for extended periods. With such low specs, the applications that will comfortably run on it are limited to office-based programs making it ideal for road warrior executives who need something more robust than their PDA.
In WorldBench 6 it scored only 31, which is a rather low score but not unexpected for this CPU. The unit was unable to complete the 3dStudio Max tests within WorldBench due to the graphics capabilities. While no-one will want to use this notebook to play games, we nonetheless performed the 3D Mark 2001 test where it achieved a low score of 2700. If the graphics chip were better we believe the WorldBench 6 score would have been higher.
It comes with Windows Vista Business pre-installed and it seemed to work quite convincingly in that environment, even while using the Aero interface. While overall, there shouldn't be a problem with most applications, don't expect it to break any speed records. In our Cdex MP3 encoding test, encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took five minutes 23 seconds which is an extremely slow result.
In our battery test, the LifeBook P1610 performed well. Since the device has no internal optical drive, we couldn't do our usual DVD rundown test. Instead we ran a movie from the hard drive. The P1610 lasted 87 minutes. While this test isn't as strenuous on the battery as a DVD test, it is the most taxing task a notebook like this can perform as it uses the speakers as well as the other core components. However, it is an extreme test and under normal use, the battery should last a little longer than these results.
Unlike other tablets, Fujitsu uses passive technology on the P1610 which sits above the screen and therefore means you can't hover the cursor and can't use pressure sensitive applications. At default settings, the pen is rather inaccurate but after some tweaking, we were able to make it fairly accurate but still not perfect. Since buttons and text links are rather small and, even the slightest inaccuracy means you tend to tap the screen a few times in trial and error. Those that are looking for something that they can use quickly and those that are heavy handed might be better off with an active system, although these tend to use more power.
Weighing only 1kg, it is also rather small measuring 232(W)x167(D)x34.5(H)mm. At this size it is deal for those on the road and is easy to cart around. The included 3.5G wireless Internet works well and is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is insert a 3G sim card in the space below the battery and you are good to go. We tested the 3.5G Internet using a 3 mobile sim card and found it to be fast and on par with what you would expect from a 3G network.
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Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
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