So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Fujitsu LifeBook P8010
- Shortcuts to Fujitsu support and power management, lightweight and very portable, includes an optical drive despite its size, good performer for its size, good battery life
- Small keys, poor viewing angle
The screen may have a poor viewing angle, but the rest of this portable business option is pleasant to use. The LifeBook P8010 may not be as thin as some of its closest competitors but it's still a very portable unit.
Price$ 2,899.00 (AUD)
Fujitsu has released yet another ultraportable business notebook, this time it's the LifeBook P8010, a small, stylish ultraportable weighing just 1.35kg. Although it launched together with the tiny Fujitsu LifeBook U1010 (see the video review here), it's a slightly larger product that competes with notebooks like the Toshiba Portege R500 and to a lesser extent the MacBook Air.
We have some minor concerns with the screen and keyboard, but overall it's very comfortable to use and performs well considering the hardware installed. An Intel ultra low voltage L7100 1.2GHz CPU with an 800MHz front side bus and a 4MB L2 cache has been used; a low power option that limits the performance of the P8010, but helps maintain low heat emissions and improve battery life. Fortunately a full 2GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM has also been installed to provide a little help in the performance stakes. As a result we were pleasantly surprised at the performance of this notebook.
Probably the only real disappointment we had with this notebook was with its screen. The 12.1in LCD offers a standard resolution of 1280x800 and does have fair brightness and contrast levels, but suffers badly from a poor viewing angle. Coupled with a fixed hinge (the screen will only rotate so far on its hinge), this problem can mean your going to have problems reading the screen in certain situations. It's also extremely thin, which doesn't give us much confidence should the screen take a hefty knock. We also found the keys to be a little undersized, though they're still easy to type on.
Beyond that, though, we are happy with the P8010. It's stylish, lightweight and still offers a DVD-RW drive. It's thicker than products like the MacBook Air and Toshiba Portege R500, but is equally portable. Despite its size it still squeezes in all the usual ports, from a FireWire and PC card slot to the standard array of USB 2.0 ports and a VGA output. There is also an SD card reader. Fujitsu has also installed a comfortable 250GB of storage space and the P8010 runs on Windows Vista Business edition.
A set of shortcut keys glow with blue LED symbols just above the keyboard, the first of which is a shortcut to Fujitsu's Support Center. This function allows you to update drivers, search Fujitsu's site for answers to problems, read the product manual and run diagnostic tests. Tests are included for everything, including hard drive tests, RAM tests, networking tests and so on.
Second on the list is Fujitsu's own power management, which goes as far as disabling the PC card, SD card reader, Wi-Fi and FireWire, as well as lowering the brightness. The third is another handy tool, a presentation mode selector. This feature brings up a small list of output options with different resolutions to choose from. If you give presentations often you may find this very handy. You can create your own output settings and save them accordingly. Last on the list is just a shortcut to the Internet, though each of these buttons is programmable and can be reallocated to other applications at any time.
In WorldBench 6 the LifeBook P8010 scored a healthy 60. Although 60 is not a high score, it's fairly decent for a notebook with an ultra low voltage CPU. In our MP3 encoding tests, however, the slower performance of the CPU really showed up. Converting 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took 141sec using iTunes.
In the battery test we saw some good results. Running the notebook down with a looping DVD drained the battery in 162min, an impressive time, especially considering the nature of the test. A DVD rundown is a worst-case scenario, as the DVD drive and speakers get thrown into the mix as well as the usual components.
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