Since the chisel and stone, the slate form factor has been a favourite for mankind. However, today our advanced monkey brains require more technical solutions - enter the notebook/tablet hybrid. Fujitsu's latest entrant to this market is the sleek LifeBook T2010.
Weighing 1.7kg and no larger than an A4-sized piece of paper, the T2010 offers the usual notebook functions plus the usual selection of tablet accessibility features. Using a set of five multi-function shortcut buttons, you can rotate the screen, bring up the task manager, page up, page down and enter without converting to the keyboard mode. Fujitsu has added its own touches, too.
A Fujitsu Menu shortcut allows quick access to some of the tablets most regularly accessed settings and functions, such as power options, the control panel, audio and brightness settings. The menu can also be programmed to include other applications and shortcuts that you might need. Four of these multi-function buttons can also be used to enter a four-pin code when booting the system up, a feature found on all Fujitsu notebooks.
An ultra-low voltage U7600 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU has been used to lower heat emissions and extend battery life, but 2GB of DDR2 RAM keeps this machine running fairly smoothly, though it's not a powerhouse by a long shot. Even in the High Performance power mode, which generally cranks up the heat, the LifeBook T2010 is quite comfortable to use on your lap for extended periods of time.
The electronic pen is responsive and accurate, and as usual there's a right-click button which can be held before tapping on the screen to bring up any right-click popup menus. In notebook mode an eraser-head style track point is used instead of a touchpad, which can be hard to get used to but works just fine. The fingerprint scanner is designed to be most accessible in the tablet mode and so is the power switch.
There's a 120GB hard drive installed but no internal optical drive. This can be irritating, but isn't uncommon in tablets. A docking station or external optical drive are optional additions. At the time of writing a docking station with an optical drive costs around $299.
In our battery test, the LifeBook T2010 performed well. Normally we run a DVD rundown test, however, as we had no internal optical drive, we ran a movie from a file until the battery drained. In this test, the T2010 lasted 162 minutes. While this test isn't as strenuous on the battery as a DVD rundown, it is a worst-case scenario for this tablet as it uses the speakers as well as the other core components required to operate normally. In everyday situations the T2010 should last longer.
In WorldBench 6 it scored only 53, but that's not too shabby for an ultra-low voltage CPU and shows the T2010 can handle the installed Windows Vista Business operating system, as well as a comprehensive set of commonly used applications. However, don't expect exceptional speeds. In our MP3 encoding test, encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took 211 seconds in Cdex and 143 seconds in iTunes - both fairly slow results.