Fujitsu LifeBook S6510 all-purpose laptop

Fujitsu LifeBook S6510 all-purpose laptop

The Fujitsu LifeBook S6510 is a slim and light laptop with a fairly big screen. Battery life is not bad, and you have the option of nearly doubling it by using two batteries at once. The S6510 is a pricey little unit, though, and it's slow and a bit limited in features compared with the competition. Unless its weight and screen size suit you perfectly, you should pass on this Windows Vista Business laptop--you can get a better-performing portable for the same price.

A newer model in Fujitsu's thin-and-light stable, the S6510 weighs 3.8 pounds, including a reasonably bright 1280-by-800-pixel 14.1-inch screen. With the optical drive or a second battery (US$120 extra, not included with our review unit) inserted into the bay instead of the included blank, the weight totals a little over 4 pounds.

The S6510's battery life was decent. The main battery endured for 3.7 hours in our tests, about 10 minutes longer than the average of 3.6 hours attained by 14 currently tested all-purpose notebooks. We didn't test the two-battery configuration, but for that setup Fujitsu estimates a total of 6.2 hours of operation.

The $2519 (as of 11/30/07) FPCM43353 configuration of the S6510 comes standard with a 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo T7700 processor and an extra-big 4GB hunk of main memory. Despite those impressive components, the S6510's performance was only so-so. Its WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 74 was slightly better than the average mainstream laptop's score of 72, so the S6510 should be plenty fast enough to handle most applications. However, it lagged behind a Lenovo ThinkPad T61p with the same processor and only half the RAM by 9 percent (the ThinkPad earned a score of 81).

The rest of the design is attractive overall. Among the minor drawbacks are weak-sounding speakers and two ugly rear screws. Hard-drive size tops out at our test unit's 120GB, and the laptop lacks an ExpressCard slot, offering only the old PC Card slot. But in the "pros" column, the S6510 feels sturdy and has a nice spill-resistant keyboard. The keyboard features Fujitsu's handy shortcut buttons that double as a security panel. Front-mounted status lights dedicated to each of the two batteries make tracking usage a snap, too. The bottom of the laptop has a connection for a port replicator ($199 extra) and a removable dust filter. Applications are not included.

With its reasonable weight and a screen just small enough to clear a reclining seat back, the Fujitsu LifeBook S6510's physical attributes will please all but the most persnickety ultraportable fan. If getting maximum performance bang for your buck is just as important to your business, however, keep looking.

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