Under Review: Fujitsu ultraportable fronts up where it counts

Under Review: Fujitsu ultraportable fronts up where it counts

Fujitsu’s 12-inch LifeBook P8010 has none of the flashiness of other recently-released ultraportables like the MacBook Air or Toshiba Portege R500, but it is a decent performer for everyday users.

Although quite chunky in appearance, it’s very portable at 1.3kg, has impressive battery life and more than adequate processing grunt even though its Intel core two duo SL7100 processor only runs at 1.2 GHz. Helping out the performance are the 800MHz front side bus, 4MB level two cache and Intel’s GS965 Express chipset.

Our review unit had 2GB of RAM (with 1GB of Intel Turbo memory), fine for running the Vista Business OS, although RAM can be doubled.

There is plenty of storage with a non-solid state 250GB hard drive and the range of ports also makes it well connected.

The main downsides are the 1280 x 800 pixel screen’s poor viewing angle and the flimsy feel due to the amount of flexibility in the body materials.

The P8010 has many features to appeal to business people, such as the built-in DVD player/burner, fingerprint scanner (which cleverly doubles as a scroller), trusted platform module, spill-resistant keyboard and A/G/N wireless. There’s also a 1.3MP webcam and internal microphone for VoIP calling, and an optional port replicator to access desktop apps.

Fujitsu claims up to 6.1 hours battery life from the six-cell Li-ion battery and it comfortably got through a movie starting from full charge, with the power set to ‘balanced’ mode.

At 21mm deep, the P8010 certainly isn’t thin, with the design not having changed much from the black version of its predecessor in the LifeBook Range, the P7230.

Touring around the machine, there’s an SD card reader and wireless button at the front; Kensington Lock, AC power, VGA, LAN and two USB ports, firewire port and headphone/microphone jack on the left; with a PC card slot, DVD drive and another USB port on the right. There’s also Bluetooth 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. Businesspeople may be frustrated by the omission of built-in wireless wide area networking, however.

A panel of four programmable application launch buttons (set by default to support, Eco power saving mode, presentation, and internet) is also useful.

The touchpad is larger than most at 70mm long x 43mm wide and its right side can be used for scrolling. The keys are comfortable to type on, however keys may feel too small for people with large fingers and there isn’t a numeric keypad (which wasn’t expected in a unit of this size).

At $3299 the P8010 is affordable for businesses and cheaper than the SSD-featured Lenovo X300 at $4299 before GST and the MacBook Air at $5139 for a 1.8GHz processor version.

The P8010 runs quietly with little fan noise, while the surface area around the keyboard and touchpad didn’t even get warm after a few hours’ use.

Bundled software includes CyberLink PowerDVD and PowerDirector, Roxio Easy Media Creator, Acrobat Reader and various Fujitsu applications.

The review unit also came with a soft case and notebook mouse.

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