Fujitsu LifeBook TH700 tablet PC

Fujitsu's 12.1in tablet PC is packed with features and accepts both finger and pen inputs

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Fujitsu LifeBook TH700
  • Fujitsu LifeBook TH700
  • Fujitsu LifeBook TH700
  • Fujitsu LifeBook TH700
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.50 / 5 (of 2 Reviews)

Pros

  • Multitouch touchscreen, works with a pen or with your fingers, plenty of connectivity, ExpressCard/54 expansion slot

Cons

  • Small and sometimes jumpy touchpad, screen is not bright enough, screen orientation sometimes switches automatically, only 2GB RAM

Bottom Line

Fujitsu's LIfeBook TH700 is a 12.1in convertible tablet PC that's a lot of fun to use. Its touchscreen works very well and you can write or draw on it using the pen, or you can use your fingers to select things and rotate and zoom pictures for example. It's also great to use as a regular laptop, although it's a little heavy and its screen isn't all that bright.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

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If you absolutely must own a decent tablet PC, then you should consider Fujitsu's LifeBook TH700. It's a notebook with a tablet-convertible 12.1in screen that uses Wacom dual digitiser technology so that you can interact with it either by using your fingers or a pen. Best of all, you can write and draw on the screen very comfortably so it’s a good solution if you’re a graphic artist who wants to use a notebook and a graphics tablet while on the road.

Want something smaller? Check out our review of the 10.1in Fujitsu LifeBook TH550.

LifeBook TH700: Touchscreen performance

We may be a little baffled by the use of touchscreens on desktop PCs, but we’ve liked the idea of tablet-convertible laptops for a while — especially Fujitsu tablets, which seem to be a cut above the rest. With the LifeBook TH700, you get a 12.1in laptop that’s comfortable to use as a regular laptop, but a lot more fun to use as a tablet. The screen’s hinge swings both ways, folds back over the keyboard and latches into place, giving you a solid platform on which to write notes, draw pictures or just browse the Web. You can use flick gestures to navigate within a Web browser and scrolling can be undertaken easily by dragging one finger — similar to how you would scroll on an iPad.

The screen is accurate to write on and it does a good job of recognising most cursive writing. But it’s not always 100 per cent accurate, and if you write fast enough, you might confuse it.

This part of the review was handwritten: Using the pen.it Was a little awkward as our hand)lkept moving the cursor, and just after 'hand is when me accidentally hit the rotates Green button.

In the above paragraph, we noticed that sometimes our hand would move the cursor if we put too much pressure on the tablet, and depending on the way we held the tablet (for example, if we were writing in portrait mode toward the screen’s buttons) then we would sometimes accidentally hit the button that rotates the screen. But these are things you learn to avoid doing after a while. We did notice that the screen sometimes switched orientation on its own for no reason a little while after we’d already switched to tablet mode, and we couldn’t figure out why. For example, when we ran the tablet calibration program in landscape mode, it would switch automatically to portrait mode before we could finish the calibration.

Handwriting recognition is very accurate, unless you happen to write very fast and very messily.

The LifeBook TH700 is actually a lot of fun to draw on — even if you have no talent!

While you’re in tablet mode, you can use the Fujitsu Menu application to access the Control Panel and change the screen brightness among other things. The screen itself is slightly reflective and not always easy to see depending on which orientation you have it set to. For example, if you look at it upside-down or in portrait mode, then the narrow viewing angles can make it a little hard to read. But overall, it’s easy to view in an office and even outdoors — unless it's a bright day.

You can use Fujitsu's Menu application to quickly access tablet controls and other device settings. The menu items can be customised.

As a regular notebook, the LifeBook TH700 feels good to use. Its keys have good travel and, despite the laptop's small size, the spill-resistant keyboard isn't uncomfortable to type on. We did find the touchpad to be a tad uncomfortable because it's small (67x37mm) and also because the cursor sometimes didn't track across the screen properly.

LifeBook TH700: Specifications and performance

Powering the LifeBook TH700 is a relatively modest configuration for a $2099 laptop. It has a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M CPU, 2GB of DDR SDRAM, a 500GB hard drive and integrated Intel GMA HD graphics. It's a configuration that won't set the world on fire, but it's powerful enough to comfortably run office applications and, most importantly, the touchscreen interface and the handwriting recognition programs. You won't notice much lag while you're writing with the pen. In our Blender 3D rendering and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, the TH700 recorded 1min 06sec and 1min 13sec, respectively.

These results are pretty good going when you compared to the 2.26GHz Core i3-350 CPU in Medion's Akoya E7214 for example, which recorded 1min 5sec and 1min 10sec. In our video encoding test, our DVD file took 1hr 31min to be turned into a 1.5GB Xvid file, which is actually one minute faster than the Medion. That's not bad for a little laptop, but if speed is of primary importance to you then you can always opt for faster Core i5–based model.

LifeBook TH700: Build quality and battery life

The build quality of the LifeBook TH700 is good, although it is a little rattly. That's because its battery is located in the front-right quadrant of the chassis instead of along the spine, so when you pick up the notebook with one hand from this corner, it always feels like something is loose. The notebook is very sturdy though. The battery has six cells and it lasted 2hr 46min in our rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video.

Although the notebook is small, the touchscreen adds some extra weight and the TH700 tips the scales at just over two kilograms. However, its rich configuration also contributes to the overall weight. It includes a DVD burner, three USB 3.0 ports, FireWire, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA (D-Sub), an SD card slot, an ExpressCard/54 slot and headphone and microphone ports. Furthermore, you get a high quality, 2-megapixel webcam, Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi. You can remove the DVD burner and replace it with a weight saver if you wish — but it won't save you more than a few grams.

The LifeBook TH700 borrows facets from consumer and corporate notebooks and its target market is business users who want something a little more interesting to look at than a drab, boxy PC. The lid and palm rest are glossy with hints of sparkles, while the screen's bezel is matte black and also houses a fingerprint reader, which allows you to access Windows and your favourite Web sites by swiping your finger instead of typing passwords. This is convenient when you're in tablet mode.

Conclusion

Overall, we think the LifeBook TH700 is a great little tablet PC that's well worth considering if you want plenty of features, including handwriting recognition. We love the fact that you can use both your fingers and a pen to navigate the screen. The only annoying aspect of the tablet was its tendency to switch orientation on its own. It runs Windows 7 Professional, and doesn't have any touch-enabled applications installed apart from Windows 7's Touch Pack and Fujitsu Menu. We’d like Fujitsu to supply more touch-centric applications — and perhaps develop a touch-enabled front-end to load your favourite applications, rather than having to browse the Windows 7 menu interface.

Fujitsu environmental policy

You can read all about Fujitsu's environmental policy on its Web site: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/environment/approach/policy. One of the 'green' features of the LifeBook TH700 is its Power Saving Utility, which allows you to get more life out of its battery by disabling features. For example, when you enable this feature, it mutes the audio, disables the optical drive and stops supplying power to the slots, Ethernet and FireWire ports. It also reduces the screen brightness to a level of three out of 12.

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Brian W.

1

Hello,

I had the ultimate misfortune of buying a Fujitsu Lifebook T1010. Firstly,it was falsely advertised with Turbo Memory inside it. When I looked for this I could not find it.I contacted Fujitsu to ask them about it. It took them two weeks to respond,and even that was just an email asking for the model and serial number of it. After sending the info again,it took them another 4 days to respond. They said it was a last minute decision to not add the Turbo Memory,and that they just forgot to change their online description. Well, about a week or so after that, they offered an upgraded T1010 and guess what? They had added Turbo Memory to it. I was very angry. Also,they claimed it to be able to use a 64 bit operating system. Wrong! I tried installing two different 64 bit operating systems and neither one would work. I contacted Fujitsu again and again they said that it was a last minute decision not to make the T1010 64 bit compatible. Again they had forgot to change out their description online page. And along with the upgraded T1010 they decided to make it 64 bit compatible. When I requested to send my T1010 back in exchange for the upgraded one which I should have gotten in the first place, they said the only way I could do that was if I paid the extra $300 or so for the upgraded one. And I hadn't had my T1010 but for 3 weeks. Also,they listed my T1010 as hasving a 2 year warranty, but when I asked them about why when I checked I was told my warranty expires after a year,again they said it was a misprint. I refused to pay it,kept my T1010 and just took the loss. Then,after its warranty expired,the lid near the hinge began to crack for no reason. I used my T1010 with exceptional care, and it still looked brand new, except for this lid cracking. I contacted Fujitsu with the wanting to buy a brand new replacement lid for it and they refused to sell it to me. They told me I would have to pay for the lid and pay for them to put it on. I told them that I repaired computers and could put it on myself, the warranty had expired. But they still refused to sell me the lid replacement. I went via a 3rd party to get the lid. I got the lid,installed it, and all was fine. It looked like a brand new tablet laptop again. I ended up selling it to someone.I would love to trust Fujitsu again and eventually buy another of their tablet laptops. I just do not think that is possible. I was wanting the U820, but with problems involving my T1010 and their false advertising schemes and poor customer service,I will just rely on caution and pass them up!A first experience buying a computer needs to be the best experience ever. That is what keeps people coming back to that manufacturer. But when the first experience is bad, such as mine with Fujitsu and also Sony,that tells the customer the computer manufacturer simply cannot be trusted,and find a different manufacturer to buy from. So far,Dell and HP holds the rank of best computer buying experience I've had.

Ed

2

I got a TH700 in October 2010 and by Feb 2011 it is going to the shop for a possible mother board failure.
The computer just shut down on it's own now only the power button goes on temporarily and the num/scroll lock buttons blink green.
After talking to support the person said it was most likely a MB failure and needed to go into the shop. Lucky it's under warranty as this was a rather expensive investment.
Says much about the quality of this particular model as it may look nice but is very poorly made it seems.
I am very disappointed in this purchase and will not buy another Fujitsu laptop again.
Just a heads up to all buyers thinking of getting a fujitsu.

Genevieve

3

We all speak from our own experiences:
My Lifebook E8210 has been fully functional and error-less since May 2007. Despite 1 GB RAM, it is more than adequate for MS-Office usage and browsing the internet today. Beautiful keyboard, (not clicky - not mushy) and screen. It was first of the Core2Duo processors, and overheating is not an issue.

My Lifebook E8420 has never missed a beat since June 2009. Ordered with 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA 9300MG total 374MB VRAM, 320GB HDD,T9550 (2.66GHz) cpu, runs every game my husband owns. Processes media and video editing with ease. It has been used extensively 7 days a week. The total hours of usage would exceed 20,000. The filter cleaned once, and the fan is barely audible.

Quality machines. Quality build.

The ASUS Turbo Boost my husband wanted for gaming did cost less, but it lasted less than 2 years.

I would not hesitate to buy Fujitsu again.

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Raymond

5.0

1

Pros
Touchscreen.
Cons
i3 instead of 5 or 7
• • •

I've had the TH700 since August and I think this computer is great. I have had no problems (knock on wood). I am running Arch Linux, touchscreen is running great. It would be nice if Fujitsu had some Linux development going. Sorry I am not big on reviews, just wanted to put in the good word for this laptop. I would definitely recommend it to others.

Anonymous

4.0

2

Pros
-
Cons
-
• • •

Calls go to Phillipines, there lies the problem.

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