MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
Fujitsu Lifebook L1010
Stylish mid-sized laptop with good speed.
- Good performance, comfortable to use, 'Eco' button for switching off unnecessary hardware, looks stylish, reasonably lightweight
- Glossy screen can be hard to view in bright areas, chassis is easily marked with fingerprints, no dedicated volume control, battery is hard to remove
This unit's build quality is excellent and its size and weight (2.3kg without the power supply) make it an easy unit to carry to and from the office or the classroom. It's well worth considering if you want a shiny and well-performing mid-sized laptop.
Price$ 1,899.00 (AUD)
There is more to this Centrino 2–certified 14.1in laptop than meets the eye. It might seem like it's just for those who want something shiny and stylish, but beneath its fingerprint-prone exterior is a configuration that will easily deal with most daily office chores, as well as give much tougher tasks a good old-fashioned go.
It's based on an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU, which runs at 2.6GHz and is built using Intel's 45nm (nanometre) manufacturing technology. This means it's smaller and more efficient than older CPUs at the same speed grade. Also inside the Lifebook L1010 can be found 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 250GB, 5400rpm hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS graphics adapter.
The unit achieved a solid score of 88 in our WorldBench 6 benchmark. This means you won't notice any sluggishness when running an office suite and Web browsing applications, and it will perform multitasking effortlessly. Its time of 1min 19sec in the Blender 3D rendering test and 1min 15sec in the iTunes MP3 encoding test showcase the laptop's ability to also handle more demanding media-creation tasks. The laptop's hard drive isn't the quickest we've seen, but for a 5400rpm model its ability to transfer data at a rate of 21 megabytes per second is adequate.
A score of 2208 in 3DMark06 means the notebook can be used for some low-level gaming, but it won't adequately run most new titles. The main thing is that the graphics card has its own memory (256MB), so the system won't have to cannibalise system RAM in order to process most graphics (although it can use up to 768MB of system RAM if it needs to). The notebook does a good job of displaying video files and DVDs on its 14.1in glossy screen, and an HMDI port on the left side of the unit means that it can be plugged into a big-screen TV for more comfortable movie viewing (or you can use your TV as a big-arse monitor while browsing the Web).
Other ports along the edges of the laptop include FireWire, USB 2.0 (three of them), Gigabit Ethernet, 56Kbps modem, D-Sub, and headphone and microphone. There is an SD memory card slot for quickly getting photos off your digital camera, and you also get an ExpressCard/34 slot for expansion. This can be used to house a digital TV tuner or mobile data card, for example.
The laptop is comfortable to type on, and also to navigate via its touchpad. Office users especially will appreciate the spill-resistant keyboard, which means the unit can survive accidental coffee and Coke spills. The glossy palm rest isn't the best idea Fujitsu has ever had, however, as it's prone to marking — especially if you have oily hands. The 14.1in glossy screen can be annoying, especially if you sit in an open-plan office with large windows that offer sweeping views of Sydney Harbour.
After four hours of continuous use, the unit's base got a little warm. Some heat did travel up through the keyboard, but it didn't get uncomfortably hot. Shortcut keys above the keyboard make it easy to access Internet, e-mail, and webcam applications, and there is also an 'Eco' button, which cuts power to the ExpressCard and SD slots, as well as the 56Kbps modem and FireWire port, and it also changes the screen brightness.
In our DVD rundown test, with the screen set to maximum brightness, the laptop lasted 1hr 57min, which is a decent result for a 14.1in laptop with a 5200mAh (milliamp hour) battery. By activating the 'Eco' function and selecting a power-saving mode in Windows, you should be able to get more life while away from an outlet.
If you plan on purchasing a second battery for this laptop, you'll have a hard time removing the battery from the base: the L1010 has the hardest-to-remove battery we've seen since Lenovo's IdeaPad U110 (11306).
There aren't many more features to this laptop. It could use some more of the latest technology, such as eSATA, and 'Sleep-and-Charge'-style USB 2.0 ports, and we also wish it had a dedicated volume control on its shortcut panel.
Overall, though, the unit's build quality is excellent and its size and weight (2.3kg without the power supply) make it an easy unit to carry to and from the office or the classroom. It's well-worth considering it if you want a shiny and well-performing mid-sized laptop.
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