Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (3.5G)
- Excellent handwriting recognition, active digitiser tablet, fast networking and 3.5G capabilities are built in, good battery life, bi-directional hinge
- Screen orientation wasn't saved and had to be reset each time in tablet mode, Omnipass consumes half the CPU while it's running, QuickPoint pointing device is uncomfortable to use, no optical drive
For the travelling business professional, theT2010's 3.5G and tablet features, spill-resistant keyboard and overall build quality are strengths. It performs everyday applications and handwriting well, but it's has a few quirks.
Price$ 3,299.00 (AUD)
With a SIM card facility and 3.5G antenna built in, as well as WACOM touch-screen technology, this sub-2kg tablet-convertible notebook is very easy to use and fully-equipped to connect to the Internet using a mobile data plan.
Physically, the LifeBook T2010 has a 12.1in touchscreen with a 1280x800 resolution and a sturdy, bi-directional hinge. That means you can turn it either way without any fear of turning it the wrong way. The notebook's base measures 30 by 22 centimetres, and is 2cm thick — it doesn't house an optical drive. Its 3.5G antenna sticks out of the right-hand side of the screen, and this can also be used as a grip when the screen is in a tablet position.
There's not much to the base: it has two USB 2.0 ports, a mini-FireWire port and a PC Card slot for expansion. You'll also find an SD/MS memory card slot, a D-Sub port and a gigabit Ethernet port. On the inside it has Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/b/g/draft-n networking (with MIMO) as well as a 160GB hard drive.
For such a cutting-edge model, it's surprising that an ExpressCard slot has been omitted, but Fujitsu is perhaps betting that business users might have requirements for older add-in cards instead. An ExpressCard slot might not be required unless you want to use e-SATA storage or a non-USB-based TV tuner.
The transition between an on-the-road ultra-mobile notebook and an office-dwelling machine can be made swiftly if the optional docking station is purchased, which gives the T2010 an optical drive, as well as facilities to easily connect external peripherals and a monitor.
Its keyboard is spill resistant and features full-sized keys, which are soft and have plenty of travel. They're easy to type with, but the delete key is not positioned in the expected position on the keyboard. The palm-rest area is adequate and its middle portion is actually the removable 6-cell lithium ion battery. There's no space for a Touchpad, so Fujitsu has installed a TrackPoint-like device instead, which it calls Quick Point. Unfortunately, it's a little uncomfortable to use mainly due to the button design — the left and right buttons are stiff, shallow and slope rearwards.
Handwriting recognition was almost perfect — even without any training, it recognised printed and cursive text — and the pen was responsive and accurate. If you're new to tablets, then this one will leave a good impression and once you get the hang Vista's tablet functions for inserting text into documents and Web browser fields, you'll never want to use it like a regular notebook again.
Fujitsu has employed active digitser technology from WACOM, so only the pen will have an effect on the touchscreen, not your hands. This means you can write very comfortably by leaning on the screen, and it also means that you can 'hover' the pen over screen items to view tool-tips.
While it was very accurate at selecting even the smallest icons in the system tray, as well as links in Web pages, it wasn't accurate at the extreme corners of the screen. For example, the pen needs to be placed slightly outside the screen's perimeter in order to hit the 'close window' button in maximised windows. We also found its gestures to be a little hit-or-miss. Using pen flicks, you should be able to scroll and navigate backwards and forwards in Windows, but this didn't always work perfectly in our tests.
The screen's orientation feature never remembered our preferred position. We had to change the orientation each time we switched on the T2010 in tablet mode.
On the screen's bezel, there is a dedicated button for changing the screen's orientation in tablet mode. As well, there are other buttons for invoking the Task manager, for scrolling, and for bringing up the Fujitsu Menu, from which you can adjust brightness and power options among other things.
As for performance, the T2010 has an Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 ultra-low voltage CPU, which runs at 1.2GHz, and it offers plenty of grunt for running productivity applications and handwriting recognition. Additionally, there is 2GB of RAM installed, which means you can load plenty of programs simultaneously and switch between them at your leisure. Of course, the T2010 relies on integrated Intel graphics, so it isn't designed to run 3-D applications effectively.
In our WorldBench 6 tests, the T2010 scored 54, which is a low result. However, this result was influenced by 3dsMax 3D rendering tests, which the CPU took a very long time to complete. In the file compression, office application, Web browsing, and even the media encoding and multitasking tests, the T2010 performed like a typical, dual-core notebook.
We did notice one quirk with the machine's performance that could hinder its speed, not to mention its battery life; the Omnipass application — more specifically, a task called 'secureapp.exe — which is used in conjunction with the fingerprint reader to remember and give you quick access to log-in information for Web sites, as well as encrypted files, was always using 50 per cent of the CPU. If you don't want to use Omnipass, you can kill this process, but if you rely on Omnipass, then this CPU drain will be annoying.
Away from an outlet, the T2010 will last at least between three and four hours if you use the 'power saver' battery plan. Using this plan, the machine will still be capable of recognising handwriting without slowing down the rest of the system. After the machine has been running for a while, its cooling fan will kick into gear, and this can be quite audible at its highest speed.
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