So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Included TV Tuner, Entertainment Hotkeys, Battery life, Build quality
- Monitor may not be ideal for multimedia functions
A well priced notebook that should do the job and do it quite well – even if it is graphics intensive.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
Fujitsu's latest LifeBook models are moving into the media centre market by providing composite (RCA) inputs on the N-series notebooks. The previous prototype we reviewed, the N6410, was quite bulky. However, the 15.4in N3530 delivers a good balance of performance and features, packing it into a fairly slim unit, weighing 3.6kg.
Tailoring features for the media centre notebook crowd, Fujitsu has included an analog TV tuner and dedicated entertainment hotkeys on the right-hand side. The hotkeys can be switched out of media mode, opening up another four hotkeys for other mappable functions. A remote control is also included so you can sit back while you enjoy movies on the glossy 1280x800 WXGA screen, which also has excellent viewable angles.
Based on Intel's Centrino Duo platform, running a 1.66GHz dual-core processor, the N3530 posted a strong PC WorldBench 5 score of 89. Its battery life was good, and it needs to be if you plan to watch TV. The battery ran for 240min in Mobile Mark 2002. Likewise, 3-D performance was also good, due to the ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics adapter, which delivered a 3DMark 2001 SE score of 10,792. This should be sufficient if you plan to run graphics-intensive video-editing software for anything you capture via the video input ports.
Unfortunately the TV tuner wasn't working in the prototype we tested, but it will feature in the shipping version. At $2999, it is a well-priced dual-core notebook that is designed for media editing and encoding. You'll really appreciate the RCA, S-Video ports and the multitasking ability of the dual-core processor. The sound from the speakers isn't too bad and the build quality is very sturdy.
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