One of the lightest 14-inch notebooks on the market, Fujitsu's LifeBook S6510 is stuffed to the brim with security and durability features. It's a compelling choice for the mobile professional who wants a business-rugged machine that will help safeguard sensitive data without bogging down the shoulder bag. Priced at $2,039, this configuration is pretty pricey, but it offers a lot of power and good endurance for your money.
At only 4 pounds (3.7 pounds if you choose the weight saver instead of the 4X DVD-R DL drive), the black-and-silver S6510 is easy to carry. We liked the responsiveness of the full-sized, spill-resistant keyboard, but the touchpad was small. A brushed-metal strip above the layout houses a pair of stereo speakers that offered average audio, status indicators, a power button, and the Security Panel, which lets you protect your machine by requiring you to enter a password when the system starts or returns from hibernation or standby. Expansion options include a 3-in-1 memory card reader and a PC Card slot, but no ExpressCard slot.
The glossy, 1280 x 800-pixel resolution Crystal View display was bright and colorful while we surfed the Web and worked in various applications, but our Aeon Flux and Finding Nemo DVDs looked somewhat murky. Above the display is an integrated 1.3-megapixel webcam, which we used to videoconference with colleagues. Although the webcam suffered from muted colors--a common phenomenon in notebook cameras--we did enjoy smooth video chats.
The 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 processor, in conjunction with 2GB of RAM, 1GB of Turbo Memory, and the 5,400-rpm, shock-mounted 120GB hard drive, notched a very good PCMark05 score of 3,730, which is about 300 points above average for a thin-and-light. The S6510's smooth performance was borne out in our day-to-day use as we surfed the Web, performed light photo editing, and listened to music. The integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics produced a predictably mediocre 3DMark03 score of 1,627 but offered enough muscle to handle Window Vista Business' transparencies and Windows Flip 3D.
We were able to swiftly download e-mail attachments and watch YouTube clips without any hiccups, courtesy of the 802.11a/g/n radio, which moved data along at a brisk 17.8 Mbps from 15 feet away from our access point, and 15.5 Mbps at 50 feet. On our DVD rundown test, the 6-cell battery lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes, which is enough endurance to take in a full-length movie or work for about 4.5 hours on a plane. You can also opt for a second 6-cell battery for the modular bay (adding $120 to the cost and a few ounces to the weight), which should grant you more than 6 hours of endurance in combination with the standard battery.
Preinstalled in the S6510 is Adobe Acrobat Reader, a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office Professional 2007, Norton Internet Security 2007, and Roxio Easy Media Creator. The security-conscious will appreciate the included biometric fingerprint reader, TPM, two anti-theft lock slots, and optional Computrace LoJack
service (starting at $49.99 for a year), which tracks lost or stolen notebooks when they connect to the Web. Fujitsu protects the notebook with a 1-year limited international warranty and 24/7 toll-free phone support.
We wish it had an option for integrated mobile broadband, but the LifeBook S6510 is a very good choice for road warriors who demand portability and power. If you refuse to squint at an ultraportable's tiny display but want to travel light, this is the business notebook to get.
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