Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 Review

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$2079
Editors' rating:
The Pros

Good performance; Strong wireless range; Durable rotating hinge

The Cons

No finger-touch input; Sluggish hard drive; No mobile broadband option yet

Verdict

This light and fast convertible offers a sharp display, plenty of power, and a smooth writing experience.

Like its predecessor, theLifeBook T4220, the Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 is a well-rounded convertible with an optical drive, and it has been updated to reap the benefits of Intel's Centrino 2 technology. Fujitsu has also squeezed in a larger 13.3-inch display while adding very little weight. These improvements, along with a reliable pen-input experience and solid design, makes this a business Tablet we'd recommend.

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Design

The T5010 weighs a manageable 4.9 pounds (versus 4.3 pounds for the T4220) and is 1.4 inches thick. You can bring it down to 4.5 pounds by swapping the DVD drive with a weight saver. The system can easily be hauled around without straining your shoulder, and when held in the crook of your arm, it isn't too cumbersome. The black matte lid along with a light silver keyboard and palm rest give the system a bit of spice; however, it has a boxy look and an overall ho-hum design.

While the T5010 might not stand out style-wise, it offers very good ergonomics. Its full-size, spill-resistant keyboard is roomy, and the well-spaced keys provided excellent feedback. Similarly, the touchpad is wide and the mouse buttons were responsive and relatively quiet. We appreciated the scroll pad on the right of the touchpad.

The T5010 has a solid array of ports, including three USB, FireWire, VGA, Ethernet, a PC Card slot, and a 2-in-1 memory card reader. On the front side, you'll find the Wi-Fi switch and a fingerprint reader on the screen's bezel.

Display and Audio

The T5010's 13.3-inch WXGA display is impressive. The 1280 x 800-pixel glossy screen was crisp, and colors looked clear without the grayness typical of other tablets. When we watched DVD episodes of Californication, colors looked quite good; David Duchovny's shaggy hair looked detailed, and the California landscape vivid. Vertical and horizontal viewing angles were fine in both notebook and tablet mode.

The system's durable, metal, bi-directional hinge lets the screen rotate 180 degrees in either direction, and the latch on the screen locks into the one on the keyboard to keep it from wobbling. The display switches from landscape to portrait mode in about a second.

The T5010 contains two speakers on its back edge; Fergie's "Clumsy" came through loud and clear, but with a slight bit of tinniness.The 1.3-megapixel webcam above the display served up good images in a video chat over Skype; our caller could tell that we had a tan and could see the details of our necklace.

The dual microphones located on the screen's bottom bezel recorded the voices of our colleagues in a meeting. However, unlike theLenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet, the T5010 lacks noise cancellation out of the box; it picked up both the noise of our pen scraping across the screen and our keyboard strokes before we configured the microphone settings in the Reatek Audio Manager.

Tablet Performance

The T5010 has an active digitizer touchscreen display that recognizes only the input of a stylus; because it doesn't have a passive digitizer, it will not respond to a finger or fingernail. The screen had no problem responding to the included Wacom stylus. We appreciated the screen-orientation button on the bezel, as well as the tablet menu shortcut button and two configurable quick-launch buttons. The touch-sensitive scroll strip on the side of the bezel was useful for paging through long documents or Web sites in tablet mode; we found it to be more useful than dragging the stylus along the edge of the screen.

The stylus itself, which includes a left-click button, was easy to write with, and we didn't have to press hard to have our writing appear; taking notes using the Tablet PC Input Panel in Microsoft Word was analogous to writing with regular ink. Hovering the pen over the screen allowed us to use the left-click button to easily move through menus.

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 Performance

Our T5010 was equipped with a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU and 2GB of RAM (upgradable to 4GB). On PCMark Vantage (which measures application performance in Vista), the notebook notched a score of 3,472, which is 505 points above the average for thin-and-lights. However, the $1,399HP EliteBook 6930p, which has the same processor and RAM, notched a higher score of 3,749--of course, the 6930p isn't a tablet.

Nevertheless, our anecdotal testing showed the T5010 to be a good performer. Internet Explorer launched in one second, as did Windows Media Player. As for multitasking, we were able to watch a DVD while running Disk Defragmenter in the background without lag.

Hard Drive Test

The T5010's 160GB hard drive (running at 5,400 rpm) booted the system in a sluggish 1 minute and 20 seconds. It wrote 4.97GB of mixed media files in 5:28, a rate of 15.5 MBps, which is slightly above the category average of 14.9 MBps, but short of the high watermark set by theDell Latitude E6400, which completed the same test in 3 minutes and 18 seconds, a rate of 18.5 MBps. The T5010's hard drive has active protection with Fujitsu's shock-sensor utility, which locks the hard drive when detecting sudden impact or a free fall.

Graphics Performance

With integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD video graphics, the T5010 turned in predictably low scores of 2,967 on 3DMark03 and 1,002 on 3DMark06. The T5010 produced an unplayable 9 frames per second on F.E.A.R. at 1024 x 768-pixel resolution; however, it notched 45.9 fps on World of Warcraft, which means casual gamers will be able to get their fix.

Security Features

In addition to the fingerprint reader, the embedded Trusted Platform Module (TPM) handles authentication and can be used to store private keys and certificates securely for file and folder encryption, Web, e-mail, digital signatures, and passwords. The system has dedicated PC Card and Smart Card slots, and Fujitsu offers an optional subscription for the Computrace notebook tracking and recovery service.

The T5010 can be configured with Intel Active Management Technology (AMT). A feature of the Intel Core 2 processor with vPro technology, this addition allows IT administrators to diagnose and repair assets even while PCs are powered off.

Strong Wireless, So-So Battery Life

The T5010 delivered strong throughput of 20.7 Mbps and 18.1 Mbps at 15 and 50 feet, respectively, from our access point. When we connected the notebook to our home wireless N router, Web sites loaded in a snap: NYTimes.com in 2 seconds, and Laptopmag.com in 5 seconds. The T5010 lacks a mobile broadband option, but you can plug an EV-DO or HSDPA modem into the PC Card slot. Fujitsu says a mobile broadband option will be available later this year.

On the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi), the T5010's six-cell battery lasted 3 hours and 42 minutes, which is below the thin-and-light notebook average of 4:01. Available on Fujitsu's Web site is a bay battery for $134, which will add 11.2 ounces to the travel weight.

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 Verdict

The Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 offers speed, strong Wi-Fi performance, and a good tablet and pen experience. Its $2,079 price has us wishing it had a sleeker design and touchscreen capabilities, like what you'll find on the 12.1-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet. However, if you like the idea of owning a tablet with an optical drive and want a larger display, the T5010 is a good investment.

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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
CPU 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600
Operating System MS Windows Vista Business
RAM 2GB
RAM Upgradable to 4GB
Hard Drive Size 160GB
Hard Drive Speed 5,400rpm
Hard Drive Type SATA Hard Drive
Display Size 13.3
Native Resolution 1280x800
Optical Drive DVD+/-RW DL
Optical Drive Speed 8X
Graphics Card Intel GMA 4500MHD
Video Memory 384MB
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/draft-n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1
Ports (excluding USB) Microphone
Ports (excluding USB) Headphone
Ports (excluding USB) Firewire
Ports (excluding USB) Ethernet
Ports (excluding USB) VGA
Ports (excluding USB) Modem
USB Ports 3
Card Slots Type I
Card Slots Smart Card
Card Slots PC Card
Card Slots 2-1 card reader
Card Slots Type II
Warranty/Support One-year parts and labor/24/7 toll-free phone
Size 12.5 x 9.6 x 1.4 inches
Weight 4.9 pounds
Company Website http://www.fujitsupc.com