Mini-Review: Fujitsu LifeBook T1010

As the first convertible with a 13.3-inch display, the new Fujitsu LifeBook T1010 is a sleek tablet that offers a decent-size screen without too much bulk, making it a good choice for students. This system also has Centrino 2 technology under the hood, so it should offer zippy productivity performance. Read on for our first impressions, and stay tuned for a full review.

Sleek Design
Thanks to its optical drive, the 5.2-pound T1010 is heavier than other tablets we’ve tested, including Fujitu’s own LifeBook T2010. That said, we like its matte silver design and the glossy lid, which has a geometric pattern that reminds us buildings in a skyline. The white, full-size keyboard is comfortable to type on, and felt sturdy even as we pounded away at documents. The touch pad, in addition to being on the small side, gets kind of hot, even after idle use.

Tablet Performance
The screen doesn’t automatically adjust the orientation as you hold the screen vertically or horizontally; instead, there’s a dedicated switch button in the lower right corner of the screen’s bezel.

We are disappointed that the resistive (passive) touchscreen display doesn't recognize the touch of a finger. Though we could select icons with a finger nail, simply pressing a finger on icons was unsuccessful.

However, the tablet’s handwriting recognition software is excellent. Even when we misspelled onamatapoeia (on purpose, of course) the T1010 offered us the correct spelling instead. And when we wrote in script, the notebook recognized our words as well. The problem is that you have to make an effort to press down with the stylus as you write; if you just drag the pen across, you’ll end up with patchy script that the tablet can’t recognize.

Now, if only it had multi-touch like the Dell Latitude XT!

Display a Bit Murky
As for the 13.3-inch full-frame screen, whose native resolution is 1280 x 800, the matte finish is cloudy, and surprisingly reflective. We enjoyed decent enough viewing angles from the front and sides when we watched Finding Nemo, but we would have liked the display to be brighter, more vibrant, and sharper.

Overall Performance
Our review unit has a Centrino 2 chipset, Windows Vista Home Premium, and only 1GB of RAM. It took a sluggish 1:18 to boot up (the typical Vista machine takes about a minute). That said, we were able to watch a movie while running Norton Internet Security in the background, which bodes well for everyday multitasking.

We don’t have wireless scores yet, but we were able to surf the Web uninterrupted from a good 100 feet away from the router. And if the T1010 is anything like the T2010 or LifeBook U810 it should have long battery life.

Early Verdict
After playing around with-- and drooling over-- the Dell Latitude XT's multi-touch just this afternoon-- the Fujitsu LifeBook T1010's tablet performance seems lackluster. Comparisons aside, though, it does well what it promises to do, and comes in a sleek package, to boot. If your needs aren't fancy, and assuming the T1010 delivers strong battery life like other Fujitsu tablets, this could be a strong contender for tablet fans on a budget.