Plenty of Ports

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

The Fujitsu LifeBook S6520 offers good, low-cost performance and excellent usability in a thin and light notebook PC that is worth a closer look for business users.

The unit's keyboard offers good tactile response and very little flex. A touch-pad is anchored at the bottom of the keyboard and is shaped to match the ratio of the screen. Pointer travel is very good and the touch-pad keys offer a firm click and should hold up to extensive use.

The unit sports numerous ports, which should prove to be sufficient for most users. FireWire and USB are fully represented, while a VGA port allows external display devices to be connected and run at resolutions as high as 1600 by 1200. In terms of performance, the S6520 met expectations. The unit offers good processor, hard drive and memory performance, and is only hampered by the use of on-board graphics.



That said, the on-board Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 does prove to be around 30 percent faster than the previous generation of GMA-based notebooks, but the GMA 4500 still can't measure up to the speed of the discrete graphics cards found in higher-end notebook systems.

Performance Test 6.1 gave the tested S6520 an overall PassMark rating of 650.2, surpassing the score of the recently tested Intel Centrino 2-based Lenovo SL400, which mustered a 573.1.

Battery life also met expectations, with the system offering close to 4.5 hours under typical use, with some power-saving features enabled but with the screen set to maximum brightness.

The bottom line

Overall, Fujitsu's Centrino 2-based S6520 offers all the bells and whistles that one would expect in what is becoming a crowded market. The unit offers performance that should meet or exceed most users' expectations and features a solid design that should provide years of service. The only real complaints about the system are the lack of a higher-resolution screen and the initial setup time, which, while automated for the most part, can take the better part of an hour. Solution providers will find Fujitsu's channel programs palatable and should be able to score margins that will make Fujitsu's notebooks a viable choice over alternatives from the likes of Toshiba and Sony.
Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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