Fujitsu's Convertible Drops the Top on Intel's MontevinaBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
The new T5010 tablet computer from Fujitsu helps show what Intel's new Centrino 2 technology means for users by balancing performance with battery life and new features.
Fujitsu is not the first name that comes to mind when people discuss the latest notebook computers and tablet PCs. The company is hoping to change that by being one of the first out of the gate with Intel’s Montevina (Centrino 2) technology incorporated into a convertible tablet PC.
Most convertible PCs are an exercise in compromise—dictated by the need to serve two markets. While many offer the best features of both notebook computers and tablets, they all suffer from the negatives of each. Most convertibles are hampered by smaller screens and thicker bodies and suffer from a weight penalty. Here, Fujitsu’s entry—the LifeBook T5010—is not that different, but it does an admirable job of reducing those compromises.
The 4.5-pound T5010, which comes in at a list price of $1,769, is powered by a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 and runs Windows Vista Business. To enhance the performance of Vista, Fujitsu equips the T5010 with 2GB of RAM, running at 533MHz. Of course, Fujitsu offers a plethora of other combinations to meet the needs of most any user, including faster Core 2 Duo processors, more memory and a variety of optical drive options.
Our review unit was on the bottom rung of the feature ladder yet would still be considered loaded by most anyone’s standards. The unit included a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, a 13.3-inch WXGA LED backlit display, a 120GB hard drive, a DVD/CD-RW optical drive, a fingerprint scanner, high-definition audio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a multitude of ports and Intel GMA4500 on-board video graphics.
For those looking to noticeably increase Vista performance, a worthwhile option would be 2GB of Intel Turbo Memory, which enables Windows ReadyDrive and ReadyBoost technologies. Fujitsu does offer an operating system downgrade service, where users can choose to install Windows XP instead of Vista, but there is a catch—users must demonstrate intent to purchase 25 units per year. Perhaps that indicates the lengths Microsoft will go to, to kill off XP and promote Vista.
As notebooks go, the LifeBook T5010 is an attractive unit. Users will find the bright glossy screen easy on the eyes and visible under most lighting conditions. The screen is mounted to the unit with a single metal rotating hinge, which is more durable than one would think. Converting the unit from a notebook to a tablet takes just a light-handed twist to the right and then the screen can be folded down onto the keyboard. There is a dual-function lock on the top of the screen that can be used to lock the lid down in tablet mode or to close the screen in notebook mode. Switching to tablet mode automatically changes the screen orientation to mimic a sheet of paper, and the 13.3-inch-wide screen emulates the shape and size of a piece of notepaper quite well.
Those using the unit in notebook mode will find the keyboard responsive and sized well, but a little on the flexible side and the keyboard can feel a little spongy under hard typing. The integrated touchpad does its job quite well, and users should be able to adapt to it very quickly. The mouse buttons respond with an authoritative click and seem like they could take a bit of abuse before giving up the ghost.