Fujitsu's N7010 Desktop Replacement Offers 16-Inch LCD, 4-Inch Touch-screen

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

The LifeBook N7010 from Fujitsu is a desktop replacement notebook computer that has all the features that could fuel a new series of commercials on why a PC is better than a Mac.

Microsoft has flooded the airways with a series of commercials that claim a PC is a better value than Apple’s Macintosh. Fujitsu must have been watching those commercials when the company came up with the LifeBook N7010 desktop replacement notebook. After all, the N7010 exemplifies many of the points raised in those Microsoft commercials—performance, value, software and ease of use.

With a list price of $1,399, the LifeBook N7010 isn’t the cheapest desktop replacement on the market, but it does offer exceptional value. A comparable MacBook Pro with a single 15-inch screen would cost close to $2,500. Simply put, if Microsoft were to hand a shopper $1,400, they would more than likely walk out of the store with a Fujitsu LifeBook N7010. After all, that $1,400 does buy a lot of machine.

The N7010 sports a 16-inch wide-aspect Crystal View Display, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, high-performance ATI graphics, a Blu-ray optical drive, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and a host of other features.

Perhaps the most interesting feature is the unit’s 4-inch touch-screen LCD, which is located above the keyboard and can be used to launch applications or perform other chores with just a touch. While the 4-inch auxiliary screen may seem a little gimmicky at first, it will be a useful tool when Windows 7 arrives on the market.

Fujitsu offers the N7010 with Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition, which is a good match for the unit’s capabilities. First off, the unit comes with 4GB of RAM, and a 64-bit OS is a must to leverage all that memory. Vista Home Premium offers enhanced video tools and entertainment features that are a good match for the unit’s 16-inch WXGA display and Blu-ray optical drive.

The N7010 features a built-in Webcam and digital microphone, making the unit suitable for on-the-fly video conferencing or YouTube recordings. An HDMI port allows the system to be quickly connected to large-screen HD monitors, further enhancing its entertainment appeal.

While the entertainment angle is covered quite well, Fujitsu has not ignored productivity. The unit sports an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P8400 (2.26GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1,066MHz FSB), which powers through most applications with ease, and the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 is able to chew up complex graphics and CAD drawings without complaint. A spill-resistant keyboard helps to protect the system from those office "oops," while the shock-mounted hard drive minimizes data loss due to the bump and grind associated with portability. Fujitsu also incorporates 2GB of HyperMemory RAM to further enhance video performance.

While the display is crisp and bright, Fujitsu could have increased the resolution to something that would be 1080p compatible. The unit’s WXGA resolution does not do Blu-ray content justice; a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution would offer more screen real estate and give the system TrueHD compatibility.

We tested performance using the 64-bit version of Performance Test 7.0 from Passmark. The unit offered an overall Passmark rating of 786.2, which is very good for a laptop system.  3D performance was very good, with the system showing high frame rates during testing.

With a travel weight of more than 8 pounds, it’s likely that the N7010 will rarely be used on the run, which is a good thing—the included battery only provides about two and a half hours of usable life before needing a charge. For most users, that short battery life should pose no problem—most buyers should expect to use the N7010 tethered to a desk. While the large size and heavy travel weight may make the system unsuitable for coast-to-coast flights, it is still portable enough to easily travel from the home office to the business office or from the dorm room to the library.

Fujitsu offers several options for the unit, from a fitted travel bag to a digital TV tuner, which helps to solidify the dual-purpose nature of the machine. The digital TV tuner proves to be a good add-on for a dorm room, or for those looking to time-shift their TV viewing.

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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