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When it comes to desktop replacement notebook computers, everyone talks about screen size, performance, storage and networking capabilities, but you never hear anyone mention how that notebook works after an encounter with a large cola. It doesn’t have to be a cola, either; it could be an un-cola, a bottle of water, a cup of coffee or any other beverage that today’s workers may have on their desk, often wedged between the phone and the Rolodex.

The real issue here is what happens when that beverage and that notebook computer have an unplanned encounter. Usually, it is a disaster.

In the past, spillage was less of a concern on the desktop, mostly because workers were assigned standard desktop systems and if something happened, a keyboard could be easily replaced. Today, green initiatives and falling prices have made the desktop replacement notebook system a viable option for many businesses.

Fujitsu is looking to prevent those beverage-related meltdowns with the Lifebook A6120, a desktop replacement notebook that retails for around $1,300 and offers a large screen and decent performance. Basic specs on the A6120 include:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 Processor (2.1GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
  • 15.4-inch Crystal View WXGA (1280 by 800) display (300 nits brightness)
  • 3GB DDR2 667MHz SDRAM memory
  • 250GB SATA, 5400 rpm hard drive with Shock Sensor protection
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 integrated graphics
  • Dual-layer multiformat DVD Writer
  • Integrated Webcam and digital microphone
  • Multinational 56K V.90 modem and Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Integrated Atheros Super AG (802.11a/b/g) wireless
  • Five USB 2.0 ports, IEEE 1394, Memory Stick/SD/xD slot, PC Card slot, ExpressCard slot
  • Lithium ion (six-cell, 10.8V, 4000 mAh) main battery
  • Standard spill-resistant keyboard
  • One-year International Limited Warranty
  • Dimensions: 14.17 inches by 10.43 inches by 1.55 inches
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds with six-cell battery

While the unit is well-equipped, what is notable is the spill-resistant keyboard. So, of course, once we got a review unit into the eWEEK Channel Labs, we had to spill (OK, pour) a glass of water on the unit to see what would happen. Well, the system survived our little intentional accident; we quickly picked the unit up and tilted it to get most of the water out. A quick dry with a paper towel took care of the rest of the water and we continued to compute.

To test performance and battery life, we used Performance Test V6.1 and BatteryMon V3.0 from PassMark software. The unit offered an overall score of 551.9 for the PassMark rating and ran for about 2.75 hours on battery with all power-saving features disabled. While the performance score was pretty good, the unit’s overall speed was hampered by the integrated graphics processor. Fujitsu chose to rely on the X3100 Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100, which hampered 3-D performance. Discrete graphics would be a welcome addition to the unit.

The Fujitsu Crystal View 15.4-inch widescreen XGA (1280 by 800) display offers excellent color, brightness and contrast. The screen has a glossy sheen to it, which makes images appear sharper. The only complaint is the low resolution. Although those with older eyes may find WXGA adequate and will be impressed with the quality, many users are starting to look for screens that offer HD video or 1080i compatibility.  In short, higher resolution and discrete graphics could make this unit a perfect desktop replacement. Build quality is excellent and the unit offers a one-year global warranty. Although the unit is a little on the heavy side, the heftiness implies ruggedness.

For solution providers looking to partner with Fujitsu, the company operates a single-level channel program, where partners are required to do at least $250,000 annually in sales and have a Fujitsu-trained sales and support staff. To join, partners will need to secure $100,000 in credit and purchase a demo unit. Partner benefits include different MDF percentages, rebates and growth incentives. Revenue opportunities come from unspecified margins, integration and support services, along with the sale of accessories.