Fujitsu LifeBook P8010 Review

| 12 Comments

p8010.jpgThe LifeBook P8010 is the latest model in long line of terrific ultraportables from Fujitsu. Its predecessor, the P7230, was very popular and the P8010 looks to continue that success by way of some cutting-edge technology. The first major improvement is the screen, which has grown to 12.1" (1280x800) and is now backlit with LEDs (which reduce power consumption, cut weight, extend display life).

The second major change is the inclusion of Intel's newest mobile processor, the SL7100 Core 2 Duo, running at 1.2GHz. That might not sound too impressive, but given the 800MHz front-side bus, 4MB of Level 2 cache, and GS965 chipset with integrated X3100 graphics (using up to 384MB of system RAM for video), this should benchmark very well against older C2D systems with higher clock speeds.

p8010_size.jpgMy first impressions with this machine (it was shipped from Japan on Friday) are that it is quite swift for normal tasks and even processor-intensive activities, like video encoding, are quite acceptable for an ultraportable. The 18mm-pitch keyboard is reasonable, although users with largish hands may notice the loss of that extra 1mm from full-sized keyboards. Body flex is pretty minimal. Not quite as rigid as the Panasonic Toughbook I used to have, but perfectly fine.

I don't have a sense of battery life yet, but after about 3 hours of modest use, power shows around 50%; definitely a good sign. I'll update this post more as I use the machine.

Overall, the P8010 seems fairly pricey (they start at $1700 and can go up fairly dramatically once you start adding more RAM, bigger HDDs, and so on), but anyone who has complained that the MacBook Air is too hamstrung by a dearth of ports, fixed battery, etc. need only look to the Fujitsu LifeBook P8010 for a very attractive alternative. And it already comes in black!

Full video review:

Additional resources:
Fujitsu North America product page
Original Fujitsu press release (1/6/2008)
Matrix comparing the P8010 to several other ultraportables

12 Comments

The laptop looks good, but I'm a Thinkpad / Lenovo fan 560/570/x20/x22/x30/x31/x40/x60... and what you describe doesn't strike me as much different or better than these - and (to date) I've had no failures over a decade of Very heavy road warrier use with 6+ hrs per day usage.... Any comments or further critique?

Hey, Andrew, the Thinkpads are awesome laptops...built like tanks, they are. The problem to me is that they also tend to be heavy machines, and I want lightweight. For example, the lightest ThinkPad weighs significantly more than this does when you add to it the weight of an external optical drive (which this has internal). Plus, the P8010 is loaded with cutting-edge technology (you can even replace the stock SATA HDD with an SSD if you want to do it yourself), so it's about as fast as you can find in this form-factor. The X300 that was just announced is very appealing except for (a) it's over 3 lbs., and (b) it only comes with a 64GB SSD, which doesn't provide a lot of room if you want to have all your media files with you (not typically a concern of the business set, but I use my laptop for a lot of different situations). So, everything's a compromise...it comes down to what you value most.

All agreed. And you make really good points re inevitable compromises. I'm still tempted to go for the x61 next.. the hassle might be moving XP to Vista and re-installing oodles of software and reconfiguring. I too use it for all work and all home apps so the 100Gb is pretty much jammed and 160 looks just about right for another year or so.

As a PS, I'm a regular reader of your site, good comment, interesting and informed observations -

Andrew

Thanks again, Andrew. Yeah, the miniscule storage of the very expensive SSDs has me holding off until I can grab a 128GB for Thanks again, Andrew. Yeah, the miniscule storage of the very expensive SSDs has me holding off until I can grab a 128GB for

Regarding moving to Vista, why do it? You can order XP on most laptops still. I wouldn't imagine trying to make Vista run well on a 1.2GHz low-voltage processor like most ultraportables have.

Hows the noise level of the fan?

I currently got a P7120 which is the best computer I have ever had. One of the best things about it is that is fan less, so except from very faint hard disk noises, it is completely silent.

Nils

Nils, the fan isn't too bad. You can hear it if you're in a quiet environment and it comes on, but it's not intrusive. Like you, my previous subnote (a Panasonic CF-W2) was fanless, so I wasn't too keen on giving up that feature. But, these new high-powered dual-core CPUs all pump out so much heat that fans seem inevitable. I'll post here any further thoughts I have on the P8010.

One additional comment: this is certainly nit-picking, but there's no visible external LED to indicate that the laptop is being charged (i.e., plugged into AC), so short of turning it on and checking the Windows power meter, I'm not sure how to tell when it's fully charged (or even being charged). One additional comment: this is certainly nit-picking, but there's no visible external LED to indicate that the laptop is being charged (i.e., plugged into AC), so short of turning it on and checking the Windows power meter, I'm not sure how to tell when it's fully charged (or even being charged).

I have read elsewhere that some think that the build quality is not up to scratch. What do you think?

Sarah: I had to send my P8010 in for service last week because the battery continued to drain (about 25% a day) while the unit was hibernated (which shouldn't happen). Don't know if it was hardware or the OS or BIOS or some interaction, but it's disappointing to have to ship it back (on my dime) after only having the unit two months.

I'm with Nils above. The fanless P7120 was hands-down and by far the best laptop I've had in... 13 years, and I swapped every 2 years. It's rugged, never a hint of technical issues in it's 2,5 years, yeah, the battery died just now, but I was still considering buying another one to replace it.

Now what do we see? Fujitsu Siemens caved in to the 'more power' crowd and put in a fan to drive the heat out? Please, wake up exec types, I want fanless and I don't care one bleep if it encodes video or not! Give me fanless!

Also, what's with this 12 inch display? the 7120 was good because it was small. Why not put on 24inch golden rims and a half-ton platinum chain? Yeah, you can see, I'm really, really pissed at Fujitsu for ruining the perfect run. Good bye.

Craig,

what do you think about the display? i have heard that the backlight bleed is pretty bad.

Zach, the display is quite crisp. Bleed isn't something I've noticed much (maybe I'm seeing it and not realizing it...not sure). My only real complaint is that the vertical viewing angle is pretty shallow, so the screen has to be in just the right position to look right (to me). Also, I personally prefer matte screens to cut down on reflections, but I know a lot of people prefer the glossy that the P8010 has.