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Fujitsu Lifebook S7110 Review

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fix laptop screen said on March 8th, 2011 at 1:08 pm :

I have never seen a fujitsu laptop in the states.

Mar 8, 2008 | Fujitsu Lifebook S7110 Review


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Fujitsu S7110

In one line:
A powerful, lightweight and versatile device geared towards medium memory-intensive multi-taskers or the business/corporate individual.

Pros:
Excellent battery life, superior specs packed into lightweight device, expandable memory/drives, unique button-based security options

Cons:
Side vents get very warm, overall construction could be more solid, fairly loud hard drive operation, mediocre speakers

Oddities:
Left and right buttons above and below keypad
No external volume control
Pointing stick (isometric joystick)
Status indicators (including memory access, battery/power indicator) via monochrome LCD near top of keyboard

Specifications:

Intel Core 2 T7200 @ 2.00GHz, 128kB L1, 4,096kB L2 Cache
Microsoft XP Professional
Double Layer DVD Writer
1GB RAM
80GB (5400 RPM) SATA HDD
14.1″ Crystal View XGA screen
Weight: 4.4lbs
Manufacturer Battery life: 4-5 hours

To Begin With
Fujitsu hasn’t been able to infiltrate the PC market as well as HP, Dell or Lenovo/IBM, and is recognized perhaps even less than Toshiba, but that should not deter you from taking this computer in your hands and, hopefully, buying it. It’s a remarkably powerful machine loaded with XP Professional (but is also Vista capable, although why you would want to downgrade to Vista is a good question) that can open Adobe Photoshop CS2 in approximately 25 seconds. It is fantastically light, weighing in at just about 4.4lbs (approx. 2kg, a full pound lighter than a 15-inch Macbook Pro, lighter than the Inspiron 1420) with the DVD drive.

Design
With a black lid and a metal silver keyboard section, this laptop is very snazzy and classy. The LCD screen portion is flat (unlike its IBM counterparts) and thin. A latch makes a nice clicking sound when the laptop is closed, which I prefer over the slapping noise you get with newer computers without latches. The keys are pale slate-colored.

Surface and Space Allocation
One of the key things about computers, interestingly enough, is that while hardware is a critical decision-making factor, it’s also as much about how the computer is physically laid out. As you can see below, the palm rest space is just right, without having too much or too little. The keypad is an interesting feature, in that on some versions of the S7110 you’ll find the fingerprint sensor in between the left and right buttons, which are also placed above the keypad: you can use your thumb for the lower and a forefinger for the one above.

Top view of Fujitsu Lifebook S7110 courtesy of digit-life.com

With 85 main keys there is no visible compromise between it and those of other keyboards I’ve worked with. There are also four application keys at the top of the keyboard section, which in addition to helping you launch your favorite apps, doubles as a security system which can lock your computer with a sequence of button combinations.

A monochromatic status indicator is immediately to the left of the application keys and provides information on memory access, whether wireless is on or not, battery life and power. It’s rather unique to have such a display, and a bit disappointing perhaps that it can only be seen with the laptop lid open.

There are three USB ports (one on the right side, two stacked behind), an IR port surreptitiously positioned behind, an Ethernet port, a phone/modem line, an SD card reader, a PC card slot, a FireWire port, a VGA output with its own cover, and a microphone and audio jack.

Elsewhere
In short, it packs a lot in the little weight and compact package its in. One part the manufacturer compromised a little too much on was the speaker: they quite frankly suck. You can’t get anywhere close to a bass on them, and so while they may do for corporate presentations, they won’t do justice to movies or music - headphones, then, are a must.

The screen is one of those 14″ shiny SXGA anti-reflective Crystal View ones that make everything look bright and shiny as well- though I miss the matte on my Inspiron 2200, the Crystal View is at least easier to clean.

Fragile Points
While the laptop is powerful and lightweight, it also means that there’s a certain amount of worry and anxiety from wondering if it can deal with a bit of rough handling: a small bump did cause the computer to freeze once, though I have yet to find out if it is an isolated issue. Because it can support a port replicator (which can add battery life as well as additional USB/serial ports), it also has an odd opening at the bottom of the laptop. Another of the down sides to the laptop is that it can easily get toasty on your lap (particularly due to the vent on the left side) which means that you can only really remain comfortable carrying it around in a solid case and operating it on a nice flat desk. If you’re in the business world, I guess there isn’t much to worry about there.

A Bit of Noise
While you can’t complain much with a computer that is this powerful and light, it must be said that when you run a CD you’ll notice that it makes quite a bit of noise - more like white noise (or someone referred to it as the sound a hot-water kettle makes as it gets close to boiling) and to a lesser extent, so does the fan. So if you’re in a quiet room discussing a delicate issue I would go ahead and press hibernate.

Conclusion
Were it not for its price and the name behind it, this laptop would undoubtedly be a hit: where you can find it, the S7110 will cost at least $1,000- but you might be lucky and find it on eBay, as I did. With a good solid case, this powerful, lightweight and portable machine is sure to find itself comfortably yours for years to come (and particularly in light of the disappointment that is Vista).

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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 8th, 2008 at 4:41 pm, EST under the category of Product Reviews. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.