capsule review

Fujitsu LifeBook P7010D

At a Glance
  • Fujitsu Lifebook P7010D

Fujitsu LifeBook P7010D
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

If you dream of a laptop that lasts a very long time on one battery charge and is small and lightweight enough to pick up with one hand, check out the $2149 Fujitsu LifeBook P7010D. This petite black unit measures just over an inch thick and weighs 3 pounds. Its rear-mounted, high-capacity battery (which comes standard) performed for 5.25 hours in our battery tests. (A $116 second battery that goes into this LifeBook's modular bay will provide an additional 11 hours' worth of power, according to Fujitsu. We did not test this option.)

Long battery life is not all that recommends the P7010D. Although small, the notebook is full-featured: There's a modular bay, CompactFlash and SD Card/Memory Stick slots, a Wi-Fi switch, and a complete set of ports, many of them handily protected from the elements by individual covers. Our review unit included an integrated combination DVD-ROM and CD-RW drive; a multiformat DVD burner should be available soon. The optical drive bay is so slim we almost missed it beneath the left-side connections, but the eject button is prominent and easy to use. In another space-saving move, the power button, stereo speakers, and status LCD were embedded in the screen's barrel hinge. The design is cool looking, if not completely practical; something about the angle made it hard to read the LCD's pale green icons.

The keyboard is pretty good: Some keys pull double duty, and the mouse buttons sit on the front edge, but all the keys are big enough to press cleanly, and the layout is solid. Between the mouse buttons sits a scroll button--or, for $50 more, a biometric fingerprint sensor, which we tested. We found setting up the laptop to accept our fingerprints a little more challenging than on other sensor-equipped LifeBooks because this window is so much smaller. We had to practice swiping our fingertips several times before the scan would complete, but after that it was smooth sailing. You can set up the laptop to require your fingerprint every time it boots or recovers from hibernation. You can even use the sensor to log on to Web sites, such as online banking sites, without having to remember multiple user names and passwords.

There are just a few slightly troublesome aspects. One is the inaccessible hard drive. If it fails, you'll have to send in the entire unit for servicing. Another is the wide-aspect, 10.6-inch screen. It adds to the P7010D's value as a portable entertainment device because it can show DVD movies without letterboxing, but the native resolution of 1280 by 768 pixels displays very small text and icons. We found them readable, but you might want to lower the resolution to avoid eyestrain.

Then there's processing speed. The P7010D, with a 1.1-GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 713 chip, earned a WorldBench 5 score of 58, a below-average speed for notebooks tested with our latest benchmark.

Fujitsu provides a good printed user manual that thoroughly addresses this system's features and how to use them. A downloadable electronic version of the manual is available from the vendor's Web site, but without hyperlinks it's hard to navigate. The P7010D comes with Microsoft Works 7.

This full-featured notebook, which lasts forever on a single battery charge and includes a fingerprint reader, should make many a mobile worker happy.

Carla Thornton

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Fujitsu Lifebook P7010D

Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.