capsule review

Fujitsu LifeBook B6110D

At a Glance
  • Fujitsu LifeBook B

    PCWorld Rating

    Lightweight ultraportable offers touchscreen and long battery life but no built-in optical drive.

Fujitsu LifeBook B6110D
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Aside from its responsive touch screen, the Fujitsu LifeBook B6110D offers long battery life, light weight, and enough processor power for mainstream business applications.

Using the bright 12.1-inch touch screen is easy. The only problem I encountered was during initial calibration: The cursor sat about an inch higher than where I pointed with the stylus--but this was easy to fix using the calibration utility. The spring-loaded stylus "garage" is conveniently located on the right side of the unit, along with the two USB ports. When you don't want to use the touch screen, the B6110D's touchpad and mouse buttons work fine, too.

The B6110D's six-cell battery was a champ in our tests, lasting a little over 5 hours. Configured with a 1.2-GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 753 CPU, 512MB of memory, and Windows XP Professional, the unit turned in a decent WorldBench 5 score of 61. It's no speedster, but it should be fine for any mainstream application, including undemanding graphics work.

The black-and-silver B6110D is nicely designed, with a dedicated CF reader and a PC Card slot that's Smart Card ready (requiring only a $60 adapter). The B6110D also includes a user-accessible hard drive and memory slots. One drawback: The Wi-Fi switch is inconveniently located on the back, where using it was unnecessarily awkward.

A few things are missing. One reason the notebook's minimum weight (3.4 pounds) is so low is that the unit doesn't include an integrated optical drive. An external USB combination DVD-ROM and CD-RW combo drive costs $229; we did not receive one with our test unit. Also, there is no external DVD burner option. Though the notebook has two USB ports, it lacks FireWire and TV-out ports. DVD movies looked fine on the small screen, but the B6110D's weak stereo speakers--which emit sound from the top corners of the keyboard--didn't add much to the experience.

In general, the keyboard is easy to type on, despite some compromises. I didn't like that the small gray keyboard requires combination keystrokes for paging up or down, and it seemed wasteful to dedicate the upper right corner of the keyboard to the <Pause>/<Break> command instead of to the far more essential <Delete> key, which sits right next to it. The keyboard does supply two bonuses: an all-in-one system status LCD, and Fujitsu's dual-purpose security and application panel. You can program the panel's five numbered buttons to require a password sequence at startup and to launch your favorite applications once the notebook is turned on. For an extra $50, you can order the B6110D with a fingerprint reader between the mouse buttons in place of the standard vertical scroll button. A thorough printed manual covers the notebook's features, and a PDF manual details the security and application panel.

If you don't mind using an external optical drive, the Fujitsu LifeBook B6110D Series is a handy little touch-screen notebook with hours of battery life.

Fujitsu LifeBook B6110D


WorldBench 5 score of 61, 1.2-GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 753 processor, 512MB of DDR2-533 SDRAM, Windows XP Professional, 12.1-inch touch screen, 40GB hard drive, optional external USB combination DVD-ROM and CD-RW combo drive ,V.90 modem, gigabit ethernet, 802.11a/g, touchpad pointing device, 4.1-pound weight (including AC adapter, phone cord, and stylus). One-year parts and labor warranty, 24-hour daily toll-free support.
$1699
800/385-4878
www.fujitsu.com

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Lightweight ultraportable offers touchscreen and long battery life but no built-in optical drive.

    Pros

    • Long battery life

    Cons

    • Omits a built-in optical drive
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