capsule review

Fujitsu LifeBook S2110

At a Glance
  • Fujitsu LifeBook S2110

    PCWorld Rating

    A two-battery option, business software, and quick launch buttons make this light notebook a fine travel companion.

Fujitsu LifeBook S2110
Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

A two-battery option, business software, and media buttons that also launch applications make the light Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 notebook a first-rate travel companion.

The 13.3-inch screen on the S2110, a small unit weighing just 4 pounds (without power adapter), is a standard-format display instead of the newer wide format, but it's bright and readable. I found typing easy on the keyboard, whose layout should appeal to those who ride the Ctrl key, which occupies the can't-miss bottom-left corner. Only fans of the Fn key (half-size on this model) and of the Home and End keys (which require combining the Fn key with PgUp and PgDn) will be disappointed.

A highlight of the design is the set of four dual-purpose media buttons capable of switching smoothly between controlling music or movies and launching applications. Start a CD or movie, press the mode button and start Word for getting a little work done on the side, and then press the mode button again to skip a track or pause the action. The media buttons do not include an instant-on option or even volume control, unfortunately, but you can program two of them to handle your favorite applications. Pack headphones, however, because the notebook's speakers are not very impressive.

Though the S2110 is fairly well equipped with data ports, including a FireWire connection, the layout could be a little more convenient. All three USB ports and the Wi-Fi switch are on the back--not cool. You get an S-Video-out connection for sending the display to a TV screen, but it's limited to a minijack that requires an included adapter cable. On the bright side, the modest two-in-one memory-card reader, for Memory Stick and SD Card, is on the front. One of this notebook's best features, a right-side modular bay, holds any one of three devices: a standard optical drive (a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo at this price), the included airbay filler (which drops the weight to 3.7 pounds), or a second battery. The last option is nice for extending battery life, which is decent at 3.5 hours. The bay release is located conveniently on the side for one-handed swapping.

Also available are other expansion possibilities, including an optional port replicator that uses a connection on the bottom of the notebook and adds a parallel port and PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. Although not mentioned in the manual, the hard drive is easy to remove for upgrades, as are the two memory chips, each located in separate bottom compartments behind protective covers held by a couple of screws.

The S2110 offers middle-of-the-road speed. We haven't tested any other Windows XP Professional notebooks equipped with AMD's 1.6-GHz Turion 64 MT-28 chip and 512MB of memory. However, with a WorldBench 5 score of 68, the S2110 performed almost on a par with tested units bearing the more common Intel 1.6-GHz Pentium M 730 processor; the average of two notebooks we evaluated with the Intel chip came to a WorldBench score of 75, about 9 percent better than the S2110's mark.

The inclusion of Microsoft Office Small Business 2003 applications rounds out this competent offering from Fujitsu.

The S2110 is a nice, small work notebook, and its two-battery option ensures enough power to last several hours away from the office.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    A two-battery option, business software, and quick launch buttons make this light notebook a fine travel companion.

    Pros

    • Lightweight; ideal for travel

    Cons

    • Ports are inconveniently laid out
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