capsule review

Fujitsu LifeBook P8010 Ultraportable Laptop

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujitsu LifeBook P8010 Notebook

Fujitsu's LifeBook P8010 ultraportable laptop computer looks like a true business notebook; it lacks the trappings of fashion-forward models like the MacBook Air, the Sony VAIO VGN-TZ295N, or Asus's leather-trimmed ultraportables. You don't get a lot of flash for your cash, but at 2.6 pounds, the P8010 is one of the lightest laptops in this group.

The 1.2-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL7100 CPU proved poky in our performance testing. With a WorldBench 6 score of 50, it was the second-slowest unit in the group of ultraportables we tested at the same time, and about 22 percent below the average of all ultraportables we've tested. That it came with only 1GB of RAM on a Vista machine didn't help matters (most of the systems we test come with at least 2GB). Thankfully, it can support up to 4GB of RAM, with a 2GB upgrade running about $120 extra. But both its meager 3.5-hour battery life--about an hour short of the average for the ultraportables we've tested--and its low performance dropped the P8010's overall ranking.

This LifeBook also lacks the pizzazz that you'll find in fashion-forward models like the Macbook Air, the Sony VAIO TZ295N, or Asus's leather-trimmed U2E. Fujitsu's strictly-business design delivers a no-nonsense notebook.

However, the bunched-up buttons around the touchpad will make grown men cry, though PC World staffers with slimmer hands didn't complain about them, and they loved the big touchpad. At least it's spill-resistant. Several hot-keys atop the keyboard, though, may address a true road warrior's worries: One launches on-screen battery-saving settings, and another kick-starts a display manager so that one can output to an external monitor via VGA quicker than you can say "PowerPoint." A third button summons trouble-shooting software. (The last of the four buttons merely launches Fujitsu's Web site.)

The LifeBook screams practicality. Three USB ports, one FireWire port, VGA, and a PC Card slot (as opposed to an ExpressCard card slot) mean better compatibility for older tech (for example, wireless networking cards). At least the P8010 has a slot for newer SDHC cards built into the front. Security nuts will love the fingerprint scanner, and future Internet celebs will appreciate the Webcam mounted above the display.

Fujitsu's LifeBook P8010 is an affordable workhorse--it cost $1899 at the time of testing--but you'll need to equip it with more RAM to make it an adequate performer. And to those prospective buyers with oversize hands: Consider yourself warned.

--Darren Gladstone

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At a Glance
  • The tiny mousepad on this business model is tolerable only for those with tiny fingers; it'll aggravate everyone else.


    • Has business-oriented shortcut keys
    • Plenty of ports for an ultraportable


    • Tiny mousepad better for mini-mitts
    • Tepid performance
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