At a Glance
- Superlong battery life
- Indoor/outdoor screen
- So-so speed
- Optical drive not integrated
The 9-cell battery on this indoor/outdoor model lasts forever, but its front-mounted location is not always ideal.
The slim, light Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 convertible tablet has the longest battery life we’ve seen, as well as a versatile screen suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This $2558 unit (as of 10/9/07) could be more comfortable to hold, however, and the optical drive is not integrated.
The T2010 set a new record for battery life. Our test unit’s nine-cell battery lasted just 2 minutes shy of 7 hours–best among currently tested laptops. Speed was less impressive: Our 1.2-GHz Core 2 Duo U7600-equipped unit with 2GB of RAM produced a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 52, just two points lower than the average of 54 earned by currently tested ultraportables. The T2010 edged out by four points an HP Compaq 2710p equipped with the same processor and amount of RAM.
Though the T2010’s design is sensible overall, it doesn’t allow for a built-in optical drive. Our test unit came with a $279 USB double-layer DVD burner, which, along with the power adapter, increased the weight to nearly 6 pounds (heavier than average for a machine in the ultraportable category). The keyboard layout is tops. I found the eraserhead pointing device easy to use, although I first had to calibrate the pointer to slow it down. I also liked having a big palm rest–which is actually the notebook’s battery, mounted on the front of the unit.
A conservative business unit, the T2010’s connections are not exactly cutting-edge; for instance, it has the older PC Card slot instead of an ExpressCard slot, and only two USB ports. But the basics are all there, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless communications, plus a little extra data security in the form of an integrated Smart Card slot.
The single-hinge, 1280-by-800-pixel, 12.1-inch screen is latchless but stays nice and flat against the keyboard for taking notes. It’s reasonably bright and easy to read inside an office or outside in shade, but the antiglare coating is not quite enough to stand up to direct sunlight. Writing on the screen is a snap, and light taps are all that’s needed to register choices. After a while, though, I found myself wishing that the stylus were the round, spring-loaded type, which is easier to remove and return to a pen holder than the T2010’s stylus with projecting side clip.
The front-mounted battery that I liked so much in laptop mode turned into a bit of a liability in tablet mode, since I’m a right-hander who doesn’t like having a left-side grip. You can rotate the unit 180 degrees so the grip is on the right, but then all the tablet buttons are in a nonstandard configuration on the bottom. One fix: Buy the six-cell battery in addition to the nine-cell battery, so you can swap batteries for maximum comfort.
The T2010’s roaming range will expand early next year when Fujitsu integrates mobile broadband as an extra-cost option. For people worried about durability, a 32GB solid-state hard drive, which has no moving parts, is available for $519. But as it stands, you can’t beat this ultraportable’s Herculean battery life.