Fujitsu LifeBook A6010 Review pics, specs

Fujitsu LifeBook A6010 Review pics, specs

by Andrew Baxter

The Fujitsu LifeBook A6010is a 15.4″ widescreen multimedia notebook that was recently released in North America. The A6010 offers an Intel Core 2 Duo and some nice media-centric features, but doesn’t break the bank in terms of price. The Fujitsu A6010 is well designed, strongly built and quite pretty in its looks. If you’re looking for a desktop replacement productivity and multimedia machine at home that’s still light enough to carry around a bit, the A6010 is worth a look.


The LifeBook A6010 under review contains the following specs:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 (1.66GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667MHz)
  • Windows XP Media Center
  • 15.4″ Crystal View WXGA display
  • 2GB RAM (1GB x 2)
  • 120GB P-ATA 4200RPM hard drive
  • Dual Layer Multi-Format DVD Writer
  • Integrated Fingerprint reader
  • 3 USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), Memory card slot (4-in-1)
  • PCMCIA card slot and ExpresCard slot
  • Spill Resistant keyboard
  • Remote control for XP Media Center
  • Dimensions: 14.17″ x 10.43″ x 1.48″ (width x depth x thickness)
  • Approx. 6.05 lbs with 4-cell battery
  • Wireless: Intel 3945 802.11 a/b/g card, BlueTooth built-in
  • One year warranty

Fujitsu A6010 and included accessories (view large image)

The 15.4″ widescreen category of notebooks is by far the most popular size for people buying laptops for the home. In other words, those people that want a PC in the house that can be moved around easily and used in either the kitchen or the living area, but also that has a large enough screen to easily do work at a desk and essentially replace your bulky desktop PC.

There’s a lot of competition in this size range that the Fujitsu LifeBook A6010 comes up against. The Dell e1505, HP dv6000 series, Toshiba A105 and Acer Aspire 5100 series are just a few of the other popular offerings that pop into my head. The A6010 stands out by offering a strong build, very appealing look, good security protection and just being a well rounded notebook in general.

The price of the A6010 as configured is $1,369, you can get a lower end configuration with a Core Duo processor for $1,099.

Build and Design

Lid view of A6010 (view large image)

Fujitsu really got it right with the look. I love the silver accent brush metal look with the black keyboard. It’s stylish, but not brazen or too flashy. Plus they didn’t sacrifice usability for looks. I think that the HP dv6000 series went a bit too far in terms of the wavy design patterns and touch sensitive buttons (that don’t work well). Fujitsu kind of kept a conservative look and offered buttons that are easy to use and find, but aren’t flashy in any way. The LED lights are all really appealing and don’t have any color “bleed” into nearby lights — each light is individual and easy to see what they represent. Plus the front firing speakers have a nice look to them and let you know this notebook is meant for a bit of multimedia fun if you want.

The Fujitsu A6010 base is about as thick as a Treo 700w SmartPhone (view large image)

The build is very good. Sometimes I feel Fujitsu has slacked off on this with past home/budget offering notebooks, but not this time. The screen hinges are tight and really hold the screen in place well. The screen latch is well designed and holds the lid down well, and to go with that the button to unlatch the lid is easy to push in and operate. The case is made of a strong plastic material, it’s thick enough to absorb some shock with a drop, and was impressive in that I could find no flex anywhere on the body of the notebook. The palm rest areas and everywhere on the keyboard is simply rock solid and won’t flex down with the pressure of your hands. The underneath of the notebook and notebook lid also provide ample protection.

One thing I always look for in terms of an indication of build quality is whether the manufacturer used those really cheap and super annoying plastic dummies to protect dust from the notebook slots, or used the quality method of providing retractable flaps. Kudos to Fujitsu for providing flaps that spring back when you insert an accessory into a slot — that’s extra points in the build quality column.

One nice touch can also be found on the bottom of the laptop, felt areas cover the bottom to make it more comfortable to use this laptop on your lap.

Processor and Performance

The Intel Core 2 Duo offered with this notebook is the “low end” 1.66GHz version, but still offers very good performance, I got a Super Pi calculation time to 2 million digits of 1m 22s. That’s slower than the under 1 minute results that 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo processors get, but still demonstrates the processor can chug through calculations fast.

Super Pi

NotebookTimeFujitsu LifeBook A6010 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo)1m 22sLG S1 (2.16 GHz Core Duo)1m 11sDell Inspiron e1505 (2.0GHz Core Duo)1m 16sLenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo)1m 18sToshiba Satellite M100 (2.00GHz Core Duo)1m 18sSamsung X60 (1.66GHz Core Duo)1m 29sDell XPS M140 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)1m 41sSony VAIO FS680 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)1m 53sIBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)1m 45s

While the Fujitsu A6010 has a decent processor, the integrated graphics and slow hard drive speed of 4,200RPM hurts it somewhat in an overall system score when compared to similar and higher-end notebooks — the much smaller Sony VAIO SZ 13.3″ screen notebook with dedicated graphics was able to score higher than the A6010 in PCMark05 results:

PCMark05 Comparison results:

 NotebookPCMark05 ScoreFujitsu LifeBook A6010 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950)2,994 PCMarksFujitsu N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400)3,487 PCMarksAlienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60, Nvidia Go 7800GTX)5,597 PCMarksSony Vaio SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400)3,637 PCMarksToshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950)2,732 PCMarksAsus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400, Nvidia Go 7400)3,646 PCMarksSony VAIO FE590 (1.83GHz Core Duo, Nvidia Go 7400)3,427 PCMarks

Notice the Fujitsu LifeBook N6410 with a 1.66GHz Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo) also did better in PCMark05, mainly because it has dedicated graphics. The A6010 got an embarassingly low score in 3DMark05 so I won’t compare it to other notebooks. Key thing to remember, this is not intended as a 3D gaming notebook so if that’s what you’re after, look elsewhere.

3DMark05 score for A6010 (view large image)

So while there’s no dedicated graphics card included with the A6010, you can’t fault it too much because the notebook is not meant for gaming, simply productivity and multimedia. The A6010 is dubbed “Windows Vista Capable”. The 2GB of RAM offered standard with this configuration is great and ensures you’ll be ready to upgrade to Windows Vista when the time comes. However, it probably won’t perform all that well trying to run Vista’s 3D graphics features such as Aero Glass featured in the Vista Home Premium and above editions.

HDTune Benchmark results:

The 120GB hard drive size is nice and certainly appreciated for a notebook intended to do multimedia, but the 4,200 RPM spinning drive is slow by today’s standards as many manufacturers now offer a 5,400 RPM drive. be a 100GB drive with a 5,400RPM spin would have been a better choice for Fujitsu to have offered.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard is a real doozy, it has no flex whatsoever and each key feels individual. It’s best described as a blend between a Dell light touch type style keyboard and more firm ThinkPad type style keyboard. It’s hard to describe, but it’s fairly light to the touch in terms of keystroke but each key feels set apart and has great travel so you can really give it a push if you want. The instant access keys at the top for launching a browser, web search page or controlling volume are nice touches.

Keyboard view (view large image)

The touchpad area works well and is large and wide. The mouse buttons are highly usable, they have good travel and a nice tactile feedback. The fingerprint reader is in the middle and can be used as a scroll area if you wish, so it’s well positioned for such a thing.


It’s such a treat to have a Fujitsu CrystalView screen to look at once again. Although for me it’s somewhat bitter sweet because once again my poor IBM ThinkPad T43 notebook screen looks like a dim star in a far off galaxy next to the sun like brightness and clarity offered by the A6010 CrystalView widescreen display. You simply can’t complain about the brightness or richness of colors this screen offers. There is no detectable light leakage anywhere and lighting is very even.

Fujitsu A6010 CrystalBrite screen (view large image)

The only bad thing is that the viewing angles are not that wide, you really have to be positioned correctly at a perpendicular angle to the screen to get the right colors. Both vertical and horizontal viewing angles suffer beyond 35 degrees as colors quickly distort. So long as you’re not sitting to the side or standing above your notebook this is fine, most of us sit directly in front while working anyway of course. If you’re sitting across the room watching a movie though, you’ll have to angle the screen right to have the best viewing, and not everyone on the couch will be happy.


The speakers on the A6010 are positioned on the left and right side at the front. They offer quite decent sound and most definitely get loud enough. They probably put the A6010 in the top 70% of notebooks in terms of speaker quality, but they’re still not very good for bass as is the case for most notebooks. The headphone port is at the front and offers great audio quality via a good set of headphones.

Heat and Noise

The LifeBook A6010 has a couple of large vents, one on the back and one on the left side. The back vent is where the warm air is pushed out, which is great because it means it doesn’t blow onto the person using it at all. The A6010 does a really great job of staying cool. After running 3DMark05 and PCMark05 benchmarking tools back to back, two applications that really push a notebook, the machine was literally cool to the touch on top still. There was a bit of warmth on the back center underneath of the notebook, but certainly nothing bad and only what you might call warm. This laptop could easily live up to its namesake and be used in the lap.

Noise is minimal, the fan is very quiet as well as the hard drive. Unfortunately the optical drive had a bit of a problem and made a ton of noise when playing a DVD. Playing a CD was fine, but when playing a DVD it literally squealed so loud other people in the room covered their ears. I’m assuming and hoping the optical drive I got with this review unit was a bit of a lemon, it’s a dual-layer multi-format DVD Writer made by NEC. We’ll assume I got unlucky.

Ports and Slots

LED lights on the front, directly below them is a wireless on/off switch and you can see the headphone and microphone ports to the right of that (view large image)

The A6010 offers a nice array of ports. Best of all it offers both the PCMCIA slot and ExpressCard slot for future expansion accessories. Your future proofed and legacy proofed with both slots being offered — PCMCIA being legacy and ExpressCard the future. On the right hand side you get a 4-in-1 media card slot (MS/MS Pro/SD/XD), I love having that SD slot available as my camera and smartphone both use SD cards for storage. Also offered is FireWire to quickly transfer media from that DV Cam you have kicking around. You get 3 USB ports, one on the right and two on the back. An S-video port is provided on the back along with a regular old VGA monitor out port. On the front of the notebook is a headphone jack and microphone port. I like this location for headphones, some won’t though, it just depends where and how you use the notebook. Missing is a DVI port, for a multimedia notebook, it would have been a “nice to have”.

Left side view of dual-layer DVD drive and heat vent (view large image)

Right side view: PCMCIA, ExpressCard slot, Media Card reader, USB, FireWire, power jack (view large image)

Back view: 2 USB ports, Ethernet port, S-Video, heat exhaust and fan, monitor-out port, modem port (view large image)

You also get a remote control with the A6010 that works with Windows Media Center in a seamless way for controlling your media from across the room. An IR receiver that comes with the system plugs into a USB port in order for this to happen.

Battery Life

I was a little worried when I saw the quoted battery life of 1.75 hours, as you know manufacturer numbers are always a little exaggerated. In this case Fujitsu quoted about right. I unplugged the battery and let the system basically idle, with wireless on and screen brightness at half and the system went into hibernate with 5% battery life after 1 hour 41 minutes. Not so grand on battery life, hopefully you’ll be using this around the home and plugged in most of the time anyway. You can upgrade to a larger 6-cell battery if you want an extra 45 minutes or so of battery life, but it adds about a quarter pound of weight to the overall system.


The A6010 offers the Intel 3945 card for wireless. This means you have 802.11 a/b/g built-in. The wireless card works well, I’ve never had a problem with it in any notebook. You also get integrated BlueTooth wireless with this model.


Fujitsu is forgiving in that it doesn’t load the system down with tons of “free” useless software. A Google toolbar and desktop search were really the only things that stood out. Norton was on there too. No AOL internet or EarthLink was included — thank you Fujitsu! Useful included apps are: Adobe Reader, Fujitsu HotKey and Fujitsu Driver Update Utility, LifeBook Application Panel, CyberLink PowerDVD, and Roxio Digital Media SE.

Security and Data Protection

The shock sensor utility pops up a balloon when in action to indicate it has detected a bump and the hard drive head is being parked to protect data (view large image)

For a consumer notebook the LifeBook A6010 does a great job in terms of data protection and security. It comes with a built-in hard drive shock protection system that works well. The hard drive read/write head is parked when it senses movement so that data is not destroyed during a drop situation. You also get a biometric fingerprint reader for hassle free login security (no excuses for disabling password protection on your Windows login). You of course get a standard security lock slot for those times you need to chain your computer down with a Kensington lock.


The Fujitsu LifeBook A6010is a strong candidate for the choice of a desktop replacement notebook in the house. It’s light enough and strong enough to carry around the house easily. The screen and multimedia features are great. And who doesn’t want a nice looking piece of technology, which the LifeBook A6010 most certainly is? The battery life isn’t all that great and the slowish hard drive be a bit of a bottleneck in performance, but it’s hard to find any glaring weaknesses outside of that. The A6010 is therefore a thumbs up and I recommend you consider this model for home multimedia and productivity use, it stands out in the sea of other 15.4″ widescreen offerings available.


  • Great build quality, very sturdy case
  • Pretty looks, yet professional with its silver brush metal finish
  • Highly usable keyboard and touchpad, all buttons feel great and are positioned well
  • Great CrystalView screen so long as you’re facing head on
  • Quite thin and light for a 15.4″ notebook, under 7lbs
  • Stays cool


  • Poor battery life with the included 4-cell
  • The screen colors distort after you go outside a viewing angle of about 35-degrees
  • Slow spinning hard drive of 4,200RPM is a bottleneck to other fast system components





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