The Fujitsu LifeBook U810, a 1.6lb Vista loaded UMPC with touchscreen capability, was today announced for U.S. availability starting in mid- at a $999 price point. Following is a first thoughts hands-on look at this new device from Fujitsu that migrates across to us from Asia where it was relased this past as the LifeBook U1010.
Fujitsu LifeBook U810
The Fujitsu LifeBook U810 is a 5.6″ screen Intel powered UMPC device. Fujitsu is actually calling it a notebook, which is probably a safer play given the stigma attached to past failures in the UMPC market, but for all intents and purposes it really is a form factor that develops on past UMPC devices such as the Samsung Q1 and Asus R2H. Some might even say it is reminiscent of the Sony Clie UX50. The Fujitsu U810 has been available in Asia for some time now, it’s sold as the Fujitsu U1010 there. If you look to CNET Asiafor a review of the device and user opinions, you’ll see a mixed bag of people praising the form factor, but complaining about under powered performance for Windows Vista.
Seen above is the Asian version U1010, the U.S. U810 release will feature a black lid finish (view large image)
Fujitsu is changing a couple of things about the U810 from the U1010. First of all, the U810 will have a larger 4-cell battery than the U1010 offered. The 4-cell battery in the U810 has a claimed battery life of 5.5 hours. Second of all, the U1010 sold overseas has a white lid, while the U.S. release will feature a black lid finish. Other than that, the specs remain the same, which is to say they are the following:
- Processor: Intel A110 800MHz (512KB Cache, 400MHz FSB)
- Graphics: Intel integrated
- OS: Windows Vista Premium, Business or Windows XP Tablet PC 2005
- Display: 5.6-inch WSVGA (1024 x 600) (external: 1600 x 1200, simultaneous 1024 x 768)
- Hard Drive: 40GB 1.8″ 4200RPM
- Memory: 1GB RAM
- Ports: 1 USB 2.0, Audio-in, Audio-out, power adapter, Ethernet via dongle, VGA-out via dongle, 1 SD card reader, 1 CompactFlash Type II card reader
- Wireless: Atheros 802.11abg Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 (WWAN coming Q1 2008)
- Input: 56-key keyboard, or pen input via stylus touchscreen display
- Weight: 1.56lbs
- Dimensions: 6.73″ (W) x 5.24″ (D) x 1.04 – 1.26″ (H)
The nice thing about the U810 is that it has a quite usable keyboard, something former UMPC devices neglected. The way the pointing stick and mouse buttons have been implemented is good too. On the top right side of the keyboard you have a black colored pointing stick (Fujitsu calls it Glide Point) that works to move the cursor around the screen, then on the top left side are two buttons that represent left and right mouse clicks. The Glide Point stick works in both keyboard or slate mode, it is not covered up when the screen folds down.
Underside of the U810 (view large image)
Speaking of the screen, it rotates in a clockwise manner from notebook into tablet mode. The screen is 5.6″ diagonally and 1024 x 600 in resolution. It’s quite bright, but the real news is that it is indeed responsive to pen input via the included stylus or simply using your finger, just like a regular PDA. It does not use Wacom active digitized input like a fully fledged Tablet PC device.
LifeBook U810 next to a 12.1″ ultraportable notebook (view large image)
The form factor of the U810 is certainly tiny when compared to a regular notebook, being half the weight of an ultraportable notebook, but bulky if you’re comparing it to a PDA. If you’re familiar with Palm’s Treo 700w device, it’s just over one Treo deep (including the antenna length) and 1.25 Treos wide. Exact dimensions for the U810 are 6.73″ (W) x 5.24″ (D) x 1.04 – 1.26″ (H), and a weight of 1.6lbs. Which, to continue with the Treo comparison, is about 4 Treo 700w’s heavy. The U810 won’t fit in your pocket, but it will fit nicely in your hand and won’t be recognized as additional weight when thrown into a bag.
On the front of the U810 there’s a connector that allows you to hook up a dongle that can provide for an Ethernet adaptor attachment or VGA output attachment. The same connector will also allow for hooking up to a port replicatort. Obviously with space at such a premium on the U810, Fujitsu couldn’t include every port under the sun. The SD card reader and CompactFlash slot are certainly nice to have, and you at least get one USB 2.0 port.
A connector for a port replicator can be seen on the front (view large image)
A couple of neat features include lights that can be toggled on to illuminate the keyboard in the dark, and an integrated web camera with 0.3MP resolution. A biometric fingerprint reader for finger swipe login to Windows or storing passwords for websites is also included.
The big question with the Fujitsu U810 is whether the 800MHz Intel processor with 1GB of RAM and a 4200RPM hard drive can handle Windows Vista. Based on reports from users in Asia, the U1010 does struggle a bit in terms of performance, which one would expect. In my experience of spending a few minutes using the U810, a QuickTime movie trailer video played well (no skipping) and the input interface was responsive, though not snappy, and there was some lag when opening menus. The U810 will obviously be for those users that prize portability over performance, and don’t mind looking at the Windows Vista spinning icon a bit more often than with a regular notebook. It’s great to get the full functionality of Windows Vista in such a small size, but on the other hand it’d be nice to have a light weight OS such as Windows Mobile 6 so the U810 could blaze through tasks. Ultimately it would be nice to see Microsoft release an OS version that sits somewhere between Windows Vista and Windows Mobile 6 that can run on UMPC devices.
The LifeBook U810 should be available in the mid- time frame and will sell for the price of $999. That price is fairly reasonable relative to past UMPC devices, and should help to create a market for the U810 here in North America.
Fujitsu LifeBook T Notebook Convertible
Fujitsu LifeBook T convertible notebook Tablet PC device (view large image)
The 12.1″ widescreen convertible notebook LifeBook T is also being announced today by Fujitsu. The T is the newest addition to the Fujitsu Tablet PC notebook convertible lineup. It sits somewhere between the Fujitsu T4220and Stylistic ST5100 in terms of form factor. The Stylistic model is a pure slate Tablet PC, and weighs a light 3.5lbs, while the LifeBook T4220 is a notebook convertible that weighs 4.3lbs. Fujitsu wanted to introduce a lighter convertible style Tablet PC, and so here they are with the LifeBook T. The T leaves out such things as an optical drive to keep weight down, and uses an Intel ULV processor to allow for a slimmer overall design.
Notice the battery at the front (view large image)
The LifeBook T is a stylish machine with some features that make it standout. First of all, the battery location at the front is designed so that the heavy battery area is cradled in a manner that’s on top of the users arm — putting the most weight right where it would be naturally and more easily supported by your arm when standing and holding the device in Tablet PC mode. The front location of the battery is also intended to make it easier to swap. The included 6-cell battery is quoted as providing 9-hours of life, with an optional 9-cell that can give up to 11 hours.
The bi-directional rotational 12.1″ widescreen on the Fujitsu T is an LED backlit variety, providing for an excellent bright image and even lighting. The resolution is a standard WXGA and offers over 220-nits of brightness. There is an optional indoor/outdoor display with anti-reflective coating. The screen offers Wacom active pen input via the included digitizer pen. It is not touchscreen capable.
The 12.1″ screen on the T is LED backlit (view large image)
The T runs on Intel’s latest Ultra Low Voltage processor platform, you can get either the Intel U7500 (1.06GHz) or U7600 (1.2GHz) processor. The T can take up to 4GB of memory, and you can configure hard drives ranging from 60GB – 160GB in capacity. An SSD 32GB will also be offered.
Left side view of ports (view large image)
Ports included with the T are: two USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), External monitor/VGA, modem (RJ-11), Gigabit
Ethernet (RJ-45), docking connector, headphone/line-out jack, and microphone/line-in jack. For slots there’s a Type I/II PCMCIA slot, Smart Card slot, and media card reader. The docking station port is on the underneath of the T and will allow you to have extra ports, such as 4 USB 2.0 ports and DVI.
Right side view of ports (view large image)
Dimensions wise the LifeBook T measures in at 11.9″ (Width) x 8.8″ (Depth) x 1.36″ (Thickness) and weighs about 3.52 lbs. with the standard 6-cell battery. Add on an additional 0.32 lbs. if you want the 9-cell battery that will stick out a bit from the front when installed.
In terms of wireless, the T offers 802.11 a/b/g/n and BlueTooth 2.0. Fujitsu will be offering an integrated WWAN option in Q1 2008.
Availability of the T should be by the end of , and the price will start at $1,599. Fujitsu continues to prove they’re really on top of the game with the Tablet PC market and filling in just about every possible product offering within this market.
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