Fujitsu is the latest PC maker to introduce thin and light Ultrabooks running Ivy Bridge, Intels third-generation Core processors. As of June 5, Fujitsu is offering a 14-inch Lifebook U772 Ultrabook, designed for business professionals, and a 13.3-inch Lifebook UH572 Ultrabook better-suited for consumers.
For those needing a desktop refreshment, Fujitsu has also refreshed its Lifebook NH532 notebook, which features a 17.3-inch HD+ display, with Intels newest processors.
Before a rundown on the specs, a few words about what sets Fujitsus Ultrabooks apart from the numerous other thin-and-light notebooks that have been released into the world since the introduction of the processors, which offer considerably improved performance and battery life: reliability, quality, flexibility.
Thats according to Paul Moore, Fujitsus vice president of PC marketing in the United States. Fujitsu primarily sells its PCs to the channel and various vertical markets.
We have a lot of nice consumer products, Moore told eWEEK, likening these PCs to a Jaguar, a car one doesnt see an abundance of on the road. The people who buy them, buy them for a reason, he said, explaining that Fujitsu PCs are designed and built by Fujitsu in Japan.
Theres a design factor, a quality, a reliability, an understanding of how vertical products are used, Moore said.
To that last point, the U772 is first Ultrabook, according to Moore, that can dock in a desktop dock.
Competitor Lenovo, which introduced new Ultrabooks June 4, is enjoying growth thats several times the industry average. According to Moore, Fujitsu isnt so worriedwhile Lenovo can be competitive on pricing, Moore said it isnt equipped to do the hand-holding and customizing that Fujitsu can for specific industries.
When you have a government contractor, for example [that has very specific needs], he explained, there are all kinds of things the typical manufacturer [isnt familiar with] but that we face every day.
On the matter of tablets, Moore expects that Android-running units will go the way of the netbookdevices left to compete solely on priceand that the Apple iPad, while it has endeared itself to many a business user, isnt a great fit for the types of customers that generally turn to Fujitsu.
The iPad, says Moore, has no security and you need an iTunes account. You can work around these things, but its not convenient. Theyre designed to be used in the den and taken care ofnot used by a plumber and treated like a tool. Our first version of a Windows tablet has a removable battery, which no one else has.
With a Fujitsu tablet, he continued, a worker can swap out the battery and continue with his day. With the iPad, you plug it in and the work stops [while it charges].
Fujitsu also seals the back of its tablets with four simple screws, unlike Apple, which takes pains to prevent users from tampering with its devices innards. When a government customer needs a device repaired, regulations demand that they first remove the hard drive, says Moore. How are you going to do that with an iPad?
As for those new Ultrabook specs, the business-geared Lifebook U772 features a frameless WXGA HD Crystal View display with edge-to-edge viewing, the option of matte or glossy, and support for an optional port replicatorfor docking to an external monitor, keyboard or mouse.
It measures 0.69 inches thin, weighs 3.15 pounds, has an HD Webcam with an LED indicator to let a user know if the camera is on, and offers a choice of an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
The U772 additionally offers a hard-disk drive (HDD) with solid-state drive (SSD) cache, which, with Intels Rapid Start technology and ExpressCache, lets a user immediately resume working from standby, prolongs battery life and boosts HDD performance to near SSD speeds.
During the third quarter, there will be the option of an integrated 3G WWAN from Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint.
The consumer-geared Lifebook UH572 offers up to a Core i5 processor, measures 0.71 inches thin, weighs 3.5 pounds, has a battery life of nearly six hours and includes Intel WiDi (Wireless Display) technology, for wirelessly streaming to a compatible television.
Both Ultrabooks are loaded with security features, including Intel Anti-Theft Technology, a Computrace BIOS Persistence Module, BIOS and HDD Password Protection and a Kensington lock. The UH572 includes Intel Identity Protection Technology, while the U772 offers the Intel Core vPro processor platform, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and a biometric fingerprint reader.
The Ultrabook market is ripe for some new exciting entries ¦ Moore said in a June 5 statement. For the business user, expansion and security are key, while our consumer version is perfect for the student or home user, delivering just what they desirehigh-capacity drives and WiDi. Either choice will not disappoint the customer.
Pricing for the Lifebook U772 Ultrabook starts at $1,149, while the Lifebook UH572 Ultrabook starts at $999. The refreshed Lifebook NH532 is priced at $749. All three are now available.