Fujitsu's Ultraportable LifeBook U820 Notebook Offers Intel's Atom Processor

Fujitsu is revamping its lineup of ultraportable mini-notebooks, and the company now plans to offer an Intel Atom processor with its new LifeBook U820 laptop. The Fujitsu LifeBook U820 notebook is a small, compact notebook thanks to a 5.6-inch display. Fujitsu is also offering the LifeBook P1630, a convertible tablet with an 8.9-inch screen, as well as the Fujitsu LifeBook N7010, which is marketed as a desktop replacement.

Finally, as part of a three-product unveiling, Fujitsu is rolling out the LifeBook N7010, with its 16-inch display and Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor running at 2.26GHz. And Fujitsu has built a second, smaller, touch-screen display into the N7010: This 4-inch display allows users to view photographs, control the CD/DVD drive or launch a second application while still working on the primary screen.

In addition to its desktop replacement laptop, Fujitsu is revamping its lineup of compact, ultraportable LifeBook notebooks with the LifeBook U820-which boasts the Intel Atom processor and an optional 64GB SSD (solid-state drive)-as well as unveiling a revamped convertible tablet, the LifeBook P1630.

Fujitsu is releasing all three notebooks Nov. 4.

The Fujitsu LifeBook U820 is the company's second try at offering an extremely compact, lightweight notebook that is even smaller than the types of low-cost notebooks, or "netbooks," that have flooded the market in just the last months. In the last week of October, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo all released netbooks based on Intel's Atom processor.

Click here for images of the new Fujitsu notebooks.

In 2007, Fujitsu brought out the LifeBook U810, a mini-notebook that offered users a compact 5.6-inch display, weighed less than 2 bounds and used an Intel A110 processor running at 800MHz. With the LifeBook U820, Fujitsu kept the screen size at 5.6 inches and the weight at less than 2 pounds-1.32 pounds to be exact-but the company outfitted the notebook with an Intel Atom Z530 processor, which runs at 1.6GHz, which should boost the performance.

Fujitsu and other PC vendors are starting to see some benefits from these types of notebooks. Earlier this week, IDC released its report on the world's x86 microprocessor market and found that Intel's Atom chip helped boost processor sales despite concerns that the financial crisis has begun to cut into both consumer and enterprise spending.

While the LifeBook U820 uses the Intel Atom chip, it would be difficult to classify this mini-notebook as a typical netbook, such as the HP Mini-Note 1000, the Asus Eee PC or the Dell Mini Inspiron 9. For example, the screen size of the U820 is much smaller than typical netbooks, with displays between 7 and 10 inches.

The starting price of $1,049 also means that the U820 would have a difficult time with the "low-cost" classification of other netbooks. The LifeBook U820 has more in common with the Panasonic CF-U1, a high-end but compact notebook that uses the Atom chip but was created more for vertical markets than everyday use.

In addition to the Atom processor, Fujitsu now offers a 64GB SSD option with the LifeBook U820. And the company offers a choice of 60GB or 120GB hard disk drives. For battery life, a user can choose between a two-cell lithium ion battery that offers more than 3 hours of battery life or a four-cell battery that allows the notebook to work for approximately 7 hours. (The larger battery does add weight to the notebook.)

The U820 supports Microsoft Windows Vista and includes navigation and GPS software developed by Garmin Mobile. The laptop also offers 802.11a/b/g and draft-n wireless LAN (WLAN) technologies, with a cellular broadband option coming in 2009.

On Nov. 4, Fujitsu also upgraded its convertible tablet offering with the LifeBook P1630 notebook. This new convertible tablet offers a newer ultra-low-volt Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 processor (1.2GHz) and an 8.9-inch display and weighs about 2.2 pounds. Fujitsu improved the battery life on this notebook: The LifeBook P1630 offers about 6 hours of battery life, compared with the 5 hours that the LifeBook P1620 offered.

Pricing for the LifeBook P6130 starts at about $2,179.

The LifeBook N7010 starts at $1,499.