Fujitsu Raises the Bar—Again

With its LifeBook P5010D, Fujitsu has improved on its already-impressive P Series LifeBook line by adding a quick, low-power Pentium M processor and a roomier keyboard.

With the P5010D, the latest in its line of P Series LifeBooks, Fujitsu PC Corp. has managed to improve on a good thing by extending the basic design of the P2120 with a roomier keyboard and a speedy Intel Corp. Pentium M processor.

LifeBook P5010D

With its LifeBook P5010D, Fujitsu has improved on its already-impressive P Series LifeBook line by adding a quick, low-power Pentium M processor and a roomier keyboard. With built-in 802.11g networking, an optical drive and a full complement of peripheral ports, the $1,699 P5010D is a good fit for users looking for a portable, full-function notebook.
















  • PRO: Pentium M processor; integrated 802.11g; expansion bay for optical drive or secondary battery.
  • CON: Small-but-high-resolution display makes for too-small screen text.

Apple Computer Inc.s 12-inch PowerBook • Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.s Portégé 4010

The 900MHz Pentium M chip that powers the LifeBook P5010D we tested manages to deliver snappy performance as well as reasonably long battery life. In contrast, the P2120, which is still available from Fujitsu, is built around a Transmeta Corp. 933MHz TM5800 processor that enables the unit to approach 4 hours of use between charges—but not without a noticeable performance hit.

In a test in which we continuously streamed music over the P5010Ds 802.11g wireless connection, the units lithium-ion battery yielded 3 hours and 20 minutes of operation on a single charge. Fujitsu sells a $116 secondary battery that fits into the units expansion bay. This battery can extend the notebooks life between charges to 10.5 hours, according to Fujitsu.

The model we tested, which began shipping last month at a cost of $1,699, includes 256MB of double-data-rate synchronous dynamic RAM (expandable to 512MB), a 40GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW combo drive for the expansion bay. A $1,499 version of the P5010D is also available without an 802.11g radio or DVD/CD-RW drive.

In addition, Fujitsu sells a Centrino version of this notebook (so labeled because it includes the 802.11b radio that Intel requires for notebooks bearing the Centrino brand) that starts at $1,549.

The P5010D measures 10.27 by 7.8 by 1.55 inches and weighs 3.85 pounds with its DVD/CD-RW drive or 3.4 pounds with its plastic expansion bay weight saver. Although space in this small chassis is tight, Fujitsu has managed to build in a spacious-feeling keyboard that we found comfortable. For input, this model includes a decent-size touch-pad with a scroll control between its right and left mouse buttons.

The display for the P5010D is a 10.6-inch, 1,280-by-768-pixel panel. At this resolution and display size, screen text was too small to read comfortably, and switching to a lower screen resolution made for a warped appearance—an issue weve encountered on other notebooks with Windows and non-standard-size displays. We switched to large fonts with Windows XPs Display Properties utility, which made screen text easier to read.

In addition to its 802.11g radio, the unit we tested comes with an integrated Ethernet card, a modem, two Universal Serial Bus 2.0 ports, an external VGA port and S-video ports (both require dongles, which are included), a four-pin IEEE 1394 port, and headphone and microphone jacks.

We were impressed by the units array of peripheral expansion slots, which include one PC Card slot, one CompactFlash card slot and a combination Secure Digital/ Memory Stick slot (which weve not seen before).

The unit we tested comes with Windows XP Home Edition, but it may be ordered with Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Professional as well.

Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at