We took a look at Fujitsu’s Lifebook T5010 Tablet PC. No, Moses isn’t going to smash it if you start worshipping golden cows. But you can use it to make notes on screen and bring back the delicate art of handwriting…
Naturally, this function is most at home in business meetings or anywhere you may have to give a presentation. It’s a bit gimicky for the home user, but it is still nice to have the option. And the screen area is extremely useable thanks to a large tiltable 13.3-inch display. In practice, this means you can make a sketch onscreen then twist the monitor section around to show the folks on the other side (also a cool function if you quickly want to show your mates YouTube vids).
So what’s it like to use. Well, the 13.3-inch screen and excellent springy keyboard are huge upsides and mark the T5010 out as a real contender if you’re looking for a desktop replacement. The downside is the heft that comes with the package, weighing a shoulder-crunching 2Kg. That’s not really a problem if you are buying it as a desktop replacement and it won’t be travelling too far, too often. But if you’re going to be lugging it everywhere you go, that weight is going to get very old, very fast.
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The basic tablet writing functions are pretty easy to get into, although you’ll want to spend more time training it to recognise your scrawl if this is going to be a major function for you. However, the word recognition was pretty good even on our childish scribble and it was easy to spot any misunderstood words and access a list of possible replacements to make changes.
The input itself is actually carried out using a wireless pencil-type stylus slotted into the front-left of machine. This has mouse-like buttons for additional selection features, but it’s the ability to use the top as an eraser and remove whole words by rubbing over them that made us smile. If you don’t fancy using the pen to navigate, there’s a good-sized mouse pad to skip around the screen and an extra scroll section at the right of this so you don’t have to use the bars at the side of a page.
The machine isn’t dripping with USB 2.0 ports given its size – one on the side and two on the back, but there are handy slots for an SD card and a Sim card (should you choose the 3G/UMTS model). If you do you’ll never be afraid to leave that wireless G connection again as you use mobile internet to file work or check up on the office gossip by email. Everything’s pretty sensibly placed, using mostly the back or the sides, with only a fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the screen as a slightly odd positional choice. If you fancy expanding, a second modular bay can be used to either boost power life with a second battery, increase storage with an extra hard disk drive, pop in a DVD Super Multi drive or leave empty to save weight!
The unit has a claimed battery life of six hours, although heavy use will see it run short of that. That may not be ideal for business users on the road – and it’s not the only unusual choice in the set up. The bland look (it’s not ugly, simply functional), heavy weight and tablet screen functions clearly mark this out as a business machine. Yet there’s no sign of Microsoft Office (we installed OpenOffice) or even basics such as a PDF reader. With an online price tag between £1,600 and £1,700 – depending on where you look – anyone who relies on Microsoft’s software package won’t want to shell out extra to get it.
Overall, the Lifebook T5010 is solid (in every sense of the word) but unexceptional. Those looking for the tablet function will (it goes with saying – but we’re going to say it anyway) find much more to their liking. The rest of us will enjoy a thoroughly useable, if pricey, PC.