Fujitsu has been on an update kick lately and thanks to that we get the LifeBook P1630. The P1630 has an updated processor and chipset, and is the successor to the P1620. Not much has changed with the "p" series, same design and build just a little more umph in the performance department.
Fujitsu P1630 Tablet PC specs as reviewed (price starting at $2,179):
Design and Build
Although the design is still the same, the P1630 is appealing. Who can resist an ultraportable, lightweight notebook that can also be used as a tablet for taking notes or drawing. The 8.9" WXGA display is perfect for road warriors and the touchscreen comes in handy when browsing the Web. I do prefer the pen though because it is more accurate then your finger tip.
The P1630 weighs in at 2.8 lbs and has a solid chassis. There isn't anything that feels cheap about it. It is the perfect travel companion, I took it every where with me. It also has the famous Fujitsu bi-directional hinge, which is great for presentations. The colors are the same, black lid and silver inside. It isn't shiny and it doesn't have creative designs, just your basic looking tablet. In my opinion though function is more important then design and the P1630 is the perfect road warrior.
The 8.9" (1280x768) touchscreen display is nice. The perfect size for traveling, even though sometimes it's hard to read the small font. The screen is readable outdoors, but it is a little grainy. Fujitsu is noted for having some of the best tablet displays, and the P1630 fits right in. It does show graininess when on a page that is all white, but the colors are vivid and bright for being so small. At certain angles there is a little color bleed on the sides of the display but again nothing that interferes with viewing.
The touchscreen capabilities on the P1630 are definitely passive. You have to use your fingernail and use a good deal of pressure for the screen to register touch. It is good enough for starting programs and scrolling, but not accurate enough to navigate through applications or webpages, the pen is much more responsive.
Performance and Benchmark
Fujitsu updated the processor on the P1630 to the SU9300 Core 2 Duo, which is still a 1.2GHz ULV, but it provides more power then the Core Solo on the first "p" series and more then the U7600 on the P1620. I didn't have any problems with lag and it booted up fine. Don't get me wrong this tablet is by no means fast and powerful like the LifeBook T4220, but it's half the size. The P1630 does what it needs to do. It's a perfect travel companion and not built to be a gaming machine. It's for students and business professionals.
Comparison Results for PCMark05
PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole.
|Fujitsu LifeBook P1630 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz, ULV, GS45 chipset)||2,820 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz ULV, Intel 945GMS chipset)||2,113 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T2020 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz, GS45 chipset)||2,983 PCMarks|
|Gateway C-140x (Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, ATI X2300 HD graphics)||4,342 PCMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||2,453 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||3,473 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||4,171 PCMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,205 PCMarks|
|LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300)||2,568 PCMarks|
|Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,187 PCMarks|
|HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150)||3,052 PCMarks|
|Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,724 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo)||2,860 PCMarks|
|Panasonic ToughBook T4 (Intel 1.20GHz LV)||1,390 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950)||2,732 PCMarks|
Comparison Results for 3Dmark05
3DMark05 tests the overall graphic capabilities of a notebook.
|Notebook||3D Mark 05 Results|
|Fujitsu LifeBook P1630 (1.2GHz Core 2 Duo ULV, GS45 chipset)||735 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, Intel 945GMS chipset)||358 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T2020 (1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, GS45 chipset)||802 3DMarks|
|Gateway C-140x (2GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI X2300 HD graphics)||1,956 3DMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, GMA X3100 graphics)||634 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics)||812 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics)||925 3DMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950)||500 3DMarks|
|LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo, Nvidia Go 7300)||1,392 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook S2210 (1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-52, ATI x1150)||810 3DMarks|
|PortableOne UX (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950)||590 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB)||2,092 3DMarks|
The keyboard shows some signs of flex toward the middle, but overall is very solid. The keys are smaller, but that has to do with the size of the tablet. The keyboard takes up most of the inside except the little palm rest area, which mostly is made from the battery. The keys are smooth and a light grey color, so they hide dirt and fingerprints well.
The pointing stick is easy to use once you get the hang of it just like with the Thinkpads. It is responsive like a mouse and the right and left click buttons work just the same. The pointing stick feels like sand paper, which is helpful since it is small it holds your finger in place. It does feel awkward though at first. It doesn't have that smooth rubber feel like the ThinkPad or the HP 2710p.
The pen is nothing fancy, but it is great for navigating the smaller screen. It is a small piece of plastic with no eraser or buttons. Just a basic stylus like something that comes with a Palm Treo, but bigger in size. It feels different when taking notes since it's not like a normal pen, but after a few uses it becomes comfortable enough.
The P1630 looks similar to a netbook until you realize the screen turns and in seconds you have a slate. The hinge on the P1630 is solid and only shows minimal signs of wobble. Once in tablet mode the screen automatically changes orientation and trust me there will be no complaints about carrying it around all day.
The touchscreen works like most passive touchscreens, it's not always accurate unless you use a lot of pressure. The pen on the other hand works great. I had fun jotting down notes on the go and the battery life is an added bonus. The P1630 comes with OneNote just like its predecessor the P1620, so it's perfect for students who need the software for class and the tablet functionability for voice recognition or presentations. Not to mention it fits right in your bag with books and other gadgets.
Heat and Noise
The P1630 doesn't get hot at all. I mean this little tablet barely got warm. Of course, it comes with the Fujitsu's signature suede patches on the bottom, which help reduce heat and make the tablet comfortable to hold or place on your lap. I didn't notice any excessive heat even when running the benchmarks. It did have some warm air being pumped out the vent, but nothing major.
Noise wasn't a huge issue either, but when the fan kicked on you can hear it. It obviously doesn't have an optical drive so no noise there, but even when it was working hard running benchmarks and applications, it was audible. It also had a little CPU whine, but nothing that was annoying. You could sit at the library all day and work on this tablet and it wouldn't be noticeable.
For being such a small tablet the P1630 has a nice variety of ports and there are optional accessories that make it even better like the optical drive or docking station. It comes packed with two USB ports, a PCMCIA slot, SD Card slot, RJ-11 and RJ-45 ports, External Monitor port, a microphone and headphone port and a docking connector. However, the front side of the P1620 doesn't have any features because that is where the battery is located.
Front view of the P1630.
Right side view of the ports.
Left side view of the ports.
Back view of the P1630.
Underneath the P1630.
The P1630 has great battery life. I was pulling 4-5 hours out of this tablet. Depending on how much you use the tablet and what mode your in, your results will vary, but overall I recommend it. I used it for note-taking, surfing the Web and normal applications like email or Office. It did hibernate on me once or twice to preserve it's power though. If you are in high performance mode and working constantly you will have less time, but overall good life for its tiny stature.
The speakers on the P1630, well speaker, is average. It isn't anything great and it isn't horrible either. It's one small speaker that puts out enough sound to listen to quiet music or a video with. No jamming iTunes or anything. The quality is good, but like I said it doesn't get that loud and if it did, it would be really distorted. The microphone works great though for speech recognition software. Even in tablet mode the little speaker isn't completely covered, which is a bonus.
OS and Software
The P1630 is no different then any other Fujitsu tablet. It comes with some of the Fujitsu programs like Fujitsu HotKey, Fujitsu Security, Utility Drive software and a few others. These programs are no big deal though. My model had Windows Vista Business. It also came with OneNote and the ever so annoying Norton, but most consumers like having some kind of Anti-Virus software. Anything else that is bloatware can be removed with ease, but honestly it wasn't packed with much.
The built-in antenna lets you take full advantage of the wireless options available on the P1630. They offer Intel Wireless WiFi Link or Atheros XSPAN Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n), which is what my review unit had. I had no problems picking up a signal at home or at my office. It connected with no problems and had fast data transfer rates. I uploaded pictures in no time at my office. Wireless connectivity is important in such a small tablet because it is used on-the-go often.
The Fujitsu LifeBook P1630 has a solid design like its predecessors and it's a great road warrior. The battery life makes it great for taking to class for notes and it comes with OneNote too. The lightweight design and bi-directional hinge make it perfect for business presentations as well and you can connect it to a bigger monitor with the VGA port. The screen can be a little grainy, but nothing major. Like I mentioned before you wont be playing any new games on this tablet, but you can check email and do all your office tasks with no problem. I think the main problem is with Fujitsu, they need to lower the prices a little to make their tablets a little more competitive.
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