Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D Notebook / Tablet PC – Our Full Review

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Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D – Ultimate Mobility, Maximum Functionality

The Fujitsu LifeBook P1500 series notebook / Tablet PC is an ultralight and ultra-portable wonder. This 2.2 pound featherweight boasts a surprisingly usable keyboard, a clear 8.9″ touchscreen and battery life that hovers almost three hours (real use) with a standard battery. Although this tiny machine won’t deliver jaw-dropping graphics or house a spark-wielding 7200RPM hard drive spindle, it does deliver surprisingly responsive performance. In a nutshell, the P1500 is no PDA disguised as a notebook. This is a notebook that delivers all the performance one would expect that has been miraculously engineered into a ever so slightly large PDA-sized device.

Fujitsu originally released the first generation P1500 series “notebook” with a touchscreen, but it was only available preloaded with the standard Windows XP OS. Consumers may now choose between Windows XP Pro or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. Although the P1500 runs XP Tablet PC Edition, it is not a Wacom “Penabled” device that uses an electromagnetic display and pen. Instead a fancy stylus is included for touchscreen input functionality.


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Specs

  • Hard Drive: 30GB (4200RPM)
  • Ports:
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Docking
  • 1 x DC Power Input
  • 1 x RJ-11 Modem
  • 1 x RJ-45 Network
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x Microphone
  • 1 x Headphone(s)
  • Package Contents:
    LifeBook P1510D, Lithium Ion battery, AC Adapter, Fujitsu Recovery CD’s, Stylus (Pen)
  • Network: Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11a/b/g 54Mbps
  • Manufacturer: Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp.
  • Case Style:  Portable
  • Standard Memory: 512MB SDRAM
  • Display Screen: 8.9″ 1024×600 Active Matrix TFT Color LCD
  • Optical Drive: none
  • Sound Card:  Integrated
  • Standard Warranty: 1 Year(s) Limited – Worldwide
  • Expansion Slots: 1 x Compact Flash
  • Operating System:   Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Processor:  Intel Pentium M 753 (1.20GHz, 2MB L2-Cache, FSB 400)
  • Batteries: 1 x 3-cell Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Standard 2600 mAh
  • Modem: V.92 56Kbps Fax Modem
  • Maximum Memory:  2GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Graphics Controller:  Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 Up to 128MB VRAM
  • Parts Warranty/Labor: 1 Year
  • Dimensions:  1.46″ Height x 9.3″ Width x 6.57″ Depth
  • Weight: 2.21 lbs.

Build & Design

It seems that all of the Fujitsu notebook and Tablet PC models we have worked with to date are built to handle the rigors of travel and the P1500 series is no exception. The attractive silver casing feels light, but strong. The keyboard is firm and display is sturdy to the touch. The rotating hinge feels solid enough to endure long-term usage.




Front View: built-in mic
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Right View: pen, wireless on/off, SD card reader, USB port, AC jack
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Left View: USB port, mic jack, headphone jack, CF card slot
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Rear View: VGA out, LAN port, modem port, Kensington lock, heat vent
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Underside View: hard drive, docking port, RAM compartment
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Display



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The Fujitsu P1510D hosts an 8.9″ display with a 1024×600 pixel resolution. That amounts to a total of 614,400 pixels crammed into about 9 inches of space. The P1510D display is bright, but appears a bit washed out in contrast. Our review unit also has a stuck pixel (blue) which is never easy to swallow after coughing up $1,500 for a notebook. In regards to the small display size, this pixel flaw was an annoyance at the very least.

This display is a reasonable size for short durations of viewing web pages, checking email or working with Office documents. However to have a portable computer with this remarkable size, there is indeed a trade-off. The simple fact is that an 8.9″ screen can be tedious on the eyes after long-term use. Luckily there is a VGA out port on the P1510D and the graphics will support an external monitor with up to a 1600×1200 resolution.

Speakers

The built-in sound on the P1510D comes from a single mono speaker. The tone is clear enough for Windows audio prompts and playback of dictation. We would however strongly recommend a good set of powered external speakers to listen to your favorite MP3’s.

Processor and Performance Benchmarks

The Fujitsu LifeBook model P1510D has the Intel Pentium M 753 (1.20GHz, 2MB L2-Cache, FSB 400) CPU. This is a ULV or “ultra low voltage” processor that delivers on battery life without adding the weight of an actual battery. (When we hold the included 3-cell battery, we are talking onces here!) Although the Intel ULV processors are not speed demons, they are certainly capable of delivering steady performance for most any daily computing task one might need to complete.


We used SuperPI to calculate the number Pi to 2 Million digits in this raw number crunching benchmark. This open source benchmark application allows the user to change the number of digits of Pi that can be calculated from 16 Thousand to 32 Million. The benchmark, which uses 19 iterations in the test, was set to 2 Million digits.

Comparison of tablet/notebook models using Super Pi to calculate Pi to 2 million digits (plugged in):

 Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits 


 Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits
Fujitsu LifeBook P1500D 
(1.2GHz ULV Pentium M)
2m 23s
Fujitsu ST5000 Tablet PC
(1.1 GHz ULV Pentium M)
2m 37s
ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC (1.5GHz Alviso LV PM) 2m 3s
HP tc4200 (1.73GHz Alviso PM) 1m 51s


We used Futuremark’s PCMark ’04 benchmarking software to measure the P1510D’s performance in various tasks.

Performance Benchmarks for the Fujitsu P1510D (1.20GHz ULV) compared to the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad (1.5GHz LV) simulating multiple computing tasks:

Futuremark PCMark04 Scores Fujitsu LifeBook P1500D 
(1.2GHz ULV PentiumM)
ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC (1.5GHz Alviso LV PM)
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression 2.38 MB/s 2.66 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption 17.61 MB/s 21.88 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression 15.54 MB/s 19.1 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing 7.12 MPixels/s 8.65 MPixels/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning 1403.55 MB/s 1465.13 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check 1.92 KB/s 2.18 KB/s
File Decryption 35.2 MB/s 43.24 MB/s
Audio Conversion 1635.84 KB/s 2005.5 KB/s
Web Page Rendering 3.63 Pages/s 4.28 Pages/s
DivX Video Compression 34.82 FPS 44.44 FPS
Physics Calculation and 3D 67.5 FPS 78.77 FPS
Graphics Memory – 64 Lines 392.02 FPS 470.72
3DMark ’03 Score N/A N/A


When compared with the ThinkPad X41 featuring an Intel 1.5GHz low voltage CPU, the P1510D performs comparitively considering its ULV CPU.

Our review unit has a Toshiba 30GB 4200 RPM hard drive. Below are the results for the HD Tune performance benchmarks.



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(Input) Keyboard, Trackpoint, Pen


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The P1510D keyboard is tiny to say the least. The good news is that the keys are very responsive to the touch. Even those with larger fingertips will experience forgiveness due to the tactile feel of the key tops. Just as we discussed in regards to the rather small display size, this tiny keyboard is another trade off for a miraculously small notebook size. Using this keyboard over extended periods of time could contribute to an eventual trip under the knife of a neurosurgeon. Unless you plan to do all handwriting or dictation, an external keyboard for the P1510 is a must.

The P1510D is equipped with a trackpoint navigation device sans a touchpad. A textured cover is provided to cover the trackpoint device to prevent slippage. Using the trackpoint on this small display seems to be a “friendlier” experience then that on a large display. Using the trackpoint with less screen real estate seems to just simply flow better. There are three silver mouse buttons located below the keys. These buttons are a good size in relation to the keyboard. It is easy to use the buttons and the trackpoint simultaneously due to the well-planned layout. The buttons also lay flat in relation to one another and provide accurate response upon depression.


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The experience of working with the stylus on this textured screen is very similar to working with a PDA. The screen response is good, but does not offer the dazzling “hover effect” you’ll get with an electromagnetic touchscreen and pen found on Wacom “Penabled” Tablet PC’s. Since the screen surface is textured, the stylus has a nice feel for handwriting which in our opinion is the method of choice for input on the the P1510D. If you are looking to type rather than write, we suggest you hunt for a larger machine

Battery


Using Battery Eater Pro we stress tested the P1500D’s (standard 3-cell) lithium ion battery. With the Wi-Fi turned on, the hard drive constantly reading/writing and the CPU busy making calculations, the P1500D ran for about 1 1/2 hours. Real world runtime is about 2+ hours.



System Info
Manufacture FUJITSU
Model LifeBook P1510D
ModelEx
OS Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
CPU Info
CPU Manufacture Intel Corporation
CPU Model Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.20GHz
CPU Frequency ~1195Mhz
CPU Extensions | MMX | SSE2 | Enchanted SpeedStep
CPU Cache Info
Level 1 Instructions 32
Level 1 Data 32
Level 2 Data 2048
System RAM info
Total Memory: 502Mb
Memory slots 1 ( 1: 512Mb; )
Display Device Info
Adapter Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family
Resolution 1024×600
OpenGL render device Intel 915GM
OpenGL driver version 1.4.0 – Build 4.14.10.4363
Vertex shader version 0.0
Pixel shader version 2.0
Hard Disk Drive Info
S.M.A.R.T. Supported and Enabled
HDD Model TOSHIBA MK3006GAL
HDD Serial Y5640246T
HDD FirmWare BY102A
Main Battery Info
Device Name CP229720 / CP229721
Manufacture Fujitsu
Serial #
Unique ID 1FujitsuCP229720 / CP229721
Chemistry Lithium Ion
Temperature Termal Control Not Present
Designed Capacity 28080mWh
Full Charged Capacity 28080mWh
Designed Voltage 10.8V
Current Voltage 12.61V
Manufacture Date 0/0/0
Cycles Count 0
Cells count 3
Force charge support Not Supported
Force discharge support Not Supported
Benchmark results
CPU BEmarks 0
GPU BEmarks 0
RAM BEmarks 0
HDD BEmarks 0
Work Done
Pi calculations 4672 Cycles
HDD readwrite 6322 Mb
Fames Rendered 300547 Frames
Benchmark Options
Resolution 800x600x32
FullScreen Enabled
Mode Classic
Results
Total time 1:32:29
Result Graph



Software/Operating System

The Fujitsu P1510D comes preloaded with Softex OmniPass, EverNote Plus 1.0, ritePen 2.5, Fortune-Fountain DialKey

OS: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or Windows XP Professional

Wireless

The P1510D comes with the Super Atheros a/b/g wireless card (built-in). The reception and stability of connections with the Super Atheros technology is generally superior to the Intel Pro Wireless solution. Really the only difference that a user might notice is the software configuration for the Super Atheros cards is a bit more complicated than the Intel Pro Wireless cards. Regardless of this issue, most users never go past the automatic Windows XP management of the Wi-Fi card anyway – and this is no different for either the Atheros or Intel cards.

Security



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Fujitsu graced the P1510D with biometric security. The security features include embedded TPM (Trusted Platform Module), an integrated Fingerprint Sensor and the Fujitsu Security Application Panel. With a device that is this small, it could be very easy for a busy traveler to leave it behind. The insurance of having this type of security at work to protect sensitive data is truly priceless.

Customer Support/Warranty

The Fujitsu P1510D comes with a standard international 1-year warranty. Additional add-on service plans can be purchased through the manufacturer and range from $99-$299. A “Screen Damage Protection Plan” is also available. Details on these extended plans are on Fujitsu’s website.



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Final Thoughts

The Fujitsu P1510D is an incredibly compact and highly-functional mobile PC – the best we have seen in its class. Considering the modest size and 2.2 pound travel weight, this model can be the absolute ultimate choice for the mobile professional seeking a light load. Finally, we would like to point out two issues for the potential buyer:

1. Be aware that you need to choose Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 as an option for a custom configuration.

2. Since the P1510D lacks a PCMCIA card slot, EVDO broadband users may have no access to service based on today’s hardware choices.

3. It may be a good idea to pick up an extra 3-cell battery or opt for the 6-cell battery instead. To keep your P1500D away from an AC outlet for more than 2 hours, an additional or extended life battery will be a necessity.

Pros

  • Incredible portability
  • Full-featured mobile PC just short of a “PDA-sized” package.
  • Exceptional Security with Biometrics
  • Good Value

Cons

  • Weak standard battery life
  • No PCMCIA expansion slot

Barry J. Doyle
TabletPCReviewSpot | Editor in Chief


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