Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 Tablet PC Review

by tiffany boggs Reads (88,948)

Fujitsu recently refreshed the "P series" line of tablets, with the P1620 Tablet PC. The P1620 is basically a refreshed P1610. The P1610 was released back in 2006 and has a 1.2GHz Core Solo processor. Well big brother, the P1620, sports a 1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo processor and bigger hard drive options.

Fujitsu P1620 Tablet PC specs as reviewed (price as tested $2,224):

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor ULV U7600 1.20GHz
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
  • 8.9" WXGA touchscreen display
  • 1GB DDR2 533 SDRAM memory
  • 80GB P-ATA 100, 4200 rpm hard drive
  • Integrated multinational 56K V.90 modem and Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Integrated Atheros Super AG Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g)
  • Bluetooth
  • Embedded TPM and integrated Fingerprint Sensor
  • Built-in digital microphone
  • High-Capacity Main battery: 6-cell Lithium ion
  • Dimensions: 9.13" x 7.32" x 1.36"
  • Weight: 2.8lbs with 6-cell battery
  • One-year International Limited Warranty


The P1620 in notebook mode. (view large image)

Design and Build

Although the design is still the same, the P1620 draws attention from all users. 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 P1620 converting into tablet mode. (view large image)

The P1620 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 P1620 is packed full of features for it’s tiny stature.

Display

The 8.9" (1280×768) 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 and doesn’t look too grainy. Fujitsu is noted for having some of the best tablet displays, and the P1620 fits right in. It does show graininess when on a page that is all white, but the colors are vivid and bright. The screen doesn’t look washed out.


The P1620 has a bright display. (view large image)

The touchscreen capabilities on the P1620 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 P1620 to the Core 2 Duo, which is still a 1.2GHz ULV, but it provides more power then the Core Solo. 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 or the ThinkPad X61, but it’s half the size. The P1620 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. I am curious though to see how much better the 32GB SSD is compared to the standard hard drive, even though I know the price goes up a lot more with this option.

Comparison Results for PCMark05

PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole. The P1620 looks not so good on PCMark, as you can see the ULV processor put this tiny tablet in last place. I will say though, in real world settings it performed fine and I had problems running PCMark to begin with. It took four times to get a score.

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz ULV, Intel 945GMS chipset) 2,113 PCMarks
Asus R1E (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, GMA 965 chipset) 4,679 PCMarks
Gateway C-140x (Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, ATI X2300 HD graphics) 4,342 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 4,171 PCMarks
HP tx2000 (AMD Turion 64 X2 2.3GHz, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics) 3,738 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 3,473 PCMarks
Toshiba Portege M700 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA 965 chipset) 3,399 PCMarks
HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150) 3,052 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo) 2,860 PCMarks
Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950) 2,732 PCMarks
Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,724 PCMarks
LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300) 2,568 PCMarks
HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 2,453 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 2,334 PCMarks
Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,205 PCMarks
Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,187 PCMarks

 

Comparison Results for 3Dmark05

3DMark05 tests the overall graphic capabilities of a notebook. The P1620 had the same issues with 3DMark as PCMark.

Notebook 3D Mark 05 Results
Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, Intel 945GMS chipset) 358 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB) 2,092 3DMarks
Gateway C-140x (2GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI X2300 HD graphics) 1,956 3DMarks
LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo, Nvidia Go 7300) 1,392 3DMarks
Toshiba Portege M700 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, GMA 965 chipset) 940 3DMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics) 925 3DMarks
Asus R1E (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, GMA 965 chipset) 923 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics) 812 3DMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook S2210 (1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-52, ATI x1150) 810 3DMarks
HP tx2000 (2.3GHz AMD Turion 64 X2, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics) 636 3DMarks
HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, GMA X3100 graphics) 634 3DMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, GMA X3100 graphics) 566 3DMarks
Toshiba Satellite A135 (1.73GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950) 519 3DMarks
Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950) 500 3DMarks

 

Super Pi

In the below results of Super Pi, where the processor is timed in calculating Pi to 2 million digits: As you can see the P1620 reclaimed itself during the Super Pi test where it scored better then some of the other ULV tablets.

Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits
Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 49s
Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo) 54s
Gateway C-140x (2GHz Core 2 Duo) 58s
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo) 1m 10s
HP TC4400 Tablet PC (2.0GHz Core Duo) 1m 13s
Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo) 1m 20s
Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo) 1m 24s
HP tx2000 (2.3GHz AMD Turion 64 X2) 1m 33s
HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 39s
Fujitsu T2010 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 40s
LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo) 1m 49s
Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 58s
IBM ThinkPad X41t (1.5GHz LV Pentium M) 2m 02s
Toshiba R400 (1.2GHz ULV Core Duo) 2m 10s
Dell Latitude D420 (1.06GHz Core Solo ULV) 2m 11s
Fujitsu LifeBook U810 (800MHz Intel A110) 6m 22s

 

HDTune Results

 

Keyboard/Pointing Stick/Pen

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 P1620 keyboard and pointing stick. (view large image)

The pointing stick is easy to use once you get the hang of it just like with the Lenovo Thinkpad X61. 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 a 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.

Tablet Features

The P1620 looks similar to a subnotebook until you realize the screen turns and in seconds you have a slate. The hinge on the P1620 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 P1620 in tablet mode with pen. (view large image)

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 P1620 comes with OneNote, 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 P1620 didn’t get hot at all. I mean this little tablet barely got warm. Of course, it comes with the Fujitsu 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 the P1620 stayed cool. It did have some warm air being pumped out the vent, but nothing major.

Noise wasn’t an issue either. The P1620 ran quietly. 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 barely audible. You could sit at the library all day and work on this tablet and it would be as if you were reading a book.

Ports

For being such a small tablet the P1620 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.


Left side view of the ports. (view large image)


Right side view of the ports. (view large image)


Back view of the P1620. (view large image)


Underneath the P1620 and the nice suede patches. (view large image)

Battery

The P1620 has a 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 a tiny monster.

Speakers

The speakers on the P1620, 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 P1620 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 XP Tablet PC Edition, but Vista is optional. 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.

Wireless

The built-in antenna lets you take full advantage of the wireless options available on the P1620. They offer Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AG or Atheros Super AG Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g), 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.

Conclusion

The P1620 is a bit pricey considering it is such a tiny tablet, but it will compete with the best of them. The screen is great and has nice viewing angles. I had no problem taking notes on it and I am not a big fan of the passive touchscreens. The design is solid though and as I have said a million times it’s perfect for traveling and taking to class. The portable functionality of the P1620 make up for a lot of its down falls.

It is lightweight and performs fine when surfing the Web, doing office tasks or checking emails. The bi-directional hinge design from Fujitsu is an added bonus to all the good features it is already packed with. If you are not looking for a tiny road warrior though and are trying to save some money, you may want to stick with the LifeBook T2010 or T4220, but the battery life on the P1620 is worth the price if you travel often.

Pros

  • Solid design
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great battery life
  • Bright Screen
  • Bi-directional hinge

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • The lock mechanism for the lid gets stuck

Pricing and Availability

The P1620 is available now for ordering, so to configure your own tablet or to get more information on pricing check out Fujitsu’s website.


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