Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Tablet PC Review (Video)

by tiffany boggs Reads (43,788)

Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Tablet PC Review (Video)

When Fujitsu announced the LifeBook U810 mini Tablet PC, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. This tiny tablet has been getting rave reviews and after spending some time with it I can see why. I am not saying it would be a good permanent replacement to a full-size tablet or notebook, but it is a great travel companion. It runs on Intel’s A110 processor and has a 40GB hard drive. The 5.6-inch WSVGA display is small, but still up to Fujitsu’s standards, meaning it looks great.


Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Tablet PC in all its glory. (view large image)

Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Tablet PC specs as reviewed (price as tested $1,099)

CPU Intel Processor A110 800MHz
OS Windows Vista Business with OneNote 2007
RAM 1GB DDR2 400MHz SDRAM memory
Display 5.6" WSVGA Crystal View display with passive touch screen
Graphics Intel 945GU Express Chipset
Audio Integrated speakers
Hard Drive 40GB (4200 rpm) hard drive
Optical Drive None
I/O ports
  • 1 x USB
  • 1 x VGA – 15 pin with included cable
  • 1 x Type I/II Compact Flash slot
  • 1 x SD slot
  • 1 x Microphone-in
  • 1 x Headphone 
Communications
  • Atheros Super AG Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g)
  • RJ-45
  • 10/100 Ethernet with included cable
  • Bluetooth 2.0
Dimensions/Weight
  • Dimensions: 6.73”(W) x 6”(D) x 1.26”(H)
  • Weight: 1.8lbs with 4-cell battery
Battery/power Main battery: 4-cell Lithium-Ion (5200 mAh, rated up to 5.5 hours)

 

Design and Build

The U810 is a solid little tablet. The chassis is sturdy and I didn’t notice any flex. The mini-keyboard has a little flex, which reminded me of the LifeBook T2010. After a while though you wouldn’t want to type on this keyboard because it really is too small. Fujitsu planned out every inch of this design. There is a pointing stick on the right corner and the mouse buttons on the left, just incase you don’t want to use the pen or touchscreen.


The U810 in tablet mode with pen. (view large image)

The U810 converts into tablet mode easily thanks to its solid hinge and the screen automatically changes orientation. It really is small enough to put in a purse or small case and since it only weighs around 1.8lbs with the battery, I am sure you won’t notice the weight. It has a glossy gunmetal colored lid, which hides dirt well and black suede patches on the bottom to reduce heat, which is a Fujitsu trademark.


Bottom of the U810 and the nice suede patches. (view large image)

The overall design is impressive. The U810 doesn’t feel cheap at all, in fact it has a solid chassis. The only drawback is it is so small. Users will feel cramped trying to do a days work on this, but honestly that isn’t what I used it for. It is great for checking email, listening to music on a plane or browsing the Web. The battery life lives up to its claimed results as well.

Display

It takes awhile to get used to the mouse, but the passive touchscreen isn’t always as responsive as I wish. Sometimes your finger doesn’t register on the screen unless you push hard, so I opted to use the pen, which let me navigate faster. The 5.6" screen isn’t that hard to read and the display is great. It has nice bold vivid colors, with little graininess. I wouldn’t want to work on this all day, but for those one-day business trips it would be perfect.


The U810 WSVGA screen. (view large image)

Processor and System Performance

The U810 sports Intel’s A110 800MHz processor. It has 1GB of RAM and a 40GB hard drive. Not to bad for such a tiny tablet, but I
think I would rather have Windows XP Tablet PC Edition instead of Vista. Don’t get me wrong Vista works fine on the U810, but you would gain more performance from Windows XP, which is an option. It takes over a minute to boot-up as well. It took so long I almost forgot I turned it on until I heard it beep. So, a little slow during start-up, but not bad once your on the Internet.

Super Pi

In the below results of Super Pi, where the processor is timed in calculating Pi to 2 million digits: The U810 didn’t do that bad considering it’s built on a different platform then the rest of the notebooks. Remember it has a different processor, small hard drive and it’s running Vista.

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

 

wPrime

wPrime is a program that forces the processor to do recursive mathematical calculations, the advantage of this program is that it is multi-threaded and can use both processor cores at once, thereby giving more accurate benchmarking measurements than Super Pi. Remember the U810 results are slower because it is built on a different platform compared to the other notebooks just like the Super Pi results.

Notebook / CPU wPrime 32M time
Fujitsu U810 Tablet PC (Intel A110 @ 800MHz) 209.98s
Dell Vostro 1500 (Intel Core 2 Duo T5470 @ 1.6GHz) 53.827s
HP Pavilion dv6500z (AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 @ 2.0GHz) 40.759s
Systemax Assault Ruggedized (Core 2 Duo T7200 @2.0GHz) 41.982s
Toshiba Tecra M9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @2.2GHz) 37.299s
HP Compaq 6910p (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 40.965s
Sony VAIO TZ (Core 2 Duo U7600 @ 1.20GHz) 76.240s
Zepto 6024W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 42.385s
Lenovo T61 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.705s
Hewlett Packard DV6000z (Turion X2 TL-60 @ 2.0GHz) 38.720s
Samsung Q70 (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 42.218s
Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi (Core Duo T2500 @ 2.0GHz) 42.947s
Samsung X60plus (Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0GHz) 44.922s
Zepto Znote 6224W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 45.788s
Samsung Q35 (Core 2 Duo T5600 @ 1.83GHz) 46.274s

Keyboard/Touchpad/Pen

Since the keyboard is so small some of the keys are combined like the Home, Spacebar/Tab, Page-up and Page-down. It isn’t a problem though. It takes a minute to get used to the small keys because you have to finger-type. If you are a fast typer you may have a lot of typos when typing on this. The keyboard does flex a little when typing. It feels mushy just like the LifeBook T2010. I would expect this from the U810 though because of the small form factor.


The LifeBook U810 keyboard. (view large image)

As you can see from the picture above, there is no touchpad on the U810. I guess that is pretty obvious considering it is tiny, but it does have a pointing stick on the right corner and your mouse buttons on the left corner. The only problem is they are a pain to use sometimes and if you have larger fingers good luck. However, the pointing stick is easy to use in tablet mode because the screen is not in the way.

If you keep the U810 in notebook mode, the pen is going to be your best option to navigate. Although, the passive touchscreen isn’t always as responsive as I wished. You can use you fingertip to navigate as well. The pen isn’t your normal pen either, it is small and very lightweight. Don’t forget you can always hook the U810 up to another monitor and use a Bluetooth mouse for office use.

Heat and Noise

As you can imagine the U810 does produce some heat and make some noise when working. The noise isn’t horrible, but the fan does run a lot. Since the U810 has such a small stature the processor works hard to run normal tasks. Benchmark tests were non-existent. PCMark05 ran on the U810, but gave no results. The U810 was quiet when idling, but that doesn’t happen very often.

The heat on the U810 was an issue. The keyboard area got warm, but wasn’t an issue compared to the bottom. When the U810 was running multiple applications the bottom got hot. When I say hot, I mean hot! The suede patches do help reduce the heat, but when holding the U810 in my hand the bottom was so warm it was kind of uncomfortable. The bottom side of the U810 had temperatures ranging from 105 degrees to 110 degrees and that is way hotter then my Asus R1 ever gets.

Ports

Overall I am impressed with the U810. It has a nice array of features including one USB 2.0, docking connector, headphone jack, microphone jack, a Type I/II Compact Flash slot and SD slot. It also has the option of External monitor/VGA and Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) on the included cable. All of this is packed into such a small tablet. Although I do wish it had just one more USB port.


Front view of the U810. (view large image)


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


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


Back view of the U810. (view large image)


Overhead view of the U810 lid. (view large image)

Battery

The battery life was good. It lived up to Fujitsu’s claims, well almost. I never got the claimed 5.5 hours, but in Power Saver mode I did get 5 hours of battery life. The screen is dimmed down though and it runs slower. If need be you can work in High Performance mode where I got 3 hours and 50 minutes of battery life and this is with the battery 100 percent charged.

I would say that is pretty good, if you consider it only has a 4-cell battery. It only took the U810 about two hours to completely recharge itself as well. Therefore there isn’t much downtime, but probably a good idea to keep the power adapter handy.

Speakers

The speaker on the U810 surprised me. For being such a tiny tablet it pushed out some sound. The one little speaker located on the back left corner has decent sound and when in tablet mode it doesn’t get covered. It is perfect for plugging in your headphones to get some piece and quiet or to relax and listen to some music. It actually is better then some full size tablets.

Operating System and Software

The U810 I reviewed had Windows Vista Business and OneNote 2007. You can get it configured with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition also. It wasn’t loaded with a bunch of bloatware, but it did want to restart a few times for standard updates, thanks to Windows Security Alerts.

Video

Check out our hands-on video of the LifeBook U810 in action.

 

Wireless

The U810 has nice wireless options including Atheros Wireless LAN 802.11 a/b/g and BlueTooth 2.0. The U810 connected to the Internet with no problems, but it does have poor signal strength in some areas. The Bluetooth comes in handy if you want to connect a mouse, which some users will because this tablet is so small.

Conclusion

Like I mentioned before the U810 is a great travel companion and could be used for those important presentations. The design is solid and it has a sleek look. I am sure this mini-tablet will have your neighbor’s head turning. The U810 isn’t the fastest or most powerful tablet, but it does surf the Web with no problems and is fun to play with. It has a nice variety of features for its size and a nice display. Everything fits perfectly in its place, I mean it took me five minutes to locate the pen, which is hidden by the screen, but that is the fun part. There is even a low resolution webcam for chatting with friends or taking still photos.

Pros

  • Solid design and hinge
  • Nice Screen, even though small
  • Many ways to navigate including pen, pointing stick and your fingertip
  • Nice wireless options including Bluetooth, which comes in handy
  • Lightweight portable design

Cons

  • Slow start-up
  • Passive touchscreen not always responsive to finger or pen
  • Only one USB port
  • Bottom gets hot when running multiple applications




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