The saying goes that small is beautiful. Keeping this in mind quite a few companies have ventured into what is called the ultra portable market. One of the most popular brands in this range of machines is Fujitsu ultra portable P-series of notebooks.
Normally most ultra portables tend to sacrifice features and usability in a bid to get smaller. Though not the smallest thin-and-light notebook, the newly introduced LifeBook P7120 distinguishes itself by being very usable, very small and yet packed with a comfortable-sized keyboard. As compared to earlier efforts, the LifeBook P7120 offers an entirely new body design and key updates like integrated Bluetooth and a no-fan CPU.
Fujitsu makes two models, the P7120 and P7120D,in this range.
Given the fact that this notebook is aimed at the corporate market the notebook ships with everything but the kitchen sink. The machines weigh in at a mere 1.28kg. In terms of processing power an Intel Pentium M processor clocked at 1.2 GHz powers this range of laptops. The base model ships with system memory between 512 MB and 2 GB RAM. Space is taken care off by a choice of 30 or 60GB hard drives. The P-series also include a drive bay, offering the option of either a dual-layer DVD writer or a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive. The display of this series is a backlit 10.6-inch widescreen LCD which is crisp and vibrant, powered by an Intel 900 GMA video controller which draws up to 128 MB of memory from the system memory. The LifeBook P7120's keyboard is considerably smaller than full size, though it's not uncomfortable for extensive bouts of typing as I found. The touchpad is a standard, though a bit cramped.
To save space, the optical drive has been made from thinner titanium and aluminum, instead of plastic. Using a small and modular design, the optical drive can easily be replaced with a second battery, which extends the battery life of the notebook to up to 11 hours. The unit also offers three USB ports, a FireWire and a PCMCIA card slot for adding external peripherals. Both a VGA and an S-Video port are present for external display connectivity. For wired networks, Ethernet ports and modem are available though I was quite disappointed by the fact that it was not Gigabit. The P7120 is Centrino-enabled, so wireless connectivity is taken care of by the 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth. One of the strongest features of this portable is biometric security. Data is secured with a combination of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip and a fingerprint sensor. Using the Softex OmniPass software, all your fingers can be trained for the machine. This is an invaluable feature for businesses that depend on secured information for work. Another unique feature is the Eco button that optimizes power settings in one click without disrupting work in progress, as the power management system disables optical disk drives and reduces display brightness. It adds around 65 minutes more of battery life prolonging the already magnificent 6 hr 30 min operating cycle on a single recharge.
Performance wise the laptop due to its power saving processor was in the mid-range of performance benchmarks. Utilizing Futuremark Pcmark 2004 we got the following results. In multithreaded tests the CPU's limitations are clearly exposed as the performance in the file compression /encryption/decryption tests are quite dismal. The trend continues onto the other tests like audio conversion and web page rendering. This may not make power user's happy but if you are looking for a desktop replacement you would not be looking at an ultraportable anyway.
|Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression||2.14MB/s|
|Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption||16.58MB/s|
|Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression||13.45MB/s|
|Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing||5.92MPixels/s|
|Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning||1198.16MB/s|
|Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check||1.43KB/s|
|Web Page Rendering||3.12Pages/s|
|DivX Video Compression||31.81FPS|
|Physics Calculation and 3D||62.71FPS|
|Graphics Memory - 64 Lines||338.33FPS|
The P7120 ships with a very thin software package. Aside from Microsoft Works 8.0 and a few trial packages and of course the Windows XP Professional OS, there's not a whole lot to talk about.Finally the costing of this series is aimed squarely at the corporate buyer and the well-healed retailing in at Rs 1.5 Lakhs. Conclusion In my opinion, this is currently is the best ultra-portable on the market, bar none. There are plenty of competitors, but none offer the same amount of durability, screen quality, security, and near-silent operation as the P7120
Pros: Quality display, fanless - very quiet operation, great battery life, great design and size
Cons: Slow speed of HDD, no ExpressCard slot, no Gigabit Ethernet.
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