Fujitsu Lifebook P770 review
Fujitsu have crammed a wondrous number of features into this small wonder, but poor build quality and a cramped keyboard let it down, and it's far too expensive<br>
Review Date: 31 Aug 2010
Price when reviewed: £1,868
Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa
The Fujitsu Lifebook P770 sounds like the ultimate ultra-portable: it weighs only 1.4kg, yet includes an optical drive, a Core i7 processor and lasted over seven hours in our light-use battery test.
Unfortunately, the Intel 620UM is the new ultra-low voltage (ULV) version of the Core i7. It runs at a pedestrian 1.06GHz, compared to the standard Core i7 620M which runs at 2.67GHz, and so we weren't surprised when it scored only 66 overall in our benchmarks. It still supports Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, and the latter boosted its performance in our single-threaded image-editing test to a decent 86.
This means it's powerful enough to run most applications, but we'd expect better for this price. Given that there's a solid-state drive (SDD) instead of a mechanical hard disk, the P770 would be even slower without the SSD's helping hand. Although it adds hugely to the price, it also improves durability as there aren't any moving parts.
The design is quite plain, as is the norm for a business laptop. We were impressed with the way Fujitsu has managed to pack in so many ports around the edge of the case, as well as the optical drive. There are VGA and HDMI ports for video output, three USB ports and an ExpressCard/54 slot. There's even a memory card reader cleverly built into the drive bay door.
Build quality is a worry however. The case flexes quite alarmingly around the optical drive bay, and the lid is rather bendy as well. Other problems included a strong backlight bleed-through at the top edge of the display, which shows as a bright strip. Otherwise, the screen's matt finish helps to reduce reflections from overhead lights, and we found colour and contrast to be excellent. It has a 1,280x800 resolution which narrower and a little taller than the 1,366x768 resolution found on other laptops.
The keyboard has some flex in its base too, and we found the keys a bit too small. They have a light action with a distinct bite that provides feedback for touch-typists, and the layout is standard. There are five small shortcut buttons in a row above the keyboard, and these too looked and felt a bit fragile. A small touchpad sits under the keyboard; it's responsive and supports multi-touch gestures, and its two large buttons have a light action and are comfortably placed at the edge of the case.
Of course, all these features in such a small package come at a cost, and a particularly steep one at that. We weren't impressed by the performance of the new CULV Core i7 processor; it has two-thirds the performance of the Core i5 in the Lenovo ThinkPad X201, but only gives an extra hour-and-a-quarter of battery life. Poor build quality and a cramped keyboard add to the P770's woes, and at this price we can't recommend it.
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