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Fujitsu Lifebook E780 review

Barry de la Rosa
3 May 2010
Fujitsu Lifebook E780
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,249
inc VAT

A well-built and powerful laptop, the E780 has a poor display, far more security features than most users will ever need, and is far too expensive

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.8kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

The Fujitsu Lifebook E780 is a solidly-built business laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics chipset with 1GB of memory. Business laptops with powerful graphics chips are generally the preserve of 3D designers and CAD professionals, but the E780's relatively small 1,366x768 resolution means such work will feel cramped unless it's connected to a larger external monitor.

Although Fujitsu markets the display as HD, it's worth pointing out that this resolution is only capable of showing 720p content at its full resolution, not 1080p Full HD. As with most business laptops, there's a matt finish on the screen, and this adds a graininess to images. More of a problem is the tight vertical viewing angles; we found it difficult to adjust the screen so that the entire image looked right. Colours are decent enough, despite the matt finish reducing their impact.

As expected, the combination of processor and graphics chip did very well in our benchmarks, scoring 91 overall and managing a playable 29.5fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Battery life at just under four hours is acceptable for such a powerful laptop, and in any case, weighing in at just under 3kg, you're unlikely to want to carry it far from a power socket.

The build quality is superb, although it's not designed to be a fashion statement. The sombre, dark grey lid opens up to reveal a light grey keyboard panel, with a dark grey panel above it that includes a number of shortcut buttons and LED indicators. The keyboard itself has white keys with quite a stiff action which reduces feedback, but the keyboard is incredibly firm and the layout is pleasingly familiar.

On either side of the keyboard are two large speaker grilles, which produce a very weak, but clear sound. The touchpad is too small for our tastes, and it has two sets of buttons: one below the pad with a fingerprint reader in between the two keys and one above the pad. The latter are provided for use with the optional touch stick on the keyboard, but no such controller is included on this model.

Where the E780 excels is in its inclusion of a vast array of ports and slots: as well as a healthy complement of four USB ports, there is a memory card reader, a large ExpressCard slot, an older PC Card slot and a SmartCard reader (which can be used as an additional security device). FireWire and eSATA ports will cater to those with fast external drives, and there's even a serial port for older devices. As well as a VGA port, there's DisplayPort, although few monitors currently support this standard.

Under the hood you'll find plenty of features that cater to business users. As well as the Professional version of Windows 7, there are numerous security features such as Computrace BIOS software that lets you to trace your laptop if it's stolen, a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) module for encryption, and software to let you log on using the fingerprint reader. There's also an impressive two-year collect and return warranty included.

While it's very powerful and well-built, the E780's display lets it down somewhat, and the plethora of ports and slots will be overkill for most users. The security features will delight IT departments, but we imagine private individuals will find too much bother. Moreover, the price is far too high, especially if you consider that you can get Sony's Vaio EB1Z0E, with a Full HD screen and Blu-ray drive, for almost half the price.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorIntel Core i5-520M
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size36x372x255mm
Weight2.8kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce GT 330M
Graphics/video portsVGA, DisplayPort
Graphics Memory1,024MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelMatchita UJ870BJ
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/b/g/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54, 1x PC Card Type I/II
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Other portseSATA, minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
Optional extras6-cell battery, £136

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£1,249
Detailswww.fujitsu.com
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com

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