Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook E8210 review
The flexible 3G implemetation is tempting, but the poor battery life and screen quality lessen the appeal
Review Date: 21 Jul 2006
Reviewed By: Clive Webster
Price when reviewed: (£1,526 inc VAT)
On paper, there's a lot to tempt the mobile business user to this latest Lifebook E8210. Not least because, like Acer's Aspire 5652WLMi, it comes with a 3G card slot and aerial integrated into the chassis.
In this case, however, it's fully unlocked, so you can use any 3G SIM - the normal restrictions and tariffs will apply. And, like the Acer, this hardware can also revert to EDGE or GPRS if 3G isn't available. That's on top of the 802.11b/g WLAN and Bluetooth, the latter of which will enable you to make voice calls over 3G using a headset.
There's also the flexibility of the hot-swap bay on the right-hand side. This comes supplied with a DVD writer, but release a lever and it can be replaced with a weight-saver module (£13) or a second battery (£105). You're likely to need that as, even with the screen on half brightness, we saw a fairly poor 2 hrs 46 mins of light use, with the extra battery adding less than two hours.
The Lifebook's security credentials are a better story. The fingerprint reader can be used to ensure a secure logon, as well as act as a substitute for web-based passwords. You can securely encrypt files, so that only a registered fingerprint can open them, and there's a SmartCard reader giving you token-based security. TPM hardware is an option, but not included as standard at this price.
We'd expect a notebook designed for life on the road to reasonably rugged, particularly as people tend to be less careful with company property than with their own. While the three-year collect-and-return warranty is reassuring, the main chassis of our Lifebook flexed a little too easily and a firm push makes the whole TFT panel ripple worryingly; however, we were testing a pre-production sample, and we expect build quality to be improved with the finished batch of Lifebooks.
On the plus side, the Lifebook features a spill-proof keyboard and an accelerometer, which parks the hard disk's head to prevent mechanical damage from sudden knocks.
The Lifebook comes with increasingly rare legacy parallel and serial ports (the former is on the left-hand side of the chassis, the latter is on the rear), making it attractive for certain vertical applications. Modern peripherals are looked after by four USB 2 ports and mini-FireWire, and there's also a Type I/II PC Card slot as well as a D-SUB output. There's also an ExpressCard slot to cater for more cutting-edge upgrades. If the E8210 is going to act as your principal PC, a port replicator is available for £75, adding a DVI-D port.
There's easily enough power on board for more desktop-based applications when needed, with the 2GHz Core Duo processor and 1GB of 667MHz RAM. Our review sample had a 2.16GHz Core Duo and 2GB of RAM, so expect around 10% less performance than the scores quoted below.
ATi's Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics processor is more of a marketing choice than strictly practical, as it doesn't offer much more muscle than Intel's cheaper, more power-efficient chip. It will provide a decent amount of acceleration in older games, though, so don't entirely write off the Lifebook for after-hours entertainment. Plus, it ensures that the Lifebook will be able to run Vista's Aero Glass interface in all its glory.
Storage space is acceptable at 80GB, but hardly generous considering the price. Some of the drive is devoted to a hidden recovery partition, which will restore a factory image in case of Windows-based disasters. The optical drive supports dual-layer DVD writing should you need to clear space or back up crucial data.
- Europol warns: public Wi-Fi isn't safe
- Privacy groups challenge Facebook's WhatsApp buy
- IDC: iPad intertia opens door for Windows tablets
- Chip breakthrough to eliminate checkout queues
- Rivals put on notice as Spotify snaps up The Echo Nest
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks via Microsoft's website
- Bitcoin "founder" says: you've got the wrong man
- Has bitcoin creator been found?
- HTC Desire 310: more competition for the Moto G
- Mozilla questions why Dell charges £16 to install Firefox
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Nokia XL review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy S5 review: first look
- Nokia X review: first look
- Censorship by copyright: Myles Powers and abuse of DMCA takedowns
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Old-school internet scams: five that just won't die
- Bitcoin believers not worried by Mt. Gox disarray
- How to hack your car
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- Block party: why do millions play Minecraft?
- What to do if you’re still on Windows XP
- Microsoft Word: top 20 secret features
- Measuring me: is your body the future of security?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs
- Invoices and VAT: how to set up your documents correctly
- Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: the best phone for avoiding screen burn
- How much is a social user worth?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Thunderbolt Bridge: a fast Mac migration tool
- Should you advertise on Twitter?
- How to track a lost smartphone
- Self-publishing success: the best way to sell your book
- 1.6TB SSD: why would you need one?