Tactical Advice

Fujitsu LifeBook Tablet PC

Lightweight tablet features sharp screen resolution and numerous connectivity options.
This story appears in the September 2009 issue of BizTech Magazine.

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010

The Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 Tablet PC is an excellent platform for tablet PC and notebook users alike. Unlike many tablet PCs, the LifeBook T5010 offers a full set of features that you would expect from any notebook in its class while also offering the extra features of a tablet PC.

The T5010, weighing 4.9 pounds, includes a 2.4-gigahertz Core 2 Duo processor and ships with 1 gigabyte of RAM and an 80GB hard disk. The 13.3-inch widescreen display is very clear and does not show any of the graininess sometimes encountered with tablet displays.

End-User Advantages

The first thing users will notice about the T5010 is its stylish appearance. The matte-black cover, aluminum casing and white keyboard come together nicely to give an impression of quality, reinforced by the unit’s compact construction and solid feel.

The T5010’s display rotates in either direction on a center-mounted hinge and locks securely in place when in tablet mode. It takes only a few seconds to switch from notebook to tablet, and the system is quick to recognize and change orientation accordingly. The widescreen display has a 1200x800 resolution, which works well for both notebook and tablet modes.

The T5010 uses an active digitizer, so the screen does not operate as a touchscreen. The included stylus works well with the screen, and handwriting recognition is clear and accurate. The stylus includes left and right mouse buttons and an eraser feature that is very handy for quick corrections. The T5010 includes a scroll pad to the right of the display that lets the user scroll through text while the stylus is parked in the stylus bay. Also included in the screen bezel is a 1.3-megapixel webcam.

In addition to the display capabilities, users will appreciate the T5010’s many connectivity options. Wired networking is provided by an integrated Intel Gigabit Ethernet adapter, and wireless networking is delivered via an Atheros 802.11n integrated wireless adapter. The wireless setup was very simple and straightforward, and integrated Bluetooth connectivity is included.

Peripheral connectivity options for the LifeBook include three USB 2.0 ports, external VGA and audio, IEEE 1394 and an SD/MMC media reader. Also included is a read/write optical DVD drive installed into a modular bay that can also be used for an additional hard disk or a second battery.

Why It Works for IT

The LifeBook T5010 is solidly constructed and includes several features designed to withstand the additional abuse that tablets can receive. The T5010 includes a spill-resistant keyboard and an onboard shock sensor that will park the hard drive to prevent damage when the machine is suddenly dropped. The durable center hinge operates smoothly, allowing the screen to rotate a full 360 degrees until it reaches a soft stop.

In addition to its physical features, the T5010 has a number of security features that IT departments will find helpful, including a smart card reader and integrated fingerprint scanner for multifactor authentication.

The unit’s six-cell battery offers roughly four hours of run time, based on the type of work being done. The T5010 provides several power plans that help users (or the IT department) balance performance and battery life. A second battery can be added to double the amount of time that users can spend working wirelessly.

Disadvantages

The LifeBook T5010 has a tendency to get warm after long periods of use, particularly on the keyboard and palm rest. The underside of the unit stayed fairly cool, but the left side of the keyboard generated a noticeable amount of heat.

Waking up from standby mode, the T5010 occasionally woke in a different orientation than it was in when the lid was closed. This was easily corrected by switching orientations to match the change, and then switching back to the desired orientation.

Tom Jordan is the network operations center manager at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
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