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|The Tuesday Letter
Fujitsu LifeBook P2110
I like the way Fujitsu design computers and the P2110 is no exception. This small, ultracompact notebook packs a hefty punch in a sleek magnesium alloy glove.
It also comes with an excellent pedigree. Its predecessor, the LifeBook P2040 won Best of Show and Best Notebook at COMDEX 2001.
It is 27cm x 17.8 cm x 4 cm and can be easily covered by a sheet of A4 paper. It only weights 1.5kg so carrying it around is not going to dislocate a shoulder.
The P2110 has just about everything a highly mobile user would need. It is light, compact and very sturdy.
A few sacrifices have been made but nothing that detracts from the performance of this beautiful machine.
The noticeable drawback with a machine this size is the keyboard. It is understandably cramped and takes getting used to, but once the position of the shift, caps lock, backspace and delete keys are mastered it is still possible to touch type --- even with the keyboard perched on your knees on a crowed suburban train.
The P2100 is powered by a Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 running at 876 MHz.
Transmeta specialise in low power consumption CPUs that generate very little heat, for very small devices.
Fujitsu is not the only one using these CPUs , they can also be found in Toshiba and Sony machines.
The processing power of the Crusoe, which kicks out something equivalent to a 500MHz Pentium III, is more than suitable for a notebook this size where portability is preferred to the raw processing power of a desktop.
The LifeBook comes with 256MB SDRAM, a 30GB hard drive and a combo DVD / CDR/RW drive.
The combo drive is hot swappable, it can easily be removed and replaced with an optional extended battery pack that should provide approximately seven hours of battery life. As it is the P2110 gets about 3.5 hours on a standard battery.
The 10.6 inch colour screen is surprisingly clear, crisp and easy to read.
The integrated V.90 modem and 10/100 Mpbs Ethernet connection mean the P2110 is networkready.
The P2110 comes installed with Windows XP Home and I had no trouble connecting it to a small network.
There are 2 USB ports as well as one Firewire (IEEE1394) port. This is only a small four-pin Firewire port so would not be able to provide power to any peripherals.
There is one PC Card slot which can be used by the optional Bluetooth PC Card to provide wireless connectivity.
There is no floppy drive. I plugged in an external USB Toshiba drive which was instantly recognised and no additional software had to be installed.
A VGA-out port allows the P2110 to be connected directly to a projector for presentations or used with another monitor on the desktop.
On its own the LifeBook operates as a very neat portable DVD player. An SVideo-Out port means it can also connect directly with S-Video devices such as a VCRs and TVs and operate as a fully fledged DVD player.
The internal stereo speakers are barely adequate --- I
suggest using headphones or something like Creatives external
Extigy sound card.
Two application launch buttons and an e-mail launch button mean applications can be launched at the touch of a button.
All in all The P2100 is quite at home on a desktop, next to the TV or chucked into a backpack.
Sure, the LifeBook P2110 may not be perfect but is makes the ideal travelling companion and the more I use it the more I like it.
The LifeBook is a very capably ultra-compact notebook for anyone who wants to mix serious work with a bit of fun.
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