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16 февраля 2005, 00:00

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010: notebook PC and tablet PC "all-in-one"

Transforming notebook PCs perhaps fall within the least numerous category of mobile computers. Therefore, it is natural that a device like that has been long available in the product line of Fujitsu-Siemens, one of the most notable and respectable brands on the market of notebooks. Recently (late in the past year), the company presented the new model Lifebook T4010 that has come to take the place of Lifebook T3010 notebook.

Transforming notebook PCs perhaps fall within the least numerous category of mobile computers. Models like these are normally offered by the "coolest" brands, their sales are not high even compared to ultra mobile notebooks. Transforming notebooks for manufacturers are sort of a point of honor like flagship video chips for ATI and NVIDIA.

Therefore, it is natural that a device like that has been long available in the product line of Fujitsu-Siemens, one of the most notable and respectable brands on the market of notebooks. Not so recently (late in the past year), the company presented the new model Lifebook T4010 that has come to take the place of Lifebook T3010 notebook.

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 Specifications

ProcessorIntel® Pentium® M Processor 725 or 745 (1600/1800 MHz).Intel® Centrino technology
L2 cache2 MB
ChipsetIntel® 855GME
FSB speed400 MHz
Memory265-2048 MB DDR333 SDRAM, 2 slots
Floppy driveExternal (USB)
Optical driveOptional in the modular compartment
Hard disk40/60 GB (4200 rpm) or 80 GB (5400 rpm)
Interfaces1 x PCMCIA type II1 x IR port (Fast IrDA 1.1 maximum 4 MB/s)2 x USB 2.01 x LAN (RJ-45)1 x modem (RJ-11)1 x VGA1 x IEEE13941 x SD/MS memory card reader 1 x SmartCard reader1 x output to earphones1 x microphone input1 x replicator port to plug in a docking station
Interfaces on the docking station1 x VGA4 x USB (2.0)1 x LAN1 x linear audio output1 x DVI-D
GraphicIntel 855GME with integrated graphic core.Up to 64 MB video memory (shared)Dual View (Windows XP Professional Tablet PC Edition)Maximum resolution (external CRT monitor) – 1600 x 1200 / true color / 85 Hz
Screen12.1" TFT, resolution 1024x768 pixelsSensor screen
AudioSigmaTelTMSoundBlasterTM Pro compatible stereo speaker, dual microphone (mono)
ModemV.92 56K Lucent AC Link Modem
LANIntegrated network adapter 10/100/1000 Mbit/s (Broadcom)
Wireless LANOptional: Intel PRO/Wireless LAN (IEEE802.11a/b/g-11 channel or IEEE802.11b/g-14 channel)
BatteryLi-Ion, 10.8 V, 4800 mAhStand-by battery for «warm» swap of the main battery
Mass1.95 kg
Dimensions (HхWхD)35-37.5 x 293 x 244 mm
OptionsBluetooth, TPMOptional in the modular compartment:• Optical drive• Second hard disk• Second battery
Special featuresTPM and integrated SmartCard reader for increased security (optional)

The company followed the proven path of gradual evolution On the face of it, there aren't so many differences from the T3010 model. But in fact they are there and essential upon a closer look. This is what has been improved/added in the new model as compared to the previous:

• Processor's clock speed increased – from 1.4 to 1.6/1.8 GHz.
• Battery capacity increased by third – from 3600 to 4800 mA*hr (with the same 10.8 V).
• Hard-wire network adapter has turned gigabit.
• Integrated Bluetooth module has been added, due to which the transformer's features have acquired completeness.

The brief verbal description of the model:
«The most compact and lightest transforming notebook of 12.1” screen, giving all-out capabilities of using as a tablet PC

The wording is intricate – there are no more than a couple of competitor models of 12" display transformer notebooks, and by dimensions/mass they don't make a big difference (anyway, we should give credit to Fujitsu-Siemens - their Lifebook T4010 is indeed more compact and lighter, albeit by a few millimeters/grams).

For now, this model is being shipped to Russia in the following configurations:

• Pentium M 725 (1.6 GHz) / 512MB / 40GB / DVD/CDRW / 12.1" XGA Active digitizer / Win XP Tablet PC Edition MUI / LAN / Modem / WLAN + Port Replicator / Localization.
• Pentium M 725 (1.6 GHz) / 512MB / 60GB / DVD/CDRW / 12.1" XGA Active digitizer / Win XP Tablet PC Edition MUI / LAN / Modem / WLAN + BT + Port Replicator / Localization.
• Pentium M 745 (1.8 GHz) / 512MB / 60GB / DVD/CDRW / 12.1" XGA Active digitizer / Win XP Tablet PC Edition MUI / LAN / Modem / WLAN + BT + Port Replicator / Localization.
• Pentium M 745 (1.8 GHz) / 512MB / 80GB / DVD DL+-RW / 12.1" XGA Active digitizer / Win XP Tablet PC Edition MUI / LAN / Modem / WLAN + BT + Port Replicator / Localization.

Lifebook T4010 is positioned as a top model of business class, so the price is up to the mark – starting from approximately $2500 onwards for a moderate configuration.

Exterior

The notebook looks quite out of the ordinary: the lid is completely black, with the "bottom half" of light color, "silver metal", with minor black inserts on the sides.

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010

The front and rear sides of the housing are strongly rounded, which is also unusual as well, even in our era of "rounded" shapes.

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010

Besides, the lid is of somehow smaller dimensions than the housing:

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 - top view

Despite the unusual designer's solutions, the notebook does not look like an "alien", all these elements merely accentuate its unusual character. The idea is right to the point - a notebook of unusual functionality simply must look out of the ordinary.

Usability - notebook

The notebook has turned out to be somehow contradictory in terms of usability. On the one hand, it can't be regarded as truly portable – its mass is as much as almost 2 kg, with the housing depth over 35 mm. On the other hand, the small diagonal of the screen and small effective area of the housing (and thus compacted keyboard and not so many connectors) will always be of nuisance at work. Of course, the company specialists did all their best to minimize these inconveniences, but they simply can't be physically removed completely.

Input devices

The touchpad installed in Lifebook T4010 is quite adequate to the notebook class. The sensitivity is fine, the buttons are convenient and distinct. There's the hardware-driven scrolling, which is really nice.

Touchpad - Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010

A notebook of 12" screen simply can't have a full-length keyboard - either the key dimensions have to be reduced or they have to be compacted. This model is no exception - the keyboard is not the most convenient. First, there are as many as five combined keys, secondly, the PgUp and PgDn are located in the cursor control key sector. If you get used to that, the "combined sector" will be quite handy, especially for browsers and text editors. But it takes some time to get used.

On the other hand, space saving at the expense of reducing the dimensions has been avoided. Of special note is the large enough size of such important keys like Enter, Tab, Shift, and Backspace.

Keyboard - Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010

As regards the mechanical size of the keyboard, it's all fine here - the buttons are soft, distinct and quiet to press. It's all a pleasure to handle text with such a keyboard.

Under the screen, there is a number of additional function keys, there is also the Power button over here. Due to such an arrangement, the keys are always at hand - both the notebook and the tablet PC modes.

Communication connectors

The notebook implies using a docking station (which, as we have already said, is shipped in all the configurations of the model), so there are not many connectors onboard - precisely as many as the mobile use of the computer needs it.

On the rear panel, there is only one USB port, network and modem connectors, an IR port and an output to the external monitor:

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 - rear view

Note that the connectors not very frequently used in the mobile version – output to the external monitor and the hard-wired LAN – are closed with rubber caps firmly attached on the notebook housing.

On the right side, only an optical drive has been positioned:

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 - right-hand side view

On the left side, there is the second USB port, a vent hole, an IEEE 1394 port, a PCMCIA slot, and a SmartCard reader (the narrow slit under the PCMCIA):

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 - left-hand side view

We bring our special gratitude to the manufacturer for the front panel of the housing. Over here, there are audio connectors and a SD/MMC/MS memory card reader, and their positioning like that is very convenient at work:

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 - front view

In the stationary mode, when plugged in to the docking station, four more USB connectors and a digital output to the monitor (DVI-D) are added to the above mentioned ports.

Cooling system

Despite the rather powerful processor (in our case - 1.8 GHz) installed in notebook, the cooling system is quite simple - the radiator protruding out of the vent hole even doesn't pretend to be made of copper; the air-intake holes positioned in the bottom are not large but are positioned in a way that they can't be blocked simultaneously:

In the bottom of the notebook, there are two compartments (let alone the battery compartment), in one of which there is a hard disk, and two memory expansion slots

The fan offers a few rotational speeds, so it makes noise as loud as necessary. While handling office applications, it normally doesn't rotate at all. When watching DVD programs, it operates at middle RPMs, quietly enough.

Screen

The notebook uses a superb matrix of not too high brightness, but contrast enough, of good color renditions and dimply fantastic viewing angles - the image is seen at any angle. The screen has a good anti-glare coating, which is important for using the notebook as a tablet PC.

Of course, the 12" matrix diagonal and 1024x768 resolution – it is not quite what needed during intense handling large-size documents. But at least the notebook uses a standard ratio of the screen sides - 4:3, which is more justified (in terms of the housing dimensions and convenience of operations) for an office computer rather than the currently fashionable 16:9.

Tablet PC

All the general statements said regarding the usability of the device as a notebook hold true also for the case when its use as a tablet PC is meant. On the other hand, the mass and thickness of the housing are large enough, on the other hand - the functionality of the device is appealing. Take for instance the thought that if you can't do some operation using a touchpad (due to the lack of habit/time to sort it out or natural limitations of this input device), you can always transform the tablet PC to a notebook and make use of the customary keyboard and touchpad. Thirdly, the built-in optical device is not that really needed in the tablet PC mode, and perhaps its positioning in the docking station would be more justified. On the other hand, the notebook would not have been equipped with a modular compartment – that is, a loss of functionality again.

Now a bit more details on the major points.

Turning gear

The rotary fastener of the notebook's lid has fairly moderate dimensions, and the company specialists are proud of the so small hinges by right:

Turning gear

The screen turns easily but to one side only (clockwise). To fix the device in the "tablet PC mode", the same latch holding the notebook lid in the closed position is used - it is simply turned to the other side of the lid. Therefore, the notebook turns into a not customarily looking device:

Tablet PC mode - tabletpc

In the settings of the Fujitsu-Siemens proprietary software you can choose the image orientation when transforming the notebook. As many as four options are possible (direct/reverse portrait, and direct/reverse landscape):
On the whole, the transformation procedure takes merely a few seconds, and it can be done in a suspended state without any discomfort.

Touchpad

The notebook uses an electromagnetic touchpad - it responds to merely a special stylus. This is how the stylus looks like:

a stylus for the electromagnetic touchpad

There are two buttons on the stylus which imitate the mouse buttons. But they are not very convenient to use - when pressed, the stylus may jitter and you may click on a wrong point.

Use of an electromagnetic touchpad offers both a considerable advantage – no "interference" from accidental touches (e.g., you can put your palm on the screen while scribbling over the pad, which is pretty convenient), – and a few shortcomings like impossibility of finger control and the need for use of the "native" stylus which may get lost.

Operating System

A special version of operating system - Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 - used for tablet PCs.

Windows XP – Tablet PC Edition 2005

Some facts about the operating system which we found on Microsoft's web site – Tablet PC Edition 2005:

• full functionality of Windows XP Professional and is fully compatible to it;
• is shipped with SP2 integrated;
• a built-in panel for writing input – this applies to the English input, whereas third-party software by Quarta and Paragon is used for Russian character input;
• support for «tablet pen gestures», that is, special movement of the stylus;
• is shipped with the Multilingual User Interface (MUI), including support for the Russian language.

To cut it short, Tablet PC Edition – is a full-featured WinXP Pro with the Russian localized interface plus a number of convenient additions related to computer control with a stylus.

Internals

The basis of Lifebook T4010 is the already customary Centrino platform presented in this case with the following components:

• Pentium M (Dothan core) processor of 1.8 GHz clock speed;

Pentium M (Dothan core) processor of 1.8 GHz clock speed;

• Intel i855GM chipset;

Intel i855GM chipset

• Intel Pro Wireless 2200BG wireless network adapter;
• integrated graphic system Intel Extreme Graphics 2.

Besides the above listed, the following important components should be mentioned:

• Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbit/s) hard-wired network adapter;
• NEC ND-6500A optical drive with rather advanced characteristics: read speed 24х/8х (CD/DVD), write speed 8x/4x/2.4x/24x/16x (DVD+-R/DVD+-RW/ DVD+R9(double-layered)/CD-R/CD-RW).
• hard disk Fujitsu, model MHT2080AH: capacity 80 GB, spindle rotational speed 5400 RPM, buffer 8 MB.
• Bluetooth module.

As you see, the internals are rather impressive - one of the best (if not the best) mobile optical drive, hard disk of formidable capacity, a complete set of network interfaces, and a high-performance processor. What else do we need to be happy? :)

Ease of upgrade

A notebook of this class does not have to be "high upgradeability". Especially that even the most moderate configuration of Lifebook T4010 is equipped very generously.

Nevertheless, the model has proved quite easy to upgrade. In the bottom of the notebook, there are two compartments (let alone the battery compartment), in one of which there is a hard disk, and two memory expansion slots:

In the bottom of the notebook, there are two compartments (let alone the battery compartment), in one of which there is a hard disk, and two memory expansion slots

Another replaceable component is the optical drive. It is installed into a proprietary modular compartment and can be removed with a motion of the hand due to the convenient latch:

Apart from the optical drive, an additional battery and even the second hard disk can be installed into this compartment. Certainly, these modules have to be purchased separately, they are not included in the package bundle.

Performance

We tested the performance in office applications with PCMark2002 and PCMark04 (we'll be gradually moving to this package). As contenders, we took various notebook models:

• Bliss 5020: Pentium 4 530 (3.0 GHz; FSB 800 MHz; 512 K); 512 MB.
• RoverBook Navigator W200: Pentium M 715 (1.5 GHz; FSB 400 MHz; 2 MB); 512 MB.
• Bliss 502c: Pentium M 735 (1.7 GHz; FSB 400 MHz; 2 MB); 512 MB.
• MaxSelect TravelBook M620: Celeron M 330 (1.3 GHz; FSB 400 MHz; 512 K); 256 MB.
• iRU Stilo 6154: Pentium M 735 (1.7 GHz; FSB 400 MHz; 2 MB); 512 MB.

Here are the results produced with PCMark2002:

PCMark02

Quite expectable small win at the processor performance. The memory performance is unexpectedly a bit smaller than in the two participants of the test.

The situation is practically the same in the PCMark04:

PCmark04

Of course, the test of graphic subsystem in Lifebook T4010 loses because in iRU Stilo 6154 a more powerful discreet ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 chip is installed.

We did a more detailed test of graphics with 3DMark2001, and the list of competitors looks like this:

• iRU Stilo 6054: Pentium M 735; Mobility Radeon 9700, 128 MB.
• iRU Stilo 6154: Pentium M 735; Mobility Radeon 9700, 64 MB.
• Acer Aspire 2023: Pentium M 1.6 GHz (Banias); Mobility Radeon 9700, 128 MB.
• Prestigio Nobile 157: Pentium M 1.6 GHz (Banias); Mobility Radeon 9600, 64 MB.
• MaxSelect TravelBook TZ: Pentium M 1.3 GHz (Banias); Intel Extreme Graphics 2.
• Bliss 5020: Pentium 4 530; NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200, 64 MB.
• Bliss 502c: Pentium M 735; Intel Extreme Graphics 2.
• MaxSelect TravelBook M620: Celeron M 330; Intel Extreme Graphics 2.
• iRU Intro 3114: Celeron M 320; Intel Extreme Graphics 2.

3DMark01

The results are somehow better than expected - Lifebook T4010 takes a significant lead over competitors of the same graphic subsystem. At the same time, it is a long way to go to get the results for discrete chips, even the budget-level GeForce 5200.

On the whole, the performance is quite adequate and sufficient for solving any business tasks. Of course, you won't be able playing modern 3D games with a notebook, but the model was not intended for that.

Offline operation time

Lifebook T4010 uses a battery of middle capacity typical for this class of notebooks – 4.8(A*hr)*10.8(V)=51.84 W/hr. The physical dimensions of the battery are also middle-sized.

But the PSU is rather miniature and light (its power is small – 19V*3,16A=60 W), just as the PSU of a mobile notebook should be:

PSU of Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010

The contenders for the test of offline operation time are quite formidable:

• Bliss 502c: battery 65.1 W*hr; Pentium M 735; screen 15”; Intel EG2.
• RoverBook W200: battery 43.2 W*hr; Pentium M 715; screen 12.1”; Intel EG2.
• MaxSelect TravelBook M620: battery 65.1 W/hr; Celeron M 330; screen 15”; Intel EG2.
• iRU Stilo 6154: battery 48.84 W*hr; Pentium M 735; screen 15.4”; ATi M11.

All these models are equipped with less powerful processors than that in the hero of our review, and two competitor solutions offer a battery of much higher capacity. So it is no wonder that the result for office applications is rather moderate as compared to competitors:

time of operation from a battery charge in office applications for Lifebook T4010

Against this result, the time of operation while watching DVD-video looks simply wonderful:

time of operation from a battery charge in Lifebook T4010 while watching DVD

The notebook by Fujitsu easily leaves all the competitors well behind: while the time of operation during watching DVD in them reduces by 45-100 minutes, Lifebook T4010 operates in this mode half an hour shorter.

For Lifebook T4010, there is an additional battery that is inserted into the modular compartment – instead of an optical drive. The battery offers somehow smaller capacity than the nominal (3600 mA*hr). Unfortunately, we did not receive an additional battery for tests, but in view of the overall power consumption of the notebook, we can approximately calculate the time of operation as 150 minutes in the "office mode" and a bit more than two hours while watching DVD-video.

Final Words

This class of transformer notebooks is too exotic to be of a mass product. While in the West there are several potential niches for this products (medicine, education, science), then in our country due to known reasons these niches are still inexistent. A purchase of Lifebook T4010 as an expensive toy or an image-making notebook appears to be more realistic.

Автор: Aleksey Drozhzhin