The Bottom Line
Sep 26 2011 - Fujitsu's LifeBook P701 falters from being a good laptop because it is still stuck in the older corporate computer mindset. It comes with half the RAM and a third of storage space of the modern laptop PC. Add to this the lack of modern high speed peripheral ports and you are stuck relying on your limited resources with limited external expansion options. At least the display offers a bright spot with antiglare coating and nice color. In addition, the matte exterior helps prevent scratches and fingerprints. The problem is there are better options for roughly the same price both for consumers and corporate users.
- Bright, Antiglare Coated Display
- Matte Exterior Good And Keeping Scratches And Fingerprints To A Minimum
- Unique Scroll Wheel For Trackpad
- Limited RAM And Hard Drive Space
- Comes With a 32-Bit Version Of Windows
- Lacks USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Intel Core i3-2310M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 2GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 12.1" WXGA (1280x800) LED Backlit Display With 1.3Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, DisplayPort, VGA, ExpressCard/34, Fingerprint Scanner, SD Card Slot
- 11.3" x 8.6" x 1.3" @ 3.4 lbs.
- Windows 7 Professional (32-bit), Office Starter
Review - Fujitsu LifeBook P701
Sep 26 2011 - Fujitsu's LifeBook P701 is a relatively small laptop designed for corporate or business use. It has a relatively small profile and light weight but is fairly thick at 1.3-inches. Performance from the system is provided by the Intel Core i3-2310 dual core processor. This is fine for most tasks that the average business users would need to tackle. It will get bogged down in more demanding tasks such as desktop video because of the processor but more likely from the limited 2GB of DDR3 memory included with it. With the relatively low cost for RAM, it is surprising that it doesn't ship with more as most every other laptop in this price range does.
Storage features are definitely different than what most consumers would expect. Most corporations don't require a large amount of storage space, so the fact that it comes with a very small 160GB hard drive isn't really an issue. Consumers on the other hand can find laptops featuring roughly three times this amount in similarly priced systems. While the laptop frame is thick enough to potentially fit in a slim DVD burner, there is no option for this as most corporations don't need it. It isn't too much of an issue as many smaller laptops don't include it anymore.
What is disappointing is that external storage options are a bit more difficult to make up for the lack of internal storage options. The system does feature three USB ports, but none of them are of the new USB 3.0 version to allow for extremely fast high speed external storage. In addition, there is no eSATA port for the other most common external storage peripheral interface. Fujitsu does make up for this slightly by offering an ExpressCard/34 slot that allows for a wide range of peripheral expansion port and peripherals including adding cellular high speed access.
While most compact laptops have standardized on a 13.3-inch display size, Fujitsu uses a much more uncommon 12.1-inch display for the LifeBook P701. This gives the laptop a narrow frame but has some other aspects to it as well. The screen uses a 16:10 aspect ratio rather than the newer 16:9 being adopted by the industry similar to HDTV displays. This gives a slightly lower 1280x800 resolution. Thankfully, the display offers a very bright and colorful image with an anti-glare coating rather than the more typical glossy coatings. This makes it much easier to use outdoors and in certain lighting conditions that produce glare and reflections. The graphics are driven by the Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor that is built into the CPU. This is fine for business purposes but it still lacks much 3D performance. It does make up for this by having the ability to accelerate media encoding tasks with compatible QuickSync applications.
The keyboard and trackpad have both their good and bad points. First off, this is not one of the better keyboards on the market. It uses a traditional design which is fien as Lenovo has done so for years with their ThinkPad. The problem is the feel of the keyboard. There is too much flex giving the keyboard a very soft, spongy feel. The trackpad on the other hand is very good a nice size and dedicated right and left buttons with a fingerprint scanner between the two. While many trackpads feature advanced scrolling features built into the trackpad through certain motions, Fujitsu has added a dedicated circular trackpad that is specifically for scrolling. Simply rotate your finger on the pad clockwise or counterclockwise to scroll within your documents. It works very effectively and without impacting your cursor location.
Even with a fairly thick design, the Fujitsu LifeBook P701 packs in a fairly modest six cell battery pack with a rated 63WHr capacity. Now, with the fairly limited components found in this system, you would expect it to have some decent battery life. In video streaming playback tests, the laptop was able to run for just five hours before going into standby mode. This puts it roughly in the middle of the pack but behind the Dell Vostro V131 which is a slightly more expensive but also thinner 13-inch laptop designed for business.