With plenty of attention being lavished on netbooks and the ever-increasing number of Eee PCs hitting the market, it would appear that the standard ultraportable notebook has lost some of its allure. While netbooks have their place, they lack the overall usability to be your sole machine.
The Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P8010 is something you could easily use as your sole machine. Designed with the business user in mind, it's a lightweight machine that lacks little. Weighing a mere 1.4kg, it's portable enough to carry around on a daily basis and the while the body is made from plastic, we found it tough and resilient.
Helping to keep the weight and size down is the use of a 12.1-inch Super-TFT screen that uses LED technology to keep it thin and flexible. Images proved sharp and bright and while Intel's integrated GMA X3100 chipset handles graphics chores, it's fine for daily use.
As we've come to expect from ultraportable notebooks, battery life is often put before pure processing power, so you'll find an Intel ultra-low voltage processor at the heart of this machine. The Core 2 Duo U7600 runs at 1.2GHz but with 2048MB of memory backing it up, we found it ran quickly enough for most tasks and even handled multiple tasks with a fair degree of ease.
The pay-off of opting for LED screen and ultra-low voltage chip comes in the extended battery life. We managed to get well over 6 hours from this machine, using it as our workhorse machine for a couple of days. This battery life is great if you're going to be out of the office for long periods of the day.
Being a business machine there are a number of key features you won't find on the average notebook. For instance, the biometric fingerprint scanner allows for a higher level of security. Then there is the use of shock tracking on the hard drive, which effectively docks the read heads should there be any violent movement.
However, the most interesting feature for the traveller is the inclusion of 3G/UMTS module, which allows for mobile broadband to be built-in to the machine. Fujitsu Siemens don't tie their notebooks in with any one vendor, so you can sign-up with any deal on the market.
Standard features include Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless LAN. If you don't have this current standard fitted in your office, it will readily work with 802.11g as well as 802.11a when abroad.
One area we were less than satisfied was the keyboard. It spans the width of the main body and while it proved a good size to use, the keys have a very shallow typing action, which makes it a little awkward to get accustomed to. There is a small row of quick-access buttons above the keyboard that can be used for launching essential tools. We found the most practical was the backup feature, which is great as it allows you to instantly transfer files to an external source.
The Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P8010 is a great all-round notebook for use on the move. The battery life is possibly the key reason to opt for this machine and while there are better keyboards on the market, we found this a highly usable and practical notebook.