by Lukas Simko, Czech Republic
Overview and Introduction:
Fujitsu-Siemens notebooks are generally known for their solid build and plain design. They never lean too far from the “regular notebook appearance”. So the Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010, a stunning piece of technology, is way beyond the usual Fujitsu design guidelines. The Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook Q2010 is probably one of the lightest and most expensive sub-notebooks on the market. This one’s an eye catcher — a gem even.
And Fujitsu is treating and speaking about the Q2010 in terms of a gem. They say that it is the “world’s most desirable laptop”. This notebook is designed and meant for people who travel a lot, and for those that want to stand out from the crowd when doing so. It’s pure style and a begs to be looked at. And what does the “Q” mean? Q could mean Quality, but definitely not Quantity of mass or size.
Ther configuration of the Q2010 is fairly similar worldwide, the processor and screen will be the same no matter what, some places you can choose different memory amounts and hard drive sizes. The specs for the Q2010 I have are as follows:
- Screen: 12.1″ WXGA
- Processor: 1.20 GHz Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage (U1400)
- Hard Drive: 60GB (PATA 4200 RPM)
- Memory: 1GB 533MHz SDRAM
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP Pro
- Wireless: Intel 3945 802.11 a/b/g, Bluetooth, UMTS, EDGE (there is no UMTS or EDGE option in the North American version)
- Ports / Slots: 2 USB 2.0, external monitor and ethernet via a small replicator, headphone, microphone, docking port, ExpressCard slot (Type II PCMCIA slot in North America), SD card slot
- Embedded TPM and fingerprint sensor
- Weight: 2.2lbs
- Dimensions: 11.7″ x 8.62″ x 0.78″ (when using 3-cell battery)
- 3-year international warranty
For the weight of 1kg (2.2lbs), the amount you get built-in is really quite good. More specs for the Q2010 I have are located here.
If you’re a gamer, you might as well stop reading this review now. The power of this machine is enough to run Adobe Photoshop CS2, Powerpoint, Word, Internet Explorer, and Winamp flawlessly at once. Watching movies is also a pleasure on the widescreen. But this is a workstation, not a glorified Sony PSP, so I didn’t even try to play games, although I’m sure some basic non-shader games could run okay.
I have the Rightmark CPU-Clock utility installed, this allows me to undervolt the Core Solo processor. The processor is undervolted and running at 700MHz. The performance on demand monitoring of this utility makes it so if you need power, it automatically steps the processor speed up to 1200Mhz (1.2 GHz). But even when running at the underclocked speed of 700MHz, everything works fine, plus the battery life increases drastically!
Reasons for Buying
I have an ultraportable Toshiba R100, which is about the same size and weight as the Q2010, but my girlfriend started to use it more than I, so I needed to get a replacement! I never even considered getting a notebook that was heavier than the R100. The Toshiba is around 1kg, so my choices of notebooks to look at were limited. I did my research and found that the Samsung Q30 and Sony VAIO TX could fit my needs and provide the weight I wanted, but I ended up going with the Q2010 mostly because of the Fujitsu-Siemens build standard reputation.
I purchased the Q2010 notebook from a retail store in the Czech Republic, one that I always buy my hardware from. The Q2010 isn’t cheap and the price hurt: 4000 Euros (about $5,000), ouch! To me it’s probably worth the money knowing how much I’ll use it, although I would rather buy the Toshiba R100 for 2000 Euros ($2,500) again like I did last time, but it’s no longer in production and impossible to find.
Build & Design:
It’s the shiny black mirror like top of the Q2010 European version (view large image)
The Q2010 design is really akin to a masterpiece. Outside of maybe the leather clad series from Asus, I think it’s the best looking notebook you can get. The material combination is awesome! The only plastic part you can see or feel is the keyboard and it’s black surrounding bezel. Everything else on the notebook case is composed of magnesium-alloy. The hinges are titanium strengthened for ruggedness. There is no way (without breaking the warranty:), to make the screen wobble. It is built really solidly. The screen has a magnetic closing mechanism so when you get to within 1/3 of the screen being closed it sort of closes itself and then holds firmly closed.
The European version of the Q2010 has a piano black shiny finish. As the person using the Q2010, it’s not very spectacular because you can’t see the lid — but for everyone else passing near you, the black piano finish of the lid is a joy to look at! Referring to Fujitsu’s comment on this, it has “7-layers of black paint”. For the ladies among you reading this — YES, you can use the lid as a mirror to help apply any makeup! On the bottom of the notebook is some kind of felt-like covering, so having it in your lap is very comfortable.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The touchpad is a typical synaptics-high quality touchpad, with all the options you’re used to. There is a fingerprint scanner in-between the mouse buttons, which can also be used as a page scrolling mechanism. The keyboard layout has some negatives, but that comes with the size. For example, the , “.” and “/” keys are just half of regular size. Also the delete button is at the top, I’m used to having it right next to the arrow keys. I’m also missing dedicated “PgUp” and “PgDn” keys — they are accessible only through use of an “Fn” + “Up / Down Arrow” combination. Otherwise, the pressure point of the keys is great. When writing longer text, your palms can nicely rest, lying next to the touchpad. There’s no pressure on the wrists from pressing on the edges. I always had some pain in my hands from using the Toshiba R100 keyboard for long amounts of time.
The Q2010 has 4 quick launch buttons on the left side of the keyboard, which can be programmed to launch whatever program you like.
Input and Output Ports
The ports are placed well: 2 USB ports, 1 Firewire, ExpressCard slot and 1 replicator port (for VGA and LAN) on the right side. Someone could miss a native built-in VGA-port (monitor out) for presentations, but the small replicator dongle you can carry along to provide this connection is really small and light, so don’t consider this a big negative. On the left side are an SD slot, microphone jack, and headphone jack The volume regulator works very well, like a 3D jog-dial.
Front side view of Q2010 (view large image)
Fujitsu Q2010 left side view (view large image)
Fujitsu Q2010 right side view (view large image)
Fujitsu Q2010 back side view (view large image)
Fujitsu Q2010 under side view (view large image)
Fujitsu Q2010 docking station (view large image)
Q2010 docking station left side view(view large image)
Q2010 in the docking station (view large image)
Q2010 docking station back side view (view large image)
Q2010 in the docking station above view (view large image)
Fujitsu Q2010 screen (view large image)
There is not too much to say about the screen. It comes very close to PERFECT for a 12.1″ screen. The widescreen format supports a resolution of 1280 x 800. The Crystal View (glossy finish) works great when not exposed to direct sunlight. The viewing angles are great. The screen was fairly bright on maximum settings and I saw no light leakage with this model. Colors were vibrant with good contrast levels. The response time is good enough for watching movies. Even in dark scenes it’s watchable. The only negative — it’s just 12.1″ of viewing space!
For a subnotebook, the sound from the Q2010 is in my opinion unbeatable. There’s no bass of course, but compared to the Sony TX series or Toshiba R series I’ve heard, this is the best.
Because the European version of this notebook has embedded UMTS support (meaning you can plug-in your GMS based cell phone SIM-card), you can also place regular phone calls using the Q2010. Because of this, the microphone is more advanced than you’ll usually find. The microphone is a dual type, with a microphone on both sides of the screen to make the sound capture better. In my use of this, there is no interference when the caller and you are talking at once, it’s great.
There are some issues with heat and noise. Even with undervolted processor the fan never turns off. It gets pretty annoying, when you’re used to a fanless notebook. I asked a few people, none of them thought it’s annoying. I do. I tried to stop the fan, but then the heat gets too high. When I leave the fan at normal speed, the heat at the bottom is low, even on naked skin.
Here’s how the Q2010 stacked up in PCMark05 results against other notebooks. This result considers system performance as a whole (processor, graphics card, hard drive).
|Fujitsu Q2010 (1.20 GHz Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage)||1,943 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo)||3,487 PCMarks|
|Alienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60)||5,597 PCMarks|
|Sony Vaio SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400)||3,637 PCMarks|
|Dell Inspiron e1405 (1.66 GHz Intel T2300)||2,879 PCMarks|
|Asus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400)||3,646 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Satellite M70 (Pentium M 1.86GHz)||1,877 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu Q2010 (Underclocked 700 MHz Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage)||1m 56s|
|Dell Inspiron e1705 (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 12s|
|Lenovo Z61m (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 16s|
|IBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)||1m 45s|
|IBM ThinkPad Z60m (2.0 GHz Pentium M)||1m 36s|
|Fujitsu LifeBook N3510 (1.73 GHz Pentium M)||1m 48s|
|Dell Inspiron 6000D (1.6 GHz Pentium M)||1m 52s|
|Dell Inspiron 600M (1.6 GHz Pentium M)||2m 10s|
|HP Pavilion dv4000 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)||1m 39s|
|Asus V6Va (Pentium M 1.86 GHz)||1m 46s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 18s|
The connectivity of this European version Q2010 notebook is state of the art. You have Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g via the Intel 3945 card) UMTS support, EDGE support. In other words, everything you can really want. The range of wi-fi was good.
The two batteries I have, the 3-cell and the 6-cell, are not perfect . It’s not possible to switch them without the power cord remaining plugged in. To switch a battery you have to go into hibernate, (remaining plugged in) switch the battery and come out of hibernation to return to the previous work.
With the large 6-cell battery, the weight of the notebook is around 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs). With the small 3-cell battery pack you achieve the weight of 1kg (2.2 lbs). On the small battery the working time is really short — approximately 1 hour. The larger battery gives you the joy of 7 hours of work (when undervolted to 700MHz). I thought it would never run out!
Accessories and Software:
The original box for the LifeBook Q2010 (view large image)
Inside the box are other boxes (view large image)
Everything you get with the purchase of the Q2010 (view large image)
This notebook has the most accessories I have ever seen. Mine came with a docking station that had a DVD burner plus all the expansion slots you could need. Two protective bags, one being for the notebook and the second to hold a spare battery and the power cord. Also included are 2 power cords, and a microfiber cloth for polishing the lacquer lid. All of this comes in a huge box.
The bundled software is pretty standard. You get Windows XP Pro (with SP2), Nero, Drivers, recovery DVD, Fingerprint software and UMTS software. I tried the fingerprint software, but it messes too much with the OS, so I uninstalled it all. I still can use the fingerprint scanner as a scroll mechanism, so it’s not wasted.
The BIOS is good for a notebook. All kinds of unusual (for this class) settings are available. Security settings are unlimited.
Fujitsu-Siemens people are always very kind and really try to help whenever I’ve called for support. It’s quite fast getting through too.
If you’re looking for a small laptop for your business traveling, don’t hesitate and spend the money! If you can afford this, I’m sure you won’t regret it. It has all the security you can want and the portability is truly unbeatable. If you’re working at work and at home, just leave the docking station at work, which makes the desktop complete.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you will have to spend a lot of money to achieve that, but the Q2010 certainly does this.
Pros: (sorted by importance)
- Very light weight of 2.2lbs (with 3-cell battery)
- Nice screen
- Battery life of up to 7 hours when using 6-cell
- Beautiful design
Talking about the probably most expensive notebook should leave the “cons” free. But it doesn’t! There are things they really should change to make this product worth the money.
- Very annoying fan (SEE UPDATE BELOW)
- Keyboard layout
- Battery life of the 3-cell battery is poor
- High price
UPDATE 8/20/2006: Fujitsu released a new bios, that solves the annoying fan issue. Now the notebook runs silent, the fan goes on just ocassionally. The pc gets a little hotter on the bottom, but not too much. In my opinion, NOW it gives me the value back.