Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 Review (pics, specs)

by nesbo Reads (72,128)

by Neama, Ohio USA

Introduction:

Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 (view larger image)

For the past couple of years I have become a huge fan of the desktop AMD processor.  I always wished that AMD would make a mobile processor that was fast and had good battery life, but I never could find one that had even decent battery life without sacrificing performance.  I currently own a Fujitsu LifeBook S6231 notebook that uses a Pentium M processor and it is a fantastic notebook.  My curiosity peaked when I saw that Fujitsu recently released the Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 laptop, a thin and light (and I mean light, almost ultraportable) with the new 64 bit AMD Turion mobile processor that advertises having 4 hours of battery life!.  Thanks to my good friend and fellow moderator, Brian, I was able to obtain this laptop to review for this website. I thought I would give a full review of this new machine and also compare it to the S6231 that I own.

The configuration of the review model LifeBook S2110 I received is as follows:

  • AMD Turion 64 Mobile MT-28 1.6 GHz
  • 512 MB DDR333 SDRAM
  • 13.3″ Crystal View XGA LCD
  • ATI Radeon XPRESS 200m Integrated Graphics (which can use up to 128 MB of shared memory)
  • 60 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
  • Atheros Super AG Wireless LAN 802.11 a/b/g
  • Memory Stick/SD Slot
  • 3 USB Ports, 1 Firewire, VGA out, WiFi power switch
  • Port Replicator connection (not an option on the S6231)

For comparison purposes I will list the specs of the LifeBook S6231 that I currently own:

  • Pentium M (Dothan) 1.6 ghz
  • 512 MB DDR333 SDRAM
  • 13.3″ Crystal View XGA LCD
  • Intel Integrated Graphics Extreme 2 (which uses up to 64 MB of shared memory)
  • 60 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
  • Intel 2200 Wireless LAN
  • Memory Stick/SD Slot
  • 3 USB Ports, 1 Firewire, VGA out, WiFi power switch

Build and Design:

One aspect Fujitsu is known for is their quality of build.  Fortunately, Fujitsu continues this tradition with the S2110.  The LCD has a magnesium alloy casing and is firmly attached to the laptop without any wobbling or rippling effect.  The rest of the notebook is made of high quality plastic and there is no flex in the casing whatsoever.   Fujitsu has decided to use all black in the design of the S2110 which gives it a very sleek design.  However, it is extremely fingerprint prone, so make sure you have a soft cloth as you will need to clean the notebook frequently.  For comparison, my S6231 uses a silver and black combination.  I’m not sure which color I like better.  Both are appealing, however.

The dimensions of both notebooks are 11.54″ x 9.31″ x 1.29 and the weight is 4.02 lbs with a built-in DVD/CDRW drive.  One of the lightest thin-and-light notebooks on the market with a reasonably sized screen!  For those that want mobility, this notebook is one of the best in its class.

Fujitsu S2110 above view of lid, notice the fingerprints that are visible due to the color and material used on the lid (view larger image)

Fujitsu LifeBook S6231 above view, notice the silver color is not as prone to fingerprints (view larger image)

Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 right side view (view larger image)

Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 left side view (view larger image)

Fujitsu LifeBook S2110 back side (view larger image)

Screen:

I always felt the screen of my S6231 was one of the best features of the notebook. Fujitsu uses a Crystal View LCD in which the LCD screen has a glossy coating giving the screen a vibrant and bright picture, albeit with some glare in bright lighting.  The S2110 uses the latest LCD technology offered by Fujitsu and the screen is even brighter and more vibrant than my current laptop.  It is absolutely gorgeous!  DVD movies look stellar.

Screen side by side, Fujitsu S6231 on the left, Fujitsu S2110 on the right (view larger image)

Speakers:

As with many smaller laptops, the speakers are not very good.  It sounds tinny with no bass whatsoever.  I wouldn’t recommend watching movies without some headphones

Processor and Performance:

This is the first AMD notebook that I’ve seen that supposedly offers great speed and outstanding battery life and is future ready with 64 bit processing capabilities.  I don’t use my current laptop to play games as I use it mainly for business purposes.  However, I am an avid gamer and am always looking for the lightest laptop that offers great gaming capability.  My laptop (S6231) has the Intel extreme graphics 2 chipset.   As many of you might know, this graphics chipset does not play the latest and greatest games well at all.  When I saw that the S2110 had an ATI XPRESS 200M Integrated chipset, I got a little excited thinking I could possibly play some of those 3D first person shooters.  Alas, I was disappointed.  Doom 3 was too choppy to play even on lowest settings. I didn’t try Half Life 2.  Less intense games work just fine.  But if you want heavy gaming with this notebook, look elsewhere.  The other aspect of the graphics of the S2110 that I don’t like is that you have to choose how much memory you want to share in the system BIOS.  The Intel chipset of the S6231 will drop the graphics memory as low as 8 MB if you aren’t using heavy graphics to save resources.  With the ATI, if you set it at 128 MB, it will stay at that and will not adjust on its own. You have the option of setting graphics memory at 16/32/64/128 MB in the BIOS.

Below are some benchmarks I tested with this notebook to get an idea of the speed of the notebook.  I also ran the same tests with my S6231 so you can get a comparison of the AMD processor with the Pentium M:

Boot time from power on to Windows XP Desktop:

 Fujitsu S2110 (1.6 GHz AMD Turion MT-28)  Boot Time  45 seconds
 Fujitsu S6231 (1.6 GHz Pentium M Dothan)  Boot Time   35 seconds

 


 
Results for calculating Pi to 2 million digits of accuracy using the program Super Pi.

 Notebook  Time
 Fujitsu S2110 (1.6 GHz AMD Turion MT-28)    2m 22s
 Fujitsu S6231 (1.6 GHz Pentium M Dothan)  2m 6s
 Sony VAIO FS680 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)  1m 53s
 IBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)  1m 45s
 Asus Z70A (1.6GHz Pentium M)  1m 53s
 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
 Sony VAIO S360 (1.7 GHz Pentium M)  1m 57s
 HP DV4170us (Pentium M 1.73 GHz)  1m 53s
 Sony VAIO S380 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)  1m 45s

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Futuremark PCMark04 Scores

 Benchmark Test Fujitsu S2110 (1.6 GHz AMD Turion MT-28)  Fujitsu S6231 (1.6 GHz Pentium M Dothan)
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression  2.425 MB/s  3.103 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption 24.001 MB/s 23.921 MB/s  24.001 MB/s  23.921 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression 19.250 MB/s 20.975 MB/s  19.250 MB/s  20.975 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing  9.621 MPixels/s  9.515 MPixels/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning  1315.836 MB/s  107.257 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check  2.345 KB/s  2.396 KB/s
File Decryption  48.158 MB/s  47.757 MB/s
Audio Conversion  2049.237 KB/s  2205.276 KB/s
Web Page Rendering  3.616 Pages/s  4.876 Pages/s
DivX Video Compression  41.023 FPS  133.54 FPS
Physics Calculation and 3D  64.558 FPS  62.810 FPS
Graphics Memory – 64 Lines  467.296 FPS  359.786 FPS
Overall Score  2595  3006

3DMark05 Scores

 Test  Fujitsu S2110 (1.6 GHz AMD Turion MT-28)   Fujitsu S6231 (1.6 GHz Pentium M Dothan)
 3DMark Overall Score  452  N/A (did not work)

 

 

 

As you can see, overall my older Pentium M Dothan chip seems to run a bit faster than the AMD Turion, except for the graphics. 3dMark2005 would not even run on the older Intel Integrated Extreme Graphics 2.  The ATI Xpress 200M Graphics chipset had a disappointing 3dMark2005 score. The 7200 RPM hard drive on my S6231 probably gives it more of an advantage in some areas such as boot time, but I still think my Pentium M notebook is a bit faster.  Perhaps when there are more 64 bit programs available the AMD would then outshine the Pentium M Dothan.  Please don’t get me wrong, the S2110 runs very quickly so I wouldn’t let these numbers completely turn you away from the notebook.

Heat:

Unfortunately, I believe the AMD processor tends to run a little bit hotter than the Pentium M.   While the laptop never gets hot to the touch, some areas, particularly where the hard drive is located, can feel a bit warm.  But overall it is fairly comfortable on the lap and you don’t have to worry about burning your legs. However, the fan turns on frequently. While not super loud, I can’t call this notebook whisper quiet either.  In comparison, my S6231 is very quiet as the fan almost never turns on with regular use, and tends to run a little cooler. 

Keyboard & Touchpad:

Fujitsu S2110 keyboard view (view larger image)

I always felt a weak point on the S6231 was the keyboard, mainly because it felt too springy and had a decent amount of flex on the left side.  The S2110 keyboard seems a bit more solid.  I still see a small amount of flex on the left side, but overall it seems to be an improvement over the S6231.  The touch pad is nothing special; it’s your average, ordinary touch pad with pretty good response.  Above the keyboard is a nice LED meter that shows power status, wireless function, etc with some quick start application buttons as well.  However, just like the S6231, there is no backlight for the LED meter making it difficult to see at times.  I’m surprised Fujitsu didn’t improve on this feature.

Wireless:

The S2110 uses the Atheros Wireless a/b/g standard.  I get excellent connections throughout my house.  No complaints with this wireless card.  I didn’t see much difference in performance over the Intel Wireless card found in my S6231.

Battery life:

Battery life might be the S2110′s strong point.  It comes with a 6 cell battery.  With wireless off and low to medium brightness, I get an amazing 4 hours and 20 min of battery life.  With WiFi on, I get 3 to 3.25 hours.  I think overall, I get about 30 minutes more of battery life on the S2110 as compared to the S6231.  This is very impressive battery life indeed.

Software:

The review model S2110 came with a restore disc and basic software.  Thankfully, Fujitsu does not preinstall a bunch of garbage on the laptop like Dell/Toshiba/HP, so you don’t necessarily have to reformat the hard drive.

Customer Support:

I haven’t had any problems with this review model to contact customer support.  But I know with my S6231, I have had excellent customer support provided by Fujitsu.  Based on my experiences, Fujitsu really seemed to go out of their way to help me with my issues.  Phone support had minimal wait times and they offer a chat support on their website.

Pros:

  • Lightweight (4 lbs!)
  • Amazing screen
  • Fantastic battery life
  • 64 bit capabilities

Cons:

  • Fan turns on frequently
  • Disappointing graphics chipset
  • Casing is extremely fingerprint prone
  • Seems to run 32 bit applications a tad bit slower than the older Pentium M (Dothan)

Conclusions:

Those of you who love AMD processors and want to have 64 bit capability with outstanding battery life and portability should seriously consider looking at this notebook.  It is reasonably priced at $1299 for a thin and light borderline ultraportable (a few hundred dollars less than the comparable Pentium M models).  However, I do feel that my Pentium M notebook might run a little bit faster.  While I think the S2110 is a solid notebook, I don’t think I will get rid of my S6231 quite yet mainly because  I am still waiting for my dream notebook: a 64 bit processor, outstanding battery life, highly capable gaming graphics card with minimal heat.  The S2110 comes close, but not quite there on the graphics part!  Overall though, with the S2110, you are getting a high quality machine with some great features and a pretty good price.

Pricing and Availability


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