Fujitsu LifeBook V1010 Review

by Kevin O'Brien Reads (41,594)

by Kevin O’Brien

The Fujitsu V1010 is a newly designed affordable business notebook offered by Fujitsu. This notebook was a direct response to other budget models, including the Sony NR, HP dv6500t, Dell 1520, and Gateway M-6816. With the Fujitsu line starting at $799 or $899 depending on processor choice, how will it stack up against competition that starts almost $200 less?

The V1010 comes in two main versions: One offers the older Core Duo T2130 processor with 1GB of RAM, with the other having the newer Core 2 Duo T5200 processor with double, or 2GB of RAM. Both of these variants can be purchased with Windows XP Pro or Windows Vista Business installed.

Specs of the V1010 being reviewed:

  • Screen: 15.4-inch screen WXGA (1280 x 800, glossy finish)
  • Processor: 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5200
  • Hard Drive: 120 GB hard drive (SATA, 5400RPM)
  • Memory: 2GB RAM (667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, 2 x 1GB) — 2GB max memory
  • Optical Drive: DVD+-R Double layer / DVD+-RW Drive
  • Ports and Slots: Three USB 2.0, one ExpressCard 54, one VGA, headphone / line-out, microphone-in, modem, 10/100 Ethernet
  • Wireless: Atheros Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g)
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (up to 224MB of shared RAM)
  • Operating System: Windows Vista Business
  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.4 x 1.7 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds


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Build and Design

The design of the V1010 is extremely basic and sparse, making some Thinkpads look like designer notebooks. With an unpainted black plastic lid, cheap silver paint, and the absence of any smooth curves you have to wonder if they looked at the new budget competition before hitting the drawing table. Fit and finish is also lacking with huge gaps around the LCD hinges, giving you a clear view of the hinge bar and exposed wiring. The design of the mechanism used to secure the battery screams cheap, with two plastic springy tabs holding the battery in place.

Build quality of the V1010 compared other business offerings is questionable. The plastic used throughout the notebook is very thin and flexible, especially in the palmrest. Chassis flex is obscene as well, clearly seen when holding the notebook by the palmrest and it wilting on the other end. Another issue we came across with this notebook is the high level of CPU whine heard while on battery power. Many notebooks have this whine, but it is very faint, and usually only heard through a cooling vent. The V1010 clearly emits this sound through the keyboard which is loud enough to be heard even through office background noise.

Screen

The display on the Fujitsu V1010 is very clear and bright. Colors are vivid, making pictures almost pop out at you, which is a common trend with many glossy screens. Contrast levels are above average, giving you a nice deep black without being washed out. Viewing angles are average, giving you enough room to find a "sweet spot," but distorting in color if you tilt the screen too far forward or too far back. Horizontal viewing angles were very good, having very little distortion viewing the screen from the sides.


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Backlight levels were very good, reaching bright enough levels to stand out in a bright room. The screen was easily viewable in bright areas, including outside, as long as you didn’t get caught with sun glare. My preferable backlight setting in the office was at six out of eight, and four out of eight at home where lighting allowed dimmer screen brightness.

Speakers

Playing music the speakers lacked any and all bass, and were also lacking in most midrange frequencies. Volume levels are more than acceptable, reaching loud enough levels to easily disturb those around you. For a more private and neighbor friendly listening experience the headphone jack works perfectly. Audio is clear without any interference present.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard on the V1010 is listed as spill resistant, like many business notebooks. Typing feedback is nice, and the keys themselves have a nice quality feel. Spacing is nice with the main keys, but feels cramped towards the right side with the layout of the Home, End, Page UP, and Page Down keys. Keyboard flex is present, with bracing beneath the keyboard lacking on the right-hand side.


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The touchpad is very responsive, unlike the lagging touchpad I found on the Fujitsu A6030. The texture of both the touchpad and the touchpad buttons is a mildy rough. Button feedback is shallow, giving only a mild click to let to know a press has been registered.

Performance

With the base model Intel Core 2 Duo T5200 this notebook won’t be winning any benchmark contests, but it will be perfectly acceptable for most software. Vista performance was snappy and responsive, including the use of office productivity software. We were also glad that Fujitsu included 2GB of RAM standard on this notebook, as that is the optimal amount of RAM for Windows Vista.

Listed below are benchmarks you can use to see how this compares to other notebooks it competes against:

wPrime is a program that forces the processor to do recursive mathematical calculations, the advantage of this program is that it is multi-threaded and can use both processor cores at once, thereby giving more accurate benchmarking measurements than Super Pi.

Notebook / CPU wPrime 32M time
Fujitsu Lifebook V1010 (Core 2 Duo T5200 @ 1.6GHz) 51.637s
Sony VAIO NR (Core 2 Duo T5250 @ 1.5GHz) 58.233s
Toshiba Tecra A9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 38.343s
Toshiba Tecra M9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.299s
HP Compaq 6910p (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 40.965s
Sony VAIO TZ (Core 2 Duo U7600 @ 1.20GHz) 76.240s
Zepto 6024W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 42.385s
Lenovo T61 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.705s
Alienware M5750 (Core 2 Duo T7600 @ 2.33GHz) 38.327s
Hewlett Packard DV6000z (Turion X2 TL-60 @ 2.0GHz) 38.720s
Samsung Q70 (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 42.218s
Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi (Core Duo T2500 @ 2.0GHz) 42.947s
Samsung X60plus (Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0GHz) 44.922s
Zepto Znote 6224W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 45.788s
Samsung Q35 (Core 2 Duo T5600 @ 1.83GHz) 46.274s
Samsung R20 (Core Duo T2250 @ 1.73GHz) 47.563s
Dell Inspiron 2650 (Pentium 4 Mobile 1.6GHz) 231.714s

PCMark05 comparison results:

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Fujitsu Lifebook V1010 (1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5200, Intel GMA 950) 3,039 PCMarks
Sony VAIO NR (1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, Intel X3100) 3,283 PCMarks
Sony VAIO CR (1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7100, Intel X3100) 3,612 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 4,153 PCMarks
Lenovo 3000 V200 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 3,987 PCMarks
Lenovo T60 Widescreen (2.0GHz Intel T7200, ATI X1400 128MB) 4,189 PCMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 4,234 PCMarks
Fujitsu N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400) 3,487 PCMarks
Alienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60, Nvidia Go 7800GTX) 5,597 PCMarks
Sony Vaio SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400) 3,637 PCMarks
Asus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400, Nvidia Go 7400) 3,646 PCMarks



3DMark06 comparison results:

Notebook 3DMark06 Score
Fujitsu Lifebook V1010 (1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5200, Intel GMA 950) 230 3DMarks
Sony VAIO NR (1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, Intel X3100) 504 3DMarks
Toshiba Tecra A9 (2.20GHz Core 2 Duo T7500, NVIDIA Quadro NVS 130M 256MB) 932 3DMarks
Toshiba Tecra M9 (2.20GHz Core 2 Duo T7500, NVIDIA Quadro NVS 130M 128MB) 1,115 3DMarks
Sony VAIO TZ (1.20GHz Core 2 Duo U7600, Intel GMA 950) 122 3DMarks
LG R500 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS 256MB) 2,776 3DMarks
HP dv2500t (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 1,055 3DMarks
Dell Inspiron 1420 (2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 1,329 3DMarks
Sony VAIO FZ (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 532 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 1,408 3DMarks
Samsung Q70 (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 and nVidia 8400M G GPU) 1,069 3DMarks
Asus F3sv-A1 (Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz, Nvidia 8600M GS 256MB) 2,344 3DMarks
Alienware Area 51 m5550 (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, nVidia GeForce Go 7600 256MB 2,183 3DMarks
Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 (1.66 Core Duo, nVidia 7600Go 256 MB) 2,144 3DMarks
Samsung X60plus (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7200, ATI X1700 256MB) 1,831 3DMarks
Asus A6J (1.83GHz Core Duo, ATI X1600 128MB) 1,819 3DMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16 GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 827 3DMarks

HDTune results:


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Heat and Noise

Noise levels from the Fujitsu V1010 are barely above a whisper during normal use. The fan stayed off for exceptionally long periods of time, and when it did come on it was very quiet being at a very low speed. Temperatures were controlled very well, with many skin contact areas barely above room temperature. The bottom of the notebook was also cool and comfortable to use on your lap, which seems to be in the minority these days.

Below are images with the temperature readings listed in degrees Fahrenheit:


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Input and Output Ports


Front: Wireless On/Off switch. (view large image)


Back: One USB port, Ethernet port, and Kensington lock slot. (view large image)


Left: Optical drive bay. (view large image)


Right: Expresscard/54 slot, microphone/headphone, two USB ports, modem jack, VGA out, and power connector. (view large image)

Battery

Battery life with the screen at 75 percent brightness, wireless on, and mild use web browsing got 2 hours and 24 minutes before the notebook turned off abruptly. This is very low for a business notebook, which normally get above 3 hours of battery life. For use outside the office, or away from an available power outlet your options are pretty limited with this notebook. A downside to this is that you will be limited to watching TV episode or two, instead of a feature length movie on an airplane.

Conclusion

Between the relatively high price tag (compared to its competition) and relatively poor performance, we found it hard to pick the Fujitsu LifeBook V1010 for a business notebook. The quality we usually see in Fujitsu business notebooks was not present, most notably with the extremely flexible chassis. With our review model starting at $899, it’s a tough call to buy this over the Fujitsu A6110, which costs less ($799 after mail-in rebate) and offers higher quality components.

Pros

  • Nice keyboard and precise touchpad
  • Vibrant screen
  • Very quiet and cool while operating

Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Flexible chassis
  • Battery life not on par with other business notebooks


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