With the introduction of the 15 inch and 17 inch laptops, the attention has been diverted from the most important and perhaps, in my opinion, the real portable notebook category – the sub-5 pound portable.
Even though I do not travel quite as often as I used to back in 1999, still I like having the option of owning a laptop which does not kill my back, take-up too much room in my Coach bag, and is still easy to replicate my work desktop. Of course there is that other problem – you are going to use this machine at home and work as well.
Over the years I have experimented with Dell, IBM ThinkPad, and Sony VAIO and wasted a lot of money. VAIO had a tiny screen – 12 inch! The 14-inch Sony VAIO Z-1 is too expensive. Dell is too boring and still feels bulky. IBM ThinkPad have the best keyboard but are bank breakers.
Then came the Apple PowerBooks – the 12 inch PowerBook has a great keyboard, is affordable but the screen is too tiny. I have one and love it, but there is no way I can write my next book on the tiny PowerBook. I can carry it around, when I am out on a research trip, but at home I need a bigger screen and a bigger keyboard. The 15-inch PowerBooks are over 5 pounds, are gorgeous, and are a bit of a bank breakers. At $2600, it is still out of reach.
And then I cam across this Fujitsu Life Book S2020 laptop.
Suddenly it seems all my prayers have been answered, and someone took my wish list and put it all together in one machine. All for about $1200. Powered by an AMD Athlon XP-M processor running at about one gigahertz, and 256 megs of memory, a 40 gig-hard drive, 13.3 inch screen with a built in DVD/CD-RW burner and dual-band WI-Fi bundled, this 4.3 pound machine encased in a lightweight magnesium blue casing , is simply packed with features. (click here forfull tech specs.) Swap out the DVD-CD-RW drive and you cut the weight down by about half a pound!
With all the focus on Intel’s super fast Pentium 4-Mobile and Centrino processors, many have ignored the AMD-Athlon XP-M processor. It is one of the best processors on the market, and I think the failing is AMD’s for not marketing this really low-cost, low-power and peppy processor more effectively.
There are couple of things which I feel should be highlighted. For instance, the keyboard is very comfortable to use, and is spacious. However the navigation arrow keys, the full-stop key and the function keys are tiny and awkward. They take some getting used to and it has taken me a few days trying to touch type on this device. The battery on this device sucks– I could eek out a mere three hours from the machine with all power saving features turned on. Nevertheless, that these days we are not traveling too far from the home-base, the poor battery can and should be overlooked.
The laptop has a very clever innovation – right underneath the touch pad is a button which lets you scroll-up and down the page. It makes it easier to read some of my favorite blogs and also when typing long documents. I will stop gushing – because the best argument for this laptop I the price – $1200 a pop. Cannot beat that with a stick, can ya?
In my opinion, Fujitsu PC Life Book S series is the most underrated machine to be sold in America. Thankfully, there are others who agree with me – PC World seems to love this lap-top as well.
PS: I still love Apple and the OS-X operating system – so no comments about Apple being better please.