Fujitsu Lifebook T1010

Combining a screen that’s roomy enough to avoid eye strain and a weight that’s still reasonable enough to carry to the coffee shop or on the occasional business trip, 13.3 inches may be the most perfect size for a laptop. How much better, then, that Fujitsu has issued the LifeBook T1010, a tablet whose 13.3-inch display rotates and folds down over the keyboard to let you take handwritten notes? Viewed as a laptop, the LifeBook T1010 seems fairly average, with a typical assortment of features and the entry level of Intel’s latest Centrino 2 components. Viewed as a tablet, however, the LifeBook T1010 seems more compelling: it’s priced lower than many 12.1-inch tablets, yet provides a little extra screen real estate. We think it’s a good choice for students and executives who prefer to take handwritten notes in lectures and meetings.

We like the look of the Fujitsu LifeBook T1010, which includes a glossy, silver lid with an abstract, almost bar code-like pattern as well as a matte-silver interior. Its squared-off corners are consistent with Fujitsu’s reputation for slightly boxy laptops, but the 13-inch screen means its overall footprint is compact and appealing. At 5.2 pounds, the Fujitsu is heavier than other 13.3-inch systems, such as the Dell XPS M1330 and the Toshiba Satellite U405D; and it’s more than a half-pound heavier than such 12.1-inch tablets as the Toshiba Portege M700. Nevertheless, the Fujitsu’s weight is reasonable for semi-frequent travel and for regular trips to the coffee shop or library.

Like any other convertible tablet, the Fujitsu LifeBook T1010′s display connects to its base on a single hinge that lets you swing the screen around (in either direction) and fold it over the keyboard to take handwritten notes on-screen. Unlike other convertible tablets, the LifeBook T1010 incorporates a 13.3-inch wide-screen display. The size is not only our preferred compromise between portability and usability, but it also provides a comfortably roomy amount of space for writing notes by hand.

The screen’s 1,280×800 resolution is fairly typical for a display of this size, and its matte finish cuts down on distracting reflections–a huge plus for taking notes in a meeting room or lecture hall. The screen surface provides a pleasing amount of drag when you’re writing with the included stylus, and five buttons in the display bezel–up and down arrows, screen rotation, a Function key, and an Alt key–help you navigate without the keyboard while in tablet mode.

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