Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook E8010

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There are plenty of connection options available. The Lifebook E8010 comes with four USB 2.0 ports, one handily placed on the left hand side and three around the back. Furthermore, there's a single four-pin FireWire connector on the left hand side as well as a card reader for MMC and SD memory cards. This is also where the S-Video out connector can be found as well as the power socket and the optical drive.

Apart from the three USB 2.0 ports around the back you will find an RJ45 socket for the onboard Gigabit Ethernet, a serial port, a parallel port, a D-SUB connector, a PS/2 port and finally, a modem socket. On the right hand side are two Type II PC Card slots, which will also accept a single Type III device.

Finally, at the front of the laptop you'll find a headphone socket and a mic socket, where the headphone socket also doubles as an optical S/PDIF output. Next to these is the switch for enabling and disabling the wireless antennas as well as the IrDA port. The latter is an unusual addition these days, as many notebook manufacturers have done away with IrDA support.

The Lifebook E8010 is a fairly large machine, but this is not necessarily a negative point. Fujitsu-Siemens has used the greater dimensions to ensure that the keyboard is well laid out and comfortable to type on - although it was somewhat bouncy on our review model. That said, Fujitsu-Siemens has assured us that this will be fixed on final production models. The touchpad is accompanied by a trackpoint, but strangely the trackpoint doesn't have its own set of buttons, so you have to use both hands when using it. This pretty much negates the main advantage of a trackpoint: that you don't have to move your hands away from the keyboard. The trackpoint was also set quite low down between the keys, and could have done with being a few millimetres higher like those seen on IBM ThinkPads.

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook E8010

Above the keyboard is a small LCD display that shows the battery charge status and other useful information. There is a set of five programmable quick launch buttons - an easy to use application that lets you change the functionality of each button to your own needs comes as standard. The speakers can be found on each side of the display, but the sound is fairly tinny and lacks bass. Though, to be fair, this is a criticism aimed at most notebook speakers.

A copy of Norton Ghost is supplied so you can create image backups of your valuable data. You also get a security application that enables you to password protect the Lifebook E8010 and prevent access to it at pre-BIOS level. You enter the code through the quick launch buttons after powering the laptop on, after which the boot sequence will continue as normal. Copies of WinDVD 5 and Nero 6 are also bundled in the box.

Fujitsu-Siemens has also bundled a set of modem plugs for some of the larger European countries such as the UK, Germany and France to name a few, this will be particularly useful for anyone who travels a lot on business. There is also a European power cable supplied in the box, which means that you won't have to carry a plug adapter with you when you travel.

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