Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P1610
The Good Book overfloweth with features
However, if you're buying a machine like this, you're not buying it for its raw processing capability but its portability, and if you want something small then compromises have to be made somewhere. The 8.9in screen has a widescreen aspect ratio and a native resolution of 1,280 x 768. Despite its small size, we found the resolution fine to work with - although others may consider it a bit too small. More of a worry is how reflective it is - if there's any light source behind you then chances are you'll see it shining back at you in the display. This is a problem with all tablet PCs and not specific to this model, though.
In terms of drives, you're limited to a single hard disk - there's no room inside to squeeze in an optical drive as well. The hard disk is a little on the small size, only stretching to 60GB, although there is an optional 80GB model available. On the wireless front, you'll find both 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2 on board.
The review model was running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, but by the time you read this there will also be a version loaded with Windows Vista Business available too - which will actually cost you about £10 less.
The LifeBook also came with a large, six-cell battery, which protrudes from the font of the unit. There is a three-cell battery available for around £20 less, which sits snugly inside the machine outline. The six-cell unit has a claimed life of up to nine hours. However, with just moderate use, you'll find four hours is probably a more realistic rating.
While the P1610 isn't going to win any performance awards, it's up to the job of everyday tasks. What it lacks in power it easily compensates for in portability. The keyboard is a little on the small side, but other than that it's a very usable machine. The tiny size comes at a premium, but when judged against other similar systems it's reasonably priced. It's a machine you really could take with you everywhere and still be able to get something done once you arrive.
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