Fujitsu T901 Lifebook
Buy a T901 and you get a lot in the box. As well as a laptop with a rotating lid that can fold back to work as a tablet you also get a dock, a rather fine suede slip-cover, two power cables with adapters and a pen that can operate the capacitive multi-touch screen.
Obviously it’s the tablet-flip that really separates the T901 from the other machines on test and though something nearly 4cm think isn’t going to worry the iPad design team it does make the T901 very versatile. The slightly matte screen finish rather dampens the multi-touch experience but the user-assignable gestures are very handy. Using the pen makes Windows altogether more touch-screen friendly.
Touchscreens aside, the Lifebook's keyboard is wee bit shallow of pitch but the action is extremely crisp and positive and the keys themselves have a lovely surface texture. There’s a circular dimple in the keyboard deck which is actually a scroll wheel – run your finger around it clockwise and you scroll down pages, do the reverse and you scroll up. Not rocket science but a handy gizmo nonetheless.
One unique feature of the T901 is it’s modular extension bay. On my test machine this came filled with a DVD drive but you can slide it out on the hoof and replace it with another battery or hard drive or leave it empty to save weight. On the down side the built-in speakers are dismal affairs and you only get three USB ports though to be fair the dock adds another four and a DisplayPort socket.
The Optimus Prime of i5 laptops that’s also a tablet, but damned expensive.
Reg Rating 80%
More Info Fujitsu
Hewlett-Packard Pavilion Dv6
A curvaceous and stylish machine, the Dv6 is the only laptop here with two graphics engines – white bread Intel for day-to-day tasks and a Radeon 6490 for the roughage. It’s a combination that gives you decent battery life – aided by the larger than average 55Wh power pack – and decent gaming, even if it can’t quite mach the Acer’s 3DMark score.
The Dv6 features HP’s new Beats Audio sound processing. Cooked up in cooperation with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine the treatment is supposed to make music sound less “compressed” and rather surprisingly, it works. Audio pumped out the through the four speakers didn’t sound all that different from any of the other machines on test, but plug a decent pair of cans in and things are altogether more impressive, with a noticeable increase in warmth and texture.
The keyboard deck has a handy button to launch the default web browser, a fingerprint scanner and a trackpad with a white LED surround. Tap the top left-hand corner of the pad and the light goes out and the trackpad is switched off.
HPs usually rock-solid build-quality – most of the case feels like aluminium – was slightly let down by a strange bulge in the keyboard around the F1-F3/2-4/Q-E area but that could be a unique feature of my doubtless used and abused review unit.
Cool sounds by Dr. Dre, curvy looks and an aluminium case make for an enticing combo.
Reg Rating 80%
Price TBC, estimate £750
More Info HP
Next page: Lenovo T420 ThinkPad
p**s poor screen resolutions
What is it with this new fad of crippling every new computer with a 1366x768 screen resolution? Seriously - a resolution that low should be limited to netbooks and screens <12". By law.
Not everyone is so blind as to need their desktop icons to be the size of their fist - and some people actually like having a bit of screen real-estate to work with. When will the manufacturers realise this?
I don't care if I have to pay a (small) premium to get a proper screen, but the option should *always* be given.
(yes, I know the Dell E6420 does give the option - but that doesn't excuse the fact that it is crap and is a total disgrace to the Latitude name.)
And any manufacturer that thinks 1366x768 is ok on a 15" screen should be banned from making any more computers. Ever.
For the record.
If any of the machines had given me a metrosexual wank-spasm I'd have automatically awarded them 100%.
Whiny crybaby fanbois
What a surprise, a flock of whiny apple fanbois up in arms like insulted scientologists because their overpriced underspecced shrinetop doesn't have the reviewer quivering in a post review metrosexual wank-spasm.
Macbook Pro's use a TN panel, not IPS. Plus I also find the glass really annoying in terms of reflections (probably why I bought a 15" Macbook Pro with AG screen).
Not unreasonable of Acer
Unlike CRTs, LCDs have a native resolution, the resolution that has a 1:1 mapping between your desktop resolution and your display's resolution. The display physically can't go any higher.
Even if your OS allowed itself to be set to a higher res (there may even be hack tools for the GPU which allow this) it would still have to downscale to fit the physical resolution. And yes the answer is to plug in an external monitor or buy some hulking 17" laptop to get a higher res. At the end of the day, it's a tradeoff, although 1366x768 is still perfectly adequate for 720p content and video players would downscale 1080p content to the output window size too.
I am not surprised by your other concerns. Few laptop manufactures bother providing physical OS disks any more. Most stick the OS in a "recovery partition". Yes it is cheap of them and petty. Perhaps you can back the partition up with with a burner or they provide a tool to do it.
What you're asking from the HDMI port is never going to happen. HDMI is a client / server protocol. No laptop manufacturer is going to bother implementing some kind of multi purpose HDMI port. Just copy the videos from your phone onto the computer via an SD card or USB cable and play them that way.