So, there’s no doubt that this notebook sports the most impressive array of connection options I’ve ever seen, but what’s the rest of the spec like? Well when I said that it was easy to see why this machine sits at the top of the Fujitsu-Siemens range, I meant it and the rest of the specification is every bit as impressive as the connectivity. For a start, this is the first Fujitsu-Siemens notebook that I’ve seen with a Core Duo chip inside, but more importantly, this is the first notebook I’ve seen with the top of the range Core Duo processor. Driving the E8210 is a T2600 Core Duo CPU, which ticks over at 2.16GHz – that’s an impressive amount of processing power for a notebook.
The Core Duo chip means that some serious multi-tasking is on the menu, but you’re going to need a decent amount of memory to get the most out of all those applications running concurrently. Thankfully Fujitsu-Siemens is well aware of this and has included a generous complement of RAM, 2GB to be precise, in a dual channel configuration. Storage is well catered for with an 80GB 5400rpm hard drive, while the DVD writer lets you back up important data. Graphics are handled by an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400, which is better than the integrated Intel graphics on the lower end models, but you're still not going to be playing the latest games. That said, this machine isn't really aimed at gamers.
The design is pretty conservative, but then the LifeBook E series is aimed at the corporate user. That’s not to say that the matt black and silver finish doesn’t look good, but it’s not going to win a beauty contest if pitched against the Sony SZ1VP for instance. Open the lid and you’re greeted with a 15.4in widescreen display with a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution. That’s a decent amount of desktop real estate for a screen that size and allows you to work with multiple windows simultaneously. It’s a good quality screen with even lighting across the whole surface and an impressive viewing angle – the latter is particularly good for a corporate notebook like this where presentations could be a staple diet.
The high-quality feel continues with the keyboard, which exhibits a decent amount of travel coupled with a solid break. In fact the keyboard isn’t far off the legendary examples sported by IBM ThinkPads. The layout is also spot on with the Tab, Caps Lock, Shift, Return and Backspace keys all suitably large. The control key is also located in the bottom left corner where it’s meant to be, making things easy for anyone that uses lots of keyboard shortcuts.