Naturally, being a tablet, the display rotates and flips around and can be used in portrait or landscape mode. Vitally, the hinge on which this is based seems to be very well made, locking the display in place when required and generally giving the impression that it isn’t about to fall apart. This sense of build quality is reflected throughout the notebook, and despite the relative size and weight there’s a definite sense of density and solidness to the machine. With this being intended for travelling this is an important factor, and the hard drive is shock protected for further peace of mind.
Speaking of peace of mind, as with the P7230 there’s support for the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for data encryption and security, with a fingerprint reader on the left side of the bezel providing secure verification for all that sensitive data. These are essential features for a business orientated notebook, and the P1610 doesn’t disappoint.
Going back to the theme of build quality, Fujitsu-Siemens has once again excelled itself in creating a superb keyboard for the P1610. Our sample is a UK spec machine, so has the proper UK style keyboard layout with the larger Return key on the right hand side, while the left Ctrl key is to the left of the Fn key, as it should be. The cursor keys are offset, with Page Up, Down, Home and End keys mapped to them via the Fn key. Everything about the layout is as near to perfection as one could get, and as such it seems as though very few compromises have actually been made despite the small size.
Unsurprisingly, this excellent layout is complemented by light, crisp and highly responsive keys. Despite being a very small keyboard, with small keys to match, it’s a joy to type on and it takes very little adjustment to switch from using a full sized desktop keyboard.
With this being a tablet with a touch sensitive screen there’s no need, or space, for a normal touch pad. Instead there’s a track point in the middle of keyboard. Occasionally this can be something of obstacle when typing, but there’s an effective dead zone to avoid accidental movement and in use it’s precise and easy to use.
Surrounding the screen is an assortment of things. The fingerprint reader I’ve already mentioned, but just below that on the bottom edge are two programmable buttons, an aspect button for switching between landscape and portrait modes, and an Fn key which must be held down to use the programmable keys. When not held down they function as scroll buttons.
On the right side is one further programmable button, which by default is set to launch the power saving utility. This will turn off all unessential features such as the on-board modem, wireless LAN and so on while dimming the screen brightness as well. Further to the right are the battery and hard drive status lights, and finally there’s a sliding power button on the far right.