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With the recent launch of Intel’s new Dothan core Pentium M processor every laptop manufacturer is rushing out new models and the Lifebook E8010 is Fujitsu-Siemens’ attempt to show off the new CPU. TrustedReviews managed to secure the first pre-production sample in the UK - as always, we try to bring you the latest technology first.
Apart from the 1.8GHz Pentium M 745 processor and the Intel 855GME chipset, Fujitsu-Siemens has equipped the Lifebook E8010 with an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG wireless network card to make it a full Centrino branded machine. The wireless network card can access both 802.11b and 802.11g networks, making it a flexible feature that can be used pretty much anywhere in the world. As more wireless networks switch to the higher bandwidth 802.11g standard, it’s important for any new notebook to support it.
There is also Bluetooth v1.2 support, which is the latest revision of Bluetooth. In order to configure Bluetooth you get a very handy and easy to use application for connecting to various devices. The only company I have come across that offers something similar is Sony. In general though, most Bluetooth utilities are very basic, so it can be awkward to get them work as they should. However, I had no problem connecting up to two different mobile phones as well as a Bluetooth enabled printer using the Lifebook.
The basic specifications are similar to those of the Systemax TourBook 5127 reviewed here but the Lifebook E8010 has so much more on offer. You get the same 80GB hard drive, but the Lifebook comes with a DVD writer that can burn at four-speed to both +/-R media. It can also write at 2.4-speed and two-speed to DVD+RW and DVD-RW media respectively, making this one of the faster laptop DVD writers. The drive will also write CD-R discs at 16-speed and CD-RW media at 10-speed. Finally this drive will also read DVD-RAM media, which could come in handy if you use DVD-RAM discs in your desktop system.
The 15in TFT display features the same 1,400 x 1,050 resolution as the TourBook 5127, but the Lifebook uses the more powerful Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics chipset with 64MB of memory. This gives an overall boost to 3D graphics performance which is very noticeable when playing games and running 3D applications. The MR 9700 is currently the best mobile graphics chipset available, which helps to show that Fujitsu-Siemens has pulled out all the stops to create a top of the range laptop.
To add to the mobile power-station feel, a whopping 1GB of PC2700 DDR memory has been fitted. But what makes the memory configuration really special is that it comes in a single 1GB module, leaving a free memory slot for future upgrades. This does however add to the price of the Lifebook E8010 as a single 1GB SODIMM is far more expensive than two 512MB modules.
There are plenty of connection options available as well, as 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 is 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. It’s therefore good to see that the Lifebook E8010 has every wireless base covered.