In notebook mode the Lifebook P1510 is very much like any other ultra portable notebook – it’s got a tiny keyboard. It’s not unusable by any means, but touch typing is undeniably difficult. On the plus side all the keys are where you expect them to be and the track point, hidden away in the middle of the keyboard, works well.
As a Tablet PC the Lifebook P1510 is effective. It has an active screen and a passive stylus, much like a PDA, which means that you can use pretty much anything, even your finger, as the input device. However, I’ve seen competing Tablet PCs that operate the other way round, with an active pen and a passive screen. I would prefer this method, as the screen on Tablets with this type of solution looked slightly better to me.
The stylus supplied with the LifeBook has a spring loaded tip, presumably to reduce damage to the screen and also helps lock it in place in its slot.
One of the buttons on one side of the screen enables you to rotate the screen. A software utility lets you set up which directions you want to rotate it in and you can choose between four different options. The other buttons can be programmed in a similar manner using the supplied software.
You don’t get a whole lot of application software with the Lifebook P1510, but a copy of Corel Grafigo is included, which is similar to Microsofts OneNote. For backup and security Fujitsu-Siemens supplies a copy of Norton Ghost 2003 and F-Secure Antivirus with a years worth of updates.
As you might have noticed, the Lifebook P1510 doesn’t have a built in optical drive. Instead, it is shipped with an external drive – this might be optional in some countries – and Fujitsu-Siemens UK have opted for a DVD writer as standard. This has a built in battery, so it won’t tax the Lifebook’s battery when used on the move and connects via USB 2.0. An optional docking slice is also available for around £42, which replicates the Ethernet connector, two USB 2.0 ports, the D-SUB connector and the power connector.