Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook P1610 Ultra-Portable Tablet PC Review - Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook P1610 Ultra-Portable Review

Connections wise the P1610 is well catered for, having all the things one would reasonably expect from a machine of this size. On the left edge is a Type I/II PC Card slot, and this is accompanied by a wireless on/off switch. The majority of connections are however, located on the right edge with the DC-in, two USB ports, headphone, mic and a card reader to be found. Toward the front there’s the tablet stylus, which is securely fastened with a solid feeling spring mechanism.

The stylus itself is rather ordinary and utilitarian. It’s a good length and size, but is all plastic and is rather light. Its tip is spring loaded to prevent damage to the screen, but other than this there’s little in the way of panache and some rubber gripping and metallic elements for secure and weightier feeling would have been welcome.

On the back of the unit you’ll find Ethernet and modem ports, both of which are mounted sideways to save space. There’s a Kensington lock slot too, and the only fanned vent is situated here too. Finally, there’s a D-Sub port, which has been smartly hidden behind a rubberised flap.

Having praised the lack of obvious compromise in the keyboard layout and build quality, that isn’t to say compromise isn’t to be found – this is an ultra-portable after all. As with the P7230 and the Samsung Q40 before it, the P1610 uses the ultra low voltage Intel U1400 1.2GHz, a Core Solo chip with none of the multi threading niceties of the Core Duo or Core 2 Duo. Significantly, there’s also none of the dynamic throttling and battery conserving features of the newer Santa Rosa CPUs either. Still, for a notebook of this size this, 1.2GHz 533MHz FSB chip gets the job done and multi-tasking isn’t a high priority on an ultra-portable anyway.

The system uses the Intel 945GMS chipset, using integrated graphics which shares memory with the modest single piece of 512MB DRR2 533MHz RAM. Considering this lowly memory specification it’s quite a relief to see the system using Windows XP Tablet Edition, and though Vista Business is an option you’ll want to have at least 1GB DRR2 to run it ””(I’d recommend 2GB! – ed)””. This, of course, is an option and as such is worth considering if you absolutely must have Vista. As it is, there’s no real need to have Vista, and many corporate users will welcome still having the option of XP.

In addition to all this there’s a 60GB hard drive, 802.11 a/b/g wireless, Gigabit Ethernet, a 56k modem and Bluetooth 2.0 – all of which for just over £1,230 or more inc. VAT. At this price the spec is a good one, a 60GB hard drive is more than sufficient considering the usage and it has most of the wireless connectivity you’ll ever need. Moreover, there is support for an embedded UMTS 3G module and models with this option, 1GB RAM and an 80GB hard drive are available online for upwards of £1,600 inc. VAT. In addition, the Type I/II PC Card slot allows for a 3G HSDPA card if you already have one.

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