Case look and feel
Fujitsu has designed this tablet with the business professional in mind, so the overarching design theme is your traditional black and boxy. The lid is black with a relatively muted Fujitsu logo at its center and a glossy black stripe at the top. The frame around the active digitizer display is dark grey, although on the sides the glassy black display is almost flush with the edges. On the top of the display is a silver enclosure for the webcam and display latch, while on the bottom you will find a few dull grey buttons and a small blue power switch. The bidirectional swivel hinge shines metallically at you from beneath a white Fujistu logo, and is surrounded by the last bit of dark grey before we hit the all white keyboard and wristrest. The touchpad is nestled just left of center and sports silver dots on the right denoting the scroll wheel. There are lusterless grey rubber strips on either side of the keyboard and a few blue status indicators at its base, which are the only things to mar the minimalistic white design aside from the handful of customary stickers. For some reason, the Bluetooth sticker is on its own on the left side – it would have been nice to have one side free of the unattractive advertisements.
Size & Weight
The LifeBook T5010 is a little large and heavy for an ultraportable and a little light and small for a standard laptop – which, in my opinion, puts it at the sweet spot for portability and usefulness. The display is 13.3-inches, and the overall laptop dimensions are 12.56 x 9.61 x 1.44-1.52 inches. The weight is between 4.5-4.9 lbs, depending on whether you are using the optical drive (we are) or the space saver. It was thick enough to feel sturdy and light enough to lift with one hand, although of course we always recommend handling laptops with two hands. We personally had no problem carrying it on our shoulder for over a mile as we walked around town on a summer day.
Keyboard & Mouse
The keyboard is full sized and surprisingly comfortable to type on for a laptop of this size, featuring a reasonably spacious 19mm pitch. There is no flex in the keyboard and the key stroke, while it’s no ThinkPad, is still decent. The standard keys are all full sized, although predictably the non standard keys such as Fn and pg up/pg dn are a little shrunken. The only annoying part in all of this was that home/end are now functions on the pg up/pg dn buttons, causing me much frustration as these are keys I use all the time and hitting that tiny Fn button isn’t easy while touch-typing. The touchpad was a decent size and the buttons and scroll wheel were easy to use and responsive. Both the keyboard and the touchpad buttons were a little loud, but nothing intolerable.
The 1280x800 resolution is nothing to write home about, but it’s not that bad for a tablet, and the roomy 13.3” screen keeps viewing easy on the eyes. Also helping that case is the excellent overall quality of the glossy display, which was bright and sharp, although there was still some glare when viewed outdoors (for those who really want to avoid that, Fujitsu offers an indoor/outdoor display upgrade for $50). As might be expected from a tablet, the viewing angles on the display are excellent all the way around, only dimming slightly at extremes.
The T5010 has enough ports to get you by, but nothing too exceptional. There is no HDMI and ours did not come with WWAN, though you can upgrade to that if you need to.
Making spacious use of the entire rear housing, the back of the laptop from left to right has a USB port, an Ethernet jack, a hidden VGA port beneath a protective casing, another USB port, the modem jack and a lock slot.
The left side features the power jack, the fan exhaust, audio in/out, the third and final USB port, and FireWire, followed by a card reader tucked beneath the slightly antiquated PC Card slot. There is also a slot for the stylus here.
The front features a place to grab the stylus from to get it out from the left side slot, but not much else.
The right side has another lock slot and the optical drive.
Fujistu gives you a few options if you’d like to upgrade your LifeBook. If a power saving P-series CPU isn’t powerful enough for you, the laptop can sport up to a 2.8GHz T9600. It can handle up to 4GB DDR3 RAM and the hard drive can be upgraded to as much as 250GB, or you can opt for the 64GB SSD. It comes standard with a dual layer multi-format DVD writer, but you can shave a few bucks as well as ounces by ordering one with no optical drive at all, or alternatively you can raise the price by simply replacing it with a modular 6-cell 3800mAh battery bay. There is also an option to go with an indoor/outdoor display for those who plan on using the tablet frequently while outside.
The LifeBook T5010 is a tablet first and a laptop second, thus the most interesting features revolve around the tablet functionality. The touchscreen display has an active digitizer, ensuring that it will only respond to the Wacom stylus. The stylus comes with a right click button and an “eraser” on the back, allowing the user to simply flip the pen over and erase errant text. There are also programmable Pen Flicks, allowing one to flick the pen in any of eight directions to perform a shortcut function like forward/back or copy/paste. Handwriting recognition was good to start, and can be easily trained to your individual penmanship.
The hinge is sturdy and bidirectional, allowing swiveling 180 degrees in either direction, and the latch can be rotated to secure the display in tablet mode as well as laptop mode. There is a button to change from portrait to landscape mode in just 2 seconds as well as several other programmable function buttons on the tablet screen. A sensitive “Scroll Sensor” for scrolling and a fingerprint reader can be found along the base.
As for more standard laptop features, the LifeBook comes with dual microphones, an integrated webcam, 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth. There is also a dual layer DVD writer, which is something you don’t often see in a tablet notebook. The optical drive slot is modular, so you can also replace it with an extra battery or with a weight saver as described above.