Fujitsu's LifeBook T5010 is a 13.3in tablet-convertible notebook with excellent build quality, good speed and plenty of features. It's powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 CPU, and has a bright touch screen with Wacom's interface technology built in.
We love the touch screen on the T5010: it's very responsive, feels smooth and it supports multiple inputs. You can use the supplied pen to write notes on the screen, and you can use your fingers to navigate; you can use two fingers to perform gestures that will be recognised by Windows 7. You can rest your palm on the screen while typing and it won't affect the position of the cursor. This makes text input very comfortable when the notebook is in tablet mode. Its handwriting recognition is second to none, able to recognise even "doctor's" handwriting without any problems. [Note: our testing didn't involve an actual doctor, but we did convincingly emulate one we feel. — Ed.] We found this to be one of the most impressive features: even the messiest writing was deciphered correctly by the software.
To begin writing on the T5010, all you have to do is turn the screen around and lock it down over the keyboard. The hinge that holds the screen in place is made out of steel and is very sturdy. It's a bi-directional hinge, so you can rotate it left or right, depending on your preference. Once the screen is flat, there is a button on the screen that you can press to rotate the desktop; the fingerprint reader can be used for scrolling. It has programmable application launch buttons, too, which can come in handy when you don't want to navigate the Windows 7 menu system or QuickLaunch area.
With an Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 CPU, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 320GB hard drive, the LifeBook T5010 is no slouch. This was shown in our WorldBench 6 benchmark, in which it scored 105. It will run office applications very quickly and handwriting recognition won't be sluggish. However, its 5400rpm hard drive was a little slow in our tests, recording a transfer rate of 19 megabytes per second.
The graphics adapter is an Intel GMA 4500MHD chip, which uses part of the system memory, and it recorded a score of 1176 in 3DMark06. This result indicates that you can run Windows Aero interface and view high-res photos and videos without any problems, but you won't be able to run any games on it.
Build quality, ports and slots
Not that you would want to run any games on the T5010; it's a business tool and it's designed to be effective in a corporate or home office environment. We've already mentioned how easy it is to write on the screen in tablet mode, and using the T5010 as a regular laptop is also a joy. The keyboard has wide keys which provide ample feedback; it's very comfortable to type on and you don't have to worry if you knock over your drink because it's spill resistant. We found the touchpad to be responsive. The palm rest area is huge.
Around the edges of the LifeBook T5010 you get a DVD burner, three USB 2.0 ports, a mini-FireWire port, a PC Card slot, D-Sub (VGA), a 56Kbps modem, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in and out, an SD card slot, a smartcard slot, and a port replicator interface. Not all of the USB ports are powered, which means that some external hard drives won't run unless a supplemental USB connection is made. The inclusion of a PC Card slot instead of an ExpressCard/54 slot is a drawback, but may be of benefit to users who still rely on PC Card–based devices and don't want to upgrade them.
The laptop is built using magnesium alloy, and it feels very solid. You can pick up the notebook from either corner and it won't bend. Something we haven't seen in a notebook before is a lint/dust catcher — the T5010 has one that slots in between the heat sink and fan and it can be removed easily for cleaning. The T5010 weighs about 2.3kg, which isn't too bad for a 13.3in tablet-convertible notebook with a built-in DVD burner and a 6-cell battery.
Instead of forming part of the notebook's spine, the 6-cell battery is square and sits in a compartment in the base. While this means that a bigger battery can't be installed, a second battery can be inserted in the notebook's modular bay, which normally houses the DVD burner. This modular bay can also house a weight saver, which drops the overall weight of the notebook by a couple of hundred grams. The single 6-cell battery lasted 2hr 26min in our video rundown test, which is not bad result. We tested with the screen brightness maximised, the wireless radio enabled and with power management disabled, so it will last longer if conservative power scheme is employed.
The Fujitsu's LifeBook T5010 is quite possibly one of the best tablet-convertible notebooks you'll ever use. It has an excellent, responsive touch screen, and its handwriting recognition is incredibly effective. We also like the build quality of the unit and the good performance supplied by the 2.8GHz CPU. We're disappointed that not all of the USB 2.0 ports are powered and that you don't get an ExpressCard/54 slot. Apart from that, the LifeBook T5010 is a worthy model for anyone who needs a notebook with handwriting recognition.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.