Pros extremely lightweight, excellent screen resolution, perky performance
Cons keyboard is very small and only one memory slot
Summary The Fujitsu P1610 is the latest addition to my tablet PC collection (four in total). I decided to purchase the P1610 because I wanted an ultra-portable laptop with touch screen capabilities. The other tablet PCs I own weigh twice the weight of the P1610 and don’t provide twice the computing power!
If you basically want your laptop to take notes at meetings or during classes, check your email, browse the Internet, or use MS Office applications then you can’t beat this laptop. I find the screen resolution excellent and the speed of the processor adequate for these types of applications.
I totally agree with comments that the keyboard is lacking, but this is a tiny laptop that weighs next to nothing!!! I certainly wouldn’t recommend this as someone’s only computer or even someone’s only laptop, but if you want a laptop that you can actually carry around then you should really consider the P1610.
The P1610 is a little pricey and I have to admit the X60 is appealing for basically the same price. I already own an X41 Tablet and love Lenovo so it was hard buying the P1610, but even with the extended life battery the P1610 weighs 1/2 the weight of the X60. CNET really should have reviewed this laptop with the extended battery.
The bottom line is that if you’re looking for an ultra-portable tablet PC, then you can’t beat the P1610. The traveling weight, the excellent screen resolution, and the durable construction make this laptop a great choice for people on the road.
Pros portability, portability, portability....PLUS functionality
Cons lack of built-in optical drive, etc - all to be expected in a unit this size. Biggest 'con' is that the unit is vulnerable to misguided criticism for it's very strengths (as in the CNET review)
Summary I have owned this machine since it first became available in North America in November 2006, having ordered it online, sight unseen, before it's North American release. I had very high expectations and was frankly doubtful the P1610 (or any machine) could live up to all of them, and this machine has exceeded my expectations by far. Though I always research such items before purchase, including reading user reviews (it was available in Asia before it was released here), I have never before written an online review. I felt compelled to submit a review for the P1610 since I feel the US CNET reviewer completely misses the point of this machine, and the 5.7 rating the review gives is simply aburd, and in my opinion reflects the reviewers narrow-mindedness more than anything else.
First of all, we should be clear on the target audience this machine is meant for. It is designed to be extremely portable, and is ideal for those needing to carry a fully functional WinXP tablet pc with them through the day. I'll describe how I use it since for my needs this machine perfectly fits the bill.
I take handwritten notes during meetings, etc, in tablet mode throughout the day (it's absolutely a pleasure to keep handwritten notes electronically, Windows Journal suffices for me, and it's great having them all on hand for reference anytime...I almost never convert to text since I don't need to, keeping them handwritten works fine to replace paper). It has also meant having all my important files (actually my entire My Documents folder and files) with me everywhere I go, plus email, etc, etc. You wouldn't want to write a novel using the keyboard (though you could) but it's perfectly fine for fairly short text entry (including this review, which is being written on the P1610). I have a desktop machine at home that I use for any intense graphics work, the P1610 can run all the software needed if you want to do minor edits to files (eg Adobe Photoshop CS2 etc) without any problems, but given the small screen size you obviously wouldn't get this machine as your primary graphics editing computer. I synchronize My Documents files daily between desktop and P1610 (very easy, '1 click', with the proper software). I no longer have to worry if I have the right version or the right file on my thumb drives, it's all with me on the P1610. I got the regular plus the extended battery, but rarely need to use the extended one (unless for airplane flights etc) since I can usually plug in the P1610 at my office every few hours [the days I can't, I just have both batteries with me and that's more than enough to get through the day].
About the lack of built-in optical drive - I bought a slim external USB dual DVD burner (about 1 pound, but not the Fujitsu model since I do think that one is overpriced), I very rarely need to use it since 90-95% of the time I don't need to read (or write) discs (also, if you do have some programs that 'need' the cd to be present, if you're at all tach savvy you should be able to use daemon tools or similar 'mounting' software to allow you to run an image of the cd off the harddrive). Again, CNET finding fault with this reflects either their lack of understanding of the purpose of the machine, or their unrealistic expectations - for those of us that don't need an optical drive throughout the day, why force us to carry around the extra weight and hardware? (after all, there is a physical limitation to how small any optical drive, with necessary moving mechanical parts, could ever be made).
All the advertised functionality (touch screen, palm rejection technology on the touchscreen, bluetooth & wireless, etc) has functioned seamlessly without any problems whatsoever.
For my needs, the P1610 has been ideal. Obviously this machine is not meant to be a 'desktop replacement', but it is meant to let you carry everything around with you throughout the day and have a fully functional XP machine at your fingertips. If your needs are like mine, and you need something super portable and functional, I simply don't believe there's a better machine (Lenovo included) on the market, or even on the foreseeable horizon. Carrying something around throughout the day, every pound, or even ounce, really can make a big difference (that's why I got both batteries, I didn't even want the slight extra weight and size of the extended battery unless I needed it that day).
This is why I think the CNET reviewer is totally off base....5.7 out of 10, give me a break! For the portability and functionality needs of a true 'road warrior', this machine can't be beat. Of course it is not meant to 'compete' with 'bigger and faster' machines, that's the whole point, bigger is not always better! I really admire Fujitsu for going this route, of developing a remarkably functional, super portable (and seemingly durable) machine for people who need it, without worrying about whether some other models might have faster processors (or even dual processors, for what this machine is for who cares? I can't believe CNET would count that as a negative, that's just ridiculous), etc, etc.
Comparing this to the (overbloated) 'computing power' that manufacturers try to make consumers drool over would be like comparing a refined, energy efficient and solid (probably European!) car that meets all your transportation needs (or maybe even a Vespa scooter?) with a V8 gas-guzzler that has more horsepower. Nice to see that with the P1610 Fujitsu hasn't fueled the folly of 'conspicuous consumption' - now if we could only get CNET editors to see the light!Updated
Forgot one thing, reason I gave it 9/10 instead of 10/10 is that the memory upgrades are very (i.e. prohibitively for most) expensive (I understand it has to do with specific memory type used for power, heat, and size factors). I have the standard 0.5 GB, which is enough for most things but a bit more would have been nice when editing with Adobe CS2, etc.
Also, CNET indicates the machine comes with Win XP Professional 'unlike other tablets' that come with Win XP Tablet Edition. This is misleading, since WinXP Pro is an option, but so is WinXP Tablet Edition (no additional charge), and you should get the Tablet Edition if ordering this machine (I haven't gone to Vista yet and likely won't for a long time [despite having the free upgrade] until all early stability issues are worked out, so I can't comment on Vista on this machine).Updated
Forgot to mention the reason for giving it 9/10 rating instead of 10/10 is the very expensive (prohibitively so for most) memory upgrade option. I understand this has to do with the particular memory type used wrt size, power usage, heat, etc. I got the standard 0.5 GB, which is fine most of the time, but additional memory would have been nice while editing in CS2, etc.
BTW, the CNET review indicates this comes with Windows XP Professional, 'unlike other tablets' that come with WinXP Tablet Edition. This is misleading, since although WinXP Pro is an option, so is WinXP Tablet Edition (for no additional charge). I would recommend getting the Tablet Edition if getting this machine (I haven't gone to Vista yet, despite having free upgrade, since I'm waiting at least 6 months till any initial stability issues are resolved, so can't comment on Vista on this machine).
Pros An excellent piece of engineering. Incredible function in a small package.
Cons Single memory slot. Battery life makes extended sessions away from an AC outlet a challenge.
Summary This is an innovative shot at a compromise between small physical size and large, comprehensive function. The touch screen allows effective use as a tablet in a very limited space. I found the 8.9 inch touch screen easy to use, sharp and clear and about right for me (with glasses). The keyboard was significantly more than adequate for an ultra-portable. I find 3.5 and 4.5 inch screens, and miniature cell-phone-like keyboards, too small. As the Editor observes, if you do not require small size, larger is better and probably less expensive.
This is not the best choice for your only computer. However, running XP Professional on a device this size is a kick. I chose the next-to-smallest standard Fujitsu configuration with XP Professional Tablet Edition, 512K memory and a 30G disc. I passed on Bluetooth since I had no urgent need. The USBs permit convenient use of a flash drive, and a USB/Bluetooth device if it becomes necessary. This results in a cost saving of around 25%. I also passed on the extended life battery, since I use pure battery operation only when an AC outlet or car battery is not available. I feel that extended life battery technology has a long way to go. XP is quite comfortable in this hardware environment, and although I required the option, I’m not sure I’ll move to Vista for the chores I need to do on an ultra-portable.
I always tear a bit when I purchase technology and soon see better, faster, cheaper coming from all sides. I don’t think that’s going to happen soon in this case. It appears that there are few of us out there who have determined that they are willing to spend $2K for a device this size. It will not be trivial for the competition to come up with a comparable device at reasonable cost. This is not a PDA although it can be used as one, and not a Windows Mobile device but a fully capable mobile Windows XP professional (Tablet Edition) laptop computer that easily converts to a tablet.
Other factors that made this expenditure a good experience were, the generous collection of features all worked out of the box, and the few questions I had were quickly answered by a very courteous and competent technical staff. One call for help was made around Midnight and another was on Christmas day and someone was there without being placed on hold till my ear hurt.
I normally intend to provide positive reviews, but rarely follow through. In this case, I feel that the Editor’s review, while technically accurate, did not properly value the innovative design and physical attributes of this device. An internal optical drive would add size, and an external USB optical drive (probably mandatory for most) functioned flawlessly. An 11.1 inch or larger screen and a larger keyboard would add more size and negate the very reason that I chose to purchase this device, over the internet, untouched and unseen.
I recently have found consumer reviews of diverse products extremely useful and feel obliged to “return the favor”.
I obviously recommend this product for anyone who is comfortable with Windows XP and needs an ultra-compact computer footprint.
Pros Superlight, solid quality, pleasant to use, great screen
Cons Expensive, can be slooow, terrible speakers, battery life w/ std. battery can be bad
Summary I bought this laptop about 2-3 months ago and have been using it quite often during that time.
The first piece of advice I can give you: DO NOT get this laptop with VISTA. Seriously. Of course you want Vista - but just don't do it. I said to myself - if Fujitsu offers it then it must be run well on it! Wrong. Very wrong.
Vista and the 1610 are not a good match, and I'm paying the price now. I even called their support line and their tech said that he would not recommend running Vista on it, that XP will run better. Nice.
Beats me why they offer it. Don't get me wrong, this is a great piece of hardware and well manufactured - but it's slooow.
Just before I wrote this post it took me 5 minutes to get from StandBy into the OS and open a browser window (even though this sometimes only takes 30 seconds).
The purpose of this laptop for me was to have a device that I could use for MS Office, browsing and so forth. So really the only applications installed are Office 2007 on top of Vista. Most of the time I just see the HD light steadily on - since the 4200 RPM disk is just constantly running.
Now, once it's running it usually works well and the 1Gb of memory seems to be enough most of the time.
However, some things just take so loong that I decided to purchase a Samsung SSD drive and pop that in instead. I will also install the Windows XP Tablet edition to see if that helps.
Note that the keyboard is not a full-size but a reduced size keyboard, but typing actually works very well even though it's quite small.
The Home/End/PgUp/PgDn buttons can only be accessed when pressing the Fn button, which can be quite annoying at times.
The battery it comes with is, in my opinion, terrible and the laptop won't run more than a couple of hours with it. The extended battery (that sticks out) is much better and the one I almost always use.
The screen is good though I haven't used it much outdoors. Indoors it's great though. Nice thing about the screen is that you don't need a special pen to use the touchpad - your finger will work.
The speakers are pretty bad and don't have much volume.
And since it's not exactly cheap I would make sure you can live with the drawbacks before investing into one.
I will post again once I installed the SSD disk with XP Tablet which will hopefully help.
If all you do is some office and you need a small and light laptop then this might be what you are looking for. But again, stay away from Vista.Updated
My original review was based on Vista/Office2007 being installed, using the default 60Gb 4200RPM HD.
I have since received one of the new Samsung 32Gb Solid State Drives (SSD) and installed it in the Fujitsu. I also installed the Windows XP Tablet Edition instead of Vista, and Office 2003.
The difference is amazing, and I love my laptop now.
Using the SSD drive, the device makes no sounds other than the occasional fan and having both XP and the SSD drive makes the laptop unbelievably faster.
Windows boots in about 20 seconds, and most other tasks really happen instantly.
If you need a small laptop and can spare the additional $500 (as of August 2007) for a SSD drive then I can only recommend the P1610.
But then again, most laptops would probably perform better with a SSD disk in it
Pros competent, ultra portable, easy to use
Cons Battery life isn't good, no option for a solid state hard drive
Summary I thoroughly enjoy using this machine. The keyboard is small but usable. I generally use the tablet, which is flawless. It is getting rough use as an Electronic Flight Bag in my plane. Hasn't missed a beat yet but haven't taken it over 12,000', which may crash the hard drive.