Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Does it have a built-in optical drive? Yes. Does it feature an LED-backlit display? You betcha. Does it weigh less than three pounds? Oh, yeah. Is it the Sony VAIO VGN-TXN15P? Nope.
It's the just-announced Fujitsu LifeBook P7230, an update of the LifeBook P7120 we reviewed almost a year ago. The new ultraportable retains the light weight and the built-in optical drive we loved about its predecessor but adds such appealing features as LED backlights for its 10.6-inch display and an optional built-in Webcam. You can also choose either a black or a white version to match your aesthetic scheme.
Like most ultraportables, the P7230 isn't exactly built for maximum performance; its RAM tops out at 2GB, and the only available hard drive speed is 4,200rpm. And while manufacturers such as Lenovo and Asus are pushing out slightly larger ultraportables with dual-core CPUs, Fujitsu keeps things compact with a 1.2GHz ultralow voltage Intel Core Solo U1400 processor. We're willing to forgo speedy components, though, if it means we get record-setting battery life in exchange. Unfortunately, Fujitsu's site says we can expect six hours on a charge--impressive, but not mind-blowing.
Where Fujitsu does score points is on price; while the remarkably similar Sony VAIO VGN-TXN15P costs $2,300, the LifeBook P7230 starts at a palatable $1,699. Even when we loaded up on upgrades at Fujitsu's site, the price was only $2,179.
Are you eager to see the LifeBook P7230 in the Labs? Yes.
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