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Fujitsu updates tiny LifeBook tablets

Japanese company announces the 5.6-inch LifeBook U820 and 8.9-inch LifeBook P1630 tablets, designed primarily for markets such as health care and manufacturing.

On Tuesday morning, Fujitsu announced updates to two of its LifeBook lines, the UMPC-like U series and the tiny P-series tablet. Designed primarily for use in vertical markets (think health care and manufacturing), the systems are also sure to appeal to buyers who want something as portable as a Netbook but are willing to pay more for a more thorough feature set.

The U820 doubles as a Garmin GPS

The 5.6-inch LifeBook U820 updates the U810 we reviewed last year, adding a GPS receiver, plus integrated Garmin Mobile PC software for driving directions and points of interest.

The U820 is built on a Z-series Intel Atom processor and includes 1GB of RAM, plus your choice of a hard drive up to 120GB or a solid-state drive up to 64GB. There are plenty of features to appeal to mobile workers and their IT departments, including a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, fingerprint reader, and Kensington lock slot; WWAN will be offered as an option in 2009.

Fujitsu lets buyers choose between a two-cell battery, which reportedly lasts 3.5 hours, and a four-cell battery, which lasts 7.5 hours. The battery choice will also make a difference in weight: The laptop weighs 1.3 pounds with the smaller battery and 1.6 pounds with the larger one.

The LifeBook U820 is available immediately at prices starting at $1,049.

LifeBook P1630: A slightly larger tiny tablet

If that 5.6-inch screen seems too small, you could bump up to the 8.9-inch LifeBook P1630. This new 2.2-pound tablet updates the P1620 with Centrino 2 components, including an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 Ultra Low Voltage Processor and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. The new model also includes a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, an optional solid-state drive, and optional Bluetooth connectivity; WWAN will be offered as an option in 2009.

The company claims that the LifeBook P1630 can run up to 6.2 hours with the high-capacity battery. Starting at $2,179, the tablet is available immediately.