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Fujitsu LifeBook C2300 review: Fujitsu LifeBook C2300

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The Good Multiformat DVD-RW drive; good connectivity; comfortable keyboard and mousepad; dedicated disc-play buttons; decent software bundle.

The Bad Very poor battery life; heavy case; unnecessary internal floppy drive wastes space and adds weight.

The Bottom Line The LifeBook C2310 delivers average mobile performance and lousy battery life; you're better off looking for a true thin-and-light or a more powerful desktop replacement.

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6.1 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Battery 4
  • Support 7


Though it comes in a bulky desktop-replacement-size case, the Fujitsu LifeBook C2310 features a processor more often found in thin-and-light laptops. Like other multimedia-focused notebooks, including the HP Pavilion dv1000, the $1,849 (as of October 2004) LifeBook C2310 is equipped with a Pentium M processor, a big 80GB hard drive for storing music and movies, and external CD and DVD navigation buttons. The LifeBook C2310 weighs 7.7 pounds--about as much as the average desktop replacement, and it has a similarly short battery life. Fujitsu should ditch this laptop's obsolete internal floppy drive and put that extra poundage toward a bigger battery that will last longer. Until then, you should consider a cheaper, lighter laptop with longer battery life, such as the HP Pavilion dv1000, or a better multimedia desktop replacement, such as the Sony VAIO VGN-A190. Fujitsu made some ill-advised choices in its redesign of the LifeBook C2310. The laptop still weighs a hefty 7.7 pounds and measures 1.9 inches high, 13 inches wide, and 11.2 inches deep--not bad for a desktop-replacement-caliber laptop but way too heavy to take on frequent trips. We'd have an easier time accepting the LifeBook C2310's size if it had a larger screen, but much of its bulk is due to an integrated floppy drive, a feature that's been on the way out for some time. Fujitsu claims that it kept the drive because floppies remain popular in Japan. (We always thought that the Japanese were on the bleeding edge of technology. Go figure.)

The LifeBook C2310, big as it is, has enough room for a nice-size keyboard, as well as a standard touch pad and two mouse buttons that sandwich a scrolling button. There are also external disc-play buttons that sit above the keyboard and let you control CD and DVD play but only when the system is booted up, unlike other multimedia laptops such as the HP Pavilion dv1000 and the Toshiba Qosmio, which let you play discs without fully booting up. The buttons on the LifeBook also let you quickly launch designated applications.

The LifeBook C2310's edges are chock-full of ports, jacks, and slots. The left edge is home to the built-in multiformat DVD burner. The opposite edge features FireWire, infrared, and one USB 2.0 port; headphone and microphone jacks; a handy wireless on/off switch, which helps conserve battery life when you're not using Wi-Fi; two slots that accommodate two Type II or one Type III PC cards; a slot for cool Secure Digital and Memory Stick flash-media cards; and that soon-to-be useless floppy drive. The back edge offers 56Kbps and Ethernet jacks and another technological dinosaur--a serial port--plus parallel, S-Video out, VGA, and three more USB 2.0 ports.

The various configurations of the Fujitsu LifeBook C2300 series, of which the LifeBook C2310 we tested is a part, don't offer much of a range in components. The system ships with an Intel Pentium M processor running at either 1.6GHz or 1.7GHz. You can choose from 256MB to 1,280MB of standard-speed, 266MHz SDRAM, as well as a 30GB, 40GB, 60GB, or 80GB hard drive. DVD/CD-RW, DVD-RW, and DVD+/-RW drives are also available as secondary storage options. Finally, you can take or leave an internal 802.11b/g wireless mini-PCI card.

Most of the LifeBook C2300 series' remaining parts are nonnegotiable. Every version features a decent 15-inch display with a slightly low, 1,024x768 native resolution. Powered by Fujitsu's Crystal View technology, the LifeBook C2300 has a high 500:1 contrast ratio, according to Fujitsu (we did not test this). The system's lower-end Intel 855GME graphics chip, which borrows up to 64MB of video memory from main RAM, certainly won't render graphics with lightning speed.

The LifeBook C2300 series offers the customary operating system choices--Windows XP Professional and XP Home. Fujitsu also tosses in a copy of Microsoft's mini office bundle, Works 7.0, along with a few apps for viewing DVDs (InterVideo's ancient WinDVD 4.0) and burning discs (Sonic RecordNow and/or InterVideo WinDVD Creator Plus).

Mobile application performance
We tested the Fujitsu LifeBook C2310, equipped with a 1.6GHz Pentium M processor. It performed negligibly faster than the HP Pavilion dv1000, which houses a slightly slower, 1.5GHz Pentium M processor, and it was 15 percent slower than the Sony VAIO VGN-A190, which has a 1.7GHz Dothan-class Pentium M processor, with twice the amount of L2 cache. Overall, the LifeBook C2310 is an average performer, appropriate for basic productivity tasks and movie watching, though not for gaming; its scores in our tests were very much in line with other comparable systems.

To measure maximum notebook application performance, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's SysMark 2004, an industry-standard benchmark. Find out more about how we test notebooks.

Mobile application performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 performance rating  

Performance analysis written by CNET Labs assistant lab manager Eric Franklin.

The Fujitsu LifeBook C2310 delivers pitiful battery life, crippled by its 14.4V, 2,000mAh (29WHr) battery. It lasted for just 106 minutes in our office and content-creation application tests--not even long enough to play an entire DVD. It lasted only half as long as the HP Pavilion dv1000, which is powered by a 10.8V, 4,400mAh (48WHr) battery and about two-thirds as long as the Sony VAIO VGN-A190.

Battery life  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery life in minutes  

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