The midsize Fujitsu LifeBook E8410 is by no means flashy, but the laptop has a lot to offer business users, starting with a thorough feature set that includes nearly every port and connection a business user could need, plus serious data security that includes a smart card reader and a Trusted Platform Module. When it comes to performance, the LifeBook E8410 matches that of comparable systems from Gateway and Lenovo, with one exception: our review unit's 1GB of RAM held it back on our Photoshop CS2 test (an upgrade to 2GB would cost $130 if you buy it from Fujitsu). Pricewise, the $1,849 LifeBook E8410 costs about $70 more than a similarly configured Lenovo ThinkPad T61--though the latter lacks some ports and makes you choose between a smart card reader and an ExpressCard slot. And buyers who don't need such a robust feature set can save even more money with the Lenovo 3000 N200. But corporations that need enterprise-level features and security would do well to consider the fully stocked Fujitsu LifeBook E8410.
|Price as reviewed/starting price||$1,849/$1,299|
|Processor||2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500|
|Memory||1GB of 667MHz|
|Hard drive||100GB at 5,400rpm|
|Graphics||128MB Nvidia GeForce 8400M G|
|Chipset||Mobile Intel 965GM Express|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Business|
|Dimensions (LWH)||14.1x10.1x1.4 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||15.4 inches|
|System weight/weight with AC adapter||6.2/7.2 pounds|
Our LifeBook E8410's 15.4 inch, wide-screen display featured a fairly standard 1,280x800 native resolution; you can increase the resolution to 1,400x1,050 for $45. The screen's glossy finish successfully walks the line between impressive color and excess reflection. Our review unit also included a 1.3-megapixel Webcam for videoconferencing; opting out of the Webcam knocks $30 off the laptop's price.
The keyboard on the LifeBook E8410 is full-size and comfortable to use. Fujitsu offers two mousing configurations, either touch pad only or touch pad plus pointing stick. Our review unit included just the touch pad, but still had two sets of mouse buttons; they didn't affect the laptop's usability, they just looked strange without the accompanying quick point. The bottom set of mouse buttons frames a tiny fingerprint reader for storing Web passwords and logging on to your computer or a network. The touch pad itself was functional, if small (2.6 inches by 1.5 inches). Above the keyboard sit five buttons that can be programmed to launch the application of your choice, an appreciated extra particularly on a buttoned-up business system. Also above the keyboard sits a 3-inch-long black-and-white LCD status display that takes the place of the multiple bright LED status lights typically found on a laptop--a useful feature that cuts down on distraction when you're working. Rounding out the package, the laptop has a Wi-Fi on/off switch on the front lip. Unsurprising for a business system, the LifeBook E8410 lacks any external media controls--we'd have liked at least a volume wheel--and its speakers emit tinny, weak sound.
|Fujitsu LifeBook E8410||Average for mainstream category|
|Video||VGA-out, S-Video||VGA-out, S-Video|
|Audio||Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks||Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks|
|Data||Four USB 2.0 ports, mini-FireWire, serial, parallel, multiformat memory card reader, and a smart card reader||Four USB 2.0 ports, a mini-FireWire, and a multiformat memory card reader|
|Expansion||PC Card and ExpressCard slots||PC Card slot|
|Networking||Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth||Modem, Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth|
|Optical drive||DVD burner||DVD burner|
On CNET Labs' benchmarks, the LifeBook E8410 performed within 5 percent of similarly configured systems, such as the $1,599 Lenovo 3000 N200 and the $2,186 Gateway E-475M, on our Multitasking and iTunes tests. When it came to Photoshop CS2, though, the LifeBook E8410 trailed far behind the others, most likely due to its lone gigabyte of RAM (those other systems came configured with 2GB). In our anecdotal use, we had no problem with typical work (surfing the Web, typing documents) and making quick photo touch-ups with Vista's built-in image editor--and that was without disabling the Aero-glass translucent effects. Doubling the LifeBook E8410's RAM to match competitive systems costs $130 if you buy from Fujitsu--money well spent if you plan to run programs more intensive than the typical Web browser and word processor.
The Fujitsu LifeBook E8410's eight-cell battery lasted 2 hours, 27 minutes on our taxing DVD drain test. That's pretty good for a midsize laptop, though the Lenovo 3000 N200's comparable battery held out 37 minutes longer. Our DVD battery drain test is especially grueling, so you can expect longer life from casual Web surfing and office use.
Fujitsu covers the LifeBook E8410 with a one-year warranty; an upgrade to a three-year warranty costs a reasonable $180 if you buy directly from Fujitsu. Support is available through a 24-7 toll-free phone line and, if you're in the United States, technicians can connect to your computer over the Internet to diagnose problems. Repairs can be made at carry-in locations and at a mail-in depot.