Fujitsu LifeBook PH530 review: Fujitsu LifeBook PH530

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The Good Long battery life; Good keyboard; Lightweight; Low price tag.

The Bad Reflective screen; Below-par connectivity.

The Bottom Line The Fujitsu LifeBook PH530 is an 11.6-inch laptop that awkwardly tries to straddle the consumer and business worlds, but doesn't quite work for either audience.

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7.5 Overall

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With its petite, 11.6-inch screen and compact design, the LifeBook PH530 from Fujitsu looks all the world like a low-cost netbook, but it's actually an ultra-portable that packs some serious punch thanks to an Intel Core i3 processor.

Business and pleasure

The PH530 is so small -- measuring a mere 285 by 209mm -- that at first glance, it's very easy to mistake it for a netbook. Although the laptop is targeted at business users, it's got the look and feel of a consumer machine and reminds us of netbook models like the Samsung NC10, thanks to its glossy black lid. Once you open it up, however, you're met with a higher-end graphite-style finish that looks quite classy. Because it lacks the DVD writer that's built in to Fujitsu's P770, it's also very slim at a mere 25mm. What's more, it's incredibly light at just 1.4kg, which will be welcomed by weary travellers who want to lighten their load.

The consumer feel of the PH530 is carried over to the screen. Unlike most matte business laptops, the LifeBook's display has a glossy finish. The shiny coating does make colours look more vibrant, but you pay the price for this quality in the super-reflective nature of the screen. The reflections are especially noticeable if you use the laptop under bright lights or outdoors.

Identity crisis: The PH530 has the glossy sheen of a consumer netbook and the operating system of a business laptop.

As you would expect from an ultra-portable, the screen is small at 11.6 inches, but at least the resolution of 1366x768 makes text and pictures look sharp. Fujitsu has added a 1.3-megapixel webcam above the screen, and this, combined with the built-in microphone, means you can use the laptop to make video calls on software like Skype without having to hook up any external kit.

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