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Fujitsu Lifebook S710 Notebook Review

By on June 27, 2010
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The Lifebook S710 is like taking the engine of a Ferrari and sticking it on a Tida.

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The Verdict:
Although it has great specs in the CPU and Storage department, the lack of a discreet GPU or a higher-res screen hinder the performance

The Fujitsu Lifebook S710 that landed in our offices a few weeks back is a bit hard to summarize. Its definitely not the sleekest looking laptop and neither is it light on shoulders- yet its one the fastest notebooks we’ve ever tested. The bland light and dark grey tones make the Lifebook S710 seem more like a target for conservative business types. And even though its incredibly fast, it seems that Fujitsu could have done a lot more to it.

The S710 is based on the Intel Core i7 M620 CPU running at 2.67GHz along with 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM and a 128GB Intel SSD. A platform like that is incredibly fast to build upon. However, this is let down by the use of the Intel HD integrated graphics adapter and a very ordinary 14 inch LCD display with a resolution of 1366×768. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t need a Core i7 with an Intel SSD to create word documents, surf the web or read your email. You need this fast of a machine for maybe crunching numbers in excel or render 3D graphics- neither of which feels like a fit for this laptop because of a lack of a higher screen resolution or a dedicated graphics controller. Other specs on the laptop include the Intel 6200 802.11n based Wi-Fi controller, Bluetooth, Gigabit networking and built-in 3G broadband services.

To the left of the unit, you have the power connector, a covered VGA as well as DisplayPort outputs along with two USB ports, an eSATA port and a PC card slot. The front has an SD/Memory card slot, a mini Firewire port, audio inputs and outputs and a Wi-Fi switch. Moving to the right, you’ll find another USB port and the DVD writer which interesting has a latch to slide it out. My guess is that you can equip that bay with another hard drive or an additional battery. Lastly, the Gigabit Networking port sits on the back side.

The LCD on the Fujitsu Lifebook S710 is pretty average with decent horizontal viewing angles but not the best vertically. Keyboard is your old springy type that works well but makes a bit of noise. There is a trackpad as well a a pointing stick for moving the mouse around. The trackpad is too small for my liking and the buttons below it make them hard to reach when using the pointing stick, even for someone with large hands like mine. You can tap the pointing stick for a left click but will still need to stretch your thumb for the right click.

Performance for CPU and disk based benchmarks is excellent on the Lifebook S710. The following table compares some of the benchmarks to other recent laptops that we have reviewed.

PC Mark Vantage 3D Mark 06 WinRAR PassMark
Lifebook S710 11488 1933 1753 959
Sony VAIO Z 9403 6191 1576 1163
Lenovo Edge 5931 4335 1325 1209

As you can see, the Lifebook S710 is very fast in CPU and overall tests because of its speedy SSD but fails in 3D related tests due to the lack of a discreet GPU present on both the Sony Z and the Lenovo Edge Notebooks.

Battery life is decent on the Lifebook S710 considering the high specifications. We managed to get almost four hours out of it. Replacing the optical drive with another battery should hopefully last you over six hours. The laptop didn’t very loud or hot during our testing either.

With a street price is AED 6250 (US$ 1700), the S710 is a bit on the higher side. Yes, it has some incredible specs but at the same time, a discreet GPU or a higher res screen could’ve justified it costs.


About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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