Fujitsu's LifeBook T2020 is the company's latest tablet notebook. It features a screen that can be swivelled both ways and it has built-in 3.5G capabilities. Although it performs well, provides a comfortable keyboard and has excellent battery life, the high price tag will deter plenty of potential purchasers.
There aren't a lot of brands that produce tablet notebooks, and thankfully the Fujitsu LifeBook T2020 is an excellent option. It's only really let down by the exorbitant price.
The Fujitsu LifeBook T2020 has a simple yet effective design. It is finished largely in matte black plastic, and the casing feels sturdy. The LifeBook T2020's screen is excellent. It can rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise, and the notebook has a changing latch, which allows it to lock into place when the display is in standard or slate mode.
The Fujitsu LifeBook T2020's hinge feels sturdy, which is important considering the number of times it will be opened and swivelled in order to use the notebook as a tablet. The battery is located at the front of the notebook and acts as the palm rest when you are typing. This means there is no room for a touchpad, with Fujitsu offering a TrackPoint-style device in the middle of the keyboard instead. If you're used to a touchpad then it will obviously take some time to adjust to.
The Fujitsu LifeBook T2020's 12.1in TFT screen looks superb; it's bright and offers rich colour. However it is glossy and tends to reflect sunlight and fluorescent office lighting, often making it hard to see. It certainly looks impressive, but it's not as effective as a matte display.
Being a tablet, the Fujitsu LifeBook T2020 naturally has an active digitiser. The Wacom digitiser is great for people wanting to draw or write with a pen, and we found its accuracy to be quite good. The motion tracking was occasionally off, but for most part it worked efficiently.
The Fujitsu LifeBook T2020 runs Windows Vista Business Edition and is powered by a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable up to 4GB) and a 300GB, 5400rpm hard disk drive. In our iTunes media encoding test it took the LifeBook T2020 2min 21sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s.
The notebook has a D-sub port, two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire IEEE 1394 port, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, a 3-in-1 flash card reader that supports MMC, SD and Memory Stick cards, a PC Card Type II slot and a Kensington lock slot. At this price we would have liked to see a few more options, such as HDMI or eSATA.
For wireless connectivity both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available.
The notebook has built-in 3.5G capabilities — a SIM slot is located underneath the battery and it supports cards from any telco, at speeds up to 7.2 megabits per second. A small flip-out antenna on the right side of the display helps improve 3G reception. If you wish, you can forego the 3.5G capabilities and pay $3399 instead of $3899.
The biggest disappointments are that it is slightly noisy and that it generates a fair amount of heat. The noise is evident when multitasking, while the left side of the keyboard gets quite warm during normal use.
The notebook's battery life is impressive. In our battery test, where we loop a video file with the screen brightness at its highest setting, the Fujitsu LifeBook T2020's 6-cell 5800mAh battery lasted almost three hours. This test was conducted in super-performance mode, so you will get much better results by changing the power settings in Windows Vista.