Fujistu always strive to bring notebooks to market that try to differentiate themselves from the competition with unique features or design. The P series ultra portable certainly has potential and is a high performance notebook in a small package. However, while it works brilliantly, it is also let down by some simple design issues that make it a too fragile.
The base of the unit is quite thick compared to other ultra portable notebooks. You could argue that the inclusion of an optical drive is the culprit though, a feature which most of its competitors don’t offer. However, even with the optical drive taken into consideration, it is still too chunky but at 1.3kg it isn’t heavy for a notebook of its size. It has an extremely thin display, which is great, but it is too flexible without enough support in the outer casing to counter flexing which could ultimately end up damaging the screen over time. Subjectively, the aesthetics of the unit didn’t inspire with the gloss black lid and matte black interior.
When it comes to performance, you can’t fault the P8020. It runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 with 2GB of DDR2 RAM. We performed a series of tests on it and didn’t run into any real problems. It only has an integrated Intel Media Accelerator 4500MHD powering graphics, so expect more CPU intensive programs like Photoshop to experience lowered performance. We ran HD video and it was able to handle it fine but if you run into any problems, adding a little RAM will boost performance dramatically.
The 12.1 inch display reaches almost to the very edges of the bezel and has a native resolution of 1280×800. We found no display problems with each of our tests passing with flying colours. Images were clear and crisp and there were no backlight bleeding issues.
Despite its slight stature, the P8020 packs in a lot of features. It can handle a good range of networking options including Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but it also has integrated 3.5G as well. Behind the battery is a small slot to insert a SIM card making portable Internet access possible. There is also a model without 3.5G which costs $500 less.
The unit also has three USB ports, a FireWire port, an E-Sata connection, an SD card reader and can even supports PCMCIA cards. The bezel also has a 1.3 Megapixel webcam and the 250GB SATA hard drive has an anti-shock sensor.
The six cell standard battery is rated at over 6 hours. We performed an intensive battery drain test to see how it held up in the worst possible usage – watching DVDs from the optical drive. It achieved and impressive 2 hours 45 minutes before the battery was completely drained.
On the whole, the Fujistu P8020 is a great little notebook which offers reasonably high performance considering its size. In the fashion driven notebook market, it may not win many hearts and we are concerned that the display is a little too flimsy but if you tend to take care of your things, that won’t really be an issue. An extra $500 just for 3.5G seems a little steep but if you can afford the $3499 price tag, chances are the extra won’t faze you. The 3.5G model retails for $3999 which is very expensive for an ultra-portable notebook.