There is a lot of thought going into the appearance of new laptops these days, but not all of it is tasteful. Sparkles, leather, brushed metal, glossy lids and chrome details are some of the things designers have used to spruce up notebooks. These are things many of us can live without, but if you do happen to have an eye for fashion and want to be noticed, then Fujitsu's limited edition LifeBook P8010 Pink Gold laptop is better-looking than most.
On the outside, it sports a Champagne-coloured lid with a crease and chrome hinges, and it actually looks quite nice; inside, the palm-rests of the laptop are finished in a dull grey that looks very business-like. It's the best of both worlds really: flashy on the outside, boring on the inside — but not that boring. The touchpad is a different colour tone than the rest of the chassis, and the shortcut buttons above the keyboard are silver and reside on a glossy black panel. The 12.1in screen's bezel is very thin along the sides (5mm), but much thicker at the top (2.5cm) in order to accommodate the built-in webcam.
In between the touchpad's left- and right-click buttons is the fingerprint scanner. This, of course, can be used for security, but it also functions as a scrolling device. It can be a little awkward to scroll up and down documents using it, but we applaud the innovation. The base of the unit is almost 28cm long and 21cm deep, so it's only slightly bigger than an ASUS Eee PC 900 (Windows XP version) and Acer's Aspire One. The keyboard does feel a little cramped at first, but it's relatively easy to type on once you get used to it. It has big shift and backspace keys; the only anomaly is the delete key, which is one key in from the top-right-hand corner.
On the inside, the standout feature of this ultraportable laptop is its integrated 3.5G capability, which allows you to get online on-the-go if you have a 3G/3.5G SIM card from your chosen provider. The SIM card reader is in the battery compartment, so you'll have to remove it to install the card. Of course, you also get 802.11a/g and draft-n wireless networking for hotspots and home networking, and the laptop also has a Gigabit Ethernet connection for wired networking.
While on the road, the laptop will last a reasonably long time, thanks to its 8700mAh (milliamp hours) battery. In our worst-case scenario test, in which we loop a DVD with the screen's brightness all the way up, the P8010 Pink Gold ran for 2hr 31min. This is a good time for a notebook of this size, and for one that has enough power under the bonnet to run most office applications without any problems.
The Pink Gold edition has the same specifications as the LifeBook P8010, including an Intel Core 2 Duo SL7100 CPU (this is a low voltage CPU, so the laptop won't get very warm when you use it for long periods of time) and 2GB of RAM, yet it performed slower in all our tests. In WorldBench 6, it mustered a score of 52, while in the iTunes MP3 encoding test, it recorded a time of 2min 24sec. This is a few seconds slower than we were expecting, while the WorldBench score is about 8 points shy of what we were expecting. Nevertheless, the system will run office applications without any fuss, and if you're dedicated to the cause you can also edit some photos with it.
We do like the laptop's screen, which displays rich colours and has good brightness, but its viewing angles are narrow and there is a lot of backlight seepage visible when watching DVDs. It is a fairly flexible screen, so you will want to be careful when transporting this unit. Likewise, its base isn't as solid as we were hoping. If you run a DVD in the built-in optical drive and then pick up the unit from the side the DVD drive sits in, you will hear the disc scrape.
The unit only weighs 1.4kg. Considering it has everything you might ever need built in, this is the P8010's major drawcard. You can install software easily using the installed optical drive; you can store plenty of data on the installed 250GB hard drive; you can get online anywhere if you plug in a 3G SIM card; you can plug in USB 2.0 and FireWire devices, and you can plug in a monitor to the D-Sub port. The only thing lacking is an ExpressCard slot, although the notebook does have a PC Card slot.
If you want the ultimate in mobility and functionality, and you also want a unit that stands out, the P8010 Pink Gold edition is definitely worth your time. But if you do buy it, be gentle with it as it doesn't look like it can handle too many bumps and bruises from everyday commuting.