Fujitsu Lifebook LH531 review
The Fujitsu Lifebook LH531 is my latest baby. I purchased it earlier this month as a replacement for my aging desktop computer. I purchased it at a computer shop in SM Mall of Asia. I had the memory upgraded from 2GB to 4GB bringing the total cost close to thirty thousand Philippine pesos. It came with an Intel Core i5 processor, an Intel HD 3000 graphics card, and a 500GB hard disk drive.
Mobile computing: past vs present
Five years ago I would never have considered purchasing a laptop computer. However, rapid progress in mobile communications and decline in the price of quality machines has made laptop computers an attractive investment. Computing power has advanced in such a way that it is no longer necessary to have the latest and greatest machine in order to run most day-to-day applications.
There I was, all set to purchase a new laptop computer. The only question was: which one?
One factor to rule them all
As a consumer, the single most important factor for me was value for money. I wanted something that meets my needs at a price that wouldn’t break my wallet.
The Fujitsu Lifebook LH531 is very competitively priced. At less than 30 thousand pesos, it is among the cheapest Core i5 notebook computers in the market. I could have gotten myself a faster machine for the same price, but that would mean resorting to brands that are not too well known. For a purchase at this amount I wanted a reliable brand with well established customer support. Fujitsu has been around long enough to build a solid reputation.
So, it was within my budget. But will I be getting value for it?
I will be carrying this around, so I wanted something that looks good. The matte black plain finish in the LH531 is accentuated by an elegant chrome frame. There are red and pink versions, but I wanted something inconspicuous so the matte black one works well for me.
For its size the LH531 is surprisingly light at 2.1 kilograms. The battery lasts up 6.5 hours and can easily be removed, which makes it even lighter. If I wanted to go lighter I will need to get a netbook, which lacks the computing power that I need.
Built for speed and power
Speaking of computing power, this baby is fast! My heaviest use includes running applications like Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, Firefox, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator simultaneously. This did not even come close to utilizing half of the Core i5′s potential.
The few 3D games that I tried ran smoothly. I will not expect it to run the latest and greatest 3D games at the highest graphical settings, but the Intel 3000 HD graphics card is no slouch in delivering crisp, smooth graphics.
I like to watch movies and television series on my laptop, so I appreciate the LED display on the Lifebook LH531. It runs at a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. While this may not be true HD, I find that most of the stuff that I watch on my laptop are do not go beyond it anyway. I am perfectly content with watching 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) videos on my computer screen, since I’m sitting pretty close to it anyway. If I wanted to watch 1080p Blu-ray movies I would do it on the television.
Bells and whistles that count
One issue that I have with keyboards is food spillage. I like to eat while using the computer. The spill resistant keyboard supposedly handles this well. I have taken extra care not to spill stuff on it, but should the time come I am confident that it will be easy to clean. The chiclet type keyboard is soft and easy to touch. The keyboard layout is slightly different from what I am used to, but I was able to adjust to it with relative ease.
The LH531 comes with four USB 2.0 ports which I absolutely love as it makes copying huge files a breeze. One of the ports is used only for charging, which is a nice touch. I use it a lot when charging my phone and iPod. The headset and microphone port is placed in front. I would have preferred if it were placed on the side. It also comes with a Kensington lock slot, which for me is very important in securing a mobile device such as this.
The Fujitsu Lifebook LH531 delivers value through its powerful processor, crisp graphical display, and sleek mobile design that comes with all the necessities of a modern mobile computing machine.
Fujitsu Lifebook LH531 photos
[slickr-flickr search=sets set=72157627714180404]
Fujitsu Lifebook LH531 technical specifications
|LH531 Recommended Configurations|
|Platform||Intel® Core™ i5-2410M1 processor 2.30GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 up to 2.9GHz
/Intel® Core™ i3-2310M1 processor 2.10GHz
Intel® HM65 Express Chipset
|Operating System||Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64bit
(or Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit
(or Genuine Windows® 7 Home Basic 64bit
|Display2||High Definition SuperFine LCD
14-inch (16:9) SuperFine HD 220nits back-light LED, 1366 x 768 pixels
|Built-in Bay Device||Dual Layer DVD Super Multi Writer3|
|Memory||2GB/ 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz
Max. Memory Supported – 8GB DDR3 1333MHz, Dual Channel
|Hard Disk||320GB/ 500GB|
|Battery||4400mAh battery up to 6.5hrs4|
|Hard Disk Drive||SATA-150 5400rpm / 7200rpm, S.M.A.R.T support, Two Partitions – 50/505|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce 410M with Optimus™ technology and 1GB of dedicated video memory / Intel® HD Graphics 3000|
|High Definition (HD) Audio||Dual Built-in Stereo Speakers with Built-in Digital Microphone
HD Audio-in: External Mic-in
HD Audio-out: Headphone-out
|Communication||1.3 Mega Pixel camera, Bluetooth®, 10/100/1000 Mbps6 Ethernet and WLAN 802.11BGN wireless network connection. Separate ON/OFF switch for wireless network connection.|
|User Interface||Spill-resistant Keyboard7
Intelligent Touch Pad with configurable vertical and horizontal scroll functions
|Card Slots||Secured Digital / SDHC/ Memory Stick|
|Connector Interface||USB 2.0 x 1 (USB-Charging), USB 2.0 x 3, VGA (external display), RJ45 (LAN), HDMI, HDA-in, HDA-out, Power Adapter DC-in|
|Security8||BIOS Lock, Hard Disk Lock, Anti-theft Lock Slot|
|Dimensions||335mm (W) x 240mm (D) x 35.4mm (H)|
|Colours||Matt Black (For Intel® HD Graphics version Only)
Shiny Black/ Garnet Red/ Cherry Pink
|AC Adapter||Input AC 100~240V, Output DC 19V 80W|
|Bundled Softwares||CyberLink PowerDVD™, Cyberlink PowerDirector™, CyberLink YouCam™, Roxio Creator LJ, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Fujitsu UpdateNavi9, Fujitsu Power Saving Utility, Fujitsu Display Manager, Fujitsu MyRecovery, Fujitsu Anytime USB Charge, Sun Microsystems Java Runtime, Windows Live Essentials (Windows Live Messenger, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Mesh, Windows Live Movie Maker), Symantec Internet Security 60 days trial, Purchase Office Product Key to activate Office 2010 preloaded on this PC10|
|Memory Module||4GB DDR3, 1333MHz|
|Media||Fujitsu Portable Speakers (Black)|