Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fujitsu Lifebook P1620

Almost a year ago, I thought about whether or not I could rationalize getting some sort of UMPC and I ended up buying a bluetooth keyboard to use with my Treo 700p instead. I mainly wanted to use it for taking meeting minutes, because that's so much faster than writing them by hand and trying to decipher them later. Hauling a heavy laptop around isn't really an option for me. It turned out to be pretty much a disaster, because the bluetooth worked with my phone only about 25% of the time. I never figured out whether the phone or the keyboard was to blame, but I have the feeling that it may have been interference of some kind.

Despite the added utility of being able to carry around a UMPC, I had difficulties rationalizing spending money on a device that wasn't much better than the older personal laptop that I had at home. I was waiting for something better. I was particularly eager to find out what Apple had cooking. Their lightweight offering turned out to be the Macbook Air, which is 3 lbs. and actually quite large, with a 13.3" screen. I wanted something lighter than Air. I wanted something smaller and perhaps something with a few USB ports and an SD card reader.

Pretty much immediately after Apple announced the Air, I decided to order the Fujitsu Lifebook P1620. It's only 2.5 lbs with the extended battery. That half pound makes a big difference to me, but many people might not care. With 2 GB of memory and a dual core processor, it's peppier than what I already had, but it's teeny. The keyboard is 75% of normal laptop size, but that's not so bad for my minute hands.

Here you can see it next to a bottle of IZZE, but it's really not that much bigger than a piece of paper, folded in half. It's also a tablet PC and I have already found the character recognition to be very entertaining. I haven't had much experience using tablets, so I will have to learn to use it efficiently.

I ordered this laptop at the end of January, so I've had a whole month of anticipation and impatience prior to its arrival today, which made this the longest February ever for me, because they changed the estimated ship date multiple times. You can also read about James Kendrick's almost identical ordering experience on jkOnTheRun.

Incidently, I wrote this post using my new baby laptop and I found the keyboard to be quite usable, had no problems reading the small text on the proportionally high resolution screen and was elated by the ease of using the integrated SD card reader. Having left my card at home half a dozen times recently, it will be nice having everything with me all the time now.

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