The LifeBook E8210 looks a bit like a cross between an and a . It's all business black on the outside, but opening the laptop reveals a silvery-white interior. Measuring 14.2 by 10.2 by 1.4 inches, the LifeBook E8210 is just a few tenths of an inch different in size from the Micro Express EL80, the Dell Latitude D820 and the HP Compaq nx7400. The LifeBook E8210 matches the HP Compaq nx7400's 2.59kg weight, while the Dell Latitude D820 is 360g heavier and the Micro Express EL80 is 590g heavier. With its power adaptor, the LifeBook E8210 weighs a portable, but not comfortable, 3.13kg.
The LifeBook E8210 features a 15.4-inch, widescreen display. Our review unit shipped with the optional display, which has a whopping 1,680x1,050 . With that many pixels, the LifeBook E8210's display feels remarkably spacious. It's actually higher resolution than even the best high-definition content, 1080p, and provides a huge document workspace. A standard spreadsheet application shows 25 columns and 51 rows and a word-processing document can show at 190 per cent without need for horizontal scrolling. With pixels that tiny, text looks particularly sharp but is quite small. Users with glasses or contacts may need to use the display at a lower, non-native resolution.
Given the laptop's business slant, we aren't surprised that the rest of the LifeBook E8210's multimedia experience is subpar. There are no multimedia controls, and its speakers can't handle any bass -- at maximum volume the speaker grates vibrate louder than the music that's playing. There is, however, an S-Video out port, which is a useful inclusion for business users giving presentations on the go.
Most business users value input and security devices highly, and in this arena the LifeBook E8210 shines. The keyboard is full size and comfortable to use. The laptop features both a touchpad and a trackpoint for mousing. Unfortunately, like many laptops of its size, the placement of the 71mm by 38mm touchpad makes it easy to move the cursor while typing. Though trackpoints aren't usually exciting, Fujitsu has managed to add a nice feature to the E8210's -- clicking. Either tapping or depressing the trackpoint induces a click. Unfortunately, the LifeBook E8210 runs blisteringly hot -- accidentally touching the left VGA or parallel ports actually hurts. Rounding out the package, the LifeBook E8210 has a Wi-Fi on/off switch on the front lip.
The laptop comes with enough security hardware for even the most demanding corporate networks. It has a fingerprint reader between the two touchpad buttons and a on the left side for storing passwords or logging on to your computer or a network. The LifeBook E8210 also has a for very high-security applications.
The LifeBook E8210 has every port an on-the-go business user will need, and it's dockable for convenience at a desk. It has four-pin FireWire, serial, parallel and four USB 2.0 ports; S-Video out; microphone and headphone jacks with S/PDIF out; and a 3-in-1 memory card reader that supports MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital and Memory Stick cards. Networking options include Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth and a 56Kbps modem; is conspicuously absent, but there's both a PC Card and an slot to add the latest cellular modems. Our system also included a built-in, dual-layer DVD burner and a high-capacity battery.
As we'd expect with a business laptop, the software package included with the LifeBook E8210 is lean. It ships with the ubiquitous operating system, the miniproductivity suite and CyberLink PowerDVD.
While the LifeBook E8210 isn't extraordinarily expensive, it's certainly not cheap. Our £1,495 review unit comes with a 1.86GHz Intel Core Duo processor; 1GB of fast, 667MHz RAM; an average-size 80GB hard drive spinning at 5,400rpm; and ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics card with 128MB of dedicated VRAM.