Fujitsu Lifebook T580 - Box Contents, Hardware, And Thoughts

This is one of the smallest laptops/convertible tablets with a Core i5 CPU.  I saw it many months ago when Fujitsu showed a 4 finger gesture video.  I have wanted to try it out for the longest time and now it's here!

Box Contents:
  • Fujitsu T580 Convertible Tablet
  • Power supply (small)
  • N-Trig Digitizer (comes with battery, replacement tip, and tethering rope)
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Tethering rope
  • Getting Started booklet
  • Warranty

My Specs:
  • Intel Core i5-560UM CPU at 1.33 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache
  • Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.13 GHz
  • 10.1" HD WXGA LED Backlight LCD at 1366x768
  • N-Trig technology which offers up to 4 finger touch and pen input
  • 4GB DDR3 800 MHz SDRAM (2GB+2GB)
  • 160GB 5400 rpm (I plan on upgrading this to an SSD)
  • Intel Centro Advanced-N 6200 (802.11 a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth
  • Main Lithium Ion (6-cell, 5800 mAh)
  • 1.3MP webcam
  • Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I'm not going to say specifics, but the system is small.  It's a bit bigger than the Acer Aspire One which is a very small netbook.  It's not a very thin system if you were to compare it to a Macbook Air.

This is a 10.1 inch screen and has a 1366 x 768.  The higher resolution does give you more pixels to play with, which is super nice.  It does have a glossy finish and you will see reflections.  The viewing angles are not great, so it does have a "sweet spot" that you must be at to get the best experience possible.

I do plan on changing the screen to a Pixel Qi screen.  It's a little project that will void my warranty for sure.  Project Dream Tablet.

The hinge is very different.  I'm used to Lenovo tablets which have a smaller hinge.  The T580 has like two hinges instead of a single one.  It's just a weird experience.  The hinge does not feel as solid as the Lenovo tablets, and the screen can be moved around easily.  It does rotate both ways which is neat.

Build Quality
The T580 is all plastic.  It does seem a bit cheap.  In a way I wish Fujitsu would put more work on the looks of the system.  While this is not a good thing...well it seems like if I want to mod the case it will make it easier.  :-)

Input/Output Ports, Buttons, etc
  • Rear
    • HDMI (conveniently placed!)
    • Battery
    • Kensington lock
  • Left
    • Power
    • USB
    • Exhaust
    • Radios on/off
    • MMC card reader
    • SD card reader
  • Front
    • LED indicator lights
    • Headphone and MIC jacks
    • Speaker (1 mono, and it's crap, and I might mod it)
    • Pen release slider
  • Right
    • Pen holder port
    • Tethering + hard drive cover
    • Power slider (yes there's no button)
    • USB
    • Ethernet
    • VGA
  • Top/Bezel/screen
    • 3 buttons (Ctrl+Alt+Del, rotation, and Fujitsu launch)
    • 1.3MP webcam
    • Fingerprint reader (it can be used for scrolling)
    • Light sensor
    • The screen (obviously)
  • Bottom
    • Lock and unlock system for the battery
    • The Battery itself
    • Mini PCI-E, and Half Mini PCI-E
    • 2 Ram slots (up to 8GB RAM)
    • Access to the fan
  • Keyboard side
    • Indicator lights
    • Keyboard
    • Touchpad/trackpad (the buttons feel super cheap)

N-Trig Technology
I think N-Trig has been working a lot when it comes to innovation. Maybe more than Wacom.

N-Trig Digitizer
The included digitizer comes with a AAAA battery.  The digitizer is comfortable in your hand.  From my previous experiences with N-Trig the digitizer has been terrible, but on the Fujitsu T580 it works extremely well.  It only has one button and no eraser, but something tells me that the HTC Flyer's digitizer which has a second button might work with this tablet.

I think the digitizer does a great job.  It seems very precise without any calibration and the pressure sensitivity is good.  I did notice that the N-Trig digitizer was not as "smooth" as Wacom.  Basically the N-Trig produces "
"harsher" lines.  The "hover" in Wacom tablets is also much greater than N-Trig.

The correct way of working with the T580 is by not being shy when you use the pen.  Wacom did seem a bit more sensitive.

Input Modes (love it!):
  • Pen only - only allows the digitizer input, and ignores touch
  • Touch only - only allows the finger touch, ignores the pen
  • Auto mode - Allows you to easily switch between Pen and Touch only modes.  To assign the mode you double tap with the thing you want to use. (this is what I use)
  • Dual mode - Allows both touch and pen input at the same time.  (default)

Touch Gestures:
There are many of them and they allow you to do some interesting stuff.  I will go over this on some videos.  Some programs are blocked on touch gestures (C:\Program Files\N-Trig\N-act\disabled.txt)

Why you should get the Core i5 instead of the i3
The i3 seems to have a few complaints on NOT being able to render flash video very well.  Sites like Hulu and Youtube might give you problems.  The i3 is stuck at a max clock speed of 1.33 GHz, the Core i5 goes up to 2.13 GHz.  When I made the decision to get the i5 it sucked to pay so much more money, but it's worth getting.

What's great about Windows 7 tablets?
  • Turning your hand written notes to PC readable text is best in Windows 7 (although Android is catching up on this).  Right now Microsoft OneNote is the king and example to follow.
  • Full browsers and full websites.  Some websites are idiots and block slate tablets (like
  • Those tablet apps are made with real computers, you could really just run the same apps in Windows 7.
  • Best PDF and MS Office support.  Password protected PDFs sometimes don't work well in those slate tablets.
  • Any file format supported with the right program.  For video playing you can download programs like VLC which supports everything.  None of that bullshit of downloading apps with only a few file format support.
  • The full Photoshop!  (none of that downed mickey mouse iPad crap)
  • Basically you get more freedom with a Windows 7 system.

There are obviously not so great things about Windows 7, but that will be for another post.

This is a convertible tablet that was made for a very small group of people.  You won't see this tablet become main stream or the "next big thing".  This tiny convertible tablet is expensive but it offers a lot of capabilities .  If I want media consumption I can have everything, if I want "for work" programs then I can have great software ranging from free to thousands of dollars.

I'll have some software videos in the near future. I hope that this post and video helped answer some of your questions.



James said...

Hi Jesse:
I have similar opinions and thoughts about N-Trig and Wacom pens. I have a Thinkpad X61 and have thought about Motion Computing CL900. The thing that's holding me back on the CL900 is the N-Trig pen. The inking with X61 is just great with Wacom. Will you get a chance to work with a CL900? Would like to watch your review on that unit. Thanks.

Jesse B Andersen said...

I can try to get a hold of Motion Computing and ask for a review unit. The CL900 is Atom based so it should be cooler than the T580.

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