Instead of calling the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 an ultraportable or ultramobile portable PC, Fujitsu calls it a mini-notebook, which might be more of a marketing term than a specific product category.

Fujitsu has taken a Windows PC (users can decide whether to have Vista or XP preinstalled) and shrunk it as much as possible so it can be carried around much more easily than a standard or an ultralight notebook. The convertible design lets the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 be used as a notebook (with a keyboard) or - by swiveling the screen - a tablet. It's currently available in the US, and starts from only $1,000 (£500), which makes it well-priced indeed.

The little Fujitsu LifeBook U810 may weigh just 0.7kg, but it's a heavyweight in terms of the features Fujitsu has packed into it, including Intel's A110 processor (800MHz, 512KB of Layer 2 cache and a 400MHz front-side bus); 1GB of system memory; a 5.6in touchscreen with WSVGA resolution (1,024 by 600 pixels); a 40GB hard drive; integrated digital camera and Webcam (VGA resolution), wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g) and Bluetooth connectivity. An included dongle supports Ethernet connections and a VGA connection for an external monitor.

The Fujitsu LifeBook U810 includes a Compact Flash card slot and Secure Digital card slot for additional memory storage (or for transferring files), and has one USB 2.0 port for additional peripherals. Security features include an integrated fingerprint scanner, BIOS lock and support for the Trusted Platform Module.

With full support for Windows applications, the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 is much smaller and lighter than a standard tablet PC, so it should be attractive to healthcare professionals and others who are away from their desk for long stretches and don't want to carry around a heavy notebook.

For many years, users who've wanted the ultimate in mobility have had to sacrifice performance or other features to get something lighter or smaller, and in the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Fujitsu has done a good job at providing most, if not all of the key features that notebook users need.

In addition, Fujitsu claims a single battery will last as long as 5.5 hours, which if it is true is very impressive considering that no extra, heavy batteries are needed. Although a single battery charge won't last for a full work day, as some companies would prefer, it's long enough for road warriors to get some work done while travelling without having to worry about their Fujitsu LifeBook U810's battery dying.

We're not sure why Fujitsu didn't include a wireless WAN-connectivity option. This may limit organisations that have to be in locations where WLANs aren't ubiquitous. Some enterprises could be wary of the integrated digital camera webcam, but others may like this feature if their workers need to take photos on the road or have collaborative video-conferences. In addition, the unit we tested had Windows Vista preinstalled, and it seemed to run slower than we would have liked (fortunately, this unit can be ordered with Windows XP).

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