Fujitsu’s T730 updates a long line of convertible Tablet PCs from the company. This latest model allows you to choose a version incorporating GPS, something that is still quite rare in standard notebooks, though you do find it in more ruggedised machines designed for military, industrial and other demanding outdoor circumstances.
The build is quite tough and solid, and the lid exhibits almost no flex. Fujitsu invariably adds a very solid clasp into its notebooks which helps hold base and lid together in transit. In this case the clasp doubles up to hold the lid section in place when the T730 is in tablet mode with its screen outermost.
The Fujitsu LIFEBOOK T730 is a reasonably light notebook with a starting weight of 1.8kg, though that may start to feel like a lot more if you have to hold it in the crook of your arm working in tablet mode for any length of time. Inside the chassis the 12-inch screen delivers 1280 x 800 pixels. You can opt for a standard display or a high brightness model which offers easier viewing outdoors in bright sunshine.
As befits at Tablet PC, the screen is touch sensitive. There is some multi-touch support with rotating of pictures, pinch-to-zoom and double-tapping all supported. Dragging on the screen to scroll, particularly when web browsing or reading long documents in tablet mode, is a beautifully intuitive and smooth experience.
If you want to use a stylus instead of a fingertip, or need to because you are working with an application that requires a finer point than a finger than provide, there is one sitting in the bottom front right edge of the chassis.
There is a webcam sitting above the screen, and buttons ranged around the screen bezel provide what you need for interacting with the T730 when the keyboard is unavailable. There are five buttons, offering individual functions and second functions when they are pressed in combination. You can launch two apps by pressing different combinations, for example.
There are several different configurations on offer, with Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors in the mix. Hard drives rise to 500GB and you can also opt for 64GB or 128GB solid state drives. There is a modular bay on the right edge of the chassis which you can fill with a DVD, second battery, weight saver or even a Blu-ray drive.
There are three USB ports, HDMI port, Ethernet connector, VGA out, card reader, Firewire, ExpressCard slot, headphones and microphone connectors. Unusually, the battery is a rectangular unit that sits on the front edge of the chassis nestled under the wrist rest. This means the ports and connectors are ranged on all four sides of the notebook, which is ideal if you work a lot in tablet mode.
The screen benefits from an ambient light sensor which means brightness can be automatically adjusted depending on lighting conditions.
Battery life is about average. We got nearly two and a half hours of movie playback from a full charge. Fujitsu says you should get up to seven hours of life from the provided battery, but obviously that assumes fairly light usage.