Fujitsu Siemens – E8210 review

well-connected business laptop with built-in 3G
Photo of Fujitsu Siemens – E8210
£1,262 + VAT

What the mobile corporate user needs most from a laptop is the ability to connect to the office wherever he or she happens to be. Fujitsu Siemens’ flagship E8210 not only features wireless connectivity, but also comes with integrated 3G capabilities.

Weighing in at around 2.7kg (including power brick) and measuring 360 x 260 x 35mm, it’s at the upper level of what’s comfortable to carry around all day, but to offset that it’s a feature-rich and fast performing notebook, even if it looks a bit mundane in its silver and black corporate finish.

Performance-wise you won’t be disappointed by the E8210. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 processor, clocked at 2GHz and backed by a gigabyte of fast PC2-667 DDR2 memory, the SYSmark04SE score of 302 is impressive. Less so the graphics performance; the ATI Mobility X1400 will allow you to play older games with a degree of satisfaction but for the market segment the E8210 is pitched at, graphics performance comes pretty low down on the list anyway. It will at least power Vista’s Aero Glass interface without a problem.

Output from the X1400 controller drives a good quality 15.4-inch widescreen display which has a native resolution of 1,680 by 1,050 pixels.

Back to the star feature of the E8210, the 3G card slot. Hidden in the battery compartment, the SIM slot is spring-loaded for ease of use and there is a sliding clip to lock it in and prevent it accidentally working loose. Unlike the few other systems boasting the same feature, the slot in the E8210 is fully unlocked, meaning you can use any 3G SIM (remembering of course that normal restrictions and tariffs will apply) and if a 3G service isn’t available the hardware reverts to EDGE or GPRS. There’s also Bluetooth built in so you could use a headset to make voice calls via the 3G service.

In addition to 3G you also get all the standard connectivity you’d expect these days; 802.11a/b/g WLAN, 1,000/100/10Mbps wired LAN and – last and maybe least – a 56Kbps modem.

The right-hand side of the chassis incorporates a hot-swap bay which can hold a DVD burner (the option our review model came with), a second battery (£105 + VAT) or a weight-saving module (£13 + VAT).

The keyboard is well built and feels comfortable when typing, and the debate over which is best, trackpoint or trackpad, is irrelevant since Fujitsu Siemens has given the E8210 both options.

Security is one thing Fujitsu Siemens has taken seriously on its laptop range for quite some time and the E8210 keeps up this tradition with a built-in fingerprint reader in the trackpad selector buttons and also a SmartCard reader. Although not standard on the E8210, TPM hardware is also available for extra protection.

Storage is provided in the shape of an 80GB hard drive and there are PC and Express Card slots (left-hand side of the chassis) as well as a 5-in-1 card reader housed in the front.

Battery life is average but, considering what’s packed into the chassis, that comes as no real surprise. Tested with MobileMark05 the Productivity test yielded a battery life of 160 minutes while the DVD playback test lasted for 175 minutes.

Company: Fujitsu Siemens

Contact: 01344 475 000


Verdict
A great - albeit expensive - combination of features, performance and security. With the 3G support added to an impressive list of connectivity features, the E8210 allows any mobile user to keep in touch practically wherever in the world they find themselves.