Fujitsu Siemens – Lifebook C-6310 review

well-featured but odd-looking notebook
Photo of Fujitsu Siemens – Lifebook C-6310
£1,655 + VAT

There have been plenty of sexy sub-notebooks on the market recently, but this is not one of them. Fujitsu Siemens has made its mark in the notebook computer market by providing good-quality, reliable desktop replacement systems such as this.

The new Lifebook looks a little odd to begin with, since the lid doesn’t completely cover the front of the case, leaving the two speakers and the rather unusual array of extra buttons exposed at the front, like a Bang & Olufsen stereo. The extra buttons, set into the wrist rest, act as CD audio control buttons and double up as application shortcuts to the installed e-mail program, Web browser and two other, user-definable, applications.

The Lifebook’s display is pretty bright, and available with a range of sizes from 12.1-inch to 14.1-inch. All are powered by ATI’s Rage Mobility chipset, and are pretty good, with just a hint of contrast variation near the edges of the screen. The keyboard is a joy to use; it’s nicely positioned, with a light yet positive action and mostly full-sized keys.

In general, the notebook’s functionality is outstanding too, with the unit having a built-in CDROM drive, floppy drive and V90 modem, so there’s no need to lug around all sorts of additional clutter. Even the mains adapter is relatively small. A full range of ports is supplied at the rear, so this really is a desktop replacement in every sense of the word. The all-important internal components include a choice of either Celeron or Pentium II, both running at 366MHz, with the standard memory configuration being 64MB.

The notebook we looked at included a 4.3GB hard drive, and the Li-Ion battery’s life seems to be pretty good, considering the size and functionality of the machine. Fujitsu Siemens supplies plenty of useful utility CDs with the Lifebook, along with Microsoft Office 2000, but there’s no carry case – that’s an optional extra.

Company: Fujitsu Siemens

Contact: 01344 475000

Looking rather clunky alongside some of the latest sleek devices from Sony and the like, the new lifebook nevertheless has real potential as a durable work-horse. It's no great looker, but with all the necessary features - CD, modem, etc. - built in, it will become a long-term favourite with true road-warriors.