I’ve had the T5010 now for the last week and I’ve been using it in conjunction with my T2010 for note-taking purposes. OneNote 2007 came pre-installed, so I’ve been able to stay current on my notes and to share the notes between the T5010 and T2010. After a week, I’ve had ample time to get a good feel for this new tablet, especially in comparison with the T2010. A full InkShow review will be coming, but in the meantime, here are some thoughts and pictures after a weeks’ worth of use:
Great balance. The extra weight is a non-factor considering the tablet sits on a table during class anyway. While being transported to and from class, I don’t notice the extra weight at all. There is no flex at all on the T5010. On my T2010, because of the battery’s location, the tablet can creak if held at certain spots. This is not the case with the T5010. There is no creaking, no flexing, and almost unperceivable wobbling of the screen in notebook mode. The hinge is very stout and supports the screen well and is quite a bit wider than the T2010’s hinge, perhaps explaining why the screen seems so much more solid.
This screen matches my T2010 in every way. At the same brightness setting, the two screens look identical to my eye. Keep in mind that at half brightness, the Fujitsu machines are both brighter than the HP TX2051 at full brightness. The screen is crisp, clear, and very vibrant. Outdoor performance was spectacular. The glossy screen might be a turn-off to some as it does attract fingerprints, but being able to sit under a bank of fluorescent lights with no adverse affect on visibility was definitely a good thing. The extra real estate enhances the viewing experience while browsing or inking. It’s amazing how much easier it is to see 1280×800 pixels on a 13.3Ã¢â‚¬Â screen versus a 12Ã¢â‚¬Â screen. The drawback to a larger screen is sharpness in the characters and images, but it’s very neglible.
As a tablet, the T5010 is great. The bi-directional hinge allows for a lot of flexibility. I generally rotate the screen clockwise, but when evangelizing the tablet to other people, I can swing the screen in either direction to show people how I can ink right onto the screen without having to move the tablet itself. I’ve had one convert already who will be purchasing a tablet soon and three more fellow students who are kicking themselves for not getting a tablet. In tablet mode, there is the vertical scroll sensor on the bezel of the screen. I mentioned in the ShortCut that the bezel scroll sensor was a good design. I think I’m going to have to retract that statement. Although it works well, its placement is problematic in tablet mode while inking. For browsing purposes on the web, it’s great. For inking, it gets in the way. As I ink towards the bottom of the page, I find my palm swiping the scroll sensor accidentally, causing much headache and frustration when I’m frantically trying to write stuff down. I work around this problem by inking in horizontal orientation. The tablet buttons function as expected. Surprisingly, it seems as if Fujitsu increased accuracy of the active digitizer towards the edges of the screen. On my T2010, things get muddied when you move too close to the edge. The T5010 is significantly better, although still not perfect. Accuracy does decrease at the edges, but not as severe as on the T2010.
The keyboard is actually the exact same size as the T2010. Unlike the T2010, the keyboard has no flex at all. The T2010 has a slight flex on the left hand side of the keyboard near the ASD keys, but the T5010 does not exhibit this flex. The keyboard buttons have decent travel and allows for a great touchtyping experience. I can see how the off-white keys might get dirty after prolonged use, but after a week’s worth of use, I haven’t noticed any discoloration. I wish Fujitsu would look into providing a protective layer over the keys like HP’s DuraKeys. My T2010 is starting to have shiny spots on some of the more used keys.
I’ve gotten a good 4.25 hours out of a single battery. I use the power saver setting and set the screen at about 55% with wifi on. If I set the screen brightness down a notch, I can expect another 15-30 minutes out of battery life. This is very impressive considering the larger screen and the more powerful processor. Although power saver mode throttles clock speed down to 800MHz, starting applications or performing other processor intensive activity activates the Centrino 2’s full 2.4GHz, further showing how impressive the battery life really is. I will try another battery run-down test with the DVD drive removed. I have a feeling it will further increase the battery life to an even more respectable 5 hours.
The T5010 came with a 2.40GHz Centrino 2 DuoCore processor and 2GB of RAM running Vista 32-bit. This machine puts the the T2010’s ULV and HP’s TX2051 running 2.3GHz and 4GB RAM to shame. It might have to do with the tremendous amount of bloatware HP includes with their computers, it might have to do with the media functions of the TX, but in the end, where it counts and when it counts, the T5010 trumps the TX2051 all day long on every front. I mentioned that the processor, although downclocked to 800MHz, does indeed go to full throttle whenever the processor is stressed. Applications open in the blink of an eye. The T5010 starts OneNote and FireFox with ease and is noticeably faster than the T2010 and TX2051. When I run a full scan of NAV and try to start OneNote or Firefox, there are no issues with the scrolling orb like on either the TX2051 or the T2010. With minimal affect on battery life and maximum benefits from the full powered processor, the T5010 is a very compelling tablet.
Let’s just put it this way: If I had another $2000 to spend on a computer, I would pick up the T5010 in a heartbeat. If I was in the market for a new tablet, I’d more than likely pick up the T5010 over the T2010. Battery life, screen quality, tablet functionality and performance are all either on par or better than the T2010.
Finally, I just want to give another shout out to the folks at Allegiance Technology Partners for providing us with this review unit.