Fujitsu P1630

fujitsup1630 My wife and I own his and hers Fujitsu P1620 Tablet PCs. jkkMobile has just reported Fujitsu LifeBook P1630 hits FCC. I agree with GottaBeMobile that the P1630 is a very modest refresh. There appears to be a slight upgrade of the processor and the graphics chipset, and the hard drive is SATA 5400 RPM vs. a PATA 4200 RPM. But no active digitizer, no increase in RAM capacity 2GB), or replacing the PC slot with an ExpressCard slot.

While the P1630 does represent an upgrade, given the recent competition of much cheaper touch screen devices in this form factor, I’m a bit surprised that Fujitsu didn’t do more to differentiate the P1630 as a high-end device worthy of a price premium.

25 Responses to “Fujitsu P1630”

  • Supposedly, the upgraded processer plus graphics chipset offers two major improvements over p1620 (although, agree with you that fujitsu is doing terrible job in terms of not advertising explaining why upgrade):

    1. Longer battery life: up to an extra hour of life on the high capacity battery versus what that battery gives on the p1620.

    2. Better graphics play: there is a lot on the blogs and boards re the meaningful difference that the upgraded chipset gives over the p1620 graphics play.

    Plus, you get integrated webcam and automatic 1gb min ram (although for 30 bucks, you can upgrade on your own 512k in p1620 to 1 gb). Rumor is that in first quarter 2009, p1630 will release with integrated 3G. If it does that, then it may be worth it — although no matter how you configure it, is about a 600+ price increase over p1620. may not be worth that price step, when you can still get a 1620 base and upgrade ram to 1gb on own for 30 bucks and get a pc card or usb modem for 3G. Is currently my debate, as i know i want one of these, but don’t know which to get.

  • Thanks chicagoguy for a great post!

    For my usage, the weak link of the P1620 is a somewhat washed out screen. I wonder how the superior graphics of the P1630 affects that issue, as opposed to performance/speed?

    I believe Fujitsu also improved the processor and the HDD speed (4200 to 5400). I haven’t run across benchmarks that indicate the signficance of these improvements.

    The other issues appear incremental. My P1620 already has great battery life with the extended battery, and 2GB of RAM. I use a 3G card (I’ve posted on it elsewhere) which I prefer since I can use it on multiple machines, whereas a 3G in a device is tied to that device. The integrated webcam is nice, but webcams are relatively portable, and again if you have multiple devices, that might be preferable.

    Sadly, I don’t use my P1620 much anymore. I think it is mainly the screen. First, it isn’t very vibrant compared to my Dell Latitude XT, which spoiled me. Second, the touch isn’t as responsive as with my Dell Latitude XT, which also spoiled me. Third, it’s just hard to read documents on the smaller 8.9″ screen, as opposed to the 12.1″ screen of my Dell Latitude XT (starting to see a pattern here?).

    I also wonder what the future is for the P1630 given much cheaper netbooks with touch screens.

    Enough musing. Let us know what you decide to do!

  • Thanks. I’m still debating, but have a question. Found your blog re your 3G card, but am confused.

    Your blog says that all of your tablets have an express card slot (and you are using a 3G express card), but from the spec summary it seems that the fujitsu only has a regular pc card slot (not express card). Is that wrong?

  • chicagoguy, you’re right, I’m wrong. The P1620 has a PC card slot. I use an adapter for my Express card to work.

  • Am about to pull the trigger on a p1630 — fujitsu finally released embedded 3G option last week. One last question. How bad is the graininess of the display quality that others write about, and how bad/difficult is the handwriting function given the passive (not active) digitizer? Is it bad enough to be a problem in real world use? Thanks, as always.

  • chicagoguy, your questions are good ones. Unfortunately the answers are subjective. That caveat aside, for me, the display is quite viewable, and the handwriting is OK too. The issue I have is the keyboard is too small for me (though not for my wife). See my post “The Key(board) Factor” regarding the use of my P1620 on my recent business trip and my consequent plan to eBay my P1620. But back to your questions, while the display isn’t as sharp as some other devices, and handwriting on a passive digitizer just won’t be as smooth as on an active digitizer, they both are serviceable for me. Please let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

  • Thanks. Keyboard doesn’t worry me. I’m a small guy. Am going to be coming from an OQO — active digitizer and crystal clear glass screen (beautiful). Know that I am giving those up to get something that won’t kill my eyes on the screen and will let me use practical tablet/writing functions (not enough screen real estate on the oqo).

  • chicagoguy, that is the tradeoff: Pocketable vs. more readable screen.

  • Well, I pulled trigger today. Ordered P1630 with 128 gb ssd, 2gb ram, integrated att 3G, bluetooth, etc. Will let you know.

  • make sure you visit the forum
    for the low down on p16x0 laptops, they’ve helped me out tons.

  • quangdx, I agree, that forum is an excellent resource. Indeed, I’m a member there, under the name GenghisKhent of course 🙂

  • Just got word that laptop will be in my hands Wednesday, March 18. Will report soon after that.

  • Good news! Yes please let us know.

  • Received it today as promised. Got it late in day and didn’t have time to even power it on yet. But some initial observations: A lot of plastic. Wasn’t expecting it to be this much plastic. No real fit or finish (even keys seem to have been haphazardly slapped on). You are right that size of keyboard is smaller than I expected, but in laying fingers over it and typing, seems workable for me (again, I have smaller hands).

    Will post more after I’ve had time to activate and use it a bit.

  • Ok. Have turned it on and cleaned out the bloatware and loaded Office and rest of my programs. Have connected it to all of my regular wifi spots, and have used it for some work over internet juniper and citrix connections. Haven’t yet set up the ATT, but will tomorrow. More observations:

    1. This computer is FAST. This is by far the fastest computer I’ve ever experienced, including dedicated harder core office machines, etc. The 128gb ssd and 2gb ram upgrades, while expensive, are very much worth it.

    2. Screen is a bit grainy, but not bad. Is identical to the type of tablet screen on the HP laptops out there with the amd chips (not the touchsmart series). Is not really a problem at all (for me anyway).

    3. The keyboard. Is small, but if your hands are middle to small size, you’ll be fine. However, some of the keys don’t work well when struck off center — for example, the Enter key has to be hit center or right of center to work. I think once I’ve typed on it a bit, the keyboard will feel more natural. As compared to my wife’s Acer Aspire One, though, her keyboard is better. Issue is width of keys (but Acer is about half to an inch wider than the Fujitsu).

    4. Did I mention that this laptop is fast? Unreal. Starts up in under 30 seconds, and this is with Vista Business OS. Instant on/off after that. Runs hidef videos over sites like Hulu as if they are nothing. Runs networks and multitask software also as if it’s not sweating. The fan only comes on when machine boots up from a completely shutdown mode. Otherwise, I have yet to have the fan come on. Again, probably due to the ssd.

    5. Wifi has worked fine for me so far. Have used on mix of public and private networks. No problems.

    Will test bluetooth and ATT tomorrow or over the weekend, and will report back.

  • Thanks chicagoguy. Your findings are similar to mine on the P1620, on which I also have an SSD, albeit smaller. I’m curious. Which Wifi card do you have?

  • With att integrated, only one wifi card option — the atheros. the intel isn’t compatible.

    Now have computer set up with att, etc. Continues to be lightning speed fast. Whether on wifi or att, speed is amazing.

    Video streams, whether slingbox, hulu, or straight websites (such as ncaa games), are amazing.

    Battery life is as advertised, no better. Standard battery gives 2-2.5 hours, and extended is giving 4-5 hours.

    Rest is same as reported above. Overall, though, am happy with computer because of performance levels. Do not miss OQO for that reason alone.

  • chicagoguy, thanks! Your posts are getting me thinking (always dangerous) about upgrading the SSD (and possibly WiFi) on my P1620. I’m not sure it’s worth the $s. But I wouldn’t get much for it on eBay, and 32GB SSD really is small and cramping my use. Of course, the keyboard is small for me. But I guess I could use a BT keyboard if I really need to type a lot. If I decide to go the upgrade route, I will post.

    I’m still thinking about the upcoming OQO. Powerful, but pricey. Pocketable, but the screen is small. I guess it comes down to how important pocketability is. If I am carrying around even a small briefcase/gadget bag, the P1620 certainly is small enough. Though the P1620 most certainly is not pocketable.

    Decisions …

  • Exactly. Had the OQO for 2 years. Was great, but ultimately screen just too small for any hope of productivity. Ended up using it purely for web browsing and entertainment. But deal killer in end was slow speed. Even the newest model only has an atom processor. My wife has had the Acer Aspire One for six months now, and I can tell you that if you plan to do anything more than basic internet (not hi def stream or fancy media viewing) and word processing, then it’s fine. But even she complains that it’s slow — and she’s the opposite of a techy.

    Re Fujitsu, everything still great for my needs after another week. Took it on road for first time, and had no problems. Is very fast at everything. Plenty of storage. Just really expensive to buy.

    Re case, I found that if you browse the shelves at Office Depot and Staples, you can find a very nice selection of cases. Just pick one of the Daytimer and competitor organizers in the 8 x 5.5 inch paper size. Pull out the organizer part, and you have a custom fit leather case. Sizewise, is double the size of the oqo — so you don’t put it in your pocket, but instead you carry it like a small book. Weight wise, neither weighs much in terms of carry.

    Can just tell you that as much as I loved my oqo, I don’t miss it now.

  • chicagoguy, others have recognized your comments:

    Thought of upsizing the SSD on my P1620, but apparently no upgrade path. You can’t use an SSD for a P1630 in a P1620; different interface.

    I’m still debating my next little laptop. Vaio P is interesting but has downsides. OQO Model 2+ is fascinating but how much work can I do with that small screen? Decisions … at least good fodder for an upcoming blog post.

  • Yes. Very true. Am warning you though re OQO and Vaio P, both have atom processors. Coming from Fujitsu (or from your Dell), you will be very disappointed. VERY SLOW. Good luck, whatever you end up deciding. They are all toys anyway.

  • chicagoguy, you are correct that the Atom simply doesn’t have the firepower of the Core 2 Duo. Though the Atom’s battery life is superior. Not sure this is a major issue on the P1620. Its battery life with the extended battery is quite good.

    I’m still mulling all this over. The OQO has the virtue of being pocketable. The Vaio less so, or not at all, depending on your pockets. There are other pluses and minuses, but the form factor is the big one for me. My concern is that the P1620 is a tweener device, too larger to be pocketable, but with a small keyboard and screen that puts it at an advantage with larger devices that still are relatively portable.

    It really comes down to usage. Again, I’m mulling this over, and likely will post soon.

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