The Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook P7230 (£1687 inc. VAT) is a true ultraportable. Weighing in at just 1.4kg, it can be easily slipped into any briefcase and because the chassis is made from magnesium-alloy, it is solid and robust enough to take the occasional knock.
The screen is a 10.6-inch Super-TFT panel that uses LED backlit technology instead of fluorescent tubes to power it. This helps towards the battery life of the device, which we found to be an impressive 345 minutes, under test. If you're looking for a machine to use for long periods on the move, this is highly recommended.
The keyboard spans the full width of the chassis and surprisingly the keys are of a good size, which makes typing easy. The keys are well mounted and we found this a comfortable keyboard to use. The touchpad and mouse buttons are small, but proved accurate. You'll even find a biometric fingerprint scanner nestled between the mouse buttons, adding an extra layer of security to the machine.
When it comes to the 3G connection, Fujitsu Siemens has made this supplier-neutral, so you'll be able to use whichever provider best suits your needs.
The 3G controller is made by Sierra Wireless and is built into the unit itself. The adapter is controlled by a software tool called 3G Watcher, which has a simple interface that gives details of the connection made and how strong it is.
On the downside, the adapter hampers the battery life of the machine, and we found the machine would only last for four hours when online. That said, it is still considerably better than many rival machines.
While it may deliver outstanding battery life, if you need your laptop for anything other than checking email or writing reports, you may not want this as your sole machine as we found it a little underpowered. Using an Intel Core Solo U1400 processor, this 1.2GHz chip is an Ultra Low Voltage variant, which helps support battery life, but does little for cutting-edge performance.
With 1024MB of memory installed, we found this machine quite slow, but as long as your needs are basic, you won't find this too much of a problem. The 60GB hard drive may be a small capacity, but this is due to the limits of the 1.8-inch form factor. Other features include the addition of Bluetooth, as well as a 1.3-megapixel webcam set above the panel.
The FSC LifeBook P7230 is an impressive laptop and should be considered by anyone who needs a small machine they can use for long periods of the day. The addition of 3G makes this the perfect tool for the business traveller.