While Fujitsu's laptop range has been geared towards the consumer market of late, the Lifebook S710 is aimed more at the business user. However, while performance excels, the poor build quality lets it down.

Built around a plastic chassis, the S710 lacks the style of some other laptops. The combination of black and silver plastics provides a functional design, but it looks outdated.

The S710's build quality is also disappointing. While the 2.4kg chassis feels sturdy in areas such as the screen panel and hinges, the palm rests flex under even light pressure. The keyboard also bounces massively while typing, making this feel like a cheaply-built laptop.

Thankfully, this does not impact too much on usability. Despite the bouncy keys, the keyboard is responsive, accurate and comfortable to use. The tiny touchpad is far less usable, though. Measuring just 62 x 38mm and featuring tiny mouse buttons, it's very awkward to work with.

Fujitsu lifebook s710

The 14-inch screen is more pleasing and well suited to travel use. While it's not as bright or vibrant as its rivals in this group, its matt TFT finish eliminates reflections, making it easy to use outdoors or under harsh office lights.

Powerful performer

Where the S710 excels is in its powerful performance. Driven by a high-end Intel Core i5 580M processor, it flew through our benchmark tests with an assured level of ease. This is a stunningly powerful tool for home or office use.

Graphics are far less capable, though, and relegate the S710 to office use alone. This laptop uses an integrated Intel GMA HD graphics card so performance is weak, but it will still allow you to watch movies and perform basic photo editing.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 309 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 273
3DMark 2003: 3533

Mobility also falls below expectations. At 2.4kg this is a light laptop, but the 309-minute battery life, while a decent result, falls below that of all but the Samsung RF510. With such limited graphics power, we expected much better battery performance.

Finally, features are mixed. While the 320GB hard drive provides ample storage, both the Acer and Samsung have larger capacities. There are also no VGA or HDMI ports for connecting to external displays, with only a DisplayPort highlighting this machine's business credentials.

Ultimately, the Lifebook S710 is too flawed for us to recommend. Its home and office performance is excellent, but the underpowered graphics, limited features and poor build quality are too pronounced at such a high price. You can find much better laptops for your money.

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