Fujitsu LifeBook A530 review

A low-cost laptop, but unfortunately cuts too many corners

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Portability
  • Build quality
  • DVD drive


  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Almost no video memory
  • Small hard drive
  • Dull screen

If you're looking for a recession-busting laptop, the Fujitsu LifeBook A530 will certainly catch your eye. The price tag is pretty tempting and, at just £364, there's really not many cheaper options on the market.

If your laptop-buying decision is based purely on price, then the LifeBook A530 is a no brainer, but it goes without saying that there's no such thing as a free lunch and the A530 makes huge sacrifices.

These come in the form of processing power, which is key to the amount of tasks your laptop can perform, and the amount it can do simultaneously. At the helm is a dated 2GHz Intel Celeron P4600 processor, which will struggle with anything more taxing than basic web surfing and emailing.

This is backed up with a meagre 2048MB of memory, which is quite low by modern standards. Couple this with the 250GB hard drive and appalling lack of video memory and the £40 saving over the Samsung R540 is looking less appealing.

TFT screen

While we're talking about shortcomings, we might as well bring up the screen. It's a basic TFT panel, which is extremely dull and lifeless, and totally unsuited to films and media. A side-effect is that it's very usable in direct sunlight, so if you're a person who liked to take their laptop out to use in the garden, then it's worth considering this factor when making a laptop purchase.

The chassis of the A530 is good for such a bargain price and it manages to feel light, without being flimsy, which is something few budget notebooks manage. At 2.5kg, it's light enough to carry round if you really need it, but we wouldn't recommend it for life on the road.

There's a full numeric keypad, present as well as a full sized standard keyboard.

Fujitsu lifebook a530

The lab tests of the Fujitsu A530 highlight its meagre performance. It turned out low scores in our tests of processing power, and battery life was also a miserable 101 minutes.

The Acer Timeline X 3820TZ came out worse in terms of graphical power, and that sacrifice is made in the name of super portability and a staggering battery life. The Fujitsu achieves neither, and the strain really shows.

All this translates into a weak performer with serious shortcomings. If you're looking for something for the most basic web surfing, then you'll be fine. However, HD video and web streaming will suffer, and even playing basic games will be a struggle.

When you consider that another £30 could buy you the HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa with its significantly superior build and performance, we can't recommend it, but if your decision is based purely on price, the Fujitsu LifeBook A530 is hard to turn down.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time6 Hour
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyLIFEBOOK A
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelP4600
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NameFujitsu
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypeCeleron
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.50 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1.65 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height38.4 mm
Width378 mm
Depth252 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesA
Product ModelA530
Product NameLifeBook A530 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineLIFEBOOK
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVFY:A5300MRYG1GB
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The LIFEBOOK A530 notebook is solid and practical with a high defnition 39.6cm (15.6-inch) gloss anti-glare LCD in 16:9 widescreen format. With HDMI you can also enjoy media on your display. Integrated WLAN, Bluetooth and optional 3G/UMTS provide you with the highest connectivity. The fat spill-resistant keyboard with num pad provides extra reliability and usability.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • LifeBook A530 Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter