Lifebook t4310 Review

Discussion in 'Fujitsu' started by n00beta, Dec 11, 2009.

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  1. n00beta

    n00beta Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This review is from the perspective that knows enough about hardware, software, AND art to give a fairly definitive review of this machine from more than just a simple mechanical perspective. I'll be adding to this review so please hold any questions until its clear that I've finished. There will be three parts:

    1. Physical
    2. Machine functionality as a general laptop
    3. Machine functionality as a drawing tablet

    The third part will be after I've reformatted and installed all of my own software (which may not be until tomorrow or later). I may also make a video review at some point. So, On with it!


    Fujitsu extended my "estimated shipping date" a few days, so I called them and said that I wasnt happy about it and asked if they could do anything for me. Actually, I was still pretty pissed off about it, because they didnt fix the date they shipped it. However, when the tablet left the shipping facility, I found out that they had overnight shipped it, from Japan. So, it took about 7 business days total, but for free shipping I can't complain.

    It came in a box within a box, with foam packing inserts so it was protected about as well as any package can be. No damage, not so much as a scratch when I received it.

    When I first unwrapped it, the impression I got was "holy ****, this is a black mirror". Its legitimately the most glossy hardware item I've ever seen. Its nice looking, but fingerprints stick like magnets. They wipe off easily enough though, I guess. The build and material quality in comparison with my lenovo (bad comparison, I know) seem fairly poor. It is a consumer product though, so I expected as much. The keyboard on the other hand, is outstanding and almost matches my desktop's keyboard (MS sidewinder) in "usability", shall we say. The touchpad is TINY. That might even be an understatement. Its SUPER TINY. I've never played with a touchpad on a 12" laptop before but I didnt expect it to be that small. I'll update this part later with what I think of its performance and if its size is acceptable.

    Its screen is a tiny bit more glossy than the super-matte x61, but its just about what I expected in that respect as well. I did NOT get the wide-angle screen, and I think maybe I should have, but the normal screen isn't too bad for the average user. Since I plan to do a lot of drawing, it may have been worth the additional $100, but I'll update with a better opinion once I've used it a bit.

    Thats about as far as I've gotten till now, its running the setup procedures so I'll pop back in and update later tonight.
     
  2. jcddvm

    jcddvm Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I know you're not done yet, but please explain the above in a bit more detail for those like myself who've never handled a Lenovo and don't know what you're talking about.
     
  3. n00beta

    n00beta Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Lenovos are pretty much the most solidly built machines you could possibly imagine. the fujitsu's quality is comparable to the average laptop. Lenovo makes extremely ugly machines but they pretty much never break. Thats the main difference between "business" and "consumer" class.
     
  4. RazzNuts

    RazzNuts Scribbler - Standard Member

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    congrats for your new T4310 @n00beta :D

    I wonder how does the supposed-to-be "business-class" T4410 would compare to the consumer T4310 (and Lenovo, sure)
    Btw any chances of posting any pic? :)
     
  5. n00beta

    n00beta Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hm, forgot about this thread for a bit there, oh well, I'm pretty much good to go in terms of testing things out. I don't really have a camera actually besides a phone camera which isnt going to help too much I dont think. A few main points:

    - Given the chance to decide again, I would DEFINITELY have gone with the wide-angle screen. I can live with the normal screen but I don't like it at all, people watch me playing games surprisingly often and I like them to be able to see the colors correctly. Also, for art its workable but not great.

    - Do not try to install your own OS without having a considerable amount of computer knowledge. Getting all the drivers and necessary software up and running again after a reformat was quite an ordeal.

    - Does not play games well. Plays fairly smoothly most of the time but occasionally freezes up. Might be a driver issue which I'll try to get fixed. No idea, really.



    The screen is pretty nice and responsive for writing, the pen levels work well once you've configured them right. Touch isnt 100% perfect yet but its fairly close. Its not really usable in the average program yet .. because most of the controls arent intended to be pressed with a finger.. but it is way better than you see in those demos (where the guy stumbles around with rotating a picture and barely gets it to work). Its useful for zooming in and out of something you're drawing, though occasionally will cause a mark across the screen. I'm thinking with practice that won't happen much at all.


    So the main two points I would make are that as a general laptop, it is fairly quick to open programs, nothing to write home about but not annoyingly slow, even in comparison to a monster computer. The second point being that for an artist, the wide angle screen is totally worth it! Other than that though, it seems that its functionality as a drawing tablet matches that of a wacom easily. A cintiq is probably (in my opinion) going to be better, but can you lay down in bed and use your cintiq to read a book? or use it to watch a movie on a plane? No? I didnt think so. :)

    So in retrospect, I might have forked over a bit more cash and got a business class model such as the 4410 or more likely the 5010. If those are out of your budget range though, I think the 4310 is a solid choice. Especially if you dont mess with its drivers, its performance is admirable :p
     
  6. Synergi

    Synergi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Noobeta
    Thanks for the update. Can you tell me if you can use this tablet on your lap or would it get to warm to be comfortable? Also how does it feel. Have you seen the HP TX2 touch smart? How is the thickness of your unit compared to that one. Does it seem thick at all?

    I like your points about the viewing angles. I had the HP TX2 briefly and didn't like to lay it down which sort of defeats the purpose of having a tablet.

    How does Surface globe work? Is it laggy at all. Do you think your processor is strong enough or if you had to do over would you gone up with the 2.53 on the business tablet?

    I wanted the Acer 1420 but I haven't seen anything good about inking in it. So that left me with the T4310/T4410 and Lenovo X200 but I'll be a old lady before they get any stock in with the Enhanced multitouch screens.

    Speaking of, how many touch points are there?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  7. jcddvm

    jcddvm Scribbler - Standard Member

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    What kinds of games are you talking about?

    Now I'm on the fence between a new T4310 or a refurbed T5010. I started another thread looking for advice on that decision already. I'd like whatever I get to be able to do a little bit of everything well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  8. n00beta

    n00beta Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @Synergi
    It gets a bit warm when you're watching a HD movie or playing a game, but not uncomfortably so. Its fairly solid, lightweight. From what I've seen, similar to the HP in outward appearance, although I havent personally used one. It does seem quite thick in comparison to the usual small laptop. I am curious why that is the case. Its not too thick though, but it would be a lot classier looking if it were thinner.

    Surface globe worked just fine for me. Not the best program in the world but it wasnt laggy and worthless like it appeared in some of the videos. I think the processor is sufficient but if there were any way possible to get a better GPU I would have done it.

    Currently only 2 touch points as far as I can tell, thats a software issue though. The hardware should allow up to 10 I believe. I dont really understand the point of 3 finger gestures anyway, but I'll be glad when better multitouch software starts to hit the market.

    @jcddvm
    The only games I've tried so far are World of Goo, Diablo II, and world of warcraft. Ironically, WoG and WoW run just fine (on near minimum settings for the latter, of course) but Diablo seems to have some driver compatibility issue with the GPU. Occasionally the screen will go black or the game will encounter a critical error. As I recall, I used to get errors like that playing diablo II on pretty much all of my machines, so I can't say with certainly whether its a hardware problem or not.

    Basically, for your choice it depends on your needs. If you're an artist or designer I would almost definitely go with the 5010. Other than that I'd say its a matter of cost. Multitouch in its current state is hardly useful at all, but (as I may have said before) maybe in the future it will become something worthwhile. Of course, I'm talking about end-user software, not about multi-touch technology itself.
     
  9. Synergi

    Synergi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    N00beta,
    Thanks so much. I think from the sound of it the x200 to my horror (since I can't actually order it) is the one that might work best for me. I want it think and as light as possible. I guess I'll have to wait until they get their screens in.

    Heat while playing movies is acceptable. Now I heard the 5010 did get hot which is why I stayed away from it.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer!
     
  10. mobilegadgetgeek

    mobilegadgetgeek Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have also received my 4310 a couple days ago. So if anyone has questions maybe I can answer a few. My previous table was an HP tx2500 and it was a heavier fire-breathing beast compared to the 4310. But did manage to keep my hands warm on chilly days. I do not notice the 4310 getting hot for lap use. When watching a movie or running a demanding program the fan will kick into high gear but the bottom does not get anywhere near as hot as the HP did. I do suffer processor envy of other countries that are able to custom order a faster processor. Its not that my 4310 is laggy by any means, but a faster processor will make the tablet be viable for me longer. Most of the video's that people are seeing on the internet are probably early production models and so they are getting the impression that the touch interface is really laggy. I find the experience to be quite good actually. Using Microsoft Surface Globe is quite responsive for the program. One thing I have found out with using these devices is that you have to give yourself some time to relearn how you interface with the tablet. Once you use if for a few days you learn to use it and it makes for a much better experience. Most of the videos you see online are people rushing to get the review out there and not learning the device so they can let it shine to the best of its capabilities. I will be doing a video review of the US 4310 in a few days. Im also a light gamer, World of Warcraft is downloading now and I will let everyone know how it is. But I know that the gpu is not going to be stellar in the gaming department. Its not the reason you buy a tablet or at least it shouldn't be. But in this day and age I expect that a computer over $1000 be able to function in as many useage scenarios as possible. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. But keep in mind I can only relate to my experience with the HP tx2500 and a Fujitsu U820 that I own.

    Tom
     
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