Fujitsu Lifebook UH572 review: good looks, significant drawbacks

The consumer-oriented version of Fujitsu's 13.3-inch Ultrabook looks handsome, but performance is lacking.

By Yardena Arar, PC World |  Hardware, Fujitsu

Fujitsu outfitted the UH572 with two USB 3.0 ports, including one that can charge devices even when the laptop is powered down, and one USB 2.0 port. The laptop also has HDMI-out and security lock ports, and an SD/Memory Stick card reader. But I found puzzling the company's decision to leave out ethernet support, an omission all the more glaringly obvious as a mini-LAN port appears on the UH772. Surely some consumers would like a wired network connection as opposed to 802.11n Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz band only.

The keyboard is also problematic. The island chiclet-style keys are middling in sizetheres almost an inch of platen on either sidebut although theyre reasonably well-spaced, theyre also a bit slippery, travel is minimal, and the keyboard has no backlight. The layout isn't optimal either: Fujitsu chose to put the Home, Page Up/Down, and End keys in a column on the far right, and as a result both the Backspace and Delete keys are less easily accessible than Id wish.

The Synaptics ClickPad (version 8.0) touchpad has its good points once you get the hang of it. Because the cursor keeps moving after you swipe it, you can get to the right or left edge of the screen in one goor maintain more control by keeping your fingertip firmly on the smooth, button-free surface. The ClickPad also supports multitouch gestures such as pointing and zooming. But I did miss having dedicated buttons for right and left clicking, as opposed to clicking the entire touchpad on one side or the other. In the end, this comes down to personal preference.

Sound and Video

The speaker system is another major downer. Even with the DTS Boost technology and volume controls at the maximum setting, the audio was tinny. Audio with a headset was much better, but not especially greatmusic lovers should look elsewhere.

The UH572 did well with video, however. YouTube videos looked smooth, and the built-in high-def (1280 by 800 pixels) webcam captured good-looking video in a Skype call to China.

Fujitsu's software bundle is minimal, but it avoids the most annoying bloatware and includes a couple of potentially useful applications: Cyber YouCam software for creating videos with the webcam, and Roxio Creator LJ, a stripped-down DVD burning application. You also get the usual trial version of Norton Internet Security and Microsoft Office Starter Edition.

Had Fujitsu given the UH572 ethernet support and a more robust audio system, I could forgive the unimpressive performanceafter all, most consumers wont be running heavy-duty spreadsheets or doing serious video editing. But general users do care about decent multimedia and a good keyboard, and Fujitsus attention to industrial design and components fell sadly short in those areas, making it difficult to heartily endorse the UH572.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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