Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fujitsu Lifebook UH572 Ultrabook Review

Fujitsu Lifebook UH572 Ultrabook Review - PC Notebook Review 6/27/2013
Sneaking in under the radar last year is a full featured Ultrabook notebook from Fujitsu that caught my attention  as they have been a relatively late entrant in the Ultrabook product market. My past experiences with Fujitsu notebooks has been positive overall and I have used the Fujitsu P series of sub-notebooks for many years as my primary business notebook. Fujitsu is a well-respected world-wide notebook innovator and manufacturer but spends little to no marketing and advertising dollars here in the US. They have gained a cult following on the notebook side here in the US by business travelers that are tech savvy. Fujitsu has a very well earned reputation as a tablet and ultra portable notebook manufacturer over the last 29 years or so. Their notebooks have always been priced at least 25 to 30% above competing models from Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell, Sony and HP but street prices in the US are relatively low as refurbished and clearance models can be easily found at internet resellers like J and R and B and H Photo, CDW, and PC Connection, in addition to eBay auctions of Fujitsu notebooks found on the Fujitsu eBay store-front.

This particular Ultrabook model is basically the same model as the Fujitsu U772 corporate Ultrabook model that starts at ta retail price of $1599.00. The Fujitsu UH572 Ultrabook is essentially the same design and has the same cpu and storage components as the U772 but carries an MSRP of $899.00. The only difference is that the UH572 has a 13.3" LCD LED back-lit screen instead of the 14" one that is standard on the U772.

A few weeks ago, Fry's Electronics had a special sale on these notebooks. A brand new Fujitsu UH572 Lifebook Ultrabook was on sale for the ridiculously low price of $498.00. Fujitsu also has a $100.00 direct to consumer rebate for this model notebook so the net cost is $398.00!!!!! This notebook is a fully featured Ultrabook with an Intel Core I5 3317 Ivy Bridge processor. 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB Hard Disk with a 32 GB mSATA cache Hard Disk that supports Intel's Instant On technology. It has an internal 4200 mAH non-user removeable Lithium Polymer Battery with a rated run time of almost 6 hours, and up to 8 if an SSD drive is installed. Two USB 3.0 Ports and one powered USB port along with a built in Bluetooth radio and a standard HDMI connector make this a fully featured notebook perfect for corporate travel and presentations in the board room. It also has built in WiDi and an SD/XC memory Stick Pro Card Reader/Writer for those who are into digital photography. Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit version is the standard operating system. At a little over .66" thick, this notebook is really thin and light with a total weight of about 3.25 pounds.

First Impressions of this notebook
The keyboard has a very short travel due to the thinness but the island style keyboard provides a satisfying click when the keys are pressed and you can type accurately after a short period of time adjusting to this keyboard. There is little to no flex on the keyboard and main chassis that supports the LCD screen and ther is little to no flex on the LCD screen with a very smooth hinge system and durable black glossy aluminum finish on the trackpad and inner covers that attracts fingerprints and smudges. Cosmetics wise, this notebook looks adn feels like a premium ultrabook and the design is very understated.

Sensible upgrades transform this notebook into a powerhouse portable workstation
Of note, Fujitsu technical and product marketing documentation states the the maximum amount of memory this notebook will support is 4 GB of RAM as there are only 2 memory simm slots populated with 2 GB DDR3 SODIMM memory modules. I tried upgrading the memory to 16 GB of SystemMemory by installing 2 8GB Crucial Memory DDR3 SODIMM memory modules and they worked PERFECTLY in this notebook with no memory or system errors whatsoever. With WIndos 7 64 Bit OS installed I now have access to 16 GB of memory within a notebook that only costs $398.00.

Opting for the most batery life and getting the highest performing disk drive, I also upgraded by removing the 7 mm Hitachi 5400 rpm 500GB SATA drive and installed a Plextor 256 GB mSATA M5M SSD drive attached to a SATA to mSATA adapter. The Windows Performance rating for Disk I/O jumped from 5.9 to 7.9 and power consumption at idle is down to .1 watt. This mSATA drive currently sells for about $200.00 on Amazon and or Newegg.

This notebook is now a speed demon and I am averaging close to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.
This premium Road Warrior is more powerful than Asus, Samsung, Acer, HP and Lenovo ultrabooks costing upwards of 1799.00. The upgrade limitations on those notebooks are well documented as 4 GB is the normal max and it is difficult to upgrade their built in mSATA SSD drives. I now have a screamingly

fast Ultrabook that gets 8 hours of battery life, has 16 GB of memory and really fast 256 GB mSATA Plextor SSD drive that comes in at $799.00 with all of the performance and memory upgrades.