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Since there's no optical drive on the t580, our normal battery test procedure was impossible. With all power saving features disabled, we played a video movie from a USB stick until the battery went from fully charged to powering down the machine. That time was exactly one hour and 16 minutes, which is not very good.
However, we estimate that with Windows power saving features enabled plus a few device-specific controls added by Fujitsu, we estimate that battery life should be about double that of our tests.
When used as a tablet, the screen lays flat and meshes nicely with the raised portion of the case that is home to the swivel and control buttons for screen rotation, menu and log-off/shutdown. Screen rotation is not perfect; often rendering upside down when going from landscape to portrait. But for that we blame Windows. Fujitsu could improve situation by employing an accelerometer to automate screen rotation as the iPad and other Apple devices. Unlike the current iPad, the T580 has a camera, albeit a 1.3 megapixel model; there's also a fingerprint reader.
Unlike its predecessors, the Lifebook T580 doesn't suffer from an abundance of thermal output. The hottest spot was the exhaust port, which put out a steady 90-degree breeze on the unit's left edge. The only accessory included with our review unit was a cleaning cloth for the screen. Fujitsu offers numerous others to make tablet use easier, including a bottom-mounted hand strap, a carry strap and padded case. Hard drive options are available up to 500 GB mechanical and 128-GB SSD, and all are shock-mounted and protected with Fujitsu's shock detection software.
Try as it might, Windows 7 is simply not a tablet operating system. Pinch-to-zoom is nice, but a truly usable tablet interface includes features swoop and two-finger scroll, and incorporates mouse and/or trackpad functions that can work in conjunction with modifier keys. Application and operating system performance was responsive, despite a less than stellar Geekbench score of 3017. The best Core i5 score we've seen first hand was that of the Panasonic ToughBook at 4596.
Despite table-unfriendly obstacles of its operating system, Fujitsu has delivered a friendly user experience on this well-equipped LifeBook T580 Tablet PC. For professional artists and other content creators, or for specialized applications in health-care and other touch-input verticals, the Fujitsu Lifebook T580 would be a solid choice and is a recommended product. Pricing starts at $1,149 ($1,399 as tested).
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