Fujitsu Launches New Thin-And-Light Portable

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based unit of the global computer giant is launching the LifeBook P1500, a 2.2-pound portable sporting a Tablet PC form factor that's powered by an Intel Pentium M processor and contains a full-blown version of Windows XP. The system is PEN-enabled and comes with a stylus. Initial street pricing will be $1,499, Fujitsu executives said.

The combination of form and function will allow the LifeBook P1500 to appeal to "the slate guy as well as the notebook guy," said Paul Moore, director of mobile product marketing at Fujitsu.

The LifeBook P1500 has a battery life of about three hours, and there's an option for a secondary battery that provides a seven-hour battery life boost, Moore said.

The result: a system that can work nearly all day in a variety of environments, such as health-care professionals making rounds and warehouse managers checking inventory. It also could be used in schools.

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A solution provider who had an early look at the LifeBook P1500 said he thinks it will catch on, including with the health-care professionals that his company specializes in serving.

"The new model is more exciting. It is going to have a real Intel processor, going to have the wireless [802.11] b and g, and it has the flip screen," said C.A. Nix III, president of Medical Practice Technologies, Cumming, Ga. "People can truly use this as a laptop replacement."

Previous "thin and light" systems from Fujitsu were configured to run wirelessly in a Citrix-based server implementation, enabling doctors to come in at seven in the morning, see patients through lunch and recharge the computer during lunch hour, Nix said.

"Then, after lunch, they take it and never have to plug it in for the rest of the day," he said. Enhanced power-saving technology that Fujitsu has implemented with the Pentium M processor could accentuate that feature, he added.

Earlier thin-and-light systems ran Microsoft CE or a similar "lite" operating system, Nix said. But because the LifeBook P1500 has a full version of Windows, his clients will get more opportunities to use the system as a true notebook replacement, he said.

Later this year, Fujitsu plans to ship the LifeBook P1500 with Microsoft's XP for Tablet PC platform, Moore said.