First off, this wasn't a small investment (though you could get it for less if you got a bit of a slower hard-drive, got ValueRAM instead of Fujitsu RAM, and only one battery). I paid big.. $2,330 plus tax. It was worth it, however. Keep in mind, if you customize a model online you can not return it (unless it is defective or doesn't come configured correctly, obviously).. if you buy a pre-configured option, you have 14 days. The pure specs are one thing, but the quality and workmanship this laptop shows far exceeds anything else I've seen on the market, and I did a lot of shopping around. After seeing this laptop, two of my friends (both with comparable or more expensive Alienwares) said they wished they had bought the N6210 instead.
17" WXGA+ "CrystalView" Screen.. Best I've ever seen, easily stands up to the XBRITE -- I'll post some side-by-sides when I can so you can judge for yourselves. I like the colors better on the CrystalView than the XBRITE. It even looks good in full sunlight out on my front porch, and that's an accomplishment for a glossy screen. The 1440x900 resolution seems like enough to me.
1.8GHz Pentium M Processor. Self-explanatory.. runs very cool, quiet, and faster than my 2-year-old 2.5GHz P4 Desktop.
Dual-Layer Multi-Format DVD Writer. Not sure of the speed, but I've burned both CDs and DVDs to try it out and it's fast enough for me. I'd say it burns a full 700MB CD in about 5-7 minutes.
Integrated Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection (Tri-mode 802.11a/b/g), multinational 56K V.90 modem and 10/100/1000 Base-Tx Gigabit Ethernet, which is a lot of fancy jargon for saying it can connect to the internet just fine.
ATI Mobility Radeon X600 128MB Dedicated Video Card. I was initally pretty concerned about the videocard after reading all the hype about X800s and the GeForce 6800 Go. I don't run too many hardcore games, but it runs World of Warcraft on just about maximum settings on the native res with no slowdown whatsoever -- same with Counter-Strike and Warcraft III. I'm not big on 3DMarks, but if you MUST have them, I suppose I can run them. I don't see this machine having problems with even the latest games, although you may not be able to run on the TOP highest settings.
1256MB (1.2GB) Fujitsu Brand DDR2 SDRAM. A /quit in World of Warcraft takes me to the desktop in about two seconds and doesn't skip a beat. It's fast. The max RAM it can support is 2GB.
60GB 7200RPM Drive (This was the only 7200 they had, but there is an option to double up the drives to have 120GB. It's expensive and I imagine it makes the computer run hotter and have less battery life, but that may not be true.) Might be the Achilles Heel to some, but external drives are cheap, and Fujitsu doesn't offer 5200RPM.. it's 4200 or 7200. I prefer the extra speed, even though it is probably nigh unnoticeable unless you're say, recording music.
I was deciding between the 2 60GB drives instead of the ton of RAM (the markup on Fujitsu RAM is not nearly as bad as say, Dell's), but I didn't want to risk any ValueRAM just because I'm not really familiar with it. If you play it right, you could probably get the 120GB 7200RPM option with the stock (256MB) RAM, add 1GB of ValueRAM and get essentially the same performance but with the bigger drive. I just didn't feel like going through the risk of it not working. I also bought two 12-cell batteries, which jacked up the price by a good $200.
TECH SUPPORT. I have called in about four times (two as tests before I bought the laptop, once because I had a warantee question, and once because I thought my AC Adapter was faulty. Turns out it was just plugged into an outlet controlled by a lightswitch, and the switch was -- you guessed it -- off.) Each time I have gotten through to a real live tech support agent in less than 10 minutes, and usually within 1 minute. They have all been helpful, native English-speakers (I think their support center is in Canada, because they do say "aboot" a lot). It almost took me more time to figure out my light-switch was off than it took them to arrange to have me sent a replacement AC adapter and have it be received within 3 days. Luckily, I figured it out before that happened, but it was the best damn service I've encountered -- especially after DellHell and SonyStasis.
Reliable. After two weeks of heavy use (basically 24/7 on-time, with lots of CD/DVD burning and a good amount of gaming with a lot of toting around to LANs), it has proved to be an extremely reliable and durable piece of machinery.
Quality Build and Chassis. Materials are top-notch. The black and gray finishes on the outside and inside of the laptop do not rub off and the laptop just feels sturdy. It's a very handsome and sleek chassis -- no flames or glowing alien eyes if those are your thing, but it's a good mix of professionalism and simplicity.
SCREEN. The screen is beautiful, and even looks good without major glare in a lot of light. For those of you who care about such things as "sparkles" and "light-leakage" -- there are no sparkles (and I KNOW sparkle, having bought a Dell 9300 previous to this and returning it because my whole head hurt to look at it). There was some minor light-leakage when the laptop first arrived, but it has dissipated now. Even when it existed, it only showed on a completely black screen and was hardly noticeable.
Keyboard. The N6210 has a very good full-size keyboard with NumPad, which is nice.
Weight. "Sturdy" can be another word for "Heavy." This laptop is portable, but it's not particularly totable. With a good shoulder-bag, I have no problems taking it relatively short distances -- If I walked around the block with it though, I would probably start to feel some shoulder/arm-fatigue. For school and cross-campus stuff, I would highly suggest a backpack. My advice, go to Fry's and pick up (literally pick up, don't buy) one of their Fujitsu N6010s if they have no N6210s in stock. See how it feels.
Touchpad. The touchpad is sort of annoyingly situated right where my left hand rests while I'm typing, so occasionally I'll accidently tap it and it'll click me out of a textfield or whatever I'm working on. I solved this by buying a nice, small external notebook mouse (which I would have done anyway, because I hate touchpads), then disabling the touchpad. You can easily enable/disable the touchpad with a Function key located on the keyboard. Also, if you're a piano player, you'll probably ave your hands slightly lifted anyway and it won't be a problem.
Media Control. There are no media buttons on the front of the laptop, so you can't control it without the lid open. If you get the TV Tuner (which I did not), it comes with a remote control and a lot more functionality when it comes to that kind of thing. If it's important to you, you may want to choose a slower hard-drive and put out the $300 for the TV Tuner option (it changes the laptop rather significantly, they don't just stick a tuner in. Check the Fujitsu website for more on that.)
Battery life. It's actually not bad with the 12-cells. The only time I'm off an outlet would be for traveling on a plane, for instance (good luck fitting this monster on a tray-table). On low brightness watching a movie, I think I could get a little over 2 hours of battery life. That's not bad for a laptop this powerful and this size. With the two batteries, that's 4 hours of playtime, probably more if you're just doing word processing or other.
Speakers. They're not half-bad, and they're certainly not irritating to listen to like some laptop speakers. Supposedly it has a subwoofer in the bottom, but it's not particularly noticeable from what I can hear. However, at max volume they are very loud (a gripe I've had with previous laptops) and unless you are quite picky, you probably will be satisfied with DVD or music playback -- I know I am. Besides, if you are picky, you probably have external speakers to hook up anyway.
Fan/Heat. This laptop runs warm, but it doesn't get hot or overheat. I don't know if I would suggest actually operating it on your lap -- I have, and it gets a little toasty. Depends on how tolerant you are of that kind of thing, I suppose. The fan turns on a lot, but it's rather quiet and not bothersome. I leave the overclocking and undervolting to technophiles more experienced and knowledgable than myself. A Fujitsu tech told me that he wouldn't suggest overclocking the N-Series as he imagined it could very well burn out or light on fire. I don't know if that's true, but I still don't feel the need to try.
If this is the type of laptop you're looking for -- a desktop replacement that is not meant to be super-portable or extremely battery-efficient, but has fantastic, reliable performance for all but the most demanding games and applications and an incredibly bright, colorful, and sharp screen that isn't bad outdoors.. You can't go wrong with this one. Not to mention Fujitsu's great service and quality. This laptop is truly a diamond in the rough, at least so far. If anything goes wrong, I'll be sure to let you all know -- but so far, no problems whatsoever.