I have a 7200 RPM 60 gig drive from my old laptop. I ordered the Fujitsu with the smallest drive I could, the 40 gig because I am not going to use it. I immediately put my 60 gig drive in and did a Windows XP restore install. Yes, the 7200 rpm drive makes a huge difference. My unit has no dead pixels. They had 2.8 GHz units in stock with the DVD - rw drive, that's what I got.
Also, to make me feel better about the slower processor, I upgrade to 1 gig of RAM.
I am going to write up a more formal review later, but I can summarize by saying that I like the machine. I purchased a Sony GRT260G last week locally because I needed something quick. To be honest with you, that turned out to be a real nice machine as well. I am going to return it tomorrow, but I am somewhat conflicted. The two screens are very similar. My wife likes the Fujitsu screen better and I like the Sony screen better. I measured both screens, and they are both exactly the same size, 16.1”. The Fujitsu screen has more contrast. I measured the light output on both screens, set to a white background, with a professional photo light meter. I took measurement from several places on each screen. Both screens are very similar in brightness; The Fujitsu is slightly brighter according to the meter. However, my eyes tell me the Sony is brighter because it has a “whiter” white. To me, the Sony is a bit easier on the eyes. Also, the shadow mask, or whatever you call it on an LCD screen, is less visible on the Sony. But, as I mentioned before, my wife likes the Fujitsu better because she thinks it looks brighter, but more importantly she can see more contrast. Incidentally, she wears contacts and I have 20/20 vision; I don't know if this makes a difference, but we often see things differently. I guess I just like the white better on the Sony. All in all, both screen blow everything else away.
Aside from that, the Fujitsu has a *way* better keyboard. The whole unit seems much sturdier, most likely due to less plastic and more metal. The Fujitsu’s touchpad is bigger, and more useful due to its scroll key. The Fujitsu’s screen is a bit looser on it’s hinges than the Sony’s. The Fujitsu actually comes with disks! Not a restore partition on the hard drive. This makes loading drivers and the like much easier. Plus, the Fujitsu has a floppy drive unlike the Sony.
The CD drive on the Fujitsu is not modular like most laptops. This is kind of a bummer, but I have owned many laptops and never actually had the reason to change anything in a modular bay. The Fujitsu has 4 USB ports to the Sony’s 3. The Fujitsu has 2 pcmcia slots to the Sony’s 1. Although the Sony has a parallel port for some reason, neither laptop has a serial port. This is a bummer, I will have to locate a USB cable for my GPS.
The Sony lists support for tbe DVD+rw format as well as DVD - rw, the Fujitsu just lists DVD - rw. However, the Fujitsu’s drive specs are faster. I don't really know if this matters or not at this stage of the game.
Benchmarking the two systems is hard. Both CPUs are 2.8 GHz; the Sony’s CPU has a 533 Mhz FSB while the Fujitsu has an 800 MHz FSB and supports hyperthreading. Hyperthreading throws off most basic benchmark systems. Turning HT off in the bios, the Fujitsu is always a bit faster in benchmark programs. One reason seems to be that the Radeon video card performs quite a bit better than the NVidia in the Sony in a few key areas. With HT off, the Fujitsu performs slightly better in most CPU functions. With HT on, most benchmarks show the CPU as being much slower. However, benchmarks that use real world apps and functions such as decompressing a file show the CPU to be much faster with hyperthreading enabled.
The Sony has a TV tuner with remote and a SVIDEO in port. I don’t care about the tv tuner, but the video in is useful. I can always get a USB video capture device for the Fujitsu. The Fujitsu’s wireless reception seems to be better, and the wireless interface supports 802.11 ab & g, while the Sony only does 802.11 b & g. The Fujitsu has a 2 Gig memory limit to the Sony’s 1.
And finally, the Sony is more expensive. You get more bang for your buck with the Fujitsu. The highest level Sony, the GRT290, has a 3 GHz hyperthreading processor, a higher resolution Xbrite screen (1600 x 1200 as opposed to 1400 x 1050 for the N5010 and GRT260), 2 Gig memory limit and 800 MHz FSB. All this for more a $1200 more than the comparable Fujitsu model. And it still has that plastic case and crappy keyboard.
So, I’ve rambled enough. In conclusion, I personally like the Sony screen better. My wife likes the Fujitsu screen better. Overall, the Fujitsu is a much more solid unit and a much wiser choice. But I’ll bet the GRT290 is a sweet machine as well.
I’ve been at this all day, can you tell?