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Fujitsu Lifebook U772 review – the business ultrabook

Fujitsu Lifebook U772 review – the business ultrabook
Posted by: Andrei Girbea | Last updated on: 31 Jul 2012 | See the comments
Summary: The Fujitsu LifeBook U772 is only one of the few business ultrabooks out there and it meets customers with fabulous looks and solid build quality, plus the productivity and the features clients in corporate environments need. It has its flaws though and it is a bit pricey.
Rating: 3 / 5   Price range: $1149 to $2199

THE GOOD

astonishing looks and build quality, accurate keyboard and trackpad, non-glare screen with a thin bezel, plenty of ports, 3G, docking connector and other business features bundled

THE BAD

average battery life, stiff trackpad, only a HD ready screen with rather poor viewing angles, on the pricey side

WHERE TO BUY:

The Fujitsu Lifebook U772 is only one of the few proper business ultrabooks out there right now.

Unlike regular ultrabooks, business targeted such devices need to offer some features and functions corporate users must have in order to be able to perform their daily tasks, like proper connectivity options, the ability to use matching accessories, improved security and so on.

Coming all the way from Japan, the U772 is Fujitsu’s top ultrabook and targets potential corporate buyers with a bunch of features they can’t actually find on most of the other ultrabooks, like enhanced security or 3G/4G mobile Internet connectivity. They do come with a price though, as you’ll find later on in this clip.

Anyway, the question is whether these are or not enough to make the Fujitsu U772 a worthy pic.

You’ll find that by the end of this review.

Fujitsu Lifebook U722 video review

The video below will tell you most of the things you need to know about this laptop, but for the details, you should read the written post as well.

Design and exterior

We’re going to start our review for the Fujitsu Lifebook U772 by taking a look at the exterior. The U772 is pretty compact for its class and weighs about 3.2 pounds. The 0.7 inch case combines red magnesium and black aluminum into a fairly good looking product. In fact, the U772 might seem a bit sober, with its sharp edges and straight lines, but that’s actually how a true business laptop should look.

One of the most beautiful laptops I've ever seen

Fujitsu Lifebook U772 – One of the most beautiful laptops I’ve ever seen

Out test unit came in red, but the Fujitsu ultrabook will be available in other colors as well, including silver and black. Still, I’m a big fan of this red finishing, you don’t get something like this on laptops that often.

On the hood there’s a chromed Fujitsu logo and the entire lid cover is pretty solid, although it does bend a bit under pressure.

Sleek and yet very solid

Sleek and yet very solid

On the bottom, you’ll find the same red finishing, with some cooling grills, the two speakers carved on the sides and a docking connector for a slice battery or a proper docking station. Of course, there’s no way to easily access the battery or internals, like with most other ultrabooks.

On the sides you’ll find a series of ports. On the left there’s the PSU, a cooling grill, a Kensington lock, one USB and the headphone/mic jack. On the right there’s an SD card-reader, another two USB ports, a Full Size HDMI port and the mini LAN connector.

There’s something on the back as well though: a place for a SIM Card, as this Fujitsu offers Cellular connectivity as well, besides Wireless N and Bluetooth. And speaking of Wi-Fi, there’s a Centrino N6205 wireless system on the U772, which allows good performances and adds My WiFi and WiDi.

Lifting the lid cover, you’ll find a beautiful black aluminum interior. It’s true, the black finish will catch fingerprints and smudges, but I find it so aesthetically pleasing nonetheless. The palm-rest isn’t very spacious, but it’s not too cramped either, and there’s a FingerPrint Reader on its right side.

Snazzy interior, although the black aluminum finish will easily catch smudges

Snazzy interior, although the black aluminum finish will easily catch smudges

On the top right part, Fujitsu placed the power button (which glows blue when the computer is ON and that’s quite bothering, especially when using the laptop in dim light). Next to it there’s an Eco button and some LEDs (not the status LEDs though, as those are placed on the front edge).

The power button glows blue, which is a bit annoying

The power button glows blue, which is a bit annoying

All in all, the Lifebook U772 is a snazzy ultrabook. It’s solid built and looks good, in its classic non-intrusive way. And yes, it is a bit heavier than the average ultrabook, but do not forget this is a 14 inch laptop and not a 13.3 incher, like most of its piers.

Screen

The screen’s bezel is also made from black metal and you’ll notice that it is incredibly slim. In fact, one could easily mistake the Fujitsu U772 with a 13.3 inch ultrabook, but it actually offers a 14 inch display, squeezed inside a 13.3 inch frame.

A 14 inch screen inside a 13.3 inch frame

A 14 inch screen inside a 13.3 inch frame

There’s a non-glare display on my test unit and it’s actually not bad at all. Yes, we’re talking about a TN panel with 1366 x 768 px resolution, thus the viewing angles are limited unless you’re watching the laptop straight on, but besides that, the brightness, contrast and colors are fairly alright. And you can lean the screen on its back quite a lot, which will allow you to adjust your viewing angle even when using the laptop on the couch or in a cramped Economy Class airplane seat.

The viewing angles are quite bad

The viewing angles are quite bad

So overall, the screen is decent, although it does not cover the entire surface inside the aluminum frame, as you might think when first laying your eyes on this laptop.

Also, I would have appreciated a higher resolution option, but that’s not available.

And the 1366 x 768 px resolution isn't impressive either

And the 1366 x 768 px resolution isn’t impressive either

Keyboard and touchpad

I should also add some things about the keyboard and trackpad.

First of all, I was a bit reluctant about the keyboard, as the keys’ travel is very shallow. Surprisingly though, I was able to cope with this keyboard very well and ended up even licking it.

Yes, there’s little travel, but the keys are firm and the feedback is decent, which end up to accurate and fairly comfortable typing. One thing though: the tested unit did not feature a backlit keyboard, but that one is available as an extra option.

As for the trackpad, well, it’s decently sized and feels like it should. It’s also responsive, accurate and deals fine with basic gestures or palm-rejection. The click buttons though, which are integrated within the tactile surface, were incredibly stiff on my unit. Now, this might not be the case for all models, but on this particular version, registering clicks was complicated, as I had to push way harder than I’d like to on the designated areas in order for something to happen, which was frustrating.

Hardware and performances

Fujitsu allows potential buyers to customize their U772 and pick between a couple of configurations and extra options.

Our test unit is basically the mainstream version, with an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, 4 GB of RAM and hybrid storage (with a 500 GB HDD and a 32 GB cache SSD).

Despite lacking a proper SSD, this Fujitsu is going to be pretty fast when dealing with daily tasks, although the regular HDD does make it a bit less responsive than it could be. Of course, the laptop can also deal with multimedia content and some light games, despite only sporting integrated graphics.

Long story short, as long as you don’t have impossible expectations from this laptop, it’s going to perform well, like most other ultrabooks do.

I also ran a bunch of synthetic tests on this Fujitsu and you can find the results below:

  • 3DMark 11: E1003;
  • PCMark 07: 3385;
  • PCmark Vantage: 7372;
  • CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 12.46 fps, CPU 2.33 pts;

Bear in mind that this is a test-sample, thus the results might vary on the final units you’ll find in stores.

A business ultrabook

Still, there are some details that set the Fujitsu Lifebook U772 apart from the other ultrabooks in stores and make it more suitable for business environments. First, it comes with Windows 7 Professional by default.

Then, it features a FingerPrint Reader, Cellular connectivity and a docking connector that can be used in order to attach a docking station to the ultrabook, but might also accommodate an external battery in the future.

And last but not least, there are the Intel Anti-theft and vPro, Citrix Receiver, TPM and Computrace BIOS Persistence chips and all the other business-grade technologies and features bundled on it.

There's more than meets the eye with the Fujitsu Lifebook u772

There’s more than meets the eye with the Fujitsu Lifebook u772

Battery life

The Fujitsu U772 comes with a 45 Wh battery and will run for about 4 on a single charge, during average daily use. Of course, this isn’t impressive and I was certainly expecting more, but don’t forget there’s a regular moving HDD inside this unit and a 3G modem, both eating their share of battery life.

Of course, the autonomy can be pushed a bit longer, to 5+ hours, when using the laptop lightly, but that’s still below the average in this class.

Battery life during average use is a bit under par

Battery life during average use is a bit under par

Noise, heat, speakers and others

Back to regular stuff, the U772 runs pretty cool and quiet most of the time, although it can get slightly warmer and noisier when pushed. In that case, the fan will become active, and while not necessarily noisy, i does make a bit of a buzz.

This Fujitsu does not get too hot or noisy

This Fujitsu does not get too hot or noisy

The speakers are fairly alright as well, for an ultrabook, with decent punch and average sound quality. Just don’t expect that much. But you can always use a nice pair of headphones with it nonetheless.

The speakers are good, for an ultrabook

The speakers are good, for an ultrabook

The HD webcam on top of the screen, it handled video chatting on Skype just fine, as long as there was enough light around.

Pricing and availability

As for prices, those are pretty steep. In fact, the base configuration available for the Fujitsu Lifebook U772 in the United States starts at $1149, and it’s nearly identical to the one we tested here, but comes with an SSD and a slightly slower processor.

You can configure your own version, in which case the prices will start at $1299 and can easily climb quite high when adding various options.

I should also mention that Fujitsu has an interesting offer as well, allowing you to upgrade the OS on your computer to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 if you’ll buy one of their laptops until the end of January 2013.

Wrap-up

In the end, I can conclude that the Fujitsu Lifebook U772 is a good ultrabook, definitely one of the best in terms of features and possibly one of the best overall.

It’s beautiful, sturdy, packs a decent keyboard, trackpad and screen. Besides those, potential buyers can choose between different configurations, based on their needs and can pick some features they can’t find on other ultrabooks, like an integrated Cellular module and a matching docking unit.

The Fujitsu U722 is a proper ultrabook, although there are things that can be improved

The Fujitsu U722 is a proper ultrabook, although there are things that can be improved

On the other hand, the battery life is under par, as I was hopping for at least one extra hour of use every charge. Also, the screen could have been better, especially in terms of resolution.

And then there’s the price, which is steep. In fact, the base Fujitsu U772 is more expensive than a default Samsung Series 9 or Asus Zenbook Prime. But this is a business laptop and if you’ll need the business-graded technologies and features bundled on this unit, I believe you’ll gladly pay for them.

Otherwise, perhaps the two ultrabooks aforementioned might be a better pick for a casual user. Or you could also check out our list of top ultrabooks available in stores, for some extra options.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.

2 Comments

  1. Mumbo

    August 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for the great review. Do you know if the red U772 s are sold in the United States? I was only able to find websites that sell silver U772 s.

    • Mike

      August 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      No, I’m sorry, you should ask the local shops about that…

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