Hands-on review: Fujitsu Lifebook E743


Hands-on review: Fujitsu Lifebook E743

Fujitsu’s 14-inch E743 is one of three models that make up the company’s new range of Lifebook E Series Windows notebooks.

It’s joined by the 13.3-inch E733 and the 15.6-inch E753 models, which together give business users the choice between a more compact machine geared for the road, a larger notebook closer to a desktop replacement, or a device that sits somewhere in the middle.

Fujitsu has aimed for consistency with the notebooks by equipping them with the same operating system images, motherboard and firmware, enabling IT departments to chop and change between models while using the company’s docking station and peripherals.

In a row

Design and build quality

The E743 is a smart looking machine that’s stylistically closer to an Intel Ultrabook than your average business laptop, thanks to a smooth metallic finish that’s complimented by Fujitsu’s signature red trim.

We detected no flex in the notebook’s sturdy aluminium chassis, and its magnesium alloy lid, which was no trouble to prise open with a single hand, barely wobbled when raised.

Lid ports

At 1.9kg the E743 isn’t the lightest of 14-inch laptops and is noticably hefty when held in one hand, although this does give it a solid feel and we’d be confident that it would survive being regularly slung into a backpack for trips.

It sports a 1600×900-pixel resolution LED backlit display, which looks notably crisper than the 1366×768-pixel resolution panel found on the 13.3-inch model. It’s only let down by fairly lacklustre viewing angles in the absense of an IPS panel.

The trackpad’s buttons offer a satisfying click and the chiclet keyboard’s well-spaced keys afford decent travel, so typing out long documents shouldn’t pose a challenge on the machine.

Trackpad

Specs

Fujitsu has opted for an Intel third generation i3, i5 or i7 ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor under the E743’s hood, though a company representative told us that it’ll be offered with a fourth generation Haswell CPU when the chip is released. Also onboard is Intel’s vPro technology that’s aimed at giving IT administrators extended security options.

The model houses Intel’s HD Graphics 4000 chip and can be configured with up 16GB DDR3 RAM. Storage options are available in the form of a 500GB HDD spinning at 5400 rpm, a 512 GB SSD drive, or a ‘hybrid’ SSHD drive with 500GB.

Front LEDs

The E743 features a fingerprint scanner on the bottom right hand side and is also available with a Trusted Platform Module, a SmartCard reader, and full disk encryption at the hardware level for increased security.

Fingerprint scanner

Swappable bays

A standout feature of all the models in Fujitsu’s latest Lifebook E-Series models is the swappable modular bay, which allows you to add a second battery, projector or weight saver module.

The LED projector is the most interesting of the lot, capable of beaming a full colour image onto the nearest wall at a 854×480-pixel resolution, which Fujitsu claims will last for nearly 11 years before giving up the ghost.

Projector

Drive bay

Dock and connectivity

The E743 comes with a dock that can be used with all three of the laptops in the range. It features VGA and HDMI connections for hooking up external monitors, in addition to a port for a Kensington security lock. Standard headphone and microphone ports can be found on the dock’s side.

Dock

Connectivity

The E743 itself boasts the usual connectivity options, including full VGA-out, HDMI, USB 3.0, Ethernet and an SD card slot.

Wireless connectivity stops short at 802.11 a/b/g/n, so there’s no 802.11ac to be found here. Frequent travelers may be more interested in the option of a 3G or 4G LTE card for hooking up to mobile services on the move.

Left ports

The new laptops are available now starting at £860 plus VAT for the base configuration, ranging up to £1,294 plus VAT.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/laptops-portable-pcs/laptops-and-netbooks/fujitsu-lifebook-e743-1172393/review?src=rss&attr=all

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