This small wonder fails to stand out in any one area
Fujitsu has been a pioneer in the notebook category, dating back to its P2000, one of the first ultraportables to feature an optical drive. In this roundup, however, the standard Fujitsu set is better implemented by its competitors.
At 10.75x8.25x1.5 inches, the P8020 has a slightly smaller footprint than the others, but, sadly, where that’s most apparent is in the keyboard. It’s surprising how less than a half-inch can change your typing experience, but we found the slightly smaller keys and key pad difficult to use. The P8020’s touchpad has the distinction of being multi-touch, meaning you can zoom in and out by pinching or separating your fingers, a moderately useful tool. We’d rather have multi-touch right-click, frankly.
At two pounds, 13.8 ounces, the P8020 is light but feels well-constructed, although there’s some flex to the body and display cover. The entire unit is matte black, save the glossy black lid. Fingerprints on this surface are of course inevitable, but the lid also picked up a scratch after minimal use.
The glossy finish of the P8020's display enclosure is matched by a glossy screen.
The P8020 is no thinner than the X200s and 2530p, but Fujitsu opted for the same ULV 1.4GHz processor found in the R600 and paired it with 2GB of RAM—there’s easy access to an empty DIMM slot on the underside of the notebook should you want more memory. Storage is handled by a 64GB SSD. (A 128GB SSD will run you $200 more, while hard drive options ranging from 160GB to 320GB will save you from $200 to $300.)
The SSD has the advantage of being more durable than an HDD, but we’d prefer more capacity, especially since the Toshiba-brand MLC drive in the P8020 doesn’t offer any performance advantage—it had an average read speed of 67.2MB/s in HD Tach, which isn’t dramatically better than the 52.1MB/s of the R600’s 160GB HDD. In fact, the P8020 fared worse than the R600 in all the benchmarks except battery life. That’s not to say it didn’t perform satisfactorily. The P8020 has the chops for productivity and content-creation purposes; it can certainly serve for typical day-to-day use.
In terms of ports and slots, the P8020 matches the other notebooks in this roundup—although it features PC Card rather than Express Card technology, which doesn’t really limit your expansion options but does seem quaint.
In the end, the P8020 suffers most from the caliber of the competition. Taken as a whole, the P8020 is a competent machine, with a wealth of features packed into its wee formfactor. But with other ultraportables costing the same or less while offering superior qualities and/or features, the P8020 can’t help but seem average by comparison.