This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
On October 19, Fujitsu Client Computing (FCCL) announced the winter 2020 model of its FMV series of personal computers. These models are claimed to be the result of zero-based product planning and development in response to the so-called "new normal," which includes a surge in demand for telework.
The actual products have also undergone major changes, with three new series and two new-generation models at the main unit design level, bringing the total number of five series undergoing a major overhaul (One of the new series, however, is the LIFEBOOK EH series, which is targeted at elementary through high school students, so the target audience is a bit different from the average personal model.)
Two series of notebooks with 13.3-inch screens are likely to be popular with our readers. The LIFEBOOK UH series (pictured above), which starts at 634 grams, breaking the world's lightest weight record held by the current series, and the LIFEBOOK CH series, with a focus on design and screen beauty.
The UH series is characterized by its lightness, which is further surpassed by the current model, a reduced bottom area (depth) thanks to a three-sided narrow bezel screen panel and other features, and a model equipped with AMD's Ryzen 7 4700U physical eight-core CPU.
The CH series features extremely elaborate exterior design and color scheme, as well as a full HD OLED panel that offers an excellent balance between power consumption and image quality, and an HDMI output/input terminal.
In addition, the timeline of these models coincides with the debut of the 11th generation Core i, aka Tiger Lake, a major generational shift in Intel's CPUs, and the company's change in its retail model lineup has resulted in Core i7 and Ryzen 7 (instead of Core i5) being positioned as the mainstay of its retail models for heavy users such as mobile laptops, which is a noteworthy change in lineup from an industry perspective.
New UH from 634 grams, not just the world's lightest
Lots of highlights, from reduced depth to improved usability
Let's start with the LIFEBOOK UH series, which is likely to be the most interesting for Engadget readers.
There are three levels of in-store models available this time, with expected prices ranging from just under 190,000 yen (excluding tax) to just under 220,000 yen (same). All of the store-bought models, not just this series, are bundled with Microsoft Office H&B 2019. They will be available in stores from late October to December 10.
The top-of-the-line UH-X weighs 634 grams, and its main feature is that it is the world's lightest 13.3-inch laptop ever, thanks to the use of carbon fiber-based materials for some of its exterior and a reduction in body size.
In addition, it has updated its SoC to a higher-end Tiger Lake model, the Core i7-1165G7, with a significantly faster CPU and GPU speed. The mid-range model UH90/E3 also features the Tiger Lake's signature Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) controller, with USB Type-C also doubling as a TB4 connector, resulting in a significant increase in basic performance.
In addition, the three-sided narrow-bezel LCD has been reduced to less than 20 cm in depth. This makes it more convenient to use in cramped spaces, such as the seats on the bullet train and in airplanes.
Furthermore, the new models use fingerprint biometrics (the current models use facial recognition), and have a fingerprint sensor that doubles as a power button, which is popular today. From power on to login is a one-touch operation.
In terms of usability, the power circuitry has been significantly improved to be able to supply more than 7.5W via USB PD, as well as power from both of the two Type-C units (The current model had more than 4.5W [verified on the actual device], and only one of the two Type-C ports could supply power). At the same time, the AC adapter included with the device has been changed from a dedicated terminal to a USB Type-C output specification.
In addition, the RJ-45 wired LAN connector (which can be plugged directly into the unit this time as well) has a new design that allows for quicker deployment, which is also a very significant change.
Finally, the much-anticipated AMD-oriented "ultra-lightweight Ryzen notebook with nothing stingy about it" is here
And in a sense, the model that is more notable than the UH-X is the (essentially) lower-end UH75/E3. The reason for this is that it is equipped with AMD's Ryzen 7 4700U CPU (APU). The inclusion of this powerful CPU makes it a model of great interest because "it is the lightest 13.3-inch notebook in the world, yet it can carry around a physical 8 core CPU and the power of a RADEON system".
Furthermore, AMD fans will be happy to know that there is almost no mysterious difference between this model and the Intel CPU-based products in terms of basic specifications and the number of expansion terminals, as seen in some Ryzen models from other manufacturers.
As you would expect, there are differences in that it does not support Thunderbolt 4 (where the Tiger Lake has a controller built-in), and it only has USB Type-C as a feature, and the 256GB SSD capacity, but the basic specifications are the same as the i7-1165G7-equipped UH90/E3 high-capacity battery model.
Quite frankly, this is a model that doesn't have the stingy points that people who want to use AMD in laptops have tended to encounter in the past.
This UH75 is a gospel for users who are a fan of AMD on desktops but have no choice but to use Intel CPUs on mobile notebooks.
Even more impressive than the store models are the custom-made (manufacturer-direct BTO) models, the WU-X/E3 and WU2/E3.
The reason for this is that you can now choose from the "three sacred weapons of the heavy movers": a 5G modem, 32 GB of RAM, and 2 TB SSD configuration, which is highly anticipated by heavy users. However, the CPU is only available from Intel, and the Ryzen series cannot be selected (which is a great shame).
A lot of people have been asking for a lightweight device that can be used quickly in places where Wi-Fi is not available, and now we've finally been able to fulfill that request.
We will be following up on the UH series with a short review of the Tiger Lake model UH90/E3 and the Ryzen 4800U model UH75/E3, both of which we will be writing separately. Stay tuned.
New CH for convenient Full HD OLED with LCD-level power consumption and HDMI "input"
The UH series alone is a great effort, but this time around, the company has also lavished two new laptop series on offer. And each one has its own noteworthy features.
Let's start with the LIFEBOOK CH series, which we mentioned at the beginning.
While not as light as the UH, the CH series is a lightweight model that can be called mobile, and it has a full HD OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panel, something that is rarely used in higher-end models.
It will be available in stores on December 10. The estimated retail price is just over 170,000 yen (excluding tax) for the 1.2 kg OLED model "CH90/E3" and over 150,000 yen (excluding tax) for the less than 1 kg LCD model "CH75/E3".
The 13.3-inch OLED was preceded by a 4K resolution version, so the Full HD version is actually a new device. It retains the tightness of the blacks and other features unique to OLED, while keeping power consumption, which is often a problem with the 4K version, at the same resolution LCD level.
In fact, the nominal battery life on this model is "about 13 hours or more" for both OLED and LCD.
The previous model of CH was nicknamed "Floral Kiss" and was targeted at women, but this time, in keeping with the trends of the times, it has been designed to appeal to fashion-conscious users of both sexes.
For example, the color lineup comes in a range of colors that are showing signs of becoming popular on the PC market, and colors that are likely to become trendy in the future, such as khaki and dark silver at the higher end, and beige and mocha brown at the lower end.
The exterior is made of three different materials, aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy, and resin, a combination of very sophisticated technology.
The CPU is a Tiger Lake Intel Core i5-1135G7, and the GPU brand (grade) is the high-speed Iris Xe graphics specification. It also features two Thunderbolt 4 ports (and USB Type-C) that take advantage of the CPU's built-in controller, ensuring the expandability required for future luxury notebooks.
A hidden feature is a full-size HDMI port that doubles as an input and output. This enables mobile notebooks to offer the HDMI input that's strongly favored in today's Fujitsu notebooks.
With the OLED model in particular, the fact that it can be used even when connected to a TV tuner or game console is a big advantage.
Is the future of in-home mobile "closed and used"? Innovative Home Notebook PC TH77
Another innovative model in the so-called "HomeNotebook" series has been released. It's the TH77/E3, with a 15.6-inch full HD LCD.
It will be available in stores on December 10 and is expected to be priced at just under 200,000 yen (excluding tax). It will be available in two colors, ivory white, and indigo blue.
The most distinctive feature of this product is its concept. In the home, you can use it in combination with the included charging stand, with the LCD closed - in "clamshell mode," as Apple calls it. On the other hand, when you need to take it out of the house, you can take the relatively lightweight device with you for convenient use.
In a sense, this model is designed to be a "closed mobile notebook" for use in the home.
It has a simple design with only HDMI output and USB Type-C (for AC adapter connection) on the charging stand, and although it is small in size, it can be attached and removed smoothly with one hand and is designed to support the PC securely.
Another feature of this handset is its exterior design, which features Fujitsu's original textures called X-TEXTURE. Not only does the texture itself use fabric, which is still rare for a PC, but the surface has fine irregularities that match the texture.
The key to this is the texture, which gives you the impression of a cloth-like product in terms of touch, which sets it apart from ordinary home notebooks. You can experience the "joy of touch" that you won't find in other PCs.
The surface treatment of the top panel and keyboard (palm rest) surface uses the "out-molded transfer molding" (OMR) technology, which allows the film to adhere to complex curved surfaces without gaps. Even the smallest bumps are processed without gaps, giving the product a cohesive finish.
On the other hand, the bottom cover is made of magnesium and aluminum alloys, and the body weighs only 1.39 kg, which is light for a 15.6-inch model. It is close to the weight of foreign mobile notebooks of a decade ago. At 18.4mm in thickness, it's quite thin for a home notebook PC.
The basic performance is also very high for a home laptop, with a Tiger Lake generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with PCI Express/NVMe specifications, making it one of the first in this lineup. The nominal battery life is also longer than 10 hours.
One of the hidden features is the keyboard's high level of perfection. It is a good quality membrane keyboard for high-speed input that gives a solid click when you type, which has been almost completely absent from recent notebook PC keyboards.
Of course, this is a personal preference, but this keyboard has an addictive click that makes it hard to believe it's a thin keyboard, and it's worth a try for keyboard lovers.
We will have a separate short review article on this as well.
The FH series, which is a desktop with an integrated screen, are also new models that have been improved and changed from the level of the hardware design.
The top of the line is the FH-G, a "graphics model" that features an anti-glare LCD screen with 4K resolution and over 95% sRGB color reproduction, and is powered by AMD's Ryzen 7 4700U and a Radeon RX 5300M standalone GPU.
The standard models also inherit the simple design of the current model, which is based on a four-sided, narrow-bezel LCD screen, but with new, thinner body design. In terms of basic performance, the higher-end model has been further enhanced with the use of Tiger Lake's Core i7-1165G7 CPU.
In addition, the 2.2mm high camera unit, which is extremely thin and has a face recognition function, and the on-board motion sensor (proximity sensor), which continues to operate even during modern standby, create an environment in which the user can automatically do everything from waking up from standby to logging in just by sitting in front of it.
When the user sits down in front of the PC, the device automatically wakes up from sleep, and even logs in via Windows Hello face recognition, all at once.
It also has an HDMI input port, making it much easier to use. This is also a model to keep an eye on.
As you can see, the new FMV models for the winter 2020 model year are so spirited, from the entire lineup to the degree of enhancement of each model, that it could be called a multi-year affair. Without a doubt, this is a lineup that can be called "FMV at the end of 2020 is awesome".
Combined with the demand for telework, the PC market as a whole is extremely hot right now, and there's no doubt that FMV will be one of the most important players in this market.
Source: Fujitsu Client Computing
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.