Fujitsu Lifebook N6460 Laptop Features

By: Corwin Brown

Fujitsu's new flagship desktop replacement laptop spoils graphics professionals with a stunning work environment and tons of storage. That's one big thing it has in common with its predecessor, the Life Book N6420, but the newer N6460 is also a better entertainment unit. Battery life is shorter--it ran out of juice in less than 1 hour in our recent tests--and it still leaves Bluetooth fans out in the cold. But all in all, the Fujitsu LifeBook N6460 is an improvement over the N6420.

The N6460 is bulky, measuring 2 inches thick and weighing almost 10 pounds when configured with a single hard drive. However, both creative professionals and discerning home users will appreciate its rich design. A 370-nit 17-inch screen is standard, even in the base $1499 configuration. The screen is twice as bright as most screens, with vivid colors and easy-to-see details, making entertainment more fun and close work more comfortable.

This machine doesn't make any attempt to insult your intelligence by being needlessly pretty or "personalized" (can something be personalized if it's mass produced? Perhaps that's what Apple's engraving deal is all about). As a result, it's big, it's grey, it's well built, it's non offensive, but neither is it inspiring.

A full sized keyboard and separated numpad lets you know you're in desktop replacement land, other than the obvious 17-inch 1,440 x 900 resolution glossy screen which rightfully dominates the view.

Ports dot the left, right and rear, but wisely there is nothing on the front. The air vent at the rear means no hands will be cooked while using external mouses.

The LifeBook N6460 features a sturdy, fairly large grey case. Its size is not surprising considering the amount of hardware inside of it. On the case's exterior are a ton of hook ups for every type of peripheral imaginable. It has five USB 2.0 ports, IEEE 1394, a memory card reader that accepts Memory Stick, SD, and XD, a PC Card slot, and an Express Card slot. The N6460 also features a Fire wire port, RCA audio in, composite, S-Video in and out, VGA and HDMI ports, that come in handy for a variety of video functions. It is also the first LifeBook to come with a Blu-ray disc drive. Blu-ray discs are capable of storing five times as much information as a regular DVD, so this feature is quite attractive.

The LifeBook N6460's screen is widescreen, sized at 17 inches with a resolution of 1440x900 pixels. The keyboard is full size with a separate numerical pad similar to those usually reserved for desktop keyboards. The N6460's keyboard also features a dedicated four way media button that can be customized to open any number of programs. Another fancy keyboard feature is the Visual Optimizer button. This allows the computer to switch from PC mode to video mode in order to provide the best visual settings for both regular PC applications and video use.

Fujitsu's LifeBook N6460 uses an Intel PM965 chipset along with a Core 2 Duo processor. It includes an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 video card that provides DirectX 10 compatibility. The LifeBook N6460 is available with up to 500 gigabytes worth of storage that is provided by two separate hard drives.

Annoyingly the speakers had a propensity to occasionally squeal due to hard drive activity when they weren't in use, and while there was a subwoofer on the bottom, it didn't seem to contribute largely to the overall sound. The speakers being placed at the front of the notebook was also a poor design decision, as the sound is muffled when you type.

The N6460 did well in the benchmarks though, busting out a respectable 3630 on 3DMark06, and an equally respectable 5170 in PCMark05.

For battery life things were a bit grim as they always are with desktop replacements, clocking in at a tiny 31 minutes and 36 seconds while playing back a DVD, all power saving options turned off and all settings pushed to maximum. While this is a particularly grueling test, it shows that you won't want to take this thing away from the wall for too long. The space in which you can insert a battery is limited as well, meaning the possibility of upgrading to a juicier battery has been effectively nixed.

This is also a notebook you don't want on your lap -- it gets far too hot far too quickly. Interestingly Fujitsu's unique heat pads usually included on the bottom also aren't present -- perhaps the intent was that it would never be on your lap

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