31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2013
This laptop has dropped £20 since I purchased it so it's even better value now. I looked around at different laptops in the retail world and this was the only one which didn't have a 'bouncy' keyboard at this price range (some of the well known brands are like trampolines). In fact this machine is top quality in terms of build- very solid and sturdy. I think I read in the manufacturers blurb somewhere that they described it as a 'business quality' laptop--that description would do it justice. So if you're looking for something that 'looks pretty'-then look elsewhere-the 'all black' doesn't bother me as I was looking for function rather than style.
Under the bonnet the spec is far ahead of anything else in this price range-3rd generation 3230 i5 (as compared to 2nd generation 3210 and there are still plenty of these around!). No less than three USB3 slots-impressive. An express card slot-very useful and adaptable - HDMI port etc. Spill resistant keyboard for when you might be driving a racing car at 200 mph around a corner while drinking a cup of coffee and at the same time checking your emails-though I haven't put this to the test yet.
Granted, 500 GB hard drive is becoming slightly dated these days but in relative terms it is more than adequate for most needs and can be expanded with any amount of external (all those USB3 slots will shine then). As at the time there was £60 off the manufacturers price (there's now £80 !) I purchased an extra 4GB memory (£29.99) and it just purrs nicely with 8 gig total.
Only slight gripe would be the screen-and I should emphasize 'slight'. I know the resolution is not as high as it could be but it's fine enough for me. I don't know whether its just a Windows 8 thing(which I'm beginning to like) or what-but I'm finding it difficult to adjust the balance between brightness and contrast. It may be just that I am used to looking at a much larger screen running from my desktop which is not as tiring on the eyes after several hours as this smaller screen is--so this criticism might be a bit unfair. This was the one area I didn't do my homework in beforehand(comparing screen resolutions on different laptops) and I'm not going to do it now as I don't want the possibility of planting a seed of disappointment in my head that I'll have to live with for the foreseeable future. Overall, I'm happy with the screen but if you're thinking of buying, it probably is an aspect which you should check out first.
So why is this machine such good value (relatively) ? My own opinion or theory would be the following. I think Fujitsu got it slightly wrong as to who they were pitching this laptop at. Its all black' business' colour will alienate a large section of the buying public and I would not be surprised if in the future they would manufacture a 'prettier' machine which would appeal to that sector.
Finally, my own opinion is that if you are looking for quality German/Japanese engineering, very good spec- and are not concerned with 'looks'-this laptop is excellent value for money. I was surprised, on delivery, to discover that it was actually manufactured in Germany and not China( which is unusual these days, to say the least) One extra observation-very little 'bloat-ware' with Fujitsu compared to others, which surprised me, refreshingly clean and free of all that. It demonstrates a very professional and thoughtful approach by Fujitsu towards their customers by not imposing that stuff on them.
I am very pleased with this purchase and no regrets.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2013
For this price??? Take it, take it, take it!!!
Just look at all the positives, it has one of the best processors inside (Intel Core i5), it's fast even with 4GB of memory (I myself decided to buy a little bit more, but still, it costs nothing compared to other laptops! You might not care, but the plastic it's made of is nice and matt, and doesn't look cheap at all, smudges, yes, but come off quite easily. It has bloetooth, 3 USB 3.0 ports plus one 2.0 for whatever isn't advanced enough (almost nothing, so it's not a big deal), the only thing about them is that they are all at the sides at the front, none at the back, which is quite weird, and for that it looses a star (partially) some things just need to be plugged from the back, but you know, just get an extension lead and you're sorted! the display is sharp and non-reflective which is important when e.g. you're watching movies, (I hate seeing my face on the screen whenever there's a darker scene, ugh) The keyboard is VERY comfortable, and spill-resistant (didn't try that yet, and I'm not intend to purposely).
The battery lasts about 3 hours, it's perfect for me, if you need more than that, you can use ECO option, it turns off almost everything (sound, bluetooth, wi-fi, darkens the screen), but I guess it'll work around 4 ours then.
The fan isn't loud, ye the laptop isn't burning my lap like my old one used to...
The built-in camera is alright, it isn't great, so if you're looking to get some kind of HD camera, this is not the way, for me however, it suffices (skype etc.)
I really like the fact that it is made in Germany, so many things are now made in Asia, which, yes can be well made, but this is well made for sure...
Laptop has a nice, big, panoramic screen, however the whole thing doesn't look big at all, also the design is REALLY pretty, I just love them 45 degrees sides, looks very modern and cool...
Another thing it's lost a star is lack of bass in the speakers, but apart from that they're loud and clear, perfect for watching movies, good for listening to music (unless there's loads of bass. while playing the main theme from Game of Thrones, the deep sound of the drum sounds like someone's clapping their hands).
The touch pad is responsive and you can use two fingers to scroll and navigate in windows 8.
It's also very light as to it's size...
To be honest, at first I didn't really want to buy a laptop with windows 8 after reading all those comments about the new OS, but it is NOT difficult to get used to it at all, and I'm beginning to like it quite a lot...
If you're looking for a nice, fast and up-to-date laptop, and you don't want to break the bank, search no more and get this one, you won't regret it. I don't!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2013
Fujitsu LIFEBOOK AH532 15.6-inch Laptop (black) - Intel Core i5-3230M Processor (3M Cache, up to 3.20 GHz) 4GB RAM, 500GB hard disk, DVDRW SM, Intel HD graphics 4000, Intel Centrino N2230 802.11b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth v4.0, HD webcam, Windows 8 64-bit
I ordered the notebook for a friend who has owned and had good service out of a Fujitsu Amilo for several years. Was considering a RAM & HDD upgrade to the Amilo at an est cost £80 +.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a Core i5 at this price-point. (** Price has increased £20 since I purchased) Now, I'm happy to have invested that £80 into the Lifebook, making this a well specified machine at a keen price.
I'm actually pleased with the partition sizing; I have always preferred a separate partition for the OS & Programs - with everything else on a dedicated 'Data' drive. This simplifies the data back-up process and should the need arise in the future to re-install the OS, the data is safe. The 75Gb C: partition is only slightly smaller than the HDD in the Amilo, so should be sufficient for the average user's needs. Given a choice during installation, I would have opted for a 100Gb partition, to give the OS plenty of `breathing space' but this can be tweaked later. I admit that I'm surprised at how much space Win8 has consumed on drive C, however, there are lots of Apps included which 'could' negate the need to install other software. Within Win8, you have the ability to check `Available Storage'; where you can see how much space each of the apps is taking. I will be removing most of the included apps in favour of program that I either already own or can download free. This is a "Horses for Courses" personal choice; many might opt to run with what Microsoft has provided.
I'm getting used to Win8, however, the proposed release of Win8.1 should please those of us who are not happy to be booted into the `Start Screen' by default. Can't wait!! (Who says MS never listens to its users? lol)
I was disappointed to learn that the Lifebook was `Out of Stock' when placing the order, presuming that I may have to wait a while. Not so; a couple of days later, I was advised that the order was being despatched and I took delivery the following day. Excellent!! Plus the order price of 329.99 was honoured. Can't grumble with that!
If there is a small `Gripe', it would be that there was no User Guide/Manual included in the box. The so-called Quick Start Guide consists of a few pictographs which basically say: a) Plug in the power lead. B) Turn on the machine. The first time installation was lengthy but fully automated and completely straight forward. It was nice, not to be asked to create a set of Recovery Disks; these are supplied by Fujitsu. You can download the Manual from Fujitsu's web based support. Ready made links available under Favourites in Internet Explorer. Be prepared to allow Windows Update to download and install the many updates to the OS.
Overall impression: Very good, lightweight notebook with good spec, good price from a respected manufacturer. Prompt delivery.
Stars: 5 for the hardware and service (you WILL get used to Win8)
Recommendation: Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
I'm only disappointed that I won't get to use this nice bit of kit for long.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2013
It's a nice laptop, it's not got a glossy screen that reflects light, it's not got a shiney anything but it is a great price and it works great once you get your head round it.
The HDD is partitioned and for me stupidly so, for a 500gb drive to only allocate 75gb to C drive is ridiculous as the more programs you install the smaller it gets, obviously, if you decide to migrate your stuff from another computer which is lets say more than 35GB it won't have it because the temp file fills up and you get the system memory is low warning, the hdd on C drive is getting full. You can partition it from the start if you want so you don't mess up later on, use the windows partition built in and not any other or you run the risk of having to reinstall windows 8 like I did, the installation disc does come with it unlike others.
When looking for a laptop be aware that some don't have easy access to the hdd and you can't swap out for a larger disc drive without taking the motherboard out (what!!!), research showed me a few these check the pictures of the base if you can it's not often in the description, I tried it with a friends Dell recently, not a recommended experience. The Fujitsu is 1 screw easy access which is what I reckon anyone would want.
Windows 8 is a learning curve that can be made easier by installing 'clasic shell' this gives you the option to have a start menu as either windows classic, xp, vista, or win7 and can be changed to either of these at any time with a click. Classic Shell adds some missing features to Windows 7 and Vista like a classic start menu, toolbar for Explorer and others, it also works with Windows 8.
The operating system is fast the USB3 is wow! and it runs cool with no noticable noise from the fan. At £329 your not going to get performance like this unless you spend double on something else and to be honest as it's German / Japanese made this was the one for me.
Anytime USB charge function when it's powered off isn't working on mine so I'm only giving 4 stars because of this and the partitioning issue but that may not be a bother to others.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2013
I'm really pleased with this laptop. There're a couple of things that I would've like to have known when deciding whether or not to buy it:
1) The finish on the one I received is matte rather than gloss. The pictures on this page seem to be of both types so I wasn't sure what to expect.
2) The one I got has 1x4GB RAM chip (rather than 2x2GB) so it has space for a second chip. I've looked around and can get another 4GB for around £25 which is a cheap way to boost performance.
3) The bumps on the mouse pad are really small - I stopped noticing them in less than a minute of using it and haven't thought about it since.
4) It's really quiet (compared to my old Dell Studio 1535). Even when a CD is ripping, it's not intrusive.
5) The speakers are as good as you could expect from a laptop (especially at this price). The stereo effect is very good but the bass is lacking. With headphones or through speakers, the sound is excellent.
6) I'm not much of a gamer but the one I have tried so far is Command & Conquer 4 and that runs very well with medium-high settings. I can't say about modern games, but everything so far has felt fast and smooth.
The only cons I can think of are:
1) There's slight movement of the disc tray when you lift it up (i.e. when that part is supporting the weight of half the laptop). The build quality otherwise feels really good so I don't expect this will worsen, but this element makes it feel a little cheap. Apart from this one bit which you only notice when moving it, the build and design seem very robust and impressive.
2) I don't how other recent laptops come, but the primary hard drive (C:) on this is only 75GB while the secondary (D:) has 373GB. This is only a problem because My Documents automatically goes to C: so when I tried to put all of my music, pictures, and videos on to it, the drive was full. These things can easily be put in the other drive but I had to change some settings about where ripped cds automatically save etc. and this was a bit of a pain. Once setup correctly, I don't anticipate further problems with this.
* Windows 8 is okay. I strongly suggest you watch a few tutorial videos on how to set it up to your taste. After a few days with it it's really growing on me.
* The laptop looks, feels, and functions better than I could've hoped. If it lasts (and German manufacturing history suggest it should), then this will be a really good purchase.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
The laptop itself (wash my mouth! I mean "Lifebook") is good. It boots up quickly and performs well. Given a decent operating system, this would be an excellent computer.
I am retired and I use this for leisure activities rather than work. Therefore, I have the luxury of not having to get stressed when Windows 8 informs me on boot-up that it is "Installing updates"... and then continues to do so for anything from 45 minutes to several hours! I give thanks for the fact that I don't have a boss (or, worse still, a group of board members) waiting to see what I have been working on over the weekend. It will do this seemingly at random, often with only a couple of days between update missions.
The notebook itself is quiet, remains extremely cool and iscomfortable to use. However, pay attention to the space bar on the keyboard. It's not as responsive as it could be and you mightfindyourselfhaveingtogobackandinsertaloadofspaces. That said, it's not too bad once you get used to it. Even Windows 8 is usable once you've learned where Microsoft has hidden all the the functions you took for granted in Windows 7.
Nice hardware but I think Windows 8 is Microsoft's suicide note.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2013
cheap, faster delivery. quality build.
the main point is there is no rubbish software as toshiba, sony,hp, dell have. nice and clean.
no problem, so far
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Very happy with this AH532 Lifebook, not owned a Fujitsu branded notebook or PC previously and my initial impressions are very good. It comes with an i5 processor and 4GB of RAM which is plenty for the average user. In the short time I've had it, I've found it performs really well when browsing, downloading, converting or any of the other tasks I've used if for. The start up time is really fast (even after the addition of my preferred bloatware that whilst not essential I like to use), the keyboard is a nice size with a number pad and easy to type on and I like the matte black finish of the outer shell. The touchpad seems responsive enough even though it does have a strange bobbly surface which I found quite strange at first. There's 4 X USB ports, 3 of which are USB 3.0 and the HDMI is useful for hooking up to the TV.
One thing I found strange was the allocation of hard drive disk space. The main C:drive is allocated a measly 75GB whereas the D:drive which is labelled 'Drivers' is allocated a whopping 373GB. Not really an issue as re-partitioning was easy enough but hardly something I'd expect to be doing 'out of the box'. (For anyone who's interested I used 'MiniTool Partition Wizard' which is easy to use and free for home users)
Not overly keen with the Windows 8 operating system, but persevering and as this review is about the laptop and not the operating system - less said the better.
Setting up was easy and no issues with connecting to our home network. Aside from the partitioning issue, after only using for a short time I'm pretty impressed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2013
The computer is great, at its price. It is fast in general and can run a few games smoothly. Screen is not perfect but it is a budget laptop so I will not complain. One major annoying issue is that it comes with Window 8. I am not moaning about its navigation (which is NOT the most intuitive) but about the automated updating/reconfiguring when I start-up my computer from cold and it happens every now and then. So I will need to wait 10-15 min before I can actually use it, when it happens, it is very annoying. If I can choose to do the reconfiguring before shut-down, it would have been much better.
So full 4 stars for Fujitsu, 0 star for Window 8.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2013
impressive specification but why so slow (maybe 30 secs to boot up; 10 secs for internet - firefox - to open; programs not responding; etc.)??
I use this laptop for work (school teacher) using the school server. It is even slower at school. Perhaps the massive GB allotment to the D Drive is a factor? I have no idea. Overall it is OK. I can settle for it since I did not want to spend loads of money on a product.
The touch pad is large enought and duly sensitive enough to get in the way when typing: a palm making contact sends the cursor and type being entered to another part of the screen or text.