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Review: Fujitsu LifeBook P7230 Ultralight Notebook

There must be a word for it: The cuteness of small things that are tiny versions of big things. Like babies, and puppies. Whatever it is, Fujitsu has tapped into it. The LifeBook P7230 is a Muppet Baby of a notebook PC.

It is just cuddly-cute. It's a tiny 10.74 x 7.91 x 1.06 inches and weighs 2.63 pounds with its 6-cell battery installed. It has a dazzling backlit LCD widescreen that's 10.6 inches on the diagonal. In fact, it looks like a miniature ThinkPad.

(Click image to enlarge.)

And that's something else Fujitsu has tapped into. The styling, usability, and performance of the ThinkPad line has set a high mark for notebooks, and the Fujitsu designers have obviously studied the masters so closely that the P7230 is in some ways the computer that the ThinkPad X60 should be but isn't. (The notebook is also available in a white case that's obviously intended to evoke associations with MacBooks.) The screen is small -- you'll find yourself setting the font size up in order to read documents and spreadsheets -- but it's very bright. The display's 1280-by-768 native resolution makes it slightly narrower than the 1366-by-768 standard for WXGA.)

The P7230 makes room for an optical drive that reads and writes DVDs and CDs, which makes it useful for both business and pleasure -- although there's not much pleasure to be had from its tiny built-in speakers. You'll need earphones if you're going to play music or watch video. (One interesting feature: The P7230 has a built-in microphone, so while the speakers may be tinny, you can make Skype calls with no additional hardware.)

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