Four weeks ago, Fujitsu sent me the new LIFEBOOK S904 which was launched earlier this year and announced last year.
This article’s purpose is to deliver you a review you won’t read everywhere. I will describe my workflow with the device and how it reacts to my input.
You will not see benchmarks or pure numbers. I don’t think that this will really help you since numbers like these often can’t be interpreted correctly.
Let’s start with the first steps. The device is unpacked and the user is ready. So after hooking it up and turning on… you have to wait. The device is deployed with a standard image by Fujitsu which in my case contained Windows 8.1 Pro and some software. After waiting some minutes you are asked to run through the typical Windows setup which requires you to enter some information and choose some settings.
After that you get to see the standard Modern UI interface:
When switching to the Desktop, you see what kind of software is preinstalled:
Preinstalled software is something I don’t really like. However, Fujitsu still keeps the bloatware level low and removing the software shouldn’t take you that long. You don’t need to format and reinstall the LIFEBOOK.
And as always you should run Windows Update and DeskUpdate first. DeskUpdate is Fujitsu’s solution to keep your drivers up-to-date with a few clicks.
The system is ready to use and you can do whatever you want. Setting up the system doesn’t take long and is pretty easy.
The LIFEBOOK S904 uses the IGZO technology (What is that?) which means that it can also realize resolutions above Full HD. In this case the resolution is incredible 2560×1440 pixels.
The photo above shows how detailed text is displayed. Click here to see the photo in full resolution.
All in all, the display is incredible. At only 13.3 inches the IGZO technology combines a high resolution with vivid colors and low energy usage. However, the high resolution also means that viewing low resolution content is even more uncomfortable. In terms of business applications this shouldn’t be a problem though since it’s the year 2014 and many applications are already ready for higher resolutions.
One of the main features of the LIFEBOOK S904 is its battery. With an advertised runtime of 24 hours and the possibility to put in two batteries, the S904 is clearly aiming for people who need to work the whole day without charging the device.
Testing the runtime wasn’t that easy actually since it’s hard to reproduce a working day of 24 hours. However, the battery should easily last a whole working day. Long term tests aren’t really possible but if you keep the usage low results like this are possible:
Keeping the laptop turned on but in idle mode (WiFi is connected but there is nothing running besides the operating system) with one battery should give you an extremely long runtime. I did a short test and turned on the laptop at 11:40pm with a remaining battery load of 92%. At 04:56am the battery was still at 72%. The laptop was turned on the whole night wih the display turned off. The advertised 24 hours are possible but you need two batteries and it depends on what you do to achieve this.
To sumarize all this you could say one thing: if you need a long lasting battery, the S904 is the right choice for you. And by using a second battery you can even maximize the usage while keeping the device portable.
Working on the S904
So how do you test a device without just running benchmarks? Check out this video in which I just perform some basic workflows to show you the performance of the S904.
With the laptop, Fujitsu also attached a docking station. Since those laptops are suited for businesses, you usually have a full equipped port replicator available which of course is not always included.
However, that also has the disadvantage that without a port replicator you can’t really embed the device into you working place. The ports are distributed on every side of the S904 so permanently connecting a lot of external devices is not really an option.
All in all, the LIFEBOOK S904 is a very beautiful device with a pretty specific target group. It aims for users who need a device which delivers enough performance to work on it reliably and a battery runtime which keeps you away from the charger for a whole day. The weight is pretty low which makes the laptop very portable.
If these criterias meet your demands, the LIFEBOOK S904 is an excellent choice for you.
More information can be found here.