Review Fujitsu LifeBook AH502 Notebook

Florian Wimmer (translated by Martina Osztovits), 07/22/2013

Cheap and matte. Fujitsu's Lifebook AH series was designed for those who want to save money. Now those looking for a matte display also get their money's worth. We explored what else the Lifebook AH502 features.

In review: Fujitsu Lifebook AH 502

For the original German review, see here.

Although Fujitsu has focused on business customers lately, the manufacturer still offers several laptops attractive for consumers. For example, the cheap notebooks of the Lifebook AH series with splash-proof keyboards, a wide range of processors, and recently even matte displays might attract bargain hunters.

We reviewed the Fujitsu Lifebook AH 502, a 15.6-inch notebook with an Intel Pentium 2020M processor, a dual core CPU with a maximum clock rate of 2.4 GHz. In addition, the laptop comes with 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive.

There are plenty of cheap laptops available. Several of them are based on AMD processors, e. g., Lenovo's B575e, Acer's Aspire V5-551, or HP's Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG. Alternatively they feature Intel's cheap Celeron and Pentium processors, e.g., the Asus F55A or Toshiba's Satellite C850-1LX. Packard Bell even equips the EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks with an Intel Core i3 for the same price. Although the Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297 is slightly bigger and more expensive, we include it in our comparison as it features the same processor as our test sample.

Case

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

Matte and unexciting case
Matte and unexciting case

Contrary to Fujitsu Lifebooks of the AH series reviewed by us earlier, the case is now completely made from matte plastic. So, it is less sensitive to fingerprints and smudges and looks more conservative.

The case is solely black. Only the blue indicator LED and the big, blue shining power button above the keyboard are color accents. Apropos Power Button: As it is directly in front of the display and rather bright, it is somewhat annoying if you look at the screen in the dark. Overall, the design is unexciting and for the masses.

Fujitsu should have put slightly more effort into stability: It is nearly embarrassing that the lid wraps that easily from side-to-side twisting with image errors on the turned on screen as you can read "Made in Germany" on the laptop's bottom side. In addition, the palm rests are very susceptible to finger depressions. In contrast, the keyboard area is acceptably stable. The hinges are stiff, but you cannot open the lid with one hand.

Connectivity

Wie wir testen - Ausstattung

No USB 3.0 port? This is a big lapse nowadays, even more as the case houses three USB 2.0 interfaces. So, there would have been enough space. In addition, the Kensington lock slot is that unfavorably placed that a connected lock is not only in the way of righties using a mouse, but also obstructs opening the DVD drive.

Furthermore, the audio ports are near the front: While this is favorable for headphones, cables are in your way when connecting external sound systems. Only the ExpressCard slot is outstanding, otherwise the connectivity is bog standard for this category.

Left side: VGA, LAN, fan grille, HDMI, Expresscard slot, 2x USB 2.0
Left side: VGA, LAN, fan grille, HDMI, Expresscard slot, 2x USB 2.0
Rear side: no ports
Rear side: no ports
Right side: USB 2.0, Kensington lock, DVD burner, power-in
Right side: USB 2.0, Kensington lock, DVD burner, power-in
Front side: audio-out, audio-in, card reader
Front side: audio-out, audio-in, card reader

Communication

Fujitsu equips the laptop with Gigabit-LAN and Wi-Fi standards 802.11 b/g/n. The WLAN module from Intel also supports Bluetooth 4.0. At 10 meters distance with three walls in between, the strength of the received signal is still four out of five bars. So, the signal strength is good. However, the Fujitsu lacks NFC.

Security

Apart from a splash-proof keyboard, which protects the sensitive system components from small amounts of liquid, and the Kensington lock, the laptop does not have any hardware security features. At least a 60 day trial version of McAfee Internet Security is installed. The security is insufficient for companies as no TPM module is available.

Accessories

Fujitsu at least includes physical data recovery media. Otherwise, you won't find anything else in the box apart from a power adapter and a user guide. Instead, Fujitsu offers several bundles, with discounted speakers, mouse and bag, in its online shop. In addition, there is a port replicator, which we already reviewed with the Fujitsu Lifebook N532. But, you should select the replicator with USB 2.0 port as the Lifebook AH502 lacks USB 3.0.

Most of the inner components can be reached.
Most of the inner components can be reached.

Maintenance

The hard drive is behind a flap and can be quickly replaced. RAM and further system components are hidden behind a bigger flap. If you want you can even remove the complete back side and penetrate deeper into the system. However, this is not needed in most cases, as even the fan can be cleaned and the BIOS battery replaced via the maintenance flap.

Warranty

Two years warranty is included. If something is not working, you have to bring or send the device to the retailer. Fujitsu offers many service options, from one-year extensions to up to 5 years with on-site service the next business day. Prices range from just under 38 Euros (~$50) to above 400 Euros (~$528).

Input Devices

Wie wir testen - Eingabegeräte

Keyboard

The keyboard with number block consists of 106 keys and nearly extends over the complete width of the laptop. The layout is quite reasonable, but several keys are considerably shrunken, e.g., the left shift and the arrow keys. Standard keys with a width of 2 cm that are clearly separated from each other allow accurate typing.

Fujitsu specifies a key travel of 1.8 mm, which is modest. The key travel appeared long enough to us, but, like it or not, the stroke is rather stiff.

Touchpad

In favor of the keyboard the touchpad is, with a 9.5 cm diameter, somewhat small. Likewise the palm rest is with 7 cm not really wide. Therefore, you have to frequently reposition when moving the mouse pointer over the screen if you don't want to set the sensibility too high.

Multitouch gestures are not supported. But, the two big buttons in front of the touchpad work quite precisely. The stroke is clear, but the keys are quite loud.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

Wie wir testen - Display

With a resolution of 1366x768 pixels, the 15.6-inch display of the Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 is at class level. But, the matte surface is unusual. Apart from our test sample only the Lenovo B575e features the same.

Really bright displays are not usual in this price range. The average brightness of 201.4 cd/m² is therefore mid-range. The distribution of brightness of 83% is also about on par with other devices of this price range.

207
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
181
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 219 cd/m²
Average: 201.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 217 cd/m²
Black: 1.15 cd/m²
Contrast: 189:1

Contrast and black value are worse than the competitors': Because of the very high black value of 1.15 cd/m² black looks grayish and because of the low contrast of 189:1 colors appear less vibrant. Furthermore, colors look faint as the surface is matte. As a result, images are modest. Likely, other displays deliver more vibrant colors.

The color analysis with colorimeter and CalMAN software uncovers that blue tones deviate most greatly, while yellow tones are most precisely represented. White and black are relatively accurately reproduced, but gray levels in between deviate greatly from their ideal values. In regard to color saturation, it is noticeable that the saturation of blue tones is too low, while yellow tones appear most vibrant.

Actually, yellow tones are greatly dominating when compared to reference color spaces: the number of displayable tones exceeds sRGB and AdobeRGB by far here. But overall, the color coverage is modest: The screen can only represent about 50% of sRGB and about one third of AdobeRGB.

CalMAN color precision
CalMAN color precision
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
Outdoors (cloudy)
Outdoors (cloudy)

The matte display is a pro, the modest brightness a con outdoors. Overall, it is a mixed bag: Although you won't struggle with disruptive reflections, it is difficult to read from the screen in bright sunlight. On cloudy days, in the shade and indoors, you can conveniently work with this display.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

As for viewing angles, the display performs like many other TN LED displays nowadays: Horizontally, the viewing angles are wide, but from the top or bottom, the contrast changes greatly and it gets difficult quickly to read from the screen.

Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

You should not expect too much performance from the small Intel Pentium 2020M dual core CPU with 2.4 GHz clock. Although it is one of the fastest Pentium processors of the Ivy Bridge generation, they are first and foremost designed for entry-level devices and price conscious customers.

The Lifebook AH502 lacks a dedicated graphics card, but features 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. Overall, the notebook is at class level, but the rather high clock rate could bring a performance gain. In the following, we'll check the single components.

System information: Fujitsu Lifebook AH502

Processor

Features like Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost known from Core i processors are not available. Nevertheless, the Intel Pentium 2020M with its two cores and 2.4 GHz clock is a solid worker.

The Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 is one of the fastest devices in our comparison. It is on par with the Medion Akoya E7221. So, throttling is unlikely at first glance. Our test device can even keep up with the Intel Core i3 in the Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC. The Lifebook AH502 is relatively fast in practice, but you have to expect some delays if several tasks run simultaneously.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3255
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
6312
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3362
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4123 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
7883 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
3398 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.99 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.91 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
9.7 fps
Help
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
7883 Points ∼22%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
1913 Points ∼5% -76%
Lenovo B575e
2270 Points ∼6% -71%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
3585 Points ∼10% -55%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
6023 Points ∼17% -24%
Asus F55A-SX099D
7292 Points ∼21% -7%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
7746 Points ∼22% -2%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
7398 Points ∼21% -6%
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
4123 Points ∼17%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
1008 Points ∼4% -76%
Lenovo B575e
1210 Points ∼5% -71%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
2603 Points ∼11% -37%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
3151 Points ∼13% -24%
Asus F55A-SX099D
3813 Points ∼15% -8%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
4154 Points ∼17% +1%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
3414 Points ∼14% -17%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
1.91 Points ∼11%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
0.47 Points ∼3% -75%
Lenovo B575e
0.64 Points ∼4% -66%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
0.86 Points ∼5% -55%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
1.46 Points ∼8% -24%
Asus F55A-SX099D
1.82 Points ∼10% -5%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
1.94 Points ∼11% +2%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
2.01 Points ∼11% +5%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
0.99 Points ∼54%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
0.27 Points ∼15% -73%
Lenovo B575e
0.32 Points ∼17% -68%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
0.62 Points ∼34% -37%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
0.74 Points ∼40% -25%
Asus F55A-SX099D
0.95 Points ∼51% -4%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
0.98 Points ∼53% -1%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
0.84 Points ∼45% -15%

Legend

 
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT
 
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG AMD E1-1200, AMD Radeon HD 7310, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Lenovo B575e AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7340, WDC Scorpio Blue WD5000BPVT-00HXZT3
 
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk AMD A6-4455M, AMD Radeon HD 7500G, Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS
 
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX Intel Celeron 1000M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
 
Asus F55A-SX099D Intel Pentium B980, Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
 
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297 Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
 
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks Intel Core i3-2328M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380

System Performance

Stress test
Stress test

We evaluate the system performance with the synthetic PCMark benchmarks. Again, the Lifebook AH502 belongs to the best laptops in our comparison. It is even on par with the Medion Akoya E7221.

The stress test runs normally: processor and graphics chip can maintain their full clock throughout the test and the core temperatures do not rise above an acceptable value. The 3DMark06 benchmark run immediately afterwards also ends with results similar to the cold state results. So, the components can keep their performance even after a long load period.

CPU and GPU clock only fall on battery if the energy saving profile is selected. With profile "maximum performance", the clock rates remain constant. So, the Cinebench results are only about 20% lower in energy saving mode, while they are on par with the mains operation's with "maximum performance" profile.

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
2239 Points ∼34%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
1073 Points ∼16% -52%
Lenovo B575e
1237 Points ∼19% -45%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
1201 Points ∼18% -46%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
2093 Points ∼32% -7%
Asus F55A-SX099D
1678 Points ∼25% -25%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
2359 Points ∼36% +5%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
1999 Points ∼30% -11%
PCMark Vantage - 1024x768 Result (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
4626 Points ∼20%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
1916 Points ∼8% -59%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
3053 Points ∼13% -34%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
3762 Points ∼16% -19%
4.7
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
6.5
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
4.7
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.2
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage4626 points
PCMark 72239 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 500 GB hard drive stems from Western Digital and runs at a slow 5400 rpm, which is standard in this price class. The hard drive is rather loud and nearly always rather audible. But, it delivers relatively high transfer rates: In this category, nearly all other devices are 10 - 30% slower.

As a result, booting and launching applications is relatively fast. However, after a cold start you have to be a little bit patient. If you are used to SSDs, you won't be happy with the performance anyway. But, the performance suffices for everyday tasks.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT
Transfer Rate Minimum: 57 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 113.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 87.2 MB/s
Access Time: 17.4 ms
Burst Rate: 147.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %
HD Tune Transfer Rate Average - --- (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
87.2 MB/s ∼9%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
59.1 MB/s ∼6% -32%
Asus F55A-SX099D
71.2 MB/s ∼7% -18%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
72.3 MB/s ∼7% -17%
Lenovo B575e
59.2 MB/s ∼6% -32%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
79.7 MB/s ∼8% -9%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
81.9 MB/s ∼8% -6%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
77.9 MB/s ∼8% -11%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
109.1 MB/s ∼7%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
70.06 MB/s ∼5% -36%
Asus F55A-SX099D
77.8 MB/s ∼5% -29%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
86.1 MB/s ∼6% -21%
Lenovo B575e
92.53 MB/s ∼6% -15%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
98.1 MB/s ∼7% -10%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
99.3 MB/s ∼7% -9%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
101.2 MB/s ∼7% -7%
Write Seq (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
110 MB/s ∼11%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
69.1 MB/s ∼7% -37%
Asus F55A-SX099D
78.05 MB/s ∼8% -29%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
87.79 MB/s ∼9% -20%
Lenovo B575e
85.12 MB/s ∼9% -23%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
99.83 MB/s ∼10% -9%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
94.57 MB/s ∼10% -14%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
97.39 MB/s ∼10% -11%
Read 512 (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
33.44 MB/s ∼4%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
26.28 MB/s ∼3% -21%
Asus F55A-SX099D
20.54 MB/s ∼2% -39%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
28.09 MB/s ∼3% -16%
Lenovo B575e
37 MB/s ∼4% +11%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
34.58 MB/s ∼4% +3%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
30.28 MB/s ∼3% -9%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
30.86 MB/s ∼3% -8%
Write 512 (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
51.18 MB/s ∼6%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
30.25 MB/s ∼3% -41%
Asus F55A-SX099D
31.8 MB/s ∼4% -38%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
27.36 MB/s ∼3% -47%
Lenovo B575e
48.53 MB/s ∼6% -5%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
30.15 MB/s ∼3% -41%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
33.2 MB/s ∼4% -35%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
30.33 MB/s ∼3% -41%

Graphics card

The integrated Intel HD Graphics graphics chip is hardly fast enough for demanding tasks. Its maximum clock is 1100 MHz. The competitors either come with a more powerful integrated GPU (Acer Aspire V5-551: Radeon HD 7500G) or house a dedicated graphics card, e.g. Packard's Bell EasyNote TE11HC with the GeForce GT 620M.

As a result the Lifebook AH502 is slower than the two in our comparison and the EasyNote TE11HC takes the lead. Everyday office tasks run without problems with this graphics solution. Those who are even only a little bit interested in games are better off with the GeForce GT 620M.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
3573 points
3DMark Vantage1602 points
3DMark 11375 points
3DMark Ice Storm18008 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2207 points
3DMark Fire Strike253 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
375 Points ∼3%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
286 Points ∼2% -24%
Lenovo B575e
365 Points ∼3% -3%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
690 Points ∼5% +84%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
366 Points ∼3% -2%
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
413 Points ∼3% +10%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
1046 Points ∼8% +179%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
18008 Points ∼12%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
14589 Points ∼10% -19%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
22822 Points ∼15% +27%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
20208 Points ∼14% +12%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
45476 Points ∼31% +153%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
2207 Points ∼9%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
1161 Points ∼5% -47%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
2080 Points ∼9% -6%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
1875 Points ∼8% -15%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
3908 Points ∼16% +77%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
253 Points ∼3%
HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG
200 Points ∼2% -21%
Acer Aspire V5-551-64454G50Makk
462 Points ∼5% +83%
Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX
251 Points ∼3% -1%
Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC-32328G50Mnks
697 Points ∼7% +175%

Gaming Performance

We want to verify what we said about graphics performance with current games. They confirm the results of the synthetic benchmarks: Apart from casual games, the Intel HD Graphics is not gaming capable. Even two year old games do not run smoothly. In high-end titles, the frame rate is too low even in minimum settings.

low med.high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 23.115.439.23fps
Fifa 13 (2012) 18.313.28.6fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 20.111.77.4fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 19.058.857.72fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 10.528.094.35fps

Emissions

Wie wir testen - Emissionen

System noise

In most scenarios the laptop is hardly audible. While idle the laptop is very quiet with 30.9 dB. But, the hard drive is clearly audible with 33.1 dB. The DVD drive is rather quiet when playing videos.

Under load the notebook gets clearly audible with 36.6 dB, but it is still quieter than Medion's Akoya E7221 or Packard Bell's EasyNote TE11HC with similar performance.

Noise Level

Idle 30.9 / 30.9 / 30.9 dB(A)
HDD 33.1 dB(A)
DVD 33.9 / dB(A)
Load 32.9 / 36.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The surface temperatures are also very modest. While idle the maximum temperature is 34.5 °C. Although the temperature rise is slightly notable, and has unfortunately been measured in the touchpad area, it does not cause problems during use.

Under load the temperature can rise to up to 40.1 °C, which is clearly noticeable on the left bottom side. Nevertheless, use on the lap is possible without problems.

Max. Load
 30.8 °C27 °C26.6 °C 
 32.8 °C33 °C28.7 °C 
 31 °C34.1 °C30.6 °C 
Maximum: 34.1 °C
Average: 30.5 °C
27 °C29 °C35.6 °C
28.2 °C35.1 °C40.1 °C
31.5 °C32.6 °C30.6 °C
Maximum: 40.1 °C
Average: 32.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  48 °C | Room Temperature 22.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The two stereo speakers are favorably positioned above the keyboard. So, you won't cover them with your palms. However, the sound is rather poor: thin, without basses and clear mid tones. At least the maximum volume is quite decent.

So, it is not surprising that Fujitsu offers external speakers as optional accessories next to the laptop. However, as already mentioned above, the audio port is unfavorably placed for external speakers.

Energy Management

Wie wir testen - Akkulaufzeit

Power consumption

Power consumption of the Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 is also at class level. The Acer Aspire V5-551 achieves rather similar values here. We measured a maximum of 36.7 Watt in our test. The idle values are on par with most competitors'. The power adapter delivers above 60 Watt and so has sufficient reserves.

With 0.5 Watt, the power consumption is decent in stand-by mode. However, if you do not use the device for a longer time, you'll be vexed about an empty battery anyway.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.5 Watt
Idle 7.8 / 11.3 / 11.9 Watt
Load 32.5 / 36.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The battery life is also standard for this category. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 48 Wh. With it, the Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 achieves a battery life of 1:30 hours under full load or of 6:41 while idle. The Wi-Fi and the DVD test are more realistic: You can surf the internet for 4:13 hours, a film from DVD will end after 3:44 hours at the most.

The results are convenient. However, laptops with less powerful processors might deliver a longer battery life. For example, especially while idle, Lenovo's B575e with the same battery capacity achieves a significantly longer battery life.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 41min
WiFi Surfing
4h 13min
DVD
3h 44min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 30min

Verdict

If you are only interested in best system performance for price, you can safely take the Fujitsu Lifebook AH502: The Pentium 2020M achieves one of the best results in its price class. We also appreciate that Fujitsu decided to use matte surfaces and a matte screen. The design is not attractive, but it is also not ugly.

But, there are several aspects the manufacturer should have more carefully considered: The blue gleaming power button immediately below the screen dazzles the eyes and the interface layout is partly very unfavorable. Furthermore, you should not mind the permanent crackling noise of the hard drive. What's more, you should not place too much value on a decent screen, as you might be disappointed by the poor contrast and black value if you do.

It's a pity that small things make the Lifebook AH502 assembled in Germany appear worse than it could have been. That said, input devices, battery runtimes, and low temperature rise are convincing. But, which laptop of this price range is perfect?

In review: Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
In review: Fujitsu Lifebook AH502

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In Review: Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 by courtesy of:
In Review: Fujitsu Lifebook AH502 by courtesy of:

Specifications

Fujitsu Lifebook AH502

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM70 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
4096 MB, PC3-12800
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Core: 350-1100 MHz, Memory: 798 MHz
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LGDisplay LP156WH4 TLP1, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 384 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5mm audio in, 3.5mm audio-out, Card Reader: card reader: SD, SDHC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (b g n ), Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8C0
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36.5 x 378 x 252
:: Weight
2.5 kg Power Supply: 0.251 kg
:: Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 Volt, 4.400 mAh
:: Price
399 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1.280 x 720 Pixel, Status-LED, Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: splashproof keyboard with 106 keys, key width: 19.8 mm, key travel: 1.8 mm, Keyboard Light: no, MediaSuite, CorelDraw Essentials X6, Audials One, Launch Center, 24 Months Warranty

 

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Big Fujitsu logo.
Big Fujitsu logo.
The Lifebook AH502 is a cheap entry level laptop.
The Lifebook AH502 is a cheap entry level laptop.
So, the case has a rather conservative design and is made from matte plastic.
So, the case has a rather conservative design and is made from matte plastic.
The build quality is decent, but, the stability should be improved.
The build quality is decent, but, the stability should be improved.
The device is assembled in Germany.
The device is assembled in Germany.
Fujitsu incorporates a matte display.
Fujitsu incorporates a matte display.
However, the image quality is below average.
However, the image quality is below average.
But, the keyboard is splashproof.
But, the keyboard is splashproof.
The input devices are decent.
The input devices are decent.
The keyboard is big and it is convenient to work with it.
The keyboard is big and it is convenient to work with it.
Several hotkeys for settings.
Several hotkeys for settings.
The Pentium processor delivers a rather decent performance for everyday tasks.
The Pentium processor delivers a rather decent performance for everyday tasks.
The system noise is very quiet, but the loud hard drive annoying.
The system noise is very quiet, but the loud hard drive annoying.
USB 3.0? None. But, there is an ExpressCard slot.
USB 3.0? None. But, there is an ExpressCard slot.
Unfavorable position: The audio connectors are on the front.
Unfavorable position: The audio connectors are on the front.
VGA and HDMI are on the left side.
VGA and HDMI are on the left side.
The Kensington lock slot is rather near the front.
The Kensington lock slot is rather near the front.
The webcam above the display is rather suitable for video telephony.
The webcam above the display is rather suitable for video telephony.
Windows 7 Home Premium is used as the operating system.
Windows 7 Home Premium is used as the operating system.
The radio modules are standard for this category.
The radio modules are standard for this category.
Green IT? The power consumption is rather average.
Green IT? The power consumption is rather average.
Accordingly, the battery runtimes are convenient, but do not set new standards.
Accordingly, the battery runtimes are  convenient, but do not set new standards.
Under full load the battery life is 1:30 hours.
Under full load the battery life is 1:30 hours.
In order to open the case, you'll need to loosen several screws.
In order to open the case, you'll need to loosen several screws.
There is a separate flap for the hard drive.
There is a separate flap for the hard drive.
Via the big flap, you can clean the fans...
Via the big flap, you can clean the fans...
... extend or replace the RAM...
... extend or replace the RAM...
...or check the BIOS battery.
...or check the BIOS battery.
Looks nice, but might dazzle: The blue gleaming power button immediately in front of the display.
Looks nice, but might dazzle: The blue gleaming power button immediately in front of the display.

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Pro

+good system performance for the price
+decent input devices
+matte surfaces, matte display
+lots of accessories and service options
+convenient battery life
+low temperature rise
 

Cons

-hard drive is distinctly and constantly audible
-display with poor contrast and black level
-Fairly simple plastics case
-lid easily wraps from side-to-side twisting
-unfavorable interface layout

Shortcut

What we like

Good system performance, decent input devices, matte display - there is actually quite a lot we appreciate.

What we would like to see

However, the problem is in the detail: annoyingly loud hard drive, poor display results, unfavorable interface layout etc.

What surprises us

Although Fujitsu assembles in Germany, the build quality is only passable.

The competition

HP Compaq Presario CQ58-350SG, Lenovo B575e, Acer Aspire V5-551, Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC, Asus F55A, Toshiba Satellite C850-1LX.

Rating

Fujitsu Lifebook AH502
07/12/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
68%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
66%
Weight
81%
Battery
85%
Display
68%
Games Performance
61%
Application Performance
87%
Temperature
90%
Noise
90%
Add Points
80%
Average
78%
79%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Fujitsu LifeBook AH502 Notebook
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-07-22 (Update: 2013-07-23)