Review Fujitsu LifeBook UH572 Ultrabook

Christian Hepp (translated by Liala Stiegitz), 08/21/2012

Inexpensive ultrabook with business aspirations. Nowadays it is possible to step into the world of ultrabook for around EUR 800. However, these devices usually feature basic equipment. Fujitsu builds a UMTS modem into its 13.3 inch Lifebook UH572 for this price. Read in this review whether this ultrabook "made in Germany" can compete with the established competition.

Fujitsu took its time in releasing a cheap, full-fledged ultrabook onto the market. There are many interesting devices in the entry-price range of 700 Euro (~$877) and ultrabooks that cost far more than twice as much. In addition to our test device, Fujitsu also builds the Lifebook U772. It competes against more expensive opponents with an entry-price of 1200 Euro (~$1503) and a 14-inch screen in a 13-inch case.

Our Lifebook UH572, priced at 799 Euro (~$1001), is to compete against cheaper opponents such as Lenovo's U310, HP's Folio 13 or Acer's Aspire S3. They are all good value for money entry-level ultrabooks and can, though not uncompromisingly, convince in their own way. Fujitsu's main argument against these slim devices is mobile broadband, covered by Sierra Wireless' Gobi 3000 HSUPA modem in the Lifebook UH572. Let us take a closer look at the device's other qualities.

Case

Fujitsu's door to the world of Ultrabooks is cheap
Fujitsu's door to the world of Ultrabooks is cheap
In our case, it glitters in pretty metallic red
In our case, it glitters in pretty metallic red
Magnesium fuses approx. 1.6 kg of lightweight with a build height of 18 mm and good stability
Magnesium fuses approx. 1.6 kg of lightweight with a build height of 18 mm and good stability

Most of our attentive readers likely know which specifications a modern ultrabook has to fulfill. Such a device has to particularly feature a light, slim, appealingly designed case that is rigid so that it can be used as a robust traveling companion. Moreover, it should sport a good battery life and a bright screen. Fujitsu does not have to redefine this category or customer wishes - long have a few manufacturers gathered experience in the field of ultrabooks. Thus unsurprisingly, Fujitsu does not tread new paths with the UH572's chassis. Nevertheless, Fujitsu's interpretation impresses right away.

Our version features a nicely shimmering metallic red magnesium case - however you can naturally choose a less striking silver color. The lid's surface is processed and painted so meticulously that it looks like colored aluminum under light. In addition to the slim, almost fragile appearing build (18 mm height (0.71 inches) - closed), the used material allows an impressive case stability at a weight of merely 1.57 kilograms (3.46 pounds). Even greater effort does not really warp or dent the base or even the lid, which is very rigid considering its thin build. Of course, the manufacturer has designed everything according to this slim size and light weight - but not without advantages and disadvantages that will still be seen.

The case is manufactured very well and feels agreeably soft. The edges and corners are ergonomically flattened in important places. Opening the device also proves to be very easy even with one hand. The lid can be opened to an angle of 145° and is held firmly by the two small hinges without rocking noticeably. The ruby-colored lid and base alternates with matte black on the input field. Their surface does not look as rubberized as do various ThinkPads, but is rather smooth. The designers considered usability here: The interfaces on the sides are marked on the top's right and left edge so that they are easily found. 

Connectivity

Meanwhile most manufacturers install all important interfaces even in budget ultrabooks. Thus, Fujitsu builds everything of distinction into the UH572.

In addition to a Kensington lock, the HDMI port for connecting the flat screen at home and two USB 3.0 ports are on the left. Since both USB ports are quite close to each other, broad flash drives may cover the neighboring port.

Fujitsu installs the former USB 2.0 standard and the power socket beside a SD/MMC/Memory stick card reader on the case's right. A plastic flap is seen when looking closer at the right. It covers the SIM card slot for the UMTS modem. If you are missing a LAN port in our list, it is available as a USB-to-RJ45 connector because, according to Fujitsu, it would not have fit into the slim case. Unlike its more expensive U772 brother model, the UH572 does not feature a docking port.

Front: No interfaces
Front: No interfaces
Left: Kensington lock, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, headphone jack
Left: Kensington lock, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, headphone jack
Rear: Vents
Rear: Vents
Right: SD card reader, SIM card slot, USB 2.0, AC-in
Right: SD card reader, SIM card slot, USB 2.0, AC-in

Communication

In addition to WLAN via Intel's Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (b/g/n), cabled network connections are also possible via a USB-to-LAN connector. However, a highlight of the low-priced UH572 is definitely the option of surfing on the Internet via HSUPA using mobile broadband. In addition to Bluetooth 4.0, Intel's WLAN module offers other technologies such as Wireless Display. Thus, wireless transmission of screen content to a compatible monitor or TV is possible.

Security 

Apart from the slot for notebook locks, we unfortunately did not find any relevant security features on the UH572. Thus, the device can only be protected against theft at work. Fujitsu adds more such features in its U772 business ultrabook.

Accessories

Apart from the notebook, LAN connector and various instructions, we also find two recovery DVDs in the box. They enable resetting the ultrabook to state of delivery - providing that an external DVD drive is available because ultrabooks lack this equipment. Unlike the bigger U772 model, the UH572 does not feature a docking port. Thus, Fujitsu's accessories range from notebook cases to external hard disks and external input devices.

Maintenance

We were very pleased about the huge maintenance cover on the bottom of the ruby-red magnesium ultrabook. Merely 6 Torx screws separate the experienced user from replacing or expanding a few components. They are Western Digital's 500GB, 2.5-inch hard disk, the RAM (only one of two banks occupied with a 4GB, 1600 MHz DDR3 module), the Wi-Fi card and Sierra's UMTS module (both connected via mini PCIe) in the UH572.

Warranty

Fujitsu delivers the Lifebook with a standard 12 month collect & return service. We did not find any extension options on the manufacturer's homepage. Too bad, since a few competitors offer warranty extensions.

USB-to-LAN adapter
USB-to-LAN adapter
Extensible innards underneath the maintenance cover
Extensible innards underneath the maintenance cover

Input Devices

As seen in our recent review of the U772, it is not exactly the input devices that cover Fujitsu's new ultrabook with glory. Will this be different in the UH572?

Keyboard

Compared with the U772's keyboard unit, it is fairly good but far from being a paragon.

Typing is comparatively easy on this model. The key drop is short, but much better than in the significantly more expensive U772. The subjective typing feel conveys accuracy but the keyboard makes an extremely low-end impression. The entire chiclet keyboard unit seems to fit somewhat loose in the base. Thus, the construction clatters and "clicks" with every key stroke, no matter how gently pressed, and it also yields evidently. This reminds us of first generation netbook keyboards.

But not everything is bad about this keyboard. The pressure point is relatively crisp. Considering the price or the U772's unusual keyboard, the unit installed here is satisfactory. Typos are hardly an issue and the ergonomics are acceptable. Nevertheless it is disappointing when compared with input devices of recent contenders. We can recommend both the backlit keyboard of HP's Folio 13 as well as the "conventional" yet excellent keyboard in the IdeaPad U310. Unfortunately, the Aspire S3 offers a keyboard similar to the one installed here.

Clattery keyboard
Clattery keyboard
with a somewhat short key drop but crisp pressure point
with a somewhat short key drop but crisp pressure point
Touchpad
Touchpad

Touchpad

The Lifebook's mouse replacement is very similar to the one in the U772. Ergo it adopts all traits and problems but additionally exhibits a similar, clattery noise as perceived from the keyboard.

The inherited traits include the touchpad's rather smooth surface where you occasionally snag and the fairly unreliable keys' functionality. As it is so often seen in ultrabooks, the pad's touch-sensitive surface extends over the area of the left and right key. They are no longer dedicated and the entire touchpad can be pressed to perform clicks. However, our model exhibits a slightly unusual behavior here. The UH572 pad's outermost right and left corners, where we normally press to click, respond just as little as those in the U772. We had to press the buttons' center area hard to trigger the clicks. However, they were sometimes assigned to the wrong key - more often than not, a context menu popped up after an intended left click. Multi-touch gestures, such as the popular two-finger scrolling, work well. However, they have to be enabled via the driver menu instead of in the lower right task bar as would be usual.

Display

The rather dark screen is not recommendable for use in sunlight
The rather dark screen is not recommendable for use in sunlight

While all ultrabook models in this comparison rely on glossy-type screens using the same resolution of 1366x768 in a 13.3-inch screen size, our Lifebook's matte version stands out a bit from its high-gloss contenders. The UH572's matte TN screen (LP133WH2-TLM3) comes from LG and takes up the fight against reflections indoors and out.

However, it struggles with the very often criticized flaws of such low-end screens. The average brightness of 177.8 cd/m2 (max: 196.5 cd/m2) cannot be recommended for outdoor use because the content simply looks too dark in bright surroundings.

1) Gossen Mavo-Monitor 2) X-Rite i1 Pro
188.3
cd/m²
196.5
cd/m²
196.4
cd/m²
174.4
cd/m²
189.2
cd/m²
172.7
cd/m²
163.9
cd/m²
158.1
cd/m²
160.8
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 196.5 cd/m²
Average: 177.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 80 %
Center on Battery: 189.2 cd/m²
Black: 1.20 cd/m²
Contrast: 158:1
187
cd/m²
199
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
168
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
176
cd/m²
153
cd/m²
154
cd/m²
157
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1 Pro
Maximum: 201 cd/m²
Average: 176.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 76 %
Center on Battery: 192 cd/m²
Black: 0.99 cd/m²
Contrast: 194:1
UH572 vs. sRGB
UH572 vs. sRGB
Viewing angle test
Viewing angle test

Seen subjectively, it is a screen suitable for Internet surfing and Office tasks that do not require high color intensity

The measured rates confirm our impression of the low contrast. A too high black value only results in a weak contrast. The reproducible color spectrum is very limited. Here, like in the comparable competition, not even the sRGB standard is achieved. Consequently, the Lifebook is not suitable for graphic designers and photographers - but they will likely turn to specialized professional devices anyway.

If you are looking for an outdoor-suitable screen in an ultrabook and want a higher resolution, you will have to invest an additional 300 Euro (~$376) or more. Devices like the Zenbook UX32VD or Samsung's 900X3B offer these qualities. However, the Lifebook UH572's matte screen represents an interesting alternative to the glossy-type screens of the contenders of the 800 Euro (~$1002) price range.

Performance

Fujitsu basically offers its Lifebook UH572 in two configurations. We are testing the fairly low-priced 799 Euro (~$1001) alternative that features Intel's Core i5-3317U (2 x 1.7 GHz - 2.6 GHz) and a 500GB Western Digital hard disk which is fired up by a 32GB SSD cache. If you invest 150 Euro (~$188) more, you get a very fast, pure-bred 128GB SSD and a faster Core i7-3667U CPU (2 x 2 GHz - 3.2 GHz). Both versions include the same graphics solution in the form of Intel's HD Graphics 4000.

The price-performance ratio is first-rate in both versions. However we would sooner take the cheaper UH572 alternative because there are ultrabooks with better screens and input devices for just under 1000 Euro (~$1253).

When we take a look at the contenders in this comparison, we notice that the IdeaPad U310 also complies with Intel's minimum specifications regarding storage devices, so a similar array of 500GB HDD and 32GB SSD cache. Acer's S3 also uses a 320GB HDD + 20GB SSD. Merely the Folio 13 sports a swift 128GB SSD from Samsung and thus will likely be a tough opponent particularly in terms of system performance. 

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CPUZ CPU
System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info GPUZ
System info GPUZ
System information: Fujitsu LifeBook UH572
CB R11.5: Short periods of throttling
CB R11.5: Short periods of throttling

Processor

The core of our Lifebook UH572 is a very energy-efficient ULV (ultra-low voltage) processor from Intel's latest Ivy Bridge generation specified with a TDP of 17 Watts - the Core i5-3317U to be precise. It offers a default clock of 2 x 1.7 GHz. However, the single cores can be overclocked up to 2.6 GHz depending on the processor's load owing to Turbo Boost 2.0. In addition to this technology, Intel's CPU also supports Hyperthreading, which enables processing two threads on one processor core per clock simultaneously. This is also the reason that a dual-core CPU, such as the i5-3317U, shows four performance diagrams in the task manager rather than two as would actually be expected.

The processor even manages to outperform a few older Core i7 ULV CPUs due to this and various other improvements of the Ivy Bridge processor generation. Thus, it should also have enough power reserves for all routine scenarios and even allow occasional video editing (although there are much more suitable devices for this purpose).

Lenovo relies on exactly the same CPU and GPU (HD Graphics 4000) in the IdeaPad U310. Consequently we should find a good basis for comparison here. HP's Folio 13 and Acer's Aspire S3 both use the outdated Core i5-2467M featuring the integrated HD Graphics 3000. A look at the measured performance rates of CineBench R11.5 (CPU multithread) shows that our test device is inferior to the IdeaPad by 18%. It is even 22% below the Folio 13 although it uses an actually slower processor from the former Sandy Bridge generation. Acer's S3 is also 21% faster. The screenshot (upper right) is to illustrate why poorer results are achieved. The Lifebook exhibits reproducible clock rate decreases in CineBench R11.5 (multi). Thus, the clock frequency of both cores is reduced from 2.4 GHz to 800 GHz about every two seconds for a short period.

The Folio 13 lags behind by 18% and the Aspire S3 even by 20% in the CineBench R10 (64-bit) single-core run (both use Intel's Core i5-2467M). 

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3486
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
5007
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3861
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4399 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
6088 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
3743 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.09 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.07 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.58 Points
Help

System Performance

As expected from modern ultrabooks, the UH572 is usually quite fast subjectively. Of course it is noticed that a conventional hard disk is installed when opening some programs. However, you also clearly notice the speed boost that the small 32GB SSD enables in frequently used files and programs, such as when booting the operating system.

There is not much difference between the opponents subjectively. The advantage of an SSD-only system, like the Folio 13, normally only becomes evident while or shortly after booting the laptop. Otherwise all contenders process demanded tasks at an equally fast speed.

As expected, HP's Folio takes a 30% lead due to its SSD. The IdeaPad U310 lags behind our test device by 14% despite the same CPU and Acer's S3 using an even older CPU lags behind by 27% in PCMark Vantage. According to the latest PCMark 7, the IdeaPad is the leader and 18% faster than our test device and the equally fast Folio 13. Acer's S3 appears to be much slower and, beaten by a total of 44%, at the end of our comparison test.

Looking at the results, we can only conclude that the Aspire S3's system performance cannot keep up with the other three compared notebooks. This could be due to the smaller or slower SSD. Our Lifebook achieves second place in both benchmarks and thus should ensure a fast routine work speed. Nevertheless, the clear winner here is the Folio 13 due to its pure-bred SSD.

5
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
6.9
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
5
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.4
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage6770 points
PCMark 72959 points
Help
HDTune WD 500 GB HDD + Sandisk i100 SSD (32GB)
HDTune WD 500 GB HDD + Sandisk i100 SSD (32GB)
CrystalDiskMark WD 500 GB HDD + Sandisk i100 SSD (32GB)
CrystalDiskMark WD 500 GB HDD + Sandisk i100 SSD (32GB)

Storage Devices

We dealt in-depth with the importance of the installed storage device for the overall speed in the course of system performance. But what about the single, detailed rates of the employed array of a conventional, 500GB hard disk and 32GB SSD cache?

Since the operating system is on Western Digital's HDD, we first use HDTune as an adequate benchmark for assessing the storage device's speed. The average transfer rate proves to be one of the better results achieved by conventional HDDs. With averages of 90.3 MB/s, large amounts of data are processed agreeably fast (and 4% quicker than in the IdeaPad U310 - the Folio 13's SSD works twice as fast). The boost SSD likely contributes to the maximum rate of 176.4 MB/s, but its field of specialty is limited to reading and writing small files (which is why it is used, for example, when booting the laptop).

Thus, we use CrystalDiskMark for illustrating the impact of Sandisk's i100 32GB SSD. The 4K and 4K QD32 read speeds are the weaknesses of conventional hard disks, which are to compensate the small SSD caches. However, nothing of the kind is noticed in the UH572. The 4K / 4K QD32 read rates of 1.083 MB/s and 1.459 MB/s are on the level of good HDDs. The IdeaPad U310’s implementation of this technology is exemplary with 8.74 MB/s and 204.4 MB/s and can even partly outdo HP's Folio based on SSD-only (13.23 and 99.06 MB/s). Consequently, not too much should be expected of the Lifebook UH572's small SSD cache.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT
Transfer Rate Minimum: 54.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 176.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 90.3 MB/s
Access Time: 17.7 ms
Burst Rate: 118.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: -1 %

Graphics Card

The new IGP, HD Graphics 4000, was released alongside Intel's new Ivy Bridge generation. It should cover all application fields desired from an ultrabook well, from Internet surfing to playing HD videos and even rendering the odd game in low details smoothly.

Only the IdeaPad U310 uses the same graphics card. Although HP's Folio 13 and the Aspire S3 are equipped with the outdated HD Graphics 3000, they should find comparable limits in the multimedia field. How will our Lifebook fair in a comparison?

The identically equipped IdeaPad U310 is defeated by a whole 22% and the Folio as well as the Aspire S3 by 40% in 3DMark Vantage. Thus, our test device extracts quite a bit out of the graphics card in comparison. An oddity: Fujitsu's much more expensive U772 is also defeated by 9% here although it features a faster processor.

3DMark 11 confirms the result. The IdeaPad lags behind our Lifebook by 20%. Since the other contenders were not part of this benchmark at the time, they cannot be used for comparison.

The previously assumed temperature issues do not affect the graphics card because the Lifebook UH572 performs superbly with the integrated graphics card. If and how these results can be translated in games, for example, is seen in the following tests.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
3880 points
3DMark Vantage2438 points
3DMark 11546 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Of course, the processor-integrated HD Graphics 4000 is not made for gaming. Nevertheless, the one or other casual game should be playable in low details. The 3DMark scores whet our appetite.

We opted for the bestselling building strategy game Anno 2070 as its scalability is good and should thus be rendered smoothly even by weaker graphics cards. We managed a smoothly playable 33 fps (frames per second) in low details and a resolution of 1024x768. Even HP's Folio 13, which uses Intel's IGP from the previous generation, still manages 30.7 fps. The MacBook Air 13", using the same CPU and graphics, is the top reviewed ultrabook with 47 fps. 20 fps are reached in medium details and the native resolution of 1366x768. The difference to the Air is an unnoticed one frame per second. High settings should be avoided because the expected action degenerates to a slide show due to 13 fps.

FIFA 12 needs high frame rates sooner than Anno. Unforeseen stutters can lead to turnover or in the worst case a goal against your team. This game will not be fun on the ultrabook because it stutters occasionally even in minimum details and a resolution of 800x600 due to an average of 37 fps. We ascertained a real reproducible anomaly: When the frame rate drops to 21 fps in medium settings and a resolution of 1366x768, they again increase to 26 fps in high details and two-time anti-aliasing.

We also picked Metro 2033 as a hardware-hungry game for the extreme test. However, we would advise against playing this game on the UH572. 19 fps in low and 14 fps in medium details (800x600 / 1366x768) are no fun in horror shooters. The moral of this chapter - playing on the UH572 is not a "fun factor".

low med.high ultra
Metro 2033 (2010) 1914fps
Fifa 12 (2011) 372126fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 332013fps

Emissions

System Noise

Unfortunately we cannot say that the Lifebook UH572 is a quiet ultrabook. The device's high-pitched fan starts up too often for that - even when it is allegedly idling. It is not very loud with almost 32 dB(A), but its permanent on and off ("pulsing") is annoying. If you want to weaken this effect, you should preferably use the energy setting "High Performance".

Roughly 40 dB(A) are measured during full load. That, alongside the fan's high-pitched noise, got very nerve-racking after a while of stress testing. However, none of the low-end ultrabooks are uncompromisingly quiet contemporaries. HP's Folio 13 can be muted for longer periods via BIOS settings and Lenovo's IdeaPad U310 sports an almost continuously whirring, but bigger fan that features a lower pitched noise and is not as annoying as the one in our test device.

Noise Level

Idle 28.0 / 28.5 / 31.2 dB(A)
HDD 28.5 dB(A)
Load 38.4 / 40.4 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-300 (15 cm distance)
Stress test start
Stress test start
Stress end
Stress end

Temperature

During normal use, or low load, as in cases of Internet surfing or Office tasks, the surface temperatures usually stay pleasantly cool with approx. 32.2 °C/max 38 °C on the top and approx. 33.9 °C/max 37.7 °C on the bottom. Thus, it is possible to use the magnesium ultrabook on the lap since the fan is located center left.

However, we measured a maximum temperature of 50.2 °C on the top and 53.6 °C on the bottom during our stress test, at full load. HP's Folio 13 reaches about the same temperature and the other models are all a bit cooler here.


The processor, originally clocked with 2.1 GHz during Turbo Boost, is slowed to its default clock of 1.7 GHz to prevent overtaxing the cooling system in the test (82 °C core temperature after 1 hour). Then the little fan squeals like a small hair dryer. 

Max. Load
 43.7 °C50.2 °C37.4 °C 
 36.3 °C36.4 °C34.1 °C 
 27.9 °C30.1 °C28.3 °C 
Maximum: 50.2 °C
Average: 36 °C
53.6 °C52.3 °C48.6 °C
35.1 °C40.3 °C38.3 °C
32.2 °C34.2 °C33.9 °C
Maximum: 53.6 °C
Average: 40.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  48.1 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Raytek Raynger ST
Narrow, tinny sounding speaker bar

Speakers

The tiny speaker bar that Fujitsu installs into the Lifebook UH572 is of inferior quality. Although the voice output is acceptable, scenarios that go beyond occasional video calls are not possible with it. It lacks both volume and high detail in music playback. Our test tracks were rendered extremely treble-heavy and with a tinny hissing sound.

However, the music quality is acceptable when external loudspeakers or good headphones are connected.

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The idle power consumption of our Fujitsu device is within the average of all tested ultrabooks (5.9 - 8.9 Watts). This is unsurprising since they all feature similar hardware.

The consumption increases up to 40 Watts during load, which is a much worse rate than for example the 33.3 Watts measured in the Aspire S3 or the 35.8 Watts of the Folio 13. However, this result is likely due to the new graphics unit that has to work harder than the old IGP in the latter two devices.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 5.9 / 8.3 / 8.9 Watt
Load 31.8 / 40.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The Lifebook is as economic as its contenders in low load, but how is this translated in battery runtime? Can it benefit from the energy efficiency?

Not really, unfortunately. The built-in 42 Wh battery's capacity is somewhat lower than that of the competition. Thus it is unsurprising that the UH572 only lasts for a maximum of 5 hours and 55 minutes in our low load test via the Battery Eater's Reader's benchmark in minimum brightness and with disabled Wi-Fi. HP's Folio 13 relies on a big 59 Wh battery despite a similar case size and price, which can last for 9 hours and 49 minutes remote from the mains.

A similar picture is seen in our standardized Wi-Fi surfing test, where several online media, including YouTube videos, are visited via a script. Of course, Wi-Fi is enabled and the backlight is set to roughly 150 cd/m2 (here the max setting of 2). The Lifebook only survives for 3 hours and 17 minutes, which is not really a bad time. Nevertheless, it is a bit embarrassing for an ultrabook, considering these devices are normally known to stand out by surviving a long Internet session on battery power (HP Folio 13: 5 hours and 5 minutes). For example, really convincing but also more expensive devices like the MacBook Air 13 last for over 6 hours in this test. The average battery life of the compared, low-end contenders is a bit over 4 hours.

The device manages a full-load runtime of 1 hour 41 minutes, which is acceptable considering the battery capacity. (The leader here is again HP's Folio 13 with 2 hours 50 minutes). A somewhat bigger battery would not have hurt the UH572 when compared with the contenders.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 55min
WiFi Surfing
3h 17min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 41min

Verdict

Fujitsu Lifebook UH572

We praised the Fujitsu Lifebook's relatively good performance rates and the solid build quality of the pretty, red, slim, light and nevertheless rigid magnesium case. But competition never sleeps and mostly delivers stable and slim ultrabooks - but with the difference that they focus on a few important aspects apart from the case in the design and conception process. Battery runtime, keyboard, touchpad, fan management and thermal design are named as a few inadequately resolved points.

It is also too bad that sufficiently bright screens, suitable for outdoor use, are routinely axed away from the blueprints in low-end notebooks and reserved for better paying customers (e.g. Asus' Zenbook UX32VD, Samsung's 900X3B). Fujitsu is going the right way with the matte screen, but content can only be read when the backlight defies the ambient light outdoors as well.

Thus, even when we are willing to accept the existing restrictions of low-end ultrabooks we still want one thing: mobility. If we cannot have a bright screen, we should be allowed to console ourselves with a convincing battery runtime. But the UH572 cannot provide that. 

Unfortunately, truly excellent ultrabooks usually cost 500 Euro (~$627) more. But as always true: Comparing is worthwhile. (Top 10 Subnotebooks).

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In Review: Fujitsu LifeBook UH572
In Review:  Fujitsu LifeBook UH572

Specifications

Fujitsu LifeBook UH572

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3 - 1600 MHz
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4000, Core: 350 MHz, Memory: 798 MHz, 8.15.10.2696
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LG Display LP133WH2-TLM3, TN, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT, 500 GB 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: headphone, Card Reader: SD-XC/Memorystick(Pro),
:: Networking
Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, Sierra Wireless Gobi 3000 UMTS/3G
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18 x 323 x 234
:: Weight
1.6 kg
:: Battery
42 Wh Lithium-Ion
:: Price
799 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: Cyberlink, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard Light: no

 

So, here it is - the Lifebook UH572.
So, here it is - the Lifebook UH572.
of the slim case is definitely a matter of taste,
of the slim case is definitely a matter of taste,
but we like the design.
but we like the design.
Unfortunately, the cooling system seems to have a problem with the produced waste heat.
Unfortunately, the cooling system seems to have a problem with the produced waste heat.
A huge maintenance cover is on the bottom of the ruby-red magnesium case.
A huge maintenance cover is on the bottom of the ruby-red magnesium case.
It is secured by 6 Torx screws.
It is secured by 6 Torx screws.
All upgradeable and exchangeable components are beneath it
All upgradeable and exchangeable components are beneath it
e.g. the UMTS and wifi cards (both mini PCIe)
e.g. the UMTS and wifi cards (both mini PCIe)
the RAM (one of two DDR3 1600 MHz banks occupied with 4GB)
the RAM (one of two DDR3 1600 MHz banks occupied with 4GB)
and of course the 2.5 inch hard disk...
and of course the 2.5 inch hard disk...
and the screw-fastened 42 Wh battery.
and the screw-fastened 42 Wh battery.
The red paint
The red paint
The clattery keyboard did not really rouse awe in the test. It features a somewhat too short stroke. In return it has a crisp pressure point.
The clattery keyboard did not really rouse awe in the test. It features a somewhat too short stroke. In return it has a crisp pressure point.
Like its bigger brother, the U772, the slim and rigid case is made of magnesium
Like its bigger brother, the U772, the slim and rigid case is made of magnesium
and the hinges are also firm.
and the hinges are also firm.
The opening angle of 145° is sufficient for all scenarios.
The opening angle of 145° is sufficient for all scenarios.
Fujitsu is proud of its latest ultrabook range.
Fujitsu is proud of its latest ultrabook range.
The UH572 is made in Germany.
The UH752 is made in Germany.
The company installs a UMTS modem as a treat.
The company installs a UMTS modem as a treat.
The corresponding SIM card slot is on the case's right underneath a flap.
The corresponding SIM card slot is on the case's right underneath a flap.
The design looks good, for example the power button here
The design looks good, for example the power button here
or the area of the speaker's bar.
or the area of the speaker's bar.
The ports are marked on the edges of the case's velvety black top.
The ports are marked on the edges of the case's velvety black top.
Basically, Fujitsu developed a pretty and rigid ultrabook that unfortunately has quite a few flaws.
Basically, Fujitsu developed a pretty and rigid ultrabook that unfortunately has quite a few flaws.

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$68.00 Fujitsu FPCCBL46AP Video adapter - HDMI / VGA - 19 pin HDMI (M) - HD-15 (F) - 7.8 in - for LIFEBOOK U772, UH572

Fujitsu Lifebook UH572 (UH572M5512GB)
» 579.87 GBP (lowest price)
579.87 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

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Pro

+Magnesium case's good build quality
+Case's high stability and stiffness
+UMTS modem
+Matte screen
 

Cons

-Short battery life
-Screen is too dark for outdoor use
-Clattery keyboard
-Inaccurate touchpad operation

Shortcut

What we like

A slim, light and rigid magnesium case alongside a UMTS modem at a low price.

What we'd like to see

An outdoor, so brighter, screen and higher quality input devices.

What surprises us

Merely three hours of practical battery runtime in an ultrabook.

The competition

HP's Folio 13 with a good battery runtime, backlit keyboard and less obtrusive cooling. Acer's Aspire S3 (EUR 799 incl. a 256 SSD). Also Lenovo's latest IdeaPad U310 with praiseworthy input devices.

Rating

Fujitsu LifeBook UH572
08/10/2012 v3
Christian Hepp

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
76%
Pointing Device
73%
Connectivity
68%
Weight
91%
Battery
83%
Display
71%
Games Performance
65%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
73%
Noise
85%
Add Points
82%
Average
79%
81%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Fujitsu LifeBook UH572 Ultrabook
Author: Christian Hepp, 2012-08-21 (Update: 2013-06- 6)