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Review Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200 Subnotebook

Phased-Out Model.

The business subnotebook Esprimo Mobile U9200 is on sale at a netbook price of 400 – 500 Euros and offers, thanks to Pentium dual core, a considerably better performance, a brilliant and matt 12" screen at a weight short of 2kg. You will discover if the peewee is a bargain or not in the following review.

Case

The Esprimo Mobile U9200 was created as a business notebook and you actually notice it on the simple gray design. High-gloss optic, aluminum or chrome strips are searched for in vain on the case.

The workmanship benefits from the orientation on business customers. The small case is built stably and doesn't buckle at lifting. The display lid is sufficiently stable, but doesn't have a catch.

Connectivity

The given interfaces are very well suitable for a subnotebook. For instance, Apple offers three USB port not until the 17" model (whereas this isn't, of course, the standard). Due to the business orientation you also find a docking station connection on the bottom side. The device can be quickly coupled to all periphery devices at the work place. There is a DVI found on the docking station for loss-free connecting to digital monitors. Unfortunately there is only a VGA port built in the notebook itself. This presented a still useable sharp image on our 24" Dell TFT at 1920x1200, though.

The connection array is optimized for righties. All ports are placed on the left  and back side.

The FSC notebook has Bluetooth and WLAN standard b and g (not yet Draft-n!) as wireless interfaces. 

Left side: Headphones, microphone, cardreader, modem (not built in here), 2x USB
Left side: Headphones, mikrophone, cardreader, modem (not built in here), 2x USB
Back side: USB, Kensington Lock, power, S-Video, VGA, gigabit LAN
Back side: USB, Kensington Lock, power, S-Video, VGA, gigabit LAN

Fujitsu Siemens had to economize strongly in the software configuration in order to reach the low price of 400 Euros. The subnotebook is delivered without an operating system and merely a driver CD is included in the carton.

We had to turn off AHCI in the Bios (otherwise Windows couldn't find a hard disk) in order to install Windows XP (service pack 2). The installation of the driver was then easy with the included CD.

Input Devices

The splash-proof keyboard of the Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200 sits tight in the case, but has a somewhat clattery stroke. Most keys are executed in normal size and touch typing is possible right away. Only the right shift key is a bit too short and lead continuously to slip-ups in the test. The cursor keys ought to be too small for gamers, as well, but the notebook isn't advisable for gaming fans because of the weak graphic, anyway.

The Esprimo laptop's integrated touchpad turned out a bit too small and doesn't sit quite tight in the case (clatters due to that!). The execution is precise, though. Merely the definable scroll field is hard to hit and is niggling at use.

 

 

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

Completely outdoor suitable
Completely outdoor suitable

The built in 12" widescreen display (16:10) has the pleasant resolution of 1280x800 and makes the flawless control of Windows XP and Vista possible (contrarily to many netbooks with a 10" display). The matt surface and high maximum brightness could also convince and make outdoor use possible without any problems.

The illumination is not well-executed and the black value is also too high. Therefore the maximum contrast is very low with 111:1. This is also seen on the display's rather insipid color presentation.

182
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
226
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
181
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 287 cd/m²
Average: 204.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 63 %
Black: 2.58 cd/m²
Contrast: 88:1

The viewing angles are to be assessed as rather below average because the contrast obviously decreases quickly viewing from above or below and the image inclines towards black. The representations remains stable for a longer time horizontally.

The color space of the applied TN screen is comparable to the MacBook Aluminium and is to be placed considerably under the RGB color space. The color presentation is arranged very cool in its implementation.

Representable colors of the calibrated TN screen (triangle)
Representable colors of the calibrated TN screen (triangle)
MacBook Unibody 2.0 in transparent versus U9200
MacBook Unibody 2.0 in transparent versus U9200
RGB Farbraum (transparent) versus U9200

Performance

The little subnotebook is delivered with the 1.83 GHz fast Pentium dual core processor, 2 GB RAM and an integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphic card. With that the notebook positions itself in rather the lower field of our tested notebooks, but the application performance is considerably better than that of price-competitive netbooks. The dual core processor always delivers enough performance for standard applications. The low clock rate only makes itself negatively noticeable at video or music coding. 

HD videos aren't a problem for the X3100 and Pentium dual core combination. YouTube videos ran with 50% load just as studdering-free as Quicktime videos in 1080p (tested with the trailer of Fast and Furious).

The gaming performance isn't the Esprimo Mobile U9200 notebook's strongest attribute. The built in shared memory graphic card from Intel redeemed the 3DMark 05 with an error message, for instance. It reached a meager 751 points in the 3DMark03. Hence the graphic performance is merely on a level with a normal netbook and completely unsuitable for gaming.

Cinebench R10
 SettingsValue
 Rendering Single 32Bit2805 Points
 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit5313 Points
 Shading 32Bit1084 Points
PC Mark
PCMark 053108 points
Help
3D Mark
3DMark 03751 points
Help
120 GB Western Digital WD1200BEVS HDD

The built in 120 GB SATA hard disk bids little storage capacity in comparison to today's standard of 250 GB but still performs in the center span with a maximum of 53.6 MB/second.
 

WDC Scorpio WD1200BEVS-22UST0
Transfer Rate Minimum: 17.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 53.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 41.8 MB/s
Access Time: 16.6 ms
Burst Rate: 82.6 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.4 %

Emissions

System Noise

The Fujitsu-Siemens subnotebook stays relatively quiet with approx. 32 dB without load. The fan practically runs continuously but the volume stays constant and subjectively the noise isn't troublesome.

The fan turns up to the highest speed very quickly and becomes very loud under load.

Noise Level

Idle 29.0 / 32.3 / 32.3 dB(A)
DVD 32.5 / 47.0 dB(A)
Load 48.2 / 48.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The U9200 stays cool in every circumstance due to the continuously running fan. Therefore there's nothing to thwart a use on the lap.

Merely the power supply heated up to 50°C.

Max. Load
 35 °C32 °C28 °C 
 27 °C31 °C28 °C 
 26 °C25 °C25 °C 
Maximum: 35 °C
Average: 28.6 °C
30 °C34 °C38 °C
29 °C31 °C37 °C
27 °C29 °C28 °C
Maximum: 38 °C
Average: 31.4 °C
Room Temperature 24 °C

Loudspeakers

High-quality sounding loudspeakers are certainly less important in a pure-bred business notebook than for instance in a designated multimedia notebook. Besides that, you will probably use earphones on trips to watch your favorite film or simply to listen to music in order not to needlessly disturb the fellow passengers, anyway.

The applied stereo loudspeakers on the front side are an imposition, though. Far too quiet. Many mobile phone amplifiers sound better. Skype conversations and video watching is practically impossible. Even system sounds turn out to be a farce.

Therefore you should include external loudspeakers or good headphones, in any case.

Battery Life

The battery life can be positioned between one and 3.5 hours with the included 58 Wh battery, depending on the application. For instance, WLAN surfing was possible for 2 hours without a power socket. This isn't really a good value for a mobile notebook. But there is an optional supplementary battery (to be strapped to the bottom), which additionally extends the battery runtime.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 1 / 1.1 Watt
Idle 20.6 / 20.9 / 26.5 Watt
Load 48.7 / 59.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 35min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 49min

Verdict

Generally, you can call the U9200 a good subnotebook at an unbeatable price (thanks to the sale). The label Made in Germany could serve as a purchase sweetener.

The U9200 scores with considerably better application performance, extendibility thanks to the docking station connection and additional battery in comparison to a similarly expensive netbook.

The U9200 can also score with the  brilliant, matt display, which allows for outdoor use.

On the negative side have to be mentioned the weak battery life of the standard battery, the loud fan under full load and especially the awful loudspeakers.

The direct successor Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile 9210 has been completely turned inside out and serves with a modern design. But it (still) costs considerably more.

Fujistsu Siemens Esprimo U9200
Optional docking station
Optional docking station
Optional supplementary battery
Optional supplementary battery
Bottom side
Bottom side
Comparison to the MacBook 2.0 Unibody
Comparison to the MacBook 2.0 Unibody
In Review: Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200, with courtesy of:
Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200

Specifications

Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200
Graphics adapter
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100, Core: 500 MHz, onboard, 6.14.10.5029
Memory
2048 MB 
, PC2-5300 (333 MHz) 5-5-5-15-20 Hyundai
Display
12.1 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel GM965
Harddisk
WDC Scorpio WD1200BEVS-22UST0, 120 GB 
5400 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC262 HD Audio
Connections
1 Express Card 34mm, 3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 S-Video, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Headphones, microphone, Card Reader: 4in1 SD/MS/MS Pro/xD, 1.3 MPix Webcam, integrated Microphone
Networking
Marvell Yukon 88E8055 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR5007EG (b g ), 2.0 Bluetooth
Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633L
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 23.1 x 300 x 225 ( = 0.91 x 11.81 x 8.86 in)
Weight
1.984 kg ( = 69.98 oz) Power Supply: 458 g ( = 16.16 oz)
Battery
58 Wh Lithium-Ion, SMP-SFS-SS-26C-06
Price
500 Euro
Operating System
FreeDos
Additional features
12 Months Warranty

 

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Compare Prices

Pro

+Cool
+Matt display suitable for outdoor use
 

Cons

-Very awful loudspeakers
-Clattering touchpad

Shortcut

What we liked

The brilliant, matt display allows for outdoor use – perfect for those mobile dimensions.

What we missed

A somewhat longer battery life and a bit of design

What surprised us

That a touchpad can clatter and especially how loudspeakers can turn out so miserably.

The competitors

Price-wisely only netbooks like the Samsung NC 20, otherwise the successor U9210, actually.

Rating

Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200
04/25/2009
Martina Osztovits

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
82%
Weight
88%
Battery
80%
Display
78%
Games Performance
37%
Application Performance
78%
Temperature
89%
Noise
76%
Add Points
85%
Average
79%
82%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200 Notebook
Author: Martina Osztovits, 2009-04-27 (Update: 2012-05-26)