Notebookcheck

Fujitsu Lifebook U574 Ultrabook Review

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 12/25/2014

Deceptive. Slim and good-looking business laptops are possible nowadays. The non-glare touchscreen of Fujitsu's Lifebook U574 is rare, though. Is it only smoke and mirrors or a solid business subnotebook that meets all fundamental criteria?

Fujitsu Lifebook U574: Too good-looking for business?
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: Too good-looking for business?

For the original German review, see here.

Fujitsu has been focusing on business for some years now and has countless devices for both professional users and home office workers in its "Client Computing Devices" section. The Lifebook U574 is a member of the Advanced division, which Fujitsu sees as the office mid-range. The U574 touchscreen ultrabook features a 13.3-inch HD screen and a Core i5. The installed SSD clearly boosts the price (RRP: 899 Euros, ~$1071) compared with the basic configuration (RRP: 699 Euros, ~$833). There are no alternatives for either the screen or the processor. However, there are options for the 3G modem and TPM module. The matte touchscreen is undoubtedly the highlight of the review sample, though it is only available as a TN model.

The Lifebook U574 only has to face a handful of contenders from the 13-inch mid-range office devices in the 900-Euro (~$1073) price range. 14-inch notebooks are still typically used as mobile office devices. We used the AsusPro Essential PU301LA and Toshiba's Portégé R30-A-17G for comparison. The PU301LA has good input devices but has shortcomings in both screen and build. The entry-level configuration of the Portégé R30-A is available for a price starting at about 900 Euros (~$1073). It offers more connectivity than Fujitsu's review sample with a real docking port, a battery life of beyond ten hours, and an optical drive.

Business

Consumer with office qualities (good input devices, matte screen)

Case

Only almost edge-to-edge screen
Only almost edge-to-edge screen
Lightweight with 1.6 kilograms
Lightweight with 1.6 kilograms

Fujitsu has really tried to design a casing that wins both business customers and trend-following private users. The combination of matte, brushed aluminum finish (B-cover, display back) and red side strips looks impressive without excessive use of high-gloss. The underside is made of hard, matte plastic. The device's low weight of 1.6 kilograms makes it pleasant to hold, but it has sharp edges. Fingerprints will soon accumulate on the lid.

While the gaps, looks, and materials are first-rate, the stiffness is disappointing. This is still acceptable for the thin lid; it does not dent when light pressure is applied in the middle. However, the base warps every time the device is picked up, and especially when it is held in one corner. This is a minus point for quality impression, although it will not affect the U574's service life.

Connectivity

The clear white labeling of the ports in the work area is striking. Though it facilitates connecting the plugs, it ruins the otherwise homogeneous, restrained looks. The number and type of ports do not go beyond the normal standard of consumers. Quite the opposite since there is no RJ45 Ethernet. Fujitsu recommends its own USB-to-Ethernet dongle for this.

Left: Kensington, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Left: Kensington, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Right: combo-audio jack, USB 2.0, card reader, SIM-card slot, AC
Right: combo-audio jack, USB 2.0, card reader, SIM-card slot, AC
Rear: no interfaces
Rear: no interfaces
Front: no interfaces
Front: no interfaces

Communication

Fujitsu installs the Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 adapter that also adds Bluetooth 4.0. The reception was excellent. We still had 2 signal bars beyond our 40-meter point outdoors and could still open Notebookcheck.com with a reduced speed. Only one of ten review samples achieves this high range. Laptops with an aluminum lid usually have problems. However, Fujitsu has taken precautions and installs a plastic bar which conceals the antennas in the lid's upper edge. Our review sample did not have a UMTS/HSDPA modem, but the 899-Euro (~$1071) model that the manufacturer sells features one. The two installed antennas and the M.2 slot can be seen in the screenshot of the opened U574.

Security

Multiple device setting and security features can be opened in the BIOS. The U574 is clearly superior to consumer models in this point. However, most business devices also offer that. The TPM module or event log is found here, for example. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera and the USB 3.0 controller can be disabled separately in the BIOS. Setting a drive password is just as possible as Secure Boot. Intel's platform includes Advanced Theft Protections. The splash water-proof keyboard and the Kensington lock are also part of the security features.

Maintenance

The U574 is easy to open. A 2.5-inch SATA slot with the SSD, the Wi-Fi module, an empty M.2 slot (4G modem), working memory (1x 8 GB inserted), and the TPM module are found underneath the aluminum plate. These components and the battery can be replaced, but not the processor. The fan can be accessed and cleaned with compressed air.

Accessories

Only the 65-watt power supply and a recovery DVD for Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit are part of the included accessories by standard. Fujitsu has a rather general and not device specific accessory program with a Supreme Case, USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN adapter, screen protectors, wireless mice, the PRO8 USB 3.0 port replicator, and external multi-DVD drive.

Warranty

Depending on the country, the warranty period is one year. A one-year bring-in service is valid in Germany. These short periods are common for business devices, and customers can buy optional support packs, such as the 3-year on-site NBD service plan for 207 Euros (~$246). That includes service on the next business day (working hours).

 

 

 

Easy maintenance and battery replacement
Easy maintenance and battery replacement
65-watt power supply
65-watt power supply
Quick-start guide and Windows 8.1 DVD
Quick-start guide and Windows 8.1 DVD

Webcam 

The camera shoots unspectacular pictures in 1280x720 pixels. No matter whether artificial or natural light, the areas are extremely faded, objects have coarse outlines, and the colors look very pale as if they are covered by a veil. The latter might be due to the anti-glare sheet that is glued over the webcam. Be that as it may, the pictures taken with this webcam are not even suitable for eBay snapshots. We ask ourselves when manufacturers will finally dare leaving away the camera. Considering that every smartphone shoots better pictures, why should this bad webcam be used?

Webcam pictures max. 1280x720 pixels
Webcam pictures max. 1280x720 pixels
Extremely faded areas...
Extremely faded areas...
...no matter whether natural or artificial light.
...no matter whether natural or artificial light.
Reference Canon EOS 1100D
Reference Canon EOS 1100D

Input Devices

Keyboard

The rich, bright key lettering in the charcoal black-colored work area strikes the eye right away. Users who do not touch-type will find this relieving. The keys need a clear labeling because there is no backlight like usually found in expensive business devices. The keys are fitted in a flat recess; a matte plastic grid underlines the chiclet design. The keys are absolutely even and feature a rough plastic surface. Strong pressure first causes the area to yield when typing. The stroke is soft and slightly spongy. The drop - which is our biggest complaint - is very short and leads to an unsatisfactory typing feel in conjunction with the short pressure point. The standard layout is interesting for professional users since the position keys, CRTL and DEL are exactly where expected. The arrow keys are a bit longer and can thus be used well without looking. Some letter keys are mapped with a number pad as a second assignment.

Touchpad

Unlike many other key-less pads, the ClickPad fully convinced the tester. It has a pleasantly matte surface with a palpable friction. The diagonal is 12.5 centimeters. The upper third of the pad does not have a drop and can first be pressed in the center and lower areas. Although the drop is short, a quickly responding pressure point and firm stroke make working with the pad enjoyable for the fingers. The large, labeled keys allow traditional drag & drop. The latter can also be performed by pressing the pad's center and a gesture.

Touchscreen

Fujitsu is one of the few manufacturers that offer a non-glare screen for business touch devices. This is achieved with a sheet that is fitted precisely up into the edges. It would not be obvious that it is a sheet if it were not for the microphone holes. The AR coating cannot completely prevent reflections, but it reduces the impact of fingerprints considerably. The capacitive, 10-finger screen implements gestures quickly, and it is sensitive into its corners and edges.

Large multi-touch pad
Large multi-touch pad
Short drop but pleasantly distinctive pressure point
Short drop but pleasantly distinctive pressure point
Rare: Working with this ClickPad is fun
Rare: Working with this ClickPad is fun
Unfortunately, the keys only give a rather unsatisfactory feedback
Unfortunately, the keys only give a rather unsatisfactory feedback

Display

The 13.3-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio has a traditionally coarse resolution of 1366x768 pixels. A sheet makes the LGD0354 capacitive, 10-finger touchscreen non-glare. It is a TN screen with the typical limited viewing angles and usual disappointing weak contrasts. This is also the case in the U574 with 154:1. A black level of 1.27 cd/m² could not be worse, either. The contrast of the Portégé R30-A-15C looks better, but we assessed the expensive FHD IPS version at the time.

155
cd/m²
163
cd/m²
154
cd/m²
179
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
176
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
184
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 195 cd/m² Average: 174.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Center on Battery: 195 cd/m²
Contrast: 154:1 (Black: 1.27 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.41 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 11.21 | - Ø
36% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.42
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
HD Graphics 4600, 4600M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
Iris Graphics 5100, 4158U, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
Screen
6%
144%
44%
Brightness
175
235
34%
288
65%
220
26%
Brightness Distribution
79
87
10%
87
10%
91
15%
Black Level *
1.27
1.37
-8%
0.26
80%
0.56
56%
Contrast
154
180
17%
1208
684%
411
167%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.41
12.04
-16%
4.79
54%
8.4
19%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.21
11.75
-5%
6.71
40%
9.95
11%
Gamma
2.42 99%
2.87 84%
2.54 94%
2.19 110%
CCT
12029 54%
13613 48%
6697 97%
10109 64%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
36
40
11%
64
78%
41
14%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.1

* ... smaller is better

sRGB coverage: 52%
sRGB coverage: 52%
AdobeRGB coverage: 36%
AdobeRGB coverage: 36%

Though the brightness of the AsusPro Essential PU301LA is slightly better, its contrast is just as abysmal. As expected, the color spaces are extremely low; sRGB is covered by 52%. The Aspire V3-371-38ZG also features a TN screen, but it is a Full HD model. It proves that TN does not inevitably have to represent the bottom of the barrel in screen production. It has a better contrast and its color accuracy is a touch better.

We assessed the screen with a spectrophotometer in state of delivery and ascertained an evident bluish cast, which could be eliminated via calibration.

CalMAN Grayscale: intense bluish cast
CalMAN Grayscale: intense bluish cast
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps: Almost all colors inaccurate
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps: Almost all colors inaccurate
CalMAN ColorChecker: high DeltaE
CalMAN ColorChecker: high DeltaE
Rare: A matte touchscreen for field workers
Rare: A matte touchscreen for field workers

The anti-glare coating ensures useful visibility in daylight despite the low brightness. Our screenshots were taken in cloudy condition; direct sunlight would also lead to extreme illegibility of the U574.

The meager viewing angles and contrast shifts when looking from the sides are typical for TN. The user does not have much elbowroom with the U574. The best view on the desktop is only achieved from the front. Many consumer laptops with IPS for considerably less than 900 Euros (~$1073) are better equipped in this regard. Business laptops with IPS, and then also frequently with FHD, cost beyond 1000 Euros (~$1192) and are usually only available in 14 or 15-inches.

Viewing angles: LGD0354 TN screen (1366x768 pixels) in the U5740M7512DE
Viewing angles: LGD0354 TN screen (1366x768 pixels) in the U5740M7512DE

Performance

There are no options for the Core i5-4200U (native: 1.6 GHz; Turbo 2.6 GHz) in the U574 because it is soldered. Fujitsu does not offer any alternatives. Our review sample with a Samsung SSD PM851 (128 GB) alongside the low-voltage processor from the Haswell architecture should achieve a good application performance that will equip buyers very well for many years. 8 GB of working memory in single-channel mode (one module) and the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 complement that. The latter will not lead to any performance miracles, but it keeps the power consumption low.

System info CPU-Z CPU
System info CPU-Z Cache
System info CPU-Z Motherboard
System info CPU-Z Memory
Systeminfo CPU-Z SPD
System info GPU-Z HD Graphics 4400
System information: Fujitsu Lifebook U574

Processor

The Turbo should theoretically clock with up to 2.6 GHz (single-core), which our tests do not confirm. Cinebench R11.5 operated with a stable 2.3 GHz in single-mode. However, the clock rate was no longer stable in multi-core load of the same test. It regularly repeatedly dropped to 800 MHz. Since the same Cinebench Multi scores were achieved in battery mode, we assume the same clock behavior.

The comparison with the contenders shows that the U574 is not much better than the Core i3-4158U in the Aspire. The slightly higher-clocked i7-4510U calculates 25 to 40% faster. Buyers get a Core i7-4500U that computes 18 to 40% (single/multi) faster for less money with the AsusPro Essential PU301LA.

Cinebench R11.5 Single Core @2.3 GHz stable
Cinebench R11.5 Single Core @2.3 GHz stable
Cinebench R11.5 Multi Core @800 MHz with 2.3 GHz varying
Cinebench R11.5 Multi Core @800 MHz with 2.3 GHz varying
Prime95 Multi Core @800 MHz with 2.3 GHz varying
Prime95 Multi Core @800 MHz with 2.3 GHz varying
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
99 Points ∼51%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
119 Points ∼61% +20%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
114 Points ∼58% +15%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
HD Graphics 4600, 4600M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
132 Points ∼68% +33%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
Iris Graphics 5100, 4158U, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
77 Points ∼39% -22%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
68 Points ∼35% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
219 Points ∼10%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
249 Points ∼12% +14%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
272 Points ∼13% +24%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
HD Graphics 4600, 4600M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
310 Points ∼14% +42%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
Iris Graphics 5100, 4158U, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
194 Points ∼9% -11%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
170 Points ∼8% -22%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
1.1 Points ∼50%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1.37 Points ∼62% +25%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1.3 Points ∼59% +18%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
HD Graphics 4600, 4600M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
1.5 Points ∼68% +36%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
Iris Graphics 5100, 4158U, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
0.89 Points ∼40% -19%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.73 Points ∼33% -34%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
2.14 Points ∼9%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
3 Points ∼13% +40%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
2.95 Points ∼12% +38%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
HD Graphics 4600, 4600M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
3.35 Points ∼14% +57%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
Iris Graphics 5100, 4158U, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
2.16 Points ∼9% +1%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.8 Points ∼8% -16%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3165
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.1 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.14 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.58 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
99 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
219 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
63.3 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark7 and PCMark 8 provide an outlook on the application performance. Does the weak processor have an adverse impact on the overall performance? That is apparently not the case. Like HP's Pavilion 15-n005sg with the same processor shows in the Computation score, the result is identical. Interesting: The AsusPro Essential PU301LA boasts with a Core i7, but PCMark 7 and 8 deliver considerably worse results also in the Computation score. The PU301LA did not suffer under throttling, and the Cinebench scores above are better than those the review sample reaped in. The results of different benchmarks are off-balance. The Core i7 in Toshiba's Portégé R30-A-15C is slightly better, but the difference is a low 10%. Potential buyers thus will not miss an i7 alternative.

Fujitsu Lifebook U574Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064GToshiba Portege R30-A-15CAsus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141HAcer Aspire V3-371-38ZGLenovo M30-70HP Pavilion 15-n005sg
PCMark 7
-44%
30%
4%
-45%
-35%
System Storage
5157
1569
-70%
5244
2%
5010
-3%
1468
-72%
1520
-71%
Computation
13526
9300
-31%
17372
28%
12251
-9%
10972
-19%
13379
-1%
Creativity
8090
4679
-42%
9720
20%
7961
-2%
4618
-43%
5284
-35%
Productivity
2302
1511
-34%
4146
80%
3226
40%
1239
-46%
1565
-32%
Score
4236
2475
-42%
5068
20%
4037
-5%
2259
-47%
2680
-37%
PCMark 8
-6%
10%
18%
-7%
-13%
Work Score Accelerated v2
3400
3702
9%
3559
5%
3065
-10%
2864
-16%
Home Score Accelerated v2
2240
2111
-6%
2493
11%
2927
31%
2172
-3%
2023
-10%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-25% / -38%
10% / 10%
24% / 27%
-2% / 1%
-29% / -36%
-35% / -35%
PCMark 7 Score
4236 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2240 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3400 points
Help

Storage Devices

The Samsung SSD PM851 (128 GB) is installed as a normal 2.5-inch SATA drive. The read and write rates are very decent. HDD-based systems like the PU301LA lag far behind. The Portégé R30-A-15C (also Samsung PM851, different model) and Zenbook UX303LN exemplarily show that better SSDs are available. Both provide higher rates in Write 512 and Write 4K. 

Fujitsu Lifebook U574Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064GToshiba Portege R30-A-15CAsus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141HAcer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
AS SSD
20%
26%
-7%
Score Total
855
1003
17%
903
6%
576
-33%
Score Write
213
328
54%
289
36%
226
6%
Score Read
429
448
4%
399
-7%
233
-46%
Access Time Write *
0.041
0.033
20%
0.045
-10%
0.057
-39%
Access Time Read *
0.092
0.073
21%
0.086
7%
0.116
-26%
4K Write
81.69
101.07
24%
83.22
2%
61.18
-25%
4K Read
32.04
13.08
-59%
29.76
-7%
25.1
-22%
Seq Write
134.53
251.64
87%
427.69
218%
285.19
112%
Seq Read
477.71
514.37
8%
437.05
-9%
508.2
6%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-85%
24%
33%
5%
Write 4k QD32
441.1
0.849
-100%
264.1
-40%
199.8
-55%
253
-43%
Read 4k QD32
365.6
0.813
-100%
382.7
5%
347.8
-5%
148.1
-59%
Write 4k
95.85
0.816
-99%
126
31%
100.7
5%
72.25
-25%
Read 4k
34.99
0.371
-99%
38.11
9%
34.64
-1%
20.98
-40%
Write 512
141.3
39.38
-72%
267.5
89%
373
164%
307.6
118%
Read 512
434.7
30.05
-93%
463
7%
301.1
-31%
316.6
-27%
Write Seq
141.5
92.53
-35%
268
89%
436.6
209%
308.3
118%
Read Seq
534.2
100.8
-81%
537.2
1%
409
-23%
511.2
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-85% / -85%
22% / 22%
30% / 29%
-1% / -2%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
Sequential Read: 534.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 141.5 MB/s
512K Read: 434.7 MB/s
512K Write: 141.3 MB/s
4K Read: 34.99 MB/s
4K Write: 95.85 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 365.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 441.1 MB/s

Graphics Card

The HD 4400 graphics card can only make use of a single-channel memory (only one RAM bar possible), which limits its computing performance by roughly 20%, as experience shows. Devices with an HD 4600 perform marginally better even without dual-channel (Portégé R30-A-15C). The PU301LA also only has one memory bank but achieves a 20% higher score in the synthetic benchmarks (summarily). The reason might be the U574's GPU clock of 1000 MHz; the PU301LA calculates a bit faster with 1100 MHz.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
750 Points ∼1%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
758 Points ∼1% +1%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
2317 Points ∼5% +209%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
868 Points ∼2% +16%
Lenovo M30-70
716 Points ∼1% -5%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
832 Points ∼3%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
843 Points ∼3% +1%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
2378 Points ∼8% +186%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
929 Points ∼3% +12%
Lenovo M30-70
786 Points ∼3% -6%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
4921 Points ∼3%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
5175 Points ∼3% +5%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
5147 Points ∼3% +5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
8425 Points ∼5% +71%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
4862 Points ∼3% -1%
Lenovo M30-70
4773 Points ∼3% -3%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
3526 Points ∼7%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
4335 Points ∼9% +23%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
4518 Points ∼9% +28%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
5919 Points ∼12% +68%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
3722 Points ∼8% +6%
Lenovo M30-70
3452 Points ∼7% -2%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
32694 Points ∼4%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
43622 Points ∼6% +33%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
34853 Points ∼5% +7%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
60544 Points ∼8% +85%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
39763 Points ∼5% +22%
Lenovo M30-70
40396 Points ∼5% +24%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
28472 Points ∼3%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
39918 Points ∼4% +40%
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C
34535 Points ∼3% +21%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
51903 Points ∼5% +82%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
33266 Points ∼3% +17%
Lenovo M30-70
32949 Points ∼3% +16%

Legend

 
Fujitsu Lifebook U574 Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
 
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G Intel Core i7-4500U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
 
Toshiba Portege R30-A-15C Intel Core i7-4600M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
 
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H Intel Core i7-4510U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
 
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG Intel Core i3-4158U, Intel Iris Graphics 5100, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
 
Lenovo M30-70 Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
3DMark 11 Performance
832 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
28472 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
3526 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
502 points
Help

Gaming Performance

In view of the integrated graphics and in particular a relatively slow HD 4400, games will not be a topic as our random tests prove. Users who want to play on their handy ultrabook will need at least a GeForce 840M like in the Zenbook UX303LN. Otherwise, the Intel graphics is on the level of a brand new HD Graphics 5300 (Core M, Broadwell), like the Venue 11 Pro shows.

Sleeping Dogs - 1024x768 Low Preset AA:Normal (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
20.2 fps ∼11%
Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG
Iris Graphics 5100, 4158U, Kingston RBU-SC100S37240GE
24.2 fps ∼13% +20%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7140
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10a, Sandisk X110 M.2 SD6SP1M-128G
21.3 fps ∼11% +5%
HP ProBook 470 G2 G6W52EA
Radeon R5 M255, 4210U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
61.8 fps ∼33% +206%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - 1280x720 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook U574
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
21.4 fps ∼8%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7140
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10a, Sandisk X110 M.2 SD6SP1M-128G
16.65 fps ∼6% -22%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
HD Graphics 5000, 4650U, Liteonit LCS-256M6S
20.1 fps ∼7% -6%
Dell Latitude E5550
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
16.5 fps ∼6% -23%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
37.27 fps ∼14% +74%
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 20.214.88.4fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 21.410.76fps
Alien: Isolation (2014) 2018.5fps

Emissions

System Noise

The Lifebook's noise development is overall low; we only measured 35 dB(A) in the stress test. That is very little, but throttling (CPU: 800 MHz) drastically reduces the waste heat production. The U574 is absolutely silent when idling, and the fan is mostly disabled. That is not the case in either the Protégé R30-A or PU301LA. The option Fan Control is found in the BIOS (Silent, Normal), whereas Silent is set by default. We performed all tests using this setting.

Noise Level

Idle
29.6 / 29.6 / 32.5 dB(A)
Load
35 / 35.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test Prime95+Furmark: CPU @800-1000 MHz (throttling)
Stress test Prime95+Furmark: CPU @800-1000 MHz (throttling)

The surface temperatures are in line with the system noise in load and idle mode. We measured a maximum of 43 °C (load) and 42 °C (idle). The waste heat of the contenders is not much higher, not even that of the R30 despite its 35-watt CPU. Both the Satellite and AsusPro Essential PU301LA have thicker base units and can thus deal with waste heat easier.

How does the U574 behave in the stress test, an unrealistic scenario that puts the GPU and CPU under consistent, simultaneous load? The CPU settled to 800 to 1000 MHz after a while, and the GPU ran with a stable 1000 MHz. The base clock of 1.6 GHz is clearly undercut. We not only ascertained this drastic drop in the clock rate during the stress test. A singly performed Prime95 multi-test also caused the clock to fluctuate between 800 MHz and 2.3 GHz. Here, thermal limits of presumably about 75 °C are surpassed on the SoC. The CPU heated up to a maximum of 79 °C in the stress test. A CPU benchmark performed right after the stress test finished with the normal cold start score. The thermal load thus does not have any direct side effects, and non-throttling temperatures are reached quickly again.

 24.7 °C27.3 °C29.2 °C 
 23.6 °C26.5 °C27.1 °C 
 23 °C23.2 °C23.8 °C 
Maximum: 29.2 °C
Average: 25.4 °C
30.9 °C28.8 °C26 °C
27.2 °C26.5 °C25.8 °C
26.3 °C26.2 °C25.4 °C
Maximum: 30.9 °C
Average: 27 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.7 °C | Room Temperature 20.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The speakers produce a thin, monotone sound that is unsuitable for music or videos. Headphones should be used for these intentions. Bass and differentiated trebles are non-existent. The maximum volume is only moderate so that the speakers above the keyboard do not distort.

The stereo microphones are located left and right of the webcam. Only two centimeters separate them. Voice recordings sound tinny, and an electric hum permanently affects the quality. The recordings are consistently loud even when the speaker increases the distance from 0.5 to 3 meters and run through the room.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Lifebook really does its best in battery life and translates its relatively low 48 Wh into a very good six hours in the Wi-Fi test. Thus, it pulls even with the Portégé R30-A-15C, standard-voltage system (Reader's/idle) that, however, needs 66 Wh. The very low power consumption in both idle and load corresponds to the long battery runtimes of the test system. The R30, however, takes a 60% lead in the Wi-Fi test. The PU301LA cannot compete with that; the Asus contender only manages an hour less in the Wi-Fi test.

Fujitsu Lifebook U574Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064GToshiba Portege R30-A-15CAsus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141HAcer Aspire V3-371-38ZGLenovo M30-70
Power Consumption
-59%
-49%
-51%
-46%
-14%
Idle Minimum *
3.1
6.5
-110%
5
-61%
3.8
-23%
3.4
-10%
3.9
-26%
Idle Average *
5.2
9.8
-88%
8.4
-62%
7.2
-38%
5.9
-13%
5.6
-8%
Idle Maximum *
6.3
10.4
-65%
8.6
-37%
8.4
-33%
8.3
-32%
8.4
-33%
Load Average *
25.3
26.5
-5%
34.9
-38%
41.6
-64%
48.6
-92%
20.9
17%
Load Maximum *
26.4
33.1
-25%
38.9
-47%
51.9
-97%
48.4
-83%
32.1
-22%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.1 / 5.2 / 6.3 Watt
Load midlight 25.3 / 26.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 960

Battery Runtime

33 Wh lithium-ion, 4-cell (removable)
33 Wh lithium-ion, 4-cell (removable)

The long 65-watt power supply easily copes with the power requirement. Recharging during load or a stress test would be possible in view of a power consumption of just 25 to 26 watts. The U574 needs a whole 2:20 hours for recharging the battery. That is relatively long for the low capacity, but slow charging conserves the battery.

The low load maximum power consumption of only 26 watts is conspicuous. The direct contenders need 25 to 47% more. The reason for the U574's modesty is the massive throttling in the stress test. However, the load average is on par with the category average. Toshiba's R30 steps out of line with its 35-watt processor, the Zenbook UX303LN sports a GeForce 840M, and the Aspire V3-371-38ZG an Iris Graphics 5100.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 17min
WiFi Surfing
6h 03min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
7h 33min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 17min

Verdict

Fujitsu Lifebook U574.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574.

Fujitsu has a portable subnotebook in its lineup with the Lifebook U574. It convinces in some but not all fields. The list of pros is led by looks and weight and continues with runtime, emissions, maintenance, and the ClickPad.

The manufacturer still owes the buyer a few things for the to-be state, but the competition does not always offer them, either. The base unit is simply too pliable for professional use, which does not make a good impression for the quality of the relatively expensive ultrabook. The keys provide comparatively little feedback, and the webcam's quality is beyond any description. The microphone recordings are just as bad as the speakers' sound, and the weak TN screen with the abysmal contrast and limited viewing angles does not give reason for joy in view of the IPS screen diversity in the consumer sector.

Buyers who can live with a TN screen could opt for the less expensive AsusPro Essential PU301LA-RO064G, which comes with a better keyboard (keyboard with clear drop and crisp pressure point). Fans of good screens should avoid the review sample and invest a bit more money in Toshiba's Portégé R30-A-15C with an IPS screen. Though the keyboard is not much better, the microphone, battery life, and interface diversity are superior.

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In review: Fujitsu Lifebook U574 (U5740M7512DE). Test model courtesy of Fujitsu Germany
In review: Fujitsu Lifebook U574 (U5740M7512DE). Test model courtesy of Fujitsu Germany

Specifications

Fujitsu Lifebook U574 (LifeBook U Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1 slot, 1 x 8 GB module inserted
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, 10 finger capacitive, LGD0354, TN, anti-reflective sheeting, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
Storage
Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR, 128 GB 
, 54 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo headphone/microphone jack, Card Reader: MS/MSPro/SD/SDXC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: ambient light, 3G/4G (optional): Sierra Wireless EM8805, SIM card slot
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, UMTS/HSDPA
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.5 x 322 x 225 ( = 0.77 x 12.68 x 8.86 in)
Battery
33 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 11 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD 1280x720
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.578 kg ( = 55.66 oz / 3.48 pounds), Power Supply: 370 g ( = 13.05 oz / 0.82 pounds)
Price
899 Euro

 

Looking for an attractive office ultrabook?
Looking for an attractive office ultrabook?
Fujitsu has the Lifebook U574 in its lineup.
Fujitsu has the Lifebook U574 in its lineup.
We tested the premium configuration with a Core i5, SSD, TPM, and matte touchscreen.
We tested the premium configuration with a Core i5, SSD, TPM, and matte touchscreen.
Made in Germany, that would be a rarity.
Made in Germany, that would be a rarity.
The U574 is actually assembled in Augsburg.
The U574 is actually assembled in Augsburg.
The materials are pretty and high-quality...
The materials are pretty and high-quality...
...but the base's stiffness is poor.
...but the base's stiffness is poor.
The keys only provide a weak feedback.
The keys only provide a weak feedback.
Maintenance made easy: The underside can be opened.
Maintenance made easy: The underside can be opened.
Here, the Samsung SSD,...
Here, the Samsung SSD,...
...the TPM module,...
...the TPM module,...
...and the removable battery.
...and the removable battery.
There is only one RAM bank.
There is only one RAM bank.
Our review sample did not have a UMTS modem.
Our review sample did not have a UMTS modem.
Reset button on the underside.
Reset button on the underside.
The 65-watt power supply.
The 65-watt power supply.
It weighs 370 grams.
It weighs 370 grams.
The webcam only delivers poor quality images.
The webcam only delivers poor quality images.
Rare: AR-coated touchscreen.
Rare: AR-coated touchscreen.
The brightness is below average.
The brightness is below average.
Strong: the radio range (Wi-Fi).
Strong: the radio range (Wi-Fi).
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: weak TN screen.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: weak TN screen.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: keys with poor feedback.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: keys with poor feedback.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: maintenance-friendly.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: maintenance-friendly.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: ULV processor throttles.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: ULV processor throttles.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: 65-watt power supply.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: 65-watt power supply.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: Open, Sesame! With Torx.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: Open, Sesame! With Torx.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: Very low power consumption.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: Very low power consumption.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: good-looking, but not overall good.
Fujitsu Lifebook U574: good-looking, but not overall good.

Similar Laptops

Similar devices from a different Manufacturer

Devices from a different Manufacturer and/or with a different CPU

Acer Aspire V3-371-55GS Subnotebook Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i5 4210U
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2 Notebook Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i3 4030U
Lenovo M30-70 Notebook Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i3 4010U

Links

  • Tips for buying a notebook - notebookCHECK Purchase Advisory

  • Find the right notebook - notebookCHECK Hardware Guide

  • Display resolution comparison - DPI (grain size) of displays

  • Our test criteria
  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pros

+Low weight
+Looks
+Energetic use of ClickPad
+Low emissions
+Good battery life alongside low power consumption
+Decent performance
 

Cons

-Pliable base unit
-Weak TN screen
-Keys lack feedback
-Few ports
-Webcam's quality
-Microphone recording
-Speakers' sound
-CPU throttling

Shortcut

What we like

The stylish looks add pep to the drab office. The maintenance options have been solved very well.

What we'd like to see

A good keyboard is essential for an office device. Though this one can be used, its feedback is really unsatisfactory. In contrast to that, the ClickPad is almost first-rate.

What surprises us

Why is touch implemented in a second-rate TN screen? Touch and poor viewing angles/low contrast no longer fit together nowadays.

The competition

Rare business 13-inch devices

Asus AsusPro Essential PU301LA-RO018G (HD, 740 Euros, ~$882)

Toshiba Portégé R30-A-17G (starts at 900 Euros, ~$1073, FHD)

Consumer with office ambitions

ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-RO280H (IGP, 700 Euros, ~$834) or UX303LN-R4141H (GeForce 840M)

Acer Aspire V3-371-55GS (IGP, FHD, 700 Euros, ~$834)

Acer Aspire V3-371-38ZG (Iris Graphics 5100, FHD, 600 Euros, ~$715)

Lenovo M30-70 (i3, HD, 600 Euros, ~$715)

Rating

Fujitsu Lifebook U574 - 03/08/2016 v5
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
78 /  98 → 79%
Keyboard
67%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
48 / 80 → 60%
Weight
68 / 78 → 77%
Battery
95%
Display
68%
Games Performance
53 / 68 → 78%
Application Performance
74 / 87 → 85%
Temperature
92 / 91 → 100%
Noise
92%
Audio
25 / 91 → 27%
Camera
32 / 85 → 37%
Average
68%
78%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Fujitsu Lifebook U574 Ultrabook Review
Sebastian Jentsch, 2014-12-25 (Update: 2015-01-14)