Quick impressions of Fujitsu UH900 hardware
While unboxing the Fujitsu UH900 (LOOX U/G90) this afternoon, I couldn't help but quickly assess the hardware before I plugged it in to top off its charge. I made some notes on what came to mind as I handled the device and thought I'd share them with you here. I'll have a complete review of the multitouch-enabled mini notebook, including benchmarks of its 2.0GHz Intel Atom processor and other details, up within the next few weeks, so what follows are just my immediate impressions of the hardware.
Light. At just 1.1 pounds, the UH900 is incredibly light for its size (8.3" x 4.2" x 1.1"). When I took the unit out of the box, I assumed the battery wasn't installed because it was so light. After a brief moment of panic where I thought it was missing, I realized that the mini notebook that basically weighed nothing already had its battery pack on.
Screen hinge. I like a sturdy hinge like everyone else, but this one seems to be a little too tight. It kind of creaks when opened and there's a little resistance at a certain point that makes a slight snapping/cracking sound when the lid is opened beyond that point. It doesn't feel like it'll break, but the hinge was tighter than I expected and the sound was a little alarming.
Bezel. Fujitsu obviously could have used a much larger screen that made better use of the width of the device, but the crazy-wide bezel actually doesn't look that bad when it's in front of you. It's excessive, yes, but the application "buttons" flanking the display give all that extra space some purpose.
Glossy finish. The UH900 looks much glossier in photos than in person. The machine is glossy, to be sure, but it's more fingerprint-resistant than it seems. Smudges will accumulate over time and be visible, of course, but it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.
Lid quality. The quality of the UH900 lid seems poorer than the rest of the chassis. It's made of thin plastic that has quite a bit of flex to it when pressed. It's also creaky when squeezed.
Color. For a black gadget, the UH900 is rather brown. If I didn't know it was supposed to be black, I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me the color was called "coffee" or "dark chocolate." The bezel and keyboard are definitely black, but the external casing looks dark brown to me.
Keyboard. The keyboard is of good quality and though the keys are rather shallow, they provide enough feedback and are big enough to make touch typing a real possibility for me (and my hands aren't small). I can already tell that the small space bar and layout of the punctuation keys will take some getting used to, but I think I'll be able to touch type with some practice. Thumb typing looks to be possible too, albeit with a modified hand position to offset the length of the device.
I was also struck by how bright and brilliant the contrasting colors (turquoise, pinkish-purple, and green) of the double-mapping looked against the black keys.
Controls. The mouse buttons and glide point (the pointer) are positioned above the keyboard like on previous Fujitsu U models and the Sharp NetWalker. The placement is usually fine when using the device in handheld mode but can be a little awkward when using it as a mini notebook. The mouse buttons have a nice clicky feel to them and the rubber pointer (the same one used on the U810 and U820) is big, textured, and moves smoothly.
And those are my quick impressions of the hardware. I'll have a lot more to say about everything in my full review, so stay tuned.
:: Visit the Fujitsu UH900 forum to connect with other owners, share tips, and troubleshoot ::