Fujitsu P1630

The replacement for my venerable Fujitsu P1120 is a Fujitsu P1630 running Ubuntu 8.10.

The netbook form-factor was important to me long before the term “netbook” was a twinkle in a marketing person’s eye, and the P1120 did sterling work on Irish trains, Belgian buses, and numerous economy-class air journeys where a larger computer would be more of a hindrance than a help. The P1630 continues the tradition, though even it was nearly defeated by the minuscule space between seats on Ryanair last week.

By the benchmark that’s most important to me — the time to compile xmlroff — the P1630 is about seven times faster than the P1120. Though I still call it takai, you do mostly get what you pay for (at least, that is, until Moore’s law makes a mockery of any price/performance ratio). I haven’t compiled xmlroff on a netbook to benchmark it, but I was working on Xcruciate last week side-by-side with someone using an EeePC netbook, and the P1630 was comfortably faster on the same tasks (though sadly not to the same proportion as their respective sales prices).

I can’t report on the other useful benchmark — the number and size of the Emacs frames that can fit on the screen — since it seems that Ubuntu and/or X.Org doesn’t yet handle the P1630’s Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500HD. When I use the “intel” driver, the screen just flashes different colours, and when I use the “vesa” driver, I can’t get the full 1,280 x 768 pixel resolution.

Other quibbles are that the touchscreen doesn’t work out of the box with Ubuntu (and I’ve yet to try to make it work) and that Skype doesn’t work with the microphone (either internal or external).

One Reply to “Fujitsu P1630”

  1. I’d be more than interested in further comments Tony.

    I have an old Thinkpad x40 which I bought for just the same reason
    and I’m looking to replace it soon.


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