Lifebook S6510 - The Saga Continues

Summary:I have started the actual work of converting my day-to-day activities from the Lifebook S2110 to the S6510. I've run into a few surprises already, and I'm starting to think I might have to reconsider my plans.

I have started the actual work of converting my day-to-day activities from the Lifebook S2110 to the S6510. I've run into a few surprises already, and I'm starting to think I might have to reconsider my plans.

First, the port replicator. It is very nice, much better equipped than the port replicator for my S2110 (which was the same as the one for the S6210). First, it has four USB ports instead of two, and that makes a big difference to me because I have a LOT of USB peripherals. Second, it has audio jacks for a microphone and speakers (or a headset). I use a headset quite frequently with SightSpeed and Gizmo, so it's nice not to have to plug/unplug that constantly. Third, the port replicator does not block any of the USB ports on the laptop. The S2110 had three USB ports, compared to two on the S6210, but the port replicator blocked one of them, for reasons that I never understood. Last, it has a nice, solid, easy to reach eject handle to remove the laptop from the port replicator. In fact, the only problem I have noticed so far is that when the laptop is in the port replicator, the modular bay device release is covered. That's really not a big deal, either.

On the negative side, I've had surprising difficulty getting an external monitor to work properly. This may be my own fault, though, because the monitors I have are quite old. It seems that they can't do the Lifebook's native screen resolution of 1280x800, so I either end up with an awful-looking external display, or the resolution gets reduced to 1024x768, to match the external display, in which case the laptop display looks really bad. I'm pretty sure there is a way around this, I just haven't had time to investigate it yet.

Other impressions. The Core 2 Duo CPU is not blowing me away. It is noticeably faster than the AMD Turion 64 in the S2110, of course. But I was sort of hoping that it would be "amazingly fast", and it hasn't been. By the way, I discovered that the SpeedFan utility shows a lot more information when it is "run as administrator" under Vista, including showing separate CPU load bars for each processor. The built-in camera is nice, and works pretty well, but it has a lot of trouble in low-light conditions. I was testing between the S6510 and the S2110, with my Philips SPC900NC camera, and the built-in camera was struggling to send 5-10 FPS at 320x240, when the Philips was just cruising along at 30 FPS. I know the built-in is a Logitech camera of some sort, I wish I could figure out exactly what model, so I could update the drivers. It says that it has driver version 10.5.2.1047, which must be some sort of OEM release. I would love to update it to the Logitech QuickCam 11.5 drivers.

Next up, the networking capabilities - Wireless (A/G/N) and Gigabit wired. I've run into some problems, but I'm still working on it...

jw 2/1/2008

Topics: Linux

About

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital... Full Bio

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