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Fujitsu Lifebook T938, First Take: Let's twist again

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There aren't that many opportunities to buy a 2-in-1 convertible laptop with a central twisting hinge these days, as 360-degree rotation has rather stolen this format's thunder. But Fujitsu continues to support it, with the new Lifebook T938.

This is a solidly built machine that could survive in a bag without a protective sleeve, and it's not too heavy at 1.3kg. The 13.3-inch screen sits in a relatively large bezel, as you'd expect in a laptop whose screen can be set to face outwards for use in tablet mode. But you might not want to consider holding this laptop in a hand or crook of an arm for very long, as that 1.3kg weight will soon take its toll. The touch-screen's FHD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution delivers enough detail, and Fujitsu offers an anti-glare option.

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The keyboard is beautifully springy, offering a little more resistance on the downward stroke than usual: I rather like that, although tastes vary. The enter key is double-width and double-height, and the arrow keys are nearly full size. Touch typing at normal speed was no problem at all. The touchpad is nicely responsive and has physical buttons.

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The 13.3-inch Lifebook T938 has a central screen hinge, runs 8th-generation Intel Core processors and weighs 1.3kg.

Image: Fujitsu

The Lifebook T938 runs on Intel 8th generation Intel Core processors, my review sample being fitted with a Core i7-8650U, along with 16GB of RAM. There are also Core i5-8350U and Core i5-8250U options. SSD storage is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, in PCIe or SATA III format.

There are lots of security features. The wrist rest houses Fujitsu's PalmSecure biometric system, which uses vein patterns for user authentication. There's also a fingerprint reader on the screen section, catering for login when the screen is uppermost and the PalmSecure reader is covered. Even more security is provided by a smartcard slot on the laptop's left edge.

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Fujitsu caters for legacy as well as cutting-edge connections, and there is a good range here: a pair of USB 3 ports and a USB-C port sit alongside a full-size HDMI port and an old-fashioned VGA connector. All of these fit into the base fairly easily. Fujitsu has not found it so easy to fit in a full-size RJ-45 Ethernet connector, and so has opted for a pull-out/pop-out port, as on the Lifebook U938. It's very clever, but might prove a bit flimsy in the long term. An SD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack round things off. LTE mobile broadband is available as an option.

The battery is removable and a second internal cell provides enough juice to allow you to hot-swap a replacement battery without having to close down the system.

Everything fits together very well, and those legacy ports will certainly enhance this laptop's appeal for some. Fujitsu fans who want a 13.3-inch convertible with 360-degree rotating screen and an 8th generation Intel Core processor should consider the Lifebook P728.

The price for my review unit has not been confirmed, but a Core i5-8250U version costs £1,276 (inc. VAT; £1,066.33 ex. VAT) online. My Core i7 unit will therefore be a premium-priced system.

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