AVERAGE CONSUMER RATING 2.2 WITH 9 CONSUMER REVIEWS
An ultra-budget laptop, the Fuji AH530 Lifebook comes across as a laptop suitable for work, as well as entertainment. It is a well-built, sturdy machine and delivers impressive performance. It offers users a decent range of features, which is refreshing for an ultra-budget laptop. However, it is not likely to win any prizes for its looks, which, at best, are average.
Gamers and other users who need to run high-graphics intensive tasks are not likely to find the AH530 adequate, but that is alright. The makers don’t claim it to be equipped with enough ammunition to run high-intensive graphics games and other similar tasks. However, it works like a breeze when you use it for everyday tasks, moderate multimedia tasks (such as playing HD video and running basic computer games), and moderate multitasking.
As far as its screen is concerned, there is nothing special about it. The screen is 15.6 inches in size and offers decent display, something which every other ultra-budget laptop does. However, in comparison to the best laptops in this price line, the Fuji AH530’s display quality appears slightly below par. The audio quality of the preinstalled speakers disappoints. The speakers produce a high-treble sound and, sadly enough, struggle to hit a decent volume.
At 2.5 kg, the laptop is neither too heavy nor too light. Its biggest problem is not weight or display, but its poor battery life. The battery lasts only for 172 minutes, which is not a desirable feature in a portable laptop. You can carry the AH30 with you without any considerable effort, but you must remember to carry the power adapter along as well.
The keyboard, including the numeric keypad, is decent. Budget laptops usually can’t afford to offer users a LED-backlit keyboard, and the Fuji AH530 is no exception. Nevertheless, its keyboard is comfortable to type on and, refreshingly, is spill-resistant. The keys are flat and not chiclet-type as found in the more expensive laptops. The only slight problem with the keyboard is the smaller-than-usual arrow keys. As far as its touchpad is concerned, it is decent, just like its keyboard.
The Fuji AH530 laptop has 3 USB ports. In addition, it comes with HDMI and VGA ports, SD card reader, gigabit Ethernet, and an ExpressCard 34 slot. The list of features included in the AH530, however, does not end here; it also includes a microphone and headphone jack, a DVD driver, and Bluetooth, which works commendably well. However, the fact that the Atheros 802.11n chip does not support 5GHz—its limit is a meager 2.4GHz—is a bit disappointing.
You do not get a lot of bloatware with the AH530. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your take on bloatware. The laptop comes with Norton Internet Security, Roxio Creator LJ, YouCam, and CyberLink Power DVD 8.
Other key specifications in the model we reviewed include:
- Operating System – Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
- CPU – Intel Core i3-350M/2.26 GHz
- Hard Drive – 500 GB
- Memory – 4 GB
- Optical Drive – DVD±RW
- Maximum Resolution: 1366×768 (high definition)
Intel HD graphics are good, but not as good as Nvidia or ATI graphics card. In fact, in our 3DMark06 test, the AH530 recorded only 1503 points, which was almost 50% less than entry-level ATI and Nvidia graphics. However, one advantage that Intel HD graphics has over ATI and Nvidia is that it consumes fewer resources, helping the battery last longer.
In the PCMark05 benchmark test, the AH530 emerged as a good performer, with 5087 points. Its overall performance is sufficient for someone who needs to use it for web surfing, office work, and light multimedia tasks. With 2GB RAM and Intel HD graphics, you cannot use the laptop for 3D gaming or for intensive multitasking. We pushed this Acer machine to the hilt and were somewhat disappointed by the output, specifically its battery life. With all battery-saving features switched off, volume and brightness settings set as maximum, and an Xvid video playing, the laptop survived for only 79 mins, which is significantly below par.
VerdictTo put it plainly, the AH530 is a decent under-£300 laptop, but it is not the best in its price line. More than anything, what works against it is its poor battery life. However, if you are going to use it mostly indoors and that too as the household’s second laptop, there is no reason why you should not consider this machine. It is not bad to look at, offers a decent performance, and comes with all useful features—minus good battery life—that you can expect in a laptop that comes with a price tag lower than £300.
Where to buy?
You an purchase from Amazon right here.