Remaining as humongous as before with its 333 x 285 x 32.2 millimetre dimensions, the E8020H 2.95kg (with weight saver) somehow manages to weigh 0.05kg less than the E8010H, The 15-inch screen offers the same brightness though the display stays non-reflective. Theres no change regarding the general layout of the keys, quick launch buttons and, disappointingly, the lack of a dedicated volume control.
For specs, there are changes galore. Running on the latest Centrino (codenamed Sonoma) platform, the processor has been upgraded from the Pentium M processor 735 (1.6GHz) to 770 (2.13GHz) and the chipset has been given an upgrade from Intel 855GME to 915PM Express. The memory has been boosted from 512MB to 1GB RAM, but the 80GB hard drive stays the same. Graphics-wise, the 64MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 has been boosted to the PCIe-based 64MB ATI Mobility Radeon X600. To cut a long story short, you get faster processing speeds.
The optical drive remains as a multiformat DVD burner, though for the hefty price we expected DVD+R double-layer support. The lack of 802.11a wireless support means theres no change in the networking arena where you have a choice of Bluetooth, 802.11b/g wireless LAN and Gigabit Ethernet.
Connectivity options stay the same with one exception. Along with the whole array of standard ports with additional serial, parallel and PS/2 ports, one of the PC Card slots has been converted into an ExpressCard slot where you can connect future devices such as a plug-and-play TV tuner and a Bluetooth connector for handphones.
The E8020H impressed in our MobileMark 2002 performance tests. Clocking a 243 score, this was an increase from the 224 result attained by the E8010H, putting this LifeBook in the top tier performing desktop replacements.
While all the pre-Sonoma notebooks were struggling to hit the 3,000 level in 3DMark03, the E8020H was the second notebook after the afore-mentioned Acer to hit such a standard. Hitting 3,088 with the ATI Mobility Radeon X600 marked a decent improvement over the E8010H 2,630 on the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700.
Though the E8020H was generally an improvement, battery life was a disappointing aspect. From the E8010H 4.7 hours, Fujitsu claimed the its successor would hit 3.3 hours and so it proved to be. Running MobileMark 2002, we obtained 190 minutes (3.17 hours) which was quite a drop from the 258 minutes attained with the E8010H.
There is an FAQ section and driver downloads section on Fujitsu Australia's online support site. We did not see any mention of the E8020 at the time of writing, though the drivers can be obtained for the E8010. Sturdier online support would have been a better deal for the price.
The software bundle is similar to the E8010H except that Windows XP Professional Edition is the choice OS over the Home Edition. The E8020H comes with Sonic DLA and Sonic RecordNow DX software. DVD content management is managed with PowerDVD which plays DVDs and PowerProducer Gold for producing home movies and photos.