I’ve always been a closet Lifebook fan, especially the sleek, shiny, tiny ultracompact models. Encountering the touchscreen model, though, was a little unfulfilling, like meeting someone’s twin sister whom you expected to be, well, more identical.

It’s a story of confused expectations, making

the logical leap from “”touchscreen”” to “”tablet.”” The notebook didn’t fold or twist back into a slate format. There ws no handwriting recognition and capture. Bewildering, until I realized the system was running Windows XP, not a Tablet PC operating system.

Rather than navigate with the keyboard touchpad, you can opt to tap the screen with your finger, or the included stylus, to move the cursor about.

This kind of navigation becomes surprisingly intuitive, surprisingly quickly — if your fingers aren’t on the beefy side. The stylus doesn’t really offer much of an advantage unless you’re ticking off boxes in a form — you can’t enter text with it, and you sacrifice a typing hand to use it. For those of us who have slender enough digits, though, interaction is fast and seamless — once you’ve broken all those mouse habits.

Another stylus issue: Its storage nook is on the right hand side of the screen panel, which restricts the screen real estate. A little more than 10.4 inches of screen would be make it a more attractive investment.

The 3010 ships with a 1 GHz Pentium M, 256 MB of RAM (expandable to 1 GB), a 40 GB hard drive and integrated WiFi. Tipping the scales at 3.3 pounds, it’s not a burden to carry around. Fujitsu says the high-capacity version of the lithium ion battery lasts six hours — a claim we couldn’t put to the test, since our review unit had the standard version.

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