Reusing Fujitsu Lifebook P1610 - Part #1

Reusing Fujitsu Lifebook P1610 - Part #1


This is an ultra-portable notebook from 2005. It costs $2,279.00 when new. Now after all those years I paid ~$64.00. That's a nice reduction in price.

It has Intel Core Solo U1400 at 1.2 GHz and 1GB of memory. Some old HDD that I will replace with CF card (it's 1.8 inch ATA, forget about SSD). The screen is rotated and touch sensitive. There's all kind of useful ports and interfaces. It even supports 5Ghz WiFi and 1Gbps wired network!          

It's super small, light and looks awesome.


I need a small notebook for outdoor activities. Mostly writing. This quite obviously dismiss any smartphone or tablet. Also nowadays marked is dominated by the Android and iOS devices. I like to have Linux powered computers. Also it needs to have a real keyboard. Netbook fit in place.

Lifebook have a descent battery life. I get 3-4h on this used battery. I'm planing to buy a new one in the future to increase those timings.

It's light. But don't feel like a toy. It feels like a premium, well build computer.

It has small but usable keyboard. It's one of the best flat keyboards I used. Keys have nice feeling of a click. Some reviewers says that it's hard to use but I'm doing fine. I'm even writing this post using it.

P.S. why writing this post I came across an interesting post on HackerNews talking more or less on the same topic - reusing old hardware.


Why today notebooks all look like MacBook Air? Or if they don't then they all cute, rounded and colourful as kids toys. Where are the times where IBM ThinkPad was king of design? They all gone. That's why I like those old computers. And the Fujitsu is a perfect example.

It just look good. Professional. And it's in a freaking space grey colour. Or gray as they called it decade ago. Perfect.

Right Hardware

Even after all those years it's good enough to run latest Debian, Firefox and most of the applications I use regularly.

But the most important decision was made to ditch touch-pad in favour to nipple pointing or whatever it's called. In combination with small but very good keyboard and an touch enabled screen it makes an overall winner in mobile devices.

Modern Terminal

What struck to me while writing this post is that we take full circle and back to the root. To the terminal (teletype, time-sharing) times. In the old days before personal computers we all use dumb terminals at home or university. They were connected to the big mainframe. And what I'm doing right now? Using web browser to connect to the big server to do a simple writing. The only change is that I'm doing this using graphical environment not in actual terminal emulation. But the principle are the same.

And because the server I connect to is my own, fully controlled by me - I like that situation.

First impressions

That's what I thing after just a few days with my new device (new for me). I'm still have few things to do:

  • change slow HDD for anything better (CF storage)
  • configure X11 to work with touch (half way there!)
  • decide on Desktop Environment (mate is OK but not for touch, gnome is perfect but I need to check the performance)
  • stress-test the battery (more than 4h right now) so I will know if I need new battery
  • buy dock and probably some cover