Fujitsu Siemens – Amilo Si1520 review

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Photo of Fujitsu Siemens – Amilo Si1520

The latest addition to the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo range of notebooks is the small, elegant Si1520 which, despite its small, thin and light design, packs quite a punch due to the dual core processor at its heart.

Stylishly finished in silver and black, the Amilo Si1520 weighs just 2.25kg including the small power adapter, and its small size (299 x 220 x 23.9mm) means it can be carried around without effort. The lid is an interesting design as it doesn’t have any catches; instead it relies on two very stiff hinges, meaning it can be opened with just one hand.

Built around a T2300 Intel Core Duo processor which is clocked at 1.66GHz, Intel’s i945GM/ICH7-M chipset combination and 512MB of DRR2 memory (8MB of which is used by the integrated Intel GMA950 graphics adapter), the Si1520 has more than respectable performance. This is demonstrated by its SYSmark 04SE score of 185; ample proof that it will run most of your everyday apps without too many problems.

Graphics performance is a different matter, as you would expect with integrated graphics. A score of 508 in 3DMark05 and a FarCry frame score of 7fps testify to this. Output from the GMA950 drives the 12.1-inch CrystalView WXGA widescreen display with its 1,280 by 800 pixel native resolution, and there is an ambient light sensor built in which automatically adjusts the screen brightness according to the ambient lighting conditions.

The keyboard is easy on the touch with well-spaced keys and, because of the small size of the chassis, there’s hardly any wasted space. Below the keyboard sit the trackpad and two mouse buttons, while above it sit the power button and five launch keys that quick-start a number of programs and utilities; E-mail, Web browser, Silent mode, Wireless on/off (which helps conserve battery life) and Multimedia application.

For storage the Amilo Si1520 comes with a 60GB hard drive as standard, but other capacity drives are available as options and there’s also a Dual Layer DVD burner. This burns DVD+/-R discs at 8x and DVD+RW and -RW discs at 6x, while Dual Layer discs are written at 2.4x for +R and 4x for -R.

Added to this are an Express Card reader and a 4-in-1 memory card reader built into the front panel, the latter supporting SD, MS, MMC and MS Pro cards, so you have plenty of options for shifting data on and off the hard drive.

The Amilo Si1520 offers no surprises when it comes to connecting it to the outside world; it incorporates 802.11a/b/g wireless networking, Bluetooth, 10/100Mbps wired LAN and a 56Kbps modem.

Battery life is not particularly impressive, though, with the laptop managing just over two and a half hours during MobileMark 05′s DVD playback test and just over three hours for the Productivity test. Adequate, but not fantastic.

Company: Fujitsu Siemens

Contact: 01344 475125

This is a stylish, highly portable notebook with a good performance and some decent connectivity options, but it would be nice to see a bit more life from the battery.