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Fujitsu Siemens AMILO Xi 1546 Review

Specifications

Processor: Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz, 667MHz FSB, 2MB L2 cache)
Video Card: ATI Mobility Radeon X1800 (256MB GDDR3, HDTV ready with HDCP)
Chipset: Intel 945PM + ICH7-M
Audio: Azalia codec (7.1 SPDIF, 5.1 via analog, 2+1 internal)
Weight: 4.0kg (8lb)

System Ratings

Build Quality:
Screen Quality:
Battery Life:
Asthetics:
Port Placement:
Preformance:

Where it was purchased?

Purchased From: Not Specified
Date Ordered: Not Specified
Store Comments: Not Specified

How is the service?

Pre-sale Service:
Order Ease:
Price:
Shipping Price:
Post-Sale Service:
Tech Support:

The Review

Introduction
Already being the owner of a very nice Dell Inspiron 9300 I none the less opted to buy my AMILO Xi1546 when I got a very good offer through my job. My trusty Inspiron is only a year old, but as we all know a year these days is enough to make most computers feel outdated. Besides that I need the cash I’ll get from selling my Inspiron

Anyway, I think I’ll start this review by listing up some specs…

Dimensions
W x D x H: 408 x 289 x 41.6mm
Weight: 4.0kg (8lb)

Specifications
Chipset: Intel 945PM + ICH7-M
CPU: Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz, 667MHz FSB, 2MB L2 cache)
RAM: Samsung 1GB DDR2 (553MHz)
Display: 17.0″ CrystalView WXGA+ (1440×900)
Video: ATI Mobility Radeon X1800 (256MB GDDR3, HDTV ready with HDCP)
Hard drives: 2 x 80GB Fujitsu-Siemens (5400RPM, 8MB cache)
Optical drive: Philips 8x DVD burner (double layer)
Audio: Azalia codec (7.1 SPDIF, 5.1 via analog, 2+1 internal)
Modem: Motorola fax modem (56K, V.92)
Network: RealTek 10/100/1000Mpbs LAN
Wireless:
– Intel PRO/wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g)
– Bluetooth 2.0 (integrated)
I/O:
– 1xIEEE1394
– 4 x USB 2.0
– 1 x DVI-I
– 1 x Modem
– 1 x LAN
– 1 x S-video out
– 1 x Expresscard slot (34/54mm)
– 1 x 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MS, MMC, MS Pro)
– 1 x headphone out / SPDIF
– 1 x Microphone out
– 1 x Line in
– 1 x Power supply
Battery: 8 cells, 14.8v, 4400mAh

Review
My first impression of the laptop was “Hmm.. Ok”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nowhere near ugly, it’s just not gorgeous either. To me it’s rather common looking, it simply looks a lot like many of the other laptops out there. Fortunately it also radiates quality and thus it reminds me a Toyota It just happens to be a fairly fast Toyota (not quite a Supra but not exactly a Micra either)

Opening up the display lid I’m happy to see that it’s got a keyboard with a proper keypad. That’s something I really missed from my Inspiron (it did have a keypad, but you had to press Fn + a key, which sucked). Still, the Xis keyboard does have a few quirks (well, they’re quirks to me). The most annoying quirk is the placement of the Fn button which sits exactly where Ctrl usually sits (lower left corner). This leads to some confusion and a lot of irritation if you, like me, uses a lot of keyed shortcuts. The inclusion of a keypad also forces some of the keys to be rather small. The arrows are particularily noticeable. A few important keys (Home and End) has to be activated through the Fn button, which for me is going to take a while to get used to. I would have preferred them to be regular keys as they are quite often in use. Positioned between the keyboard and the display are four quick launch keys (DVD player, Internet, Email and fan control) as well as the power button. There’s also a strip of LED lights which indicate various states (power on/off, wireless on/off, sleep mode on/off etc). All of this is more or less common on most laptops, so nothing special there.

The layout of the various I/O ports could be better. On the left side there’s the connector for the power brick, one USB port, the DVD writer, the headphone/mic/line in ports aswell as a volume controller. All good so far. The rear has only got three connectors: the modem, the DVI-I and the S-Video out. Still good, but this means that the right side (which is usually where the mouse is) has 7 connectors (one LAN, one card reader, one firewire, three USB, one express card slot). Almost all of these ports interfere with the mouse but the location of the three USB ports is especially annoying (as we all know, USB cables tend to stick out a bit). I know, I know, it’s not that big a deal, but it’s not ideal either.

The display is wonderful and is one of the best I’ve seen on a laptop so far. The colors are clear and bright, the black & whites looks good and there’s hardly any light leakage at all. It’s glossy and smooth and I just love it The video card should also be quite good though I’ve yet to put it through serious benchmarks. I did run it through 3DMark06 a couple of times though. For the first run I used default core/mem clock speeds and balanced performance/quality settings and a resolutoin of 1280×720. The result: 1925 marks. For the second run I set all the sliders to maximum performance while still keeping the default clock speeds and the same resolution. The result: 2886 marks. So I should think there’s a lot of potential in this video card when it’s overclocked. I’ll try to update with more benchmarks later.

The Xi is also rather quiet and it best of all, it doesn’t squeak nearly as much as my old Inspiron used to. My overall impression is that the build quality seems to be very good. Like most things high tech it has it’s quirks and downsides but overall I’d say it’s a damn fine piece of technology.

Pros:
+ excellent display
+ build quality seems to be very good
+ fairly quiet
+ fast video card
+ HDTV Ready with HDCP supported
+ DVD player remote control included

Cons:
– the right palm rest gets very hot
– the layout of the I/O ports could be better
– large and unwieldy power brick
– the volume controller (scroll wheel) feels cheap

I hope this review, though far from a professional one, will help some of you decide wether or not you want to invest your money on of these babies. If you’ve already decided to do just that, I’d go for the Xi1547 which has amongst other things offer 1900×1200 resolution. That’s bound to be even sweeter but alas also more expensive.

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March 15, 2007 - Posted by | Fujitsu, Siemens

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