The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pro V3505 (£536 inc. VAT) is a sturdy and conservative looking laptop aimed at the business user.
In keeping with its corporate status, it forgoes a glossy coating to the 15.4-inch screen, using a standard TFT panel instead. This means images don't look as vibrant as they do on most rival machines, but it performs far better in direct sunlight. On the daily commute we found fingerprints, dust and reflections were kept to a minimum, making it a lot easier to see your documents.
The images onscreen are rendered by an integrated graphics card - Intel's GMA 950. This helps to keep the V3505 affordable, and also helps battery life. We regularly managed to get over four hours of use between charges. 3D performance is unremarkable, but we had no trouble carrying out the tasks this machine was intended for, running office suites and browsing the internet with ease.
The V3505's design is fairly unusual for a corporate machine, mixing light grey and black plastics with a pleasing and distinctive effect. The light-coloured keyboard has large keys that are comfortable to use. They're firmly attached, but the board flexed slightly when typing. The touchpad was responsive, but we often found ourselves moving text by accident as we worked.
The FSC has a rigid chassis that's more than capable of standing up to everyday use. Unfortunately, although there's a relatively thick casing to the display, it doesn't offer as much protection for the delicate screen as it could. Considering its size, the 2.8kg weight is reasonable, and means you'll be able to carry it around without too much trouble.
The last time we tested an Amilo Pro V3505, we were impressed by the performance on offer. That was with Windows XP installed, so we were concerned performance might take a hit when running the more resource-hungry Windows Vista. This didn't prove to be the case - the 1.73GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5300 processor was more than up to the task. Even when running Word, Photoshop and Windows Media Player the system was quick to respond.
Networks can be easily accessed, thanks to the inclusion of an 802.11a/b/g wireless adapter, and you'll be able to use fixed networks at the fastest possible speeds thanks to a Gigabit Ethernet card.
Providing everything the corporate user needs and nothing they don't, the V3505 is a very single-minded machine. It may not be packed with features, but its budget price and performance will appeal to the business user.