It shows how quickly the mobile market changes. The Core Duo version of this laptop was a good performer, yet this version of the Fujitsu Siemens AMILO Xi 1546 (£1199 inc. VAT) doesn't quite live up to expectations.
Now based around the Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 chip, which runs at 2GHz, and backed by 2048MB of DDR2 memory, this is a fast and powerful laptop aimed at the user looking for a desktop replacement. However, the battery wouldn't last the required 90 minutes for our tests to run, so the inclusion of the new chip has reduced the portability of this machine. Rounding out the configuration is a 160GB hard drive, which runs at 5400rpm.
In order to test the effectiveness of this laptop, we also ran Cinebench, which works with dual-core processors far more effectively than the current version of MobileMark, and the AMILO returned a positive score, so this machine can't be marked down for power.
There was a noticeable degree of heat build-up in the chassis, especially just to the right of the touchpad. While this was well within the thermal design limit of the laptop, it made it less comfortable to use for long periods.
Weighing in at 3.7kg, it's built around a 17-inch Super-TFT display, which is more than bright enough for daily use. The previous version we reviewed came with an ATi graphics card; however, this version comes with the nVidia GeForce Go 6800, which is a good solution for the gamer on a budget. This was reflected in a 3DMark 2003 score of 11593, which is more than powerful enough for running games with ease.
Where this system proved less impressive was in its build quality, with the keyboard feeling quite flimsy to the touch, and keys rattling as we typed. The inclusion of a numeric pad is common enough on 17-inch laptops, but in this case it's too cramped and is less than ideal.
The chassis is made from tough plastic with the same material used on the lid, which keeps size and weight down, but delivers a bit of flex. Ports are neatly spread around the sides of the chassis and you'll find a DVI port on the rear for connecting to digital sources, such as a data projector or large screen TV.
The Fujitsu Siemens AMILIO Xi 1546 is a powerful laptop aimed at the desktop replacement market and, considering it's specification, it offers great value for money. That said, it's not the most robust machine in this test, but if you can overcome its rather poor battery life and keyboard, this will prove a powerful solution. Alex Bentley & Michael Browne