Boasting a 17-inch LCD screen, the Fujitsu Siemens (FSC) Amilo Pi 3625 is an affordable desktop replacement which falls slightly short on performance, but still offers reasonable all-round usability.

The 17-inch 1440 x 900-pixel screen dominates the laptop. It provides bright, vivid colours and is great for watching films – especially with the built-in Blu-Ray drive – and working with multiple windows open. The Super-TFT coating does produce reflections, but they aren't too distracting.

For such a large laptop, it is a little disappointing to find an integrated GPU handling the graphics. As with most of the other laptops at this price point, only the lightest gaming is possible, and heavy video editing isn't an option. This does have its advantages though, as it keeps costs down and extends the battery life.

Thanks to the laptop's screen size, there is room for a large keyboard with a dedicated numeric pad. It is a joy to use, thanks to the large and responsive keys, with only the small and cramped directional keys letting it down.

While the plastics used to construct the laptop aren't the most exciting, build quality is good throughout. The laptop is solidly built but, at 3.4kg portability isn't great. The glossy lid provides plenty of protection for the screen, but is susceptible to scratching.

A mid-range Intel Core 2 Duo processor provides the power and is joined by 4096MB of memory. Performance is fairly average, but the system runs smoothly most of time, and we noticed only minor lag when running several applications at once. The 320GB hard drive is nice and capacious and provides plenty of storage space for your media collections and other files.

BENCHMARK MACHINE: Samsung Q45

Four USB ports are placed around the FSC's chassis, which is fairly standard for a laptop at this price, so there's plenty of room for various peripherals. There is also an eSATA port which is great for backing up your files on to an external hard drive.

DVI output

However, if you are looking to hook the laptop up to an old monitor, you will have to purchase a separate adaptor as the FSC features only a DVI output, which is suitable for digital connections only. Rounding off the specification is a 15-in-1 memory card reader, which is a very flexible card reader.

If the Amilo Pi 3625 featured a graphics card with dedicated video memory, it could have been a contender for an award. As it doesn't, multimedia performance is too low, which is a shame because the great screen and keyboard make this laptop a bit of a missed opportunity.

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