The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1546 (£999 inc. VAT) won't suit the mobile user, but ably compensates with powerful performance.
Similar to the Acer Aspire 9412WSMi, the FSC is primarily built for desktop use. Its strong chassis and 190-minute battery life provide limited mobility. However, dimensions of 409 x 289 x 47mm and a 3.9kg weight mean you'll prefer to keep this laptop in one place.
For optimal viewing space, the chassis sports a 17-inch Super-TFT screen. Its WXGA resolution displays sharp images at 1440 x 900 pixels. Brightness and colour reproduction are both impressive, and are ideal for detailed digital imaging and video work.
Comfortable to use, the keyboard is wide. While its typing action is adequate if not exceptional, keys on the right side have been miniaturised to allow room for a separate number pad. Typing mistakes are fairly common, so the smaller keys will need adjusting to.
Powerful performance is where the FSC comes alive. An Intel Core Duo T2400 processor and 1024MB of DDR2 memory are supported by a 5400rpm 80GB hard drive for optimum speed.
A score of 220 points provides ample, though not overly impressive, power for all tasks. This was further demonstrated during day-to-day use, as we were able to run multiple applications simultaneously with no delay.
Multimedia performance proved even stronger. Powered by ATi's flagship Mobility Radeon X1800 graphics card, the FSC's gaming ability was excellent. With a 3DMark 2003 score of 10,992 points, modern 3D gaming can be added to the FSC's resumé.
Strangely, Windows XP Home is installed rather than Media Centre Edition. However, a remote control is bundled with the laptop for basic multimedia management. Slotting neatly into the PC Card slot, the remote can be easily accessed.
Completing the office and entertainment specification is a tri-format recordable DVD drive and high-speed network connectivity. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi enables fast fixed and wireless data transfers. Bluetooth allows for wirelessly connecting external peripherals.
Despite poor mobility, the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1546 makes for a compelling and affordable desktop replacement. With this powerful entertainment laptop, gamers and multimedia hounds on a budget will find exactly what they need. Alex Bentley, Michael Browne