Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Xi 3650 review

A huge entertainment laptop at a reasonable price

TechRadar Verdict

A solid desktop replacement laptop with its heart very much set on entertainment, gamers will want to look elsewhere but for everyone else it's perfect


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    18.4-inch screen

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    Silent running

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    Well priced


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    Lacks a TV tuner

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    No media remote

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    Lacks real 3D grunt

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Vast, boat-sized laptops seem to be gaining favour with the masses, as the traditional big-box desktop PC slides out.

The gargantuan Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Xi 3650 18.4-inch laptop is clearly aimed at the entertainment end of the market and manages to show all the correct tell-tale signs: Blu-ray reader, NVIDIA 9600M GT graphics, shiny black chassis, large 320GB hard drive and a set of thumping stereo speakers.

All of this packaged for just over £800.

Blu-ray on a budget

The attractive price is largely as Fujitsu has done a good balancing act with the system, the 18.4-inch screen offers a 1680x945 resolution, surpassing desktop resolutions of this size.

A more expensive model does jump this to a Full HD resolutions of 1920x1080, but we're perfectly happy with the lesser option. The screen itself is good, a dual-lamp offers consistent brightness across the screen and the viewing angle is acceptable, though polarisation kicks in at more extreme angles.

Similarly the Core 2 Duo P7350 is again a step down from the higher model's P8400 but at 2.0GHz with a 3MB cache happily makes mincemeat of 1080p content.

Even so this "cheaper" option still comes with 4GB of memory – so is running the 64-bit of Windows Vista – and a large 320GB hard drive. Also key is the Blu-ray combo drive that offers Blu-ray disc reading and DVD rewriter in one.

The GeForce 9600M GT graphics fit the bill perfectly, while it'll struggle powering with the native resolution Crysis was perfectly playable at 1280x720 at High settings but don't expect to be using any antialiasing, which is a stretch too far for those mobile graphics.

Booming speaker

As an entertainment centre the Amilo is something of a dream it runs on the whole whisper quiet, there is in fact a whisper mode as well.

The battery life can be extended with a user selected low-power mode that forces the NVIDIA graphics to run at their lowest speed. If you're crazy enough to take it on the move we managed to get just over 140minutes from the battery with it playing 1080p content, enough time for most films.

We also fully appreciate the solid built-in speaker that pump out a lot of sound with no distortion or crackles and even a touch of bass.

With HDMI output, firewire a sleek touch sensitive media control bar and Intel Centrino 2 technology – so you get Wireless-N and also Bluetooth – the Amilo is perfect for anyone wanting big entertainment on a sensible budget.