Review: A no thrills thriller
Supplied by: IT Computers Sarajevo
Recently we tested two very compact and very different notebooks, MSI's Crystal edition PR200, and the notorious Eee PC. The first one targets businesswomen, executives, while the latter tries to kick some spare cash out of students' pockets (lunch money well spent, if I may add). On their way to becoming executives, the kids who are buying Eee PCs today will most likely have to spend some time climbing up the corporate ladder and that's where today's notebook fits in.
The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li2727 is an affordable, no thrills 15.4" notebook with some nice specs and plenty of storage. It's cheap, but while the cheapest notebooks on the continent retail for €350+ and well equipped DTRs with discrete graphics sell for about €700+, FSC's Amilo Li2727 fits somewhere in between. It's not a Celeron powered toy, nor is it a feature-packed, breathtaking piece of machinery.
In terms of hardware it's nothing spectacular, but there's really very few things to complain about. It packs a dual core Intel T2370 at 1.73GHz with 1MB L2 cache, 2GB of memory at 533MHz and a huge 250GB Western Digital hard drive spinning around at 5400RPM. This is much more than you would expect on such a machine, and the only thing you could miss is some graphics power. Its Intel X3100 is, well, an Intel IGP and we all know what that means. But you can't really ask for more at this price point now, can you?
You're not supposed to play games on a notebook, anyway, and no matter how hard the PR people try to market gaming notebooks, just face it, it just wasn't meant to be. Hence, the X3100 will do just fine for most people and so will the 15.4-inch 1,280x800 glare screen. It's a bit too reflective for our taste, especially when the notebook is running on battery power and when the brightness is lowered. What we would have liked to see was HDMI output, but it's still reserved for pricier notebooks.
Keep it simple
The design is clean and simple, an understatement, not exciting by any means. We actually began to like its simplicity, as it made the whole package look a bit slimmer and more elegant than most cheap notebooks. As you can see in the pictures, it looks slimmer than you might expect from a 2.7kg 15.4-inch notebook measuring 355x255x24~34mm. The uncluttered sides help, as well.
The top of the lid is silver, adorned with a transparent Fujitsu Siemens logo. It looks nice, helps with the slim design thing FSC has going and it's the only part of the case that doesn't sport the rugged, black finish. The black plastic might a bit too rough for some people, but at least it looks and feels very durable.
On the sides you'll find the bare essentials: four USBs and the power connector on the left hand side, a well hidden optical drive and Kensington slot on the right.
The audio connectors are placed on the front side (guess what, they're black too). This is not the best place for them, especially if you're gonna use VoIP frequently or watch movies on the road (less likely considering size and battery life). The S-video, DSub and LAN connectors are on the back. Surprisingly, there's no memory card reader. Some users might miss it, but very few people will miss the modem connector which is also absent.
And here's the full frontal shot, or full bottom shot. Note the fan intake. It's not too loud to begin with, but you can jump to silent mode and reduce the CPU frequency on some SKUs, thus keeping the machine silent.
The battery is rather compact, a 6-cell 4400mAh unit. Once you click it in there's still some slack, but not too much. It performed well, managing just over two hours (2:02) in our DVD test. We used Apocalypse Now Redux for the test and the Amilo capitulated while Martin Sheen was having dinner with the colonial French.