Fujitsu Siemens Si 1520 Reviews

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“This is a tiny notebook that can easily be carried in...”


written by P1J2H3 on 06/06/2007

This is a tiny notebook that can easily be carried in one hand when shut (or open). It is however, easy to inadvertently power the machine off when you pick it up due to the power button being right at the edge of the unit.
This PC is quiet, but so far I don't seem to have got the button to stop the fan to do anything other than temporarily display a symbol on the TFT display. The notebook draws air through the base of the unit, so if you don't use it on a hard surface it gets pretty hot.
The manual is a little basic and some instructions contained in it are incorrect.
Volume can only be altered by function keys, which can be a bit of a fiddle, but sound quality is adequate. I presume this omission is due to the lack of space on the casework.
The battery lasts for a good 2.5 hours and I have found that this can be extended significantly by dimming the display. There is also an auto-dimming feature that adjusts the display according to ambient light, neat! The offboard transformer is light and compact and operates between 120-220VAC.
The DVD playback is great with very detailed images, but the disc spins at full speed and the noise is a bit intrusive. I'm not sure that the battery life would be so good with the DVD spinning at full tilt. As there is a whopping 120Gb of storage there is the option to rip DVD's to disk (if you have the patience). Alternatively a second battery would get you through those longer flights etc.
A DVI to VGA converter is supplied if your external monitor is not DVI equipped. For manipulating spreadsheets you may want to consider supplementing the Si 1520 with an external monitor. I use an external 22" Samsung, and the results are impressive! The integral graphics chip can support the notebook's monitor and also extend this to the external monitor. Vista senses this automatically when the monitor is connected, and then asks you how you want to set it up. The Vista Home Premium edition OS supplied with this notebook is very slick and has many extras over and above XP, but I am concerned about the reports of disproportionately large restore points, and deleted data becoming visible again when the OS is eventually upgraded! I failed however to work out how to adjust the colour saturation of the notebook's monitor using Vista. The boot partition deprives you of 20GB of the supplied 120GB HDD too! There are two other partitions 'C' (20GB for applications) and 'D' (60GB for Data). I'm tempted to reformat, partition, and use Linux plus XP Media Centre Edition, to make more efficient use of the HDD. There is a F.S. labelled Vista recovery CD in the box so restoring Vista is an option. :-)
The performance is difficult to judge as I have no prior experience with the Vista OS, but it seems pretty good. I was pleased to discover that the supplied 1GB of RAM resides on just one DDR2 card, so upgrading will enable full utilisation of supplied memory if a performance boost is required.
The SD card reader accepts MMC too and this capability is very convenient for a digital camera user, and some mobile phone users etc.
Indicators on the front of the PC aren't that easy to see. Capslok and Num lock indicators are seemingly randomly scattered around the keyboard, but these are in fact located adjacent to their relevant key. The Num Lock turns some of the QWERTY keys in to a numeric keypad which I can't see a great use for.
The Si 1520 is not short of connections; 4 USB, S-Video, DVI/VGA, Firewire, SD/MMC, Audio in and out, and Ethernet/Modem! I can't imagine that the engineers could squeeze any more technology into this tiny package!
If you look at similarly specced notebooks, you will find they are a good deal more expensive, so this is something of a bargain!

Overall, the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Si 1520 has been a delight to use and I would highly recommend it, especially as it is so portable!

Buy one!

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P1J2H3's Response to P1J2H3's Review

Written on: 06/06/2007

I have altered the line and added the word DON'T "The notebook draws air through the base of the unit, so if you DON'T use it on a hard surface it gets pretty hot."

[MOD EDIT: done!]

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