Fujitsu Siemens Amilo L1310G review
Opening up the L1310G for the first time, we thought Fujitsu Siemens had sent us the wrong notebook. Considering the stylish looks and glossy widescreen TFT, the L1310G looks far more expensive than the £468 price suggests.
Some may moan that the screen is too reflective, but the fact that it’s bright, evenly lit and gives colours a real vibrancy that’s missing from others this month more than makes up for the disadvantages.
There are no obvious corners cut to keep the price down either. The 60GB hard disk is adequate, while the dual-layer DVD writer makes it simple to archive your data.
Those looking closely at the specifications will notice that the Toshiba hard disk has only a 4,200rpm spindle speed, but it doesn’t make a noticeable difference to performance. With 512MB of PC2700 memory, the Amilo managed 0.62 in our 2D application benchmarks and was responsive in general use.
We appreciate that, unlike Lenovo and HP, Fujitsu Siemens equips the L1310G with four USB 2 ports. There’s also a mini-FireWire port, a headphone socket that doubles as an S/PDIF output, and a card reader that can handle SD/MMC and Memory Stick media.
The Radeon Xpress 200M GPU might not be able to handle the latest 3D games (none of the machines here can), but it offers VGA and S-Video outputs. Thanks to the smooth playback of DVD movies on the 15.4in TFT, it’s unlikely you’ll want to hook up a TV, though. The speakers are a cut above the rest, being louder and clearer than the competition. They’ll cover up the small amount of fan noise the Amilo produces too – at 31dBA it wasn’t too noticeable even in a quiet room.
Typing on the Amilo is a pleasant experience, not least because all the keys are where they should be. It’s just one example of the attention to detail with the L1310G – build quality is superb throughout.
The system is backed by a one-year collect-and-return warranty, which is fine, but can’t match Evesham’s on-site cover. Bear in mind that there’s no carry case, but you get Microsoft Works 8 and a three-month trial of Norton Internet Security 2005 in the box. Battery life is a little disappointing with a maximum of two hours under light use, but you can always buy a second unit for £69.
If you’re tempted by the TFT and don’t need to use your laptop on the move, the lack of a carry case and short battery life aren’t the disadvantages they might be. Overall, it’s a great alternative to the other award winners.