Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 2528 review

£900
Price when reviewed

Glance down the Amilo Xi 2528’s feature list and it looks the very model of a lifestyle/entertainment notebook: a sharp, colourful 17in screen with a 1,440 x 900 resolution, HDMI output, discrete graphics and even a miniature Media Center remote control that slots away into the chassis when not in use.

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 2528 review

Yet the drab, boxy case suggests the opposite: it’s bulky even by 17in standards, and at 3.7kg it’s by far the heaviest notebook in its class this month. Portability is further compromised by an atrocious battery, which delivered just two hours of life under light use, then took well over four hours to recharge. The keyboard’s large and solid enough, but key sizes are maddeningly inconsistent, with many simply too small for reliable typing.

If you can look past these practical issues, you’ll find the Amilo’s headline features backed up by a strong core specification. Its 2.2GHz T7500 processor makes it the fastest of the group, and the onboard Nvidia GeForce 8600M GS helped it to an average frame rate of 28fps in our lowest 1,024 x 768 Call of Duty 2 test – still limited but far better than most here.

Storage-wise, the Amilo outclasses every rival in the sub-£1,000 category. Its 320GB capacity comes in the form of twin drives with an onboard RAID controller, so you can stripe or mirror them as you wish.

The Xi 2528 achieves the networking hat trick of gigabit Ethernet, draft-n wireless and Bluetooth. Peripheral connections include FireWire, ExpressCard and, uniquely among this month’s contenders, eSATA.

The Fujitsu Siemens is an ugly, unwieldy device that won’t win any catwalk awards, but it certainly ticks a lot of boxes. It’s also good value, so if you want power for your money it may suit.

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