Heat and Noise:
When I received this notebook I was afraid that the notebook would overheat. A friend of mine owns a Core Duo notebook (same speeds) and when playing his temperatures were around 75 degrees Celsius!
But my worries were not necessary at all. While playing Oblivion for two hours the CPU temperature was 56 degrees maximum. This may sound very warm, but this temperature is very good for a notebook with Core Duo. The CPU of my M1437G can get up to 54 degrees which leads to a very hot palm area. I was also expecting this to happen with the Xi1526 but the right palm area was much cooler. You could notice some heat, but it was definitely nothing to worry about.
The left palm area (where the first hard drive is) is cool and noticeably less warm then the right palm (where the CPU is). Like stated before this temperature is not something that will bother you while gaming.
To prove that this notebook runs cool I have made a screenshot. As you can see the GPU temperature is 56 degrees after an hour of gaming. The hard drives (running in RAID means that it shows only one temperature) are 34 degrees which is a very good temperature. The CPU is 47 degrees. Note: this screenshot is made around 2 minutes after shutting down Oblivion.
These temperatures are very good and the notebook stays cool even after playing for an hour (view large image)
One thing I always disliked about my M1437G is its fan noise. The small fan causes a very high tone that can be pretty annoying. The Xi1526 however has a much larger fan that runs at lower speeds and causes much less sound. The fan sound is noticeably but not annoying as the fan of the smaller 15.4” M1437G. The fans go on a few times for 10 seconds per minute while gaming. While normal use the fans go on every 5 minutes (for just 10 seconds).
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard of the Xi 1526 features a full size keyboard with num pad. This is very interesting because not all notebooks have a keyboard with a num pad. It can be very handy, especially for accountants and students who have to calculate something quickly.
The keyboard has no flex at all, and typing is great. A downside is that the buttons near the Enter key are all a bit shorter than normal. I was afraid that typing would make this more complicated. But after a few days I got used to it and it was no problem to write on it.
A closer look to the full size keyboard of the Xi 1526 (view large image)
Closer look at the num pad, notice the small shift button next to the enter (view large image)
Now let’s take a look at the touchpad. It looks great and a nice feature is that you can turn off the touchpad. This is nice because a lot of people hit the touchpad with their palm while gaming and that is really irritating. A downside however is that you have to push pretty hard on the touchpad buttons and it makes a loud noise when clicking it. It is not terribly loud, but not as silent and comfortable as IBM buttons.
A nice feature of the touchpad is the possibility to adjust the surface which you can scroll with. This is regulated by the Synaptics drivers. I really like this, because scrolling works great with the touchpad (vertically and horizontally).
The touchpad looks nice and the scroll function works perfect (view large image)
Input and Output Ports
The Xi 1526 is a multimedia notebook and has a lot of useful ports. The notebook has 4 USB 2.0 ports, 3 located at the right side of the notebook. There is also a DVI-port which means that you can easily connect your TFT with the notebook if you would wish to do that. It has a Fire wire (IEEE 1394) connection and also a card reader (SD, MS, MS pro and MC). The notebook also has a volume regulator at the left side.
This notebook has an Express Card slot that is normally occupied by the remote control. You can also connect your notebook with your TV using the S-video out.
The remote control works great and it small enough to fit in the Express card slot (view large image)
This notebook features an Intel Wireless Lan 3945 which supports a/b/g standards. Setting up the network was very easy, I just needed to enter my password and I had set up the connection. The connection is good and fast.
The previous model of the 17” Fujitsu Siemens notebooks didn’t have Bluetooth which a lot of people complained about. Bluetooth is very popular in Europe and I really like it myself. Fujitsu Siemens has learned from this so the Xi 1526 features a Bluetooth 2.0 connection. The connection was perfect and transferring pictures that I took with my phone was very fast.
Another impressive thing about this notebook is its battery life. While surfing the web, writing the review and listening to music I managed to work offline for 2 hours. The wireless LAN was turned on, the screen was at the brightest setting and the CPU was running at 1 GHz (Speedstep technology enabled). The notebook has a ‘Silent fan’ function which means that the CPU is even further downclocked (to 800 MHz). I could also use this function and lower the brightness of the screen and I am sure that I could easily push 2 and half hours out of the full battery. This is very impressive for a 17” screen with a Core Duo and a powerful nVidia video card.
A lot of people reading this review may wonder why Fujitsu Siemens has not added the XP Media Center OS edition instead of XP Home edition. Well the reason is very simple. Fujitsu Siemens has its own Media Center software so you do not need to pay more for an XP version. I think this is a smart move from the manufacturer.
The notebook comes with a lot of CD’s: XP Home Edition SP2 CD, Drivers and utility’s DVD, Power Cinema, Nero, Works 8.5, Norton Internet Security 2006. I really like this, because not all manufacturers include CD’s with their systems, check the pictures at the end of the review.
Power Cinema gives you the opportunity to watch movies and listen to music without booting Windows. You can control the program with your remote control that has a button to boot with Power Cinema. The remote works well, but you really need to sit in front of the notebook if you want the remote control to work 100% reliably. It has a range of only 2 metres, not very much.
Fujitsu Siemens’ customer support is simple and effective. If you have a problem, you just call them and give your serial number. They will pick up your notebook at home and repair it and bring it back again after a week (2 or 3 weeks if the problem is not very easy to solve). We at Notebook Solutions have sent a few notebooks to the customer support center and have had no bad experiences with their support. All notebooks of FSC always come with 1 year pick-up and return warranty (standard configuration).
I truly believe that this notebook is the best gaming/multimedia notebook on the European market for the given price. As we can see this notebook gives good performance in the latest games and features great multimedia expansions (remote control, Power Cinema, widescreen display).
- Core Duo, 1 GB and a 7600Go has a great price/performance ratio
- The 17” WXGA+ display is gorgeous.
- RAID 0 means great performance in games and other applications
- Good looks and very sleek design
- DVI-port and a lot of other ports, DVD writer is standard
- Full size keyboard with num pad
- Battery life is very impressive for such a desktop replacement (2.0-2.5 hours)
- Stays very cool compared to other notebooks, even after playing for hours
- F&S includes all the software with CD’s
- No bloat ware installed, notebook comes with a fresh installation
- Great price in Europe
- Small keys at the right side (where the num pad is), but you get used to it after a while
- Remote control doesn’t have a high range
- Vertically placed buttons are not very comfortable
More pictures of the Xi 1526:
The Xi 1526 comes with a lot of CD s (view large image)
The Xi, my 15.4” M1437G and on top my Dell X1 12” (view large image)
The top of the Xi 1526 (view large image)
The bottom of the Xi (notice the large fan intake and the subwoofer)(view large image)
The stickers indicate that this notebook is Vista ready.(view large image)
From left to right: The Xi 1526, my M1437G and the A3667G (same as M3438G but with AMD Turion) (view large image)
The 17" Xi compared to the ultra-portable 8.9" Fujitsu Siemens P1510. Also notice the Crystalview Technology which works like a mirror when the room is very highly lit. (view large image)