Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 Review

by Reads (92,589)

by Ahmet Parlak, The Netherlands

Overview and Introduction

Following is a full review of the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 notebook. This desktop replacement notebook features a 17” glossy screen and a fast Core Duo processor with dedicated nVidia Go 7600 graphics. The Xi1526 has a great quality/performance ratio and is meant for gamers, people who want to use it as a multimedia notebook or those that just want a fast system.


Full picture of the Fujitsu Xi 1526 (view large image)

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 specs:

  • System: Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526
  • Processor: Intel Core Duo T2300 (1.66 GHz, 667 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2-cache)
  • Memory: 1 GB (2 x 512 MB DDR2 533 MHz running in Dual Channel)
  • Hard drive: 2 x 80 GB (5400 rpm, 8 MB cache running in RAID-0)
  • Graphics card: nVidia GeForce Go 7600Go with 256 MB GDDR2 dedicated graphics
  • Screen: 17" WXGA+ Crystalview screen (1440 x 900 glossy screen)
  • Optical drive: DVD RW Dual Layer
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Home Edition SP2
  • Wireless card: Intel 3945 54 mbps card (802.11a/b/g)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.0 connection
  • Battery: 8-cell Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
  • Ports / Slots: 4-in-1 card reader (SD/MS/MCC/MS pro), 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x IEEE 1394 (fire ware), 1 x S-video out, 1 x DVI-I, 1 x Modem / Fax, 1 x Gigabit Lan, 1 x ExpressCard slot, 1 x headphone-out with SPDIF, 1 x microphone-in
  • Integrated subwoofer
  • Weight with 2 hard drive configuration: 4.1 kg
  • Price of this configuration with 1 year pick-up and return warranty: €1300,-.

Reasons for Buying:

As a full disclosure I want to say that this is not a notebook that I bought for myself. I received the notebook from Fujitsu Siemens as a review loan. Fujitsu Siemens gave us the permission to do this review because we (Notebook Solutions Company) are a partner of F&S Computers.

Build & Design:

The design of the Xi 1546 is simply great. Fujitsu Siemens is known for making great looking notebooks and this 17” notebook is not an exception. As you can see on the picture there is one line at the top of the notebook, adding style to its looks. The colour of the machine is totally silver and the notebook itself has a clean look. The indicators are blue and look good.

When we open the lid we see a full keyboard, a touchpad and nicely designed speakers and vertically placed buttons. The buttons may look nice when they are put vertically, but I find them harder to push with this orientation.


Vertically placed buttons (from left to right): Power Cinema, Internet, Mail, Silent function and Power On. Indicators (from left to right): Power On, Wireless Lan, Stand-by, Battery charge indicator, Load indicator, Num pad on, Caps-Lock on, Scroll lock and Silent function. (view large image)

The build of this notebook is very good. The construction is not of cheap plastic that bends, but of solid material which has no flex at all. There’s no creaking to be heard when pressing at the corners of the notebook, something that my older Fujitsu M1437G does. The notebook does not scratch very easily and does not attract any fingerprints at all. There’s no having to clean your notebook every time it’s used. The hinges are tough and you get a confident closing sound when shutting the lid down. The weight of this notebook is very good for a 17” desktop replacement. It weighs 4.1 kg (8.2 lbs) when configured with 2 hard drives. If you add the adapter the weight is around 4.5 kg (9.0 lbs). The notebook is not very thick for a 17”. I still do not recommend you taking this notebook to college every day; it will hurt your back after a while.


The adapter is pretty big but normal for a desktop replacement like the Xi (view large image)

Screen:

The screen of this notebook is really something to be proud if you own it. Fujitsu Siemens was actually the first in Europe to introduce a 17” CrystalView screen (glossy screen) with its M3438G model. The screen of the Xi1546 is the same as the previous model, featuring a 1440×900 resolution widescreen with CrystalView technology. The screen has excellent viewing angles, so watching a DVD with your friends will be easy on this notebook.


The WXGA+ screen is beautiful, colours are vivid and very bright due to the Crystalview Technology (view large image)

The screen has minimal light leakage at the bottom, certainly not something that will bother you while playing a game or watching a DVD. I did not notice any ghosting while gaming which means that gaming is great on the Xi 1526. The screen also gives a great crisp picture and good contrast. Black is black and white is white, something which is very important for designers. The pictures that I took do not show the beauty of the screen.

Speakers:

This notebook has great sound as well as great speaker design. Fujitsu Siemens was one of the first companies that introduced subwoofers in their notebooks. The Xi1526 also has a subwoofer (diameter of 4 cm). The notebook has above average sound and it is very pleasant to listen to music or watch a DVD. However, for serious gaming I advise a good headset because you won’t hear subtle things like footsteps in a game with just the speakers.


Speakers located at the top of the keyboard (view large image

Performance, Benchmarks and Gaming

I have spent a lot of time benchmarking this notebook because I personally think that the Xi1526 is a great gaming machine for a great price. To prove this I have run three Futuremark tests and three gaming benchmarks. I want to prove that gaming on this notebook at native resolution with the latest games is possible. First of all, I want to post some screenshots of CPU-Z, that show the CPU information and DDR2 information.

Processor information Memory information

A very interesting feature of the Xi is the ability to configure the two hard drives yourself to run in RAID 1 or RAID 0. Raid 1 will give you optimal security for your files but RAID 0 will give you the best performance in games. I configured the hard drives in RAID 0 for this review.

Setting up RAID 0 was very easy and I have regulated everything through the BIOS. Something that you must not forget is that all your files will be erased when configuring RAID.


The VIA driver configures RAID. At this screenshot you can see how the two drives are configured in RAID 0 (striping). (view large image)

* Note: all the benchmarks were performed with the stock drivers of Fujitsu Siemens at stock speeds. Wireless cards were on. No background programs were running. Driver version: nVidia Forceware 84.71.*

I had some problems installing Laptopvideo2Go drivers on the Xi1526. The driver could not recognize the video card. So I decided to stick with the Fujitsu Siemens drivers.

*Note: the scores of the Xi 1526 are in bold and also the scores of my M1437G. The reason I did this is to compare the two notebooks more closely with each other.*

Super Pi:

Super Pi is a program which uses your CPU power to calculate a very price value of pi. We usually calculate to 2-million digits. Here are the results of the T2300E running at full 1.66 GHz.

1 minute and 25 seconds is a good score with a 1.66GHz Core Duo. It is almost as fast as an AMD FX-60 in Super Pi. The Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz however outperforms the T2300E with 52% increase in performance, but do you think that is worth 600$ more?

 

Notebook

 

Time

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 (1.66 GHz Core Duo) 1m 25s
Alienware M5550 (2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo) 0m 56s
Dell XPS M1710 (2.16 GHz Core Duo) 1m 07s
Alienware M770 (AMD 2.6 GHz FX-60) 1m 23s
IBM ThinkPad Z60m (2.0 GHz Pentium M) 1m 36s
Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M1437G (1.73 GHz Pentium M) 1m 48s
Dell Inspiron 6000D (1.6 GHz Pentium M) 1m 52s
Asus V6Va (1.86 GHz Pentium M) 1m 46s
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0 GHz Core Duo) 1m 18s

 

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