* Prices may differ from that shown
This is the first and only laptop that I've owned to date and I'm pleased to note that it's still going strong. I bought it for £399 from Staples in 2007 as it seemed to be the highest specification available for such a low price. The design is simple enough, although it might now seem slightly large and boxy compared to newer models. However, it's survived several trips abroad as well as being knocked and dropped a few times without any signs of wear and tear.
The keys have a few idiosycracies that might irritate some people. The Caps Lock key is a little confusing as it's not marked and I've had occasional problems with keys sticking but this has always been solved by removing the key, cleaning it and replacing it. Also, wireless networks are not detected automatically, which means I'm required to press the wireless button every time I turn the machine on (hardly a major hardship but a bit silly nonetheless).
As I studied history, I didn't need to use the laptop for any complicated software. The screen is big enough to handle large documents with relative ease and I've been able to produce two dissertations and half a PhD thesis on it. The one thing I would say is that I find it easier to transfer large documents to a desktop PC for proofreading but that might just be a personal thing. It's also fair to say that the inbuilt Microsoft Office 2000 is starting to look a bit old and sometimes has compatibility issues with newer machines (try opening a docx. on it and you'll see). It remains fine for Word but for PowerPoint presentations for example, it's woefully basic. I only use the laptop for 'nostalgia games' like Space Invaders and Pac Man but the poor performance of the device driver (see below) means it's likely to struggle with anything more sophisticated.
The main weaknesses with this model are the battery and playing videos. Firstly, the battery has never really worked for me so I've always needed a plug point. To be honest I never use my laptop on the move but for those who like to surf the web in the park or play Minesweeper on the bus it's hardly ideal. Secondly the laptop seems to have a phobia of playing full screen videos. With small screen mode it's perfectly happy, but switch to full screen mode and around 5 seconds later the screen goes blank. I understand that this is not a serious concern for me, but it's likely to be a major irritant for others and while this was perhaps forgiveable in a laptop from 2007, it seems a bit archaic today.
I have certain reservations about Windows Vista, although to be fair this is not a reflection on the laptop's hardware, which has tended to perform well. I've never felt the need to replace the touchscreen with a mouse and the machine has worked well with both a scanner and a printer. The speaker sound quality is good but in general the volume output is poor. I've solved this problem with external speakers but this requires another plug point and is often impractical, especially if you need to move the laptop around the house.
Overall, I'd recommend this machine to someone who simply needed a word processor and a means of surfing the web. I've never really tested the machine to its limits but I think we'll always need computers like this- ones that offer the basics you need for a low price and last for several years. I'll probably keep using the laptop until Bill Gates finds a way to destroy it remotely, thus forcing me to buy a new one.
This places me in a slightly strange position regarding the review. On the one hand I love this laptop dearly and will defend its idiosyncracies to the hilt. On the other hand, I'm aware of how irritating other people may find it, which compels me to disregard notions of sentimentality and give it a lower rating. However, I will definitely consider Fujitsu computers in the future as they seem to do the basics pretty well and know how to build machines that will last.
I got one of these about 3 years ago when I first started uni. I paid £399 for it from Comet. For the specs the price was brilliant at the time. It was probably the highest spec for price laptop available.
This was my very first solely owned pc and I was very happy with it. Ran like a dream for the first 12 months. I used to do quite a lot of processor heavy work on it as well, as my uni course was music technology, and I would often be using it to produce music.
The only downside to it was the hard-drive, 120 gb is quite big however vista took up about 40gb so in reality you only get about 80gb for storage, which soon runs out.
I also noticed that after about a year the battery pretty much broke and i would have to have it plugged into the mains at all times. Unplugged it would only last about 5 mins before going dead.
This laptop lasted about 3 years before it became unusable. The laptop still runs however for no reason whatsoever the usb sockets now don't work. I tried uninstalling the drivers, but could not solve the problem myself. I also took it into a repair shop where they told me it is likely an issue with the motherboard. Which to be honest is not worth the price of getting it fixed. I i could essentially do with it was browse the internet. So I just upgraded to a new laptop.
This laptop was good while it lasted and I still feel it was a good purchase, as it was very cheap. It got me through uni anyway.
I bought the Amilo Li1718 2nd hand at a cost of £120 8 months ago, it retailed around £500 when first out.
The best things about it are the screen size, the true to screen battery life, the Windows Vista, the fact it's got a dual core processor, the ram and processor are more than enough to cope with normal demand. The hard drive is also a fair size and again more than enough for most usages. i am also happy with the layout of USB and other ports.
Unfortunately I found a couple of weak points, I do not like the keyboard, it is very flat to the touch, and the on board graphics is very poor which is a mighty shame, it is a bit touch and go with full screen video and as for games well I don't think it will handle a lot of modern games. It often comes up with some kind of video error. Battery life is perfectly acceptable but it would scare me to be away from a power point so best take a spare battery.
I think this is an excellent second machine to a desktop or a student machine and is recommended for a budget buy.
For a University student on the go, you can't get much better than this on a budget. I've had mine for about a year now (paid £399), and it still functions good as new. The battery still lasts the stated 2 and a half hours, and applications continue to run smoothly.
As a design and media student, I have to make use of such programs as Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash and Encore. I've had no problems running any of these, the Dual Core works wonders (I recommend it over the Celeron!) and everything loads quickly.
In addition, if you're wanting to install and play various games, you should have no problem with this laptop, I've got a myriad of both 2D and 3D games installed that work fine. However, the 3D games suffer in the graphics department - even with system performance set to high the images will rarely be at their best.
As others have mentioned, this laptop has issues running videos in some cases. I have had the Windows Media Center struggle with DVDs and refuse to play High-Def footage. Windows Media Player can take a while to load videos, and sometimes it'll skip with larger files - but even with the video work I do it hasn't been a major issue.
In terms of additional components, both of my design tablets work fine (Wacom and Aiptek), as do scanners and printers. You may, however, encounter compatibility issues with Vista - but this is no fault of the hardware. Also be warned that Vista will take up a good 20GB of space, so bear this in mind when choosing the size of your hard drive (120GB is sufficient for me).
Aesthetically, the laptop is a nice size - it's not too heavy or chunky, and looks sleek even though it's an old model. The silver cover of mine has become scratched even though I don't take it around much, but wear and tear is to be expected. I love the smooth keyboard, but I admit the touchpad is a little sensitive sometimes, and will issue a double-click even though I only touch it once.
Overall I'd highly recommend this laptop - it's been consistent and sturdy, and works absolutely fine for my needs.
You are looking for mobility, style and performance for an affordable budget? Then Fujitsu Siemens' AMILO L Series with its best price-performance ratio is the perfect choice.