You don't always have to sacrifice quality or convenience when you opt for a budget notebook, as proven by the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515.
The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515 is a portable but robust machine, weighing 2.8kg, with a keyboard, buttons and track pad that are all sensibly sized and easy to use. The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515 features support for Kensington Lock physical security devices and quick access keys for entering Silent Mode and launching Windows Media Player.
Featuring onboard graphics powered by the Intel Graphic Media Accelerator X3100, we found that the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515's FEAR gaming frame refresh scores are low: 5fps (frames per second). Its 15.4in screen features BrilliantView Technology claimed to enhance brightness. The display quality is above par for a budget notebook, being clear and of high contrast.
When pressed, the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515's lid provides a lot of protection for the screen. The Amilo Pi 2515 is also well suited to multimedia use. Although no webcam is integrated, it does have a DVD burner, which is a pleasant surprise in a notebook costing under £500.
The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515 also has the ability to connect to a, b and g wireless networks. It has 3 USB ports, a 4-in-1 card reader and comes with Windows Vista Home Premium. The 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 is not the most powerful processor, but it still achieved a decent WorldBench speed benchmarking score of 65.
The Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515 comes with 2GB memory and a hefty 250GB hard drive, which is another bonus for a £500 PC.
It's not the most thrilling to look at with plain, predominantly silver casing, and we are not at all happy with the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2515's in-use battery life of just over an hour.
You do, however, get full versions of Microsoft Works 8.5 and Nero Essentials 7.0, with a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office 2007 and a 90-day trial of Norton Internet Security also included. There are no fancy extras such as a TV tuner or web cam, but specs such as the amount of memory and hard disk space are also beyond our expectations for a sub-£500 machine.
The Amilo Pi 2515 is a good laptop for those on a budget who want a notebook which is light but still resistant if regularly transported. Although the gaming and WorldBench scores are all that high, and battery life is poor, it remains a user-friendly, everyday laptop that offers a decent hard drive capacity and ample memory.