A pretty noisy notebook
Fujitsu Siemens’ Amilo Mini has a striking red lid.
It can be replaced with a black, blue or pink one to suit your mood, although removing them can take an alarming degree of force. An extra fascia is included in the box (you can choose the colour), while additional ones cost £20. They look stylish once fitted, but they don’t match the rest of the styling.
Apart from Asus’s N10, the Amilo is the only netbook here to have an ExpressCard/34 slot. This can accommodate a 3G broadband modem, instead of having a USB modem hanging off the side of your netbook. Alternatively, you can use the slot to add more USB ports; there are just two as standard.
The Amilo is one of only four netbooks here with an 8.9in screen, but the only one to have a matt-finish screen. It’s not reflective, which means it’s better suited to working on the train or anywhere in close proximity to windows. Colours looked bright and evenly lit and viewing angles were reasonably wide.
The touch pad is small and accurate. The buttons give plenty of feedback when pressed, although they’re placed either side of the pad instead of below it. Unfortunately, the keyboard is small with tightly spaced keys, so touch-typing for even short periods is tricky and uncomfortable. Unless you’ll be storing only office documents on the Amilo, the 60GB hard disk will fill up quickly, especially if you want to install lots of Windows programs.
We’re used to most laptops and netbooks being whisper-quiet, so we were surprised by the Amilo’s noisy fan. Pressing the Fan button on the keyboard throttles back the Atom processor to reduce heat (and the need for the fan), but it made little audible difference in our tests. It added an extra 15 minutes to the Amilo’s battery life of two hours and 31 minutes, but this isn’t nearly as impressive as the NC10’s battery life of over eight hours.
The se faults could be forgiven at a lower price, but Samsung’s NC10 costs just £36 more, so choosing between the two is easy.
|Processor||Intel Atom N270|
|Processor clock speed||1.6GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption idle||12W|
|Power consumption active||18W|
|Viewable size||8.9 in|
|Graphics Processor||Intel GMA 950|
|Total storage capacity||60GB|
|Optical drive model||none|
|Optical drive type||N/A|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100|
|Wireless networking support||802.11b/g|
|PC Card slots||1x ExpressCard/34|
|Supported memory cards||SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo|
|Operating system||Windows XP Home Edition|
|Operating system restore option||restore disc|
|Software included||Norman Security Suite 220.127.116.11|
|Optional extras||satchel case – £18, slip case – £14, clip-on covers – £20, external DVD writer – £105|
|Warranty||one year collect and return|