Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pro V2020 review

17 Feb 2005

The hardware is nothing special, although we do appreciate the DVD writer. The main attraction is Fujitsu Siemens' great track record in reliability.

Price when reviewed: 
757(£890 inc VAT)
4

Fujitsu Siemens won the PC Award in our recent Service & Reliability survey, and only narrowly missed out on the Notebook Award. In fact, more than 95 per cent of respondents said that their Fujitsu Siemens notebook was 'very reliable' or 'reliable'. This is ideal when you need a notebook that isn't going to fail during that crucial presentation.

The V2020 should impress clients too, thanks to its sleek silver and black styling. It isn't the slimmest or lightest around, though - at 2.9kg and 44mm thick at the rear, it will be noticeable in your bag. The keyboard has full-sized keys, although the layout isn't as good as Dell or IBM's offerings. Our other gripe is the touchpad, which was the least responsive on test. The size also allows for a 15in TFT, and is on a par with the quality of others on test.

There are three USB 2 ports, so you can connect a proper mouse. The Type II PC Card slot is also found here, along with mini-FireWire, line-in, line-out and microphone jacks. The line-out also doubles as an S/PDIF output and, staying with the A/V theme, there's a useful S-Video output and the expected VGA port.

The left-hand side houses 10/100 Ethernet and modem ports, along with a welcome DVD writer. Storage continues with a 60GB Toshiba hard disk, which should easily cope with business data for at least three years.

The 1.6GHz Pentium M is a respectable choice for business, but the relatively low benchmark score of 1.40 is partially down to the choice of PC2100 memory. There's 512MB of it, but no slots are free to add any more.

Wireless networking is provided by Intel's 2200BG radio, and Fujitsu Siemens installs a useful switch on the front edge of the V2020 to turn it on and off. Bear in mind, though, that there's no Bluetooth or infrared. Battery life is average - you can expect anywhere from one-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours depending on what you're doing.

Security measures are limited to a Kensington lock slot and the integrated Intel graphics aren't up to any after-hours 3D entertainment. The single year of international collect-and-return warranty is nothing special at this price, but you can upgrade to three years of same-day, on-site cover, including accidental damage, for £120.

Overall, the V2020 is an average notebook, but it's reasonably priced, reliable and you can count on Fujitsu Siemens' customer service. IBM has even happier customers, though, and the T42 is a superior piece of kit.