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Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727 review: Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727

The new school year is rolling around and no doubt the kids are pestering you with relentless demands for the latest Sony Vaio. But the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727 offers all the features and performance to satisfy their back-to-school needs, for only £275. It might not be glamorous, but it'll do the job

Rory Reid
4 min read

Kids, eh? You can't live without 'em and you can't kill 'em -- a situation that can present complications when the new school term rolls around and they need a new laptop. They'll pester you with relentless demands for the latest Sony Vaio, and all you'll have money for is a Fujitsu Siemens Amili Li 2727. But is that such a bad thing? This entry-level, 15.4-inch widescreen laptop costs less than a hitman -- just £275 -- and it could be the solution to all their back-to-school needs.


Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727

The Good

Low price; four USB ports.

The Bad

Relatively poor performance.

The Bottom Line

It's cheap and cheerful. If you're after a low-cost second laptop, or something for the kids, you could do a lot worse. If you're serious about computing though, you should probably look elsewhere

The word 'Acme' springs to mind when looking at the Amilo Li 2727. Its generic-looking matte silver lid with contrasting black interior hardly pushes the design envelope. It's not ugly by any means -- it just looks like it cost £275, and that's not a good thing.

The Li 2727 is a fairly large beast. It measures 355 by 256 by 24mm and weighs a quite hefty 2.7kg, so it's not the sort of thing you'll want to lug to and from school or university if you're living at home with your parents. On the flipside, its large size makes it perfect for anyone who lives on campus. It's comfortable to use and because the 15.4-inch, 1,280x800-pixel screen is relatively large, your kids will avoid the onset of myopia for a little longer than you did.

The Li 2727 doesn't have many of the bells and whistles that help tart up more expensive laptops. Apart from the keyboard, the mouse trackpad and its faintly stiff selector buttons, and the on switch, there's not much to talk about. You get four USB ports -- all sat on the left side -- front-facing headphones and mic jacks, D-Sub and S-Video output ports, and an Ethernet port at the rear. That's your lot.

The Amilo Li 2727 offers a generous four USB ports

£257 isn't a great deal of money to kit out a laptop, and it shows. There's no fancy Core 2 Duo CPU here -- just a Celeron M CPU running at 1.73GHz, and 1GB of RAM. That's a bit pants really, but it's enough to chug through most ordinary desktop tasks, so if the kids complain, threaten to take away their trust fund.

3D gaming isn't the Li 2727's bag. The Intel GMA 950 graphics adaptor is best suited to running things like Solitaire, but it'll turn its hand to the odd bit of video playback, too. Be warned, though: your kids won't be blowing up many virtual bad guys with this system -- they're going to have to get their kicks another way.

"Does it have enough space to store my music collection?" is a common question in the laptop world. And the answer in the Li 2727's case is "not really". The laptop comes with a rather small 120GB hard drive, split across two partitions -- one for the operating system, and one for dumping all your files into. There is approximately 40GB of space remaining on each partition -- and prolific file hoarders will find that running out sooner rather than later. The system does come with an integrated dual-layer DVD rewriter, so you can make backups of up to 8.5GB in size.

Borrowing (read: stealing) a neighbour's Wi-Fi won't be too difficult with the Amilo Li 2727. It has an 802.11b/g wireless adaptor that's compatible with the wireless hotspots used by most establishments. There's no dial-up modem, but it has an Ethernet port, which you can jack into your home or school network for Internet, file- and printer-sharing purposes.

Software's pretty thin on the ground. You get a copy of Windows Vista Basic -- the version without the fancy Flip 3D effect Vista is so famous for -- but very little else. Fujitsu Siemens provides options for software though, so you can get one kitted out with Microsoft Works and Norton Internet Security Suite at the time of purchase.

Like Equatorial Guinea's Olympic team, the Amilo Li 2727 tries hard but won't win any awards for performance. It scored a paltry 1,403 in PCMark 2005, and 1,310 in 3DMark 2006, so it isn't much faster than an Eee PC 901. It'll let you surf the Web, listen to music and watch videos of up to 720p resolution with relative ease, but it really does start to stutter if you try to multitask.

Battery life is low to average, depending on what sort of application you're running. In our CPU-intensive BatteryEater rundown test, it lasted 1 hour 28 minutes, and 1 hour 58 minutes in the far less intensive reader test. That's not bad considering the size of the laptop.

It's cheap and cheerful. If you're after a low-cost second laptop, or something for the kids, then you could do a lot worse than the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727. If you're serious about computing, though, you should look elsewhere and prepare to shell out more. The Medion Akoya S5610, for example, offers much better multitasking and graphical performance for £600.

Edited by Nick Hide