FSC Amilo Pi1556

Well, they say that I am generally impulsive on many things, and well I never deny the fact as well. You guys are now looking at the proud owner of a Fujitsu Siemens Computers Amilo Pi1556 laptop. It’s an awesome laptop that’s and easy to use. Well, it has to be easy to use as I am working on a German Operating System as of now. Have to wait until Monday to call them up and find out how to change the language if at all possible. Else, I am hooking it up with Fedora Core 5!! Muahahaha!!

After many deliberations and discussions with “The Overclocked Fragger”, I had decided to go in for an Acer Aspire 5672WLMi or an Acer Aspire 5652AWLMi. However, on Friday, when I had called up the centre to find out about the servicing and warranty and revoking [aka returning the laptop in case I am unhappy with it], I realised that Acer sucked and also puffed hard. Hmm, so the “search for a laptop” finally comes to an end.

So, what’s the config of my baby?
FSC Amilo Pi1556 config

During the process of hunting for the laptop, I managed to notice quite a few things as far as buying a laptop is concerned. It’s NOT as simple as buying a desktop/configuring a desktop. There, the components will work as they are supposed to, most of the times, the form factor being more manageable and testable, and the components, being loosely coupled, in the most loose definition of the term. In the case of a notebook however, the components are far to tightly coupled, and it often depends upon the manufacturer that the notebook will last/not!

Furthermore, in a desktop, you can keep adding/subtracting things at a later time from your initial configuration, the liberty for which is not all that present in a laptop! Consequently, there are few things you NEED to keep in notice before buying a laptop. You also need to have a very clear idea of what you really are expecting from your notebook. I started out with absolutely no clue at the beginning of the venture, and slowly progressed, with the help of “The Overclocked Fragger” to finally settle down for what I really expected off my notebook!!

I started out from Finding a Good Laptop in Germany and went through a lot of changes as far as my requirements went. In the middle, I had also decided to forego a medium performer laptop to go for an entry level and then went back to the good performer laptop, with some basic customizable and configurable and upgradeable options!

So, if you are indeed going for a laptop, your first question to yourself should be – where are you going to use your laptop? Is it at home, probably moving it around from room to room, and rarely take it outside the house? Or are you in the frequent fliers list and you wanna take your laptop along with you? Coz, it’s very important that you decide!! Portability and performance are usually at two ends of the spectrum! Yes, the manufacturers are getting better at it, slowly, and they are picking up pace to bridge the gap, slowly!

Yes, there are some awesome laptops there that are portable, cool, look rad, and are power packed with performance and features, however, they come at a high cost. Consequently, unless you have infinite resources in front of you, you need to fix your budget as well.

My budget was Euro 1200.00 all inclusive, i.e. delivery charges as well and I wanted to limit myself to getting the laptop from a particular website called http://notebooksbilliger.de/, as I heard that their service is awesome, which is wrong information btw. The laptop manufacturer is the only one providing the service. Then, there was a search for which laptop manufacturer provided the best service in Germany, and also some form of service once I get to India.

The first on the list at that point was of course, Dell. However, there is not too much difference in price for a Dell Laptop between Germany and India. IOW, too expensive for just the service factor. You should also consider the build quality and the performance aspects. For the 1200 Euros, all that you could get was probably just about a souped up Dell Inspiron 6400, which was certainly not what I was looking for.

So, what was I looking for? As I already told you, it pretty much took a full circle, before I decided on the final config and laptop. =D!

The FSC Amilo Pi1556 made its mark on my mind and also on Fragger’s mind ever since we saw it and found that it had a MXM nVidia Geforce Go 7600 [it can be upgraded for the uninitiated]. It had an Intel Duo Core T2400 processor, which was definitely in our wanted list, being powerful enough and for not being a battery hogger. It also had a 2MB cache being shared across the 2 cores, therefore giving a performance increase even in single threaded applications. Consequently, your daily routines would also get done faster, not to mention your games just zooming way faster. It had a GIG of RAM, which should do fine until I really have to work and play together. The framework I work alone, when in full flow would automatically consume, without even running any applcation about 300MB of memory after boot up!! :-)! So, I needed upgradeable RAM. Well, this one can upgrade only to 2048MB RAM, whereas the Acer Aspire models could easily upgrade to 4096MB! However, those were heat generators. And they were 60Euros more costlier. Now, not that I don’t mind paying more to get my balls warmed up, but definitely this is NOT the way I’d like ’em warmed up!! :-D! Anyhoo, this has one less USB port, owing to the MIni USB connectivity option. This also does not feature two separate Monitor Connectivities. It has one DVI port and they have coupled it with a DVI to VGA Adapter. Well, I like my laptop sides to be as bare as possible, and this fellow was indeed giving me that. The Acer models looked overloaded to me as far as the sides and the front were concerned. This baby also has almost nothing in the front, pretty much the way I like it. [Ewwwing at the Dell E1505 with the media control buttons in the front ;-)]

[Note to self: Put in the pics of the laptop]

Now, I will be running the benchmarks and all soon enough and that would mean Monday, when I can download the same from the net. I am waiting also to test out the wireless, which will be delivered with my DSL connection sometime this week. Once that is done, I myself would be connected from home on a 2MBPS download and 512KBPS upload rates. Waiting to also test out the 3DMark’03 and ’05 benchmarks and demos on the laptop. Speakers: I am not very happy about the laptop speakers, actually is/was terribly disappointing. Almost made me change the laptop to the ruddy Acer ones, but then I had to weigh down the fact about the servicing. Coz, I have to pack it and send it for any kinda service. They only have ONE, I repeat, ONE Service Centre for the whole of Germany. FSC – Fujitsu Siemens Corporation, on the other hand, will come up to my house, pick it up, and will return it back to me at the end of service. Now, that definitely outweighs the tinny speakers part. I can always carry around a pair of headphones, which when adorned, definitely increases the sound quality, and it is quite close to what I have in office as well, which again is a Fujitsu Siemens Computers machine.

So, what have I been doing with the machine? Well, watching movies… ;-)! I finished watching The Lion King, The Usual Suspects, Nottting Hill, The Recruit! Well, the widescreen with its glossy finish definitely calls for a nice movie watching experience. But, it also is a lovely screen to type and set all my different vector wallpapers on. :-)! I have kinda made it look like a Mac now! Yes, the German keyboard, actually looks a bit hatke, which will work well for me, coz I like things a bit hatke ;-)!

So, I also saw Timeline today. Man, that movie is a grave injustice for the book. The book was really nice when I read it. I feel like reading it again now. The movie sucked big time, especially the actors were definitely not who I had in mind when I read the book. They have some not-so-popular actors. I mean, if the “Vertical Limit” actor is playing the professor’s son, CHEAP!! :o!!

Hmm, apart from the speakers, the laptop is indeed an awesome laptop to have. It’s 0.1kg more than the Acer Aspire 5672WLMi and the 0.2kgs more than the Acer Aspire 5652AWLMi, and it only has a 6Cell LiOn as compared to the 8Cells provided with the Acer models, but it comes 100Euros cheaper and it has an MXM option. Else, it’s got the same Motherboard and a better processor than the Acer Aspire models. And it’s also got the same options for connectivity. There’s no bluetooth connectivity tho, which mite be a bad thing, considering that my phone is one of the better models with bluetooth out there with an option to control your computer through it as well!

There’s a nice little feature on the laptop, which I haven’t noticed till now, which is to lock the touchpad, when you are typing. There’s a small button presented, which when enabled would lock the touchpad, allowing you to type really fast without having to bother about your hands accidently touching the pad and making your mouse and the cursor move to another position :-)!

So, here are my overall ratings as far as the groupings go
– Display – 4.0/5 [They could have increased the resolution to a WSXGA+ screen with such a nice graphics card on board]
– Keyboard – 4.5/5
– Graphics – 4.0/5 [Still to be tested for reliability and any crappy wakey effects to be present and the performance with the current configuration]
– HDD – 4.0/5 [With the 7200RPM on the prowl, even the extra bit of space in the harddisk mite be a detterent as far as performance goes, but it’s silent, very very silent]
– Portabiliy – 3.0/5 [6Cell battery with about 2 hours of charge, and the 3.1kgs, and the heating up on the hands resting doesn’t really make this guy a swell portable option]
– Performance – 4.5/5 [The T2400 Intel Core Duo definitely provides what it promises. I may have got this baby for a cheaper price if I had waited till Christmas, but then I _had_ to go for a laptop asap with a DSL connection to be delivered later this week]
– Looks and style + comfort [4.0/5] Not very sleek, but it has the features of a laptop with a full blown keyboard and the aluminium casing
– Build Quality – 4.0/5 – [Well, they could have done better as far as the DVD Writer goes. They have bundled an NEC option, which ain’t all that great. They have gone for the cheapest option with a Slot Loading DVD option]

Overall rating of the laptop = 3.90/5!!

Note: I am still to test its looks and display outside in the sun, where I have heard that the glossy screen is not something you’d desire. :-)!

The pics have been uploaded here!

43 thoughts on “FSC Amilo Pi1556

  1. Yup!! And as usual putting my trademark Pangu things in it as well buds!! Today, gonna revamp it to the XP professional and also add Fedora Core 5 [:O]!! Yup gonna have my own Fedora Core 5 notebook as well ;-)!!


  2. He he … some things that’l you’l always find on panguz comp/lappy:
    -> Both Xp and the latest linux flavour ( which he starts to use in full vigor only to abandon it for XP :p )
    -> Some weird Style Xp theme
    -> Pangus latest crush as the wall paper ( hmm only a guess as to what might be on it now 😉 )
    -> winamp with all songs loaded and a wierd skin
    -> Some funny icons
    -> Quick launch – fully loaded with shorcuts to all apps
    -> applied pangu settings ( res, color, brightness etc )
    …. Am I missing any thing pangs 😉


  3. You see there are some changes now :P!!
    -> No more Windows XP direct username logging in, you have to type in the password in that dialog box [Corporate usage man!!]
    -> No more crushes as wallpapers, I have my own collection of desktop wallpapers now – Vector ones :-D!!
    -> I am using Windows Media Player [yes Winamp when required] but the media library is just too cool, still not as fast as Winamp 5.X tho ;-)! And the skin for Winamp this time is Mac skin :-D! It looks like an iPod dude 😀
    -> Icons are still there
    -> Quick Launch disposed in favor of Slickrun. How can you 4get Slick run now?
    -> Firefox dude, Firefox

    Btw, most of you guys are using something or other that I have done k!! :-P!


  4. dude .. slickrun ..really? someone till recently was anti-slickrun :-p
    -> Also ul find references to firefox, Sony Erricsson, Nvidia in wallpapers, skins etc etc ..
    -> Any one gets his lappy, try out the following passwords:
    1. [removed]
    2. [removed]
    3. [removed]
    4. sis whoz a mallu aunty ..!!! :D!


  5. Sorry to edit it dude, but then you’d never know what people could do with those. Consequently… I have removed ’em :-D!!

    And btw, I had moved to Slickrun even in TVM dude. :-)!!


  6. This is violation of d freedom of expression!!!! on strike on strike !!!! haamri maange poori karo … inqulaabh zindaabaad ..!!!!! Angrrezon bhaarat choodo ..!!! Simon GO back!! Quit India..!! nahi sahenge .. nahi saaahenge …!!! Boycott commenting on pangs’ blog ..!!!!


  7. @ Guru Congrats mate! Finally huh? So are ya gonna name it???

    Timeline was terrible…

    Usual Suspects is a masterpiece of modern cinema…deny it and I shall come all the way to Deutcheland and kick @$$!


  8. dude … dont tell me one o em is ur password … uuwaaiii… this is not fair ..!! on strrrike on sttrrrike ..!!! inqulaabh zindabaad ..! hum do hamaare do!! nahi sahenge .. nahi saaahenge …!!! Boycott commenting on pangs’ blog ..!!!!


  9. Hmmm… Damn you!! :-P!! Btw keep only the ones which don’t hit yaar, else it’s too much of jhanjhat with so many people on the prowl :-P!! Anyhoo, what’s up there?

    Me downloading all the software and drivers needed. Unlimited DVD burning capability you see from office :-P!!


  10. wow! I am late….

    Looks like a talk shows been going on here! 😛

    Hows the battery life?

    Compared to DELL and Apple notebombs, there aint any stories of FSC laptops exploding, so i guess u can feel safe with it! 😛


  11. @ Fragger: First of all, my plans for installing Windows XP Professional after slipstreaming it with SP2 bombed, even after a successful bootable CD emulation!! :-(!!

    Because, the bloody hard disk is not getting detected as far as Windows XP prof is concerned. I wonder why? Furthermore when you install after booting to XP Home Edition, it starts up and then BSOD comes saying PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED I wonder why? I am guessing the Intel Core Duo processor is unable to start the ruddy process. I will be sending the German edition of the OS back to the them today and expect the English version to be sent back by next week.

    Btw, Fedora Core 5 DOES detect the HDD and the processor and is able to start the booting and installation process. Bloody Windows XP guys!! Morons!! God, M$ sucks!!

    Battery life is AS promised – 2 hours with PowerMizer on FULL, disabled Silent mode and playing a game :-)!! They have LIVE FOR SPEED trial bundled with the software.

    Yup!! I feel safe!!

    Btw, heard that Acer Aspire 5672/5652 models also give only a 2 hour battery life. Meanwhile I am checking for a 12cell battery over ebay ;-)!

    @ Ms.Imperfect: Hi baby!! *hugs* and *bigger rolling eyes* Women, they JUST don’t understand ;-)!!


  12. Yup!! But, not before waiting for the Win XP HE English edition. First still have to install XP you see, to partition my harddisk, unless I get Partition Magic 8.0! That I will download, once I get the ruddy Internet connection @ home.

    Btw, will write a post on how to install FC5 for the laptop and specifically for the Amilo Pi1556 once I am done with the trials and testing ;-)!!


  13. Muahahaha!! :-P!! Moron!! Damn, did any of you guys experience a database error from WordPress? Anyhoo, just got one! Hopefully none of the posts/comments are gone :-D!!

    So, waaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa siddhu?


  14. WTF???

    Awesome!! So, now we get more snaps of events rite? ;-)! Nice… and now that you’ve started to blog as well ;-)!! Awesome :-)!

    Btw, why the HELL did you get a Vdo Pod, when you already had a nano. Btw, looking out for anyone to sell the Nano to? What’s the memory size of the nano?


  15. But, why paid? Yes it does tax their server, I agree with that. Anyhoo, me working on getting a domain name!!

    Heehee, yup now that’s a Pod family ;-)!

    So, when are the first snaps coming up? And wht’s the capacity of the iPod? 30GB/60GB?


  16. Hmmm, yeah well, see!! I just sent them a feedback with the problem. They’ll get to it soon!! That’s what I love about WordPress. You can tell them your problem and they actually correct it, say thanks to you personally :-)!!



  17. whoa!! kool buddy! AWESOME….
    Nice config – question tho: did u go in for 7200 or 5400rpm hdd?? (Tell me its 7200!!!!)
    Well..me too in the final stages of lappy config…settled on the DELL e1505s2. Pretty similar config to urs buddy…and its comin upto around 1100$. Me doin some heavy-duty Coupon Code treasure hunting now…got one yest dat does a flat 250$ off! 🙂 will finalize by this week..hafta!!!


  18. Because, the bloody hard disk is not getting detected as far as Windows XP prof is concerned.

    I think thats cuz its a SATA drive. Windows XP doesnt have support for many SATA controllers. U need to put in the “F6 floppy” and show XP setup the drivers for the SATA controller in order for the hdd to be detected.

    Fedora being new, it easily does that.

    U can slipstream the SATA driver with the windows XP install, or install it using a USB flash drive.

    Cuz u aint got a floppy…..


  19. @stan_da_man: Yo dude!! Nopes, it’s a 5400 RPM HDD! I have an external disk, which is a 7200RPM HDD!! Will exchange it with the internal, in some time. Installed POP – Warrior Within and NFS Undeground [German wtf] to test the graphics! Boy *sssssss* making the sizzling sound!

    And 4073 3D Marks for 3DMark’03!!

    Yeah man, one huge advantage with Dell laptops!! :-(!! ;-)!!

    @The Fragger: I slipstreamed SP2 with XP Professional, and made a bootable, but still there is a problem. I need the drivers of the HardDisk? Hmm, then will have to do that tomorrow as I need to find out the exact make!

    Btw, I thought XP Professional SP2 had SATA support. Anyhoo, lemme know if you know some drivers and the directions for slipstreaming these drivers into XP!! I can burn a bootable then!!

    Yeah ain’t got a floppy. Btw, any SATA driver would work?

    @Sukhi: Hehehe, I know buds!! But, I have been making some comments over there even otherwise. Not long ones ;-)!


  20. I think there will be a SATA driver for the 945GM or 945PM chipset of your laptop. I googled for it, couldn’t find it.

    XP SP2 does have SATA support, but it needs drivers for some SATA controllers, especially if its VIA.

    Sometimes, u dont need a driver at all if its in the IDE emulation mode.


  21. I think I have a VIA controller, especially the RAID. I wonder what to do now. I have given for an exchange for the OS language to be done, but for Windows XP Home Edition. It’s a pain, if I can’t get XP professional in the laptop!! :-(!!

    I don’t think it’s in IDE emulation mode. Wait, how do you check that? :-D!! Sorry but am a total N00BIE as far as Hard disks and getting drivers detected during XP installation is concerned :-D!!


  22. Will do!! Just downloaded ’em!! Planning to do a reinstall of the system! Btw, know any drive partition tools that I can download off the net? With PM8.0 unable to be downloaded until I get net @ home!


  23. Well, as far as I am concerned, the bright screen and the fact that the laptop is indeed quite a powerful machine. It doesn’t put too many ports on the side if you know what I mean.

    These days the laptop comes with just way too many ports, making it look weird when you carry it around. I think it was the Asus A2JS [NOTE: post the link as well] that came up with port enclosers, but then they are crappy when you actually have to connect something fast to your laptop.

    So, this one has a healthy design of just enough ports for a power user. :-)!! That should be the best design aspect of the laptop ma!!

    Btw, “good reading material”?? This one? Wokey,whatever you say!! ;-)!


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