Friday, March 30, 2007

Here it is!

Ok, I needed a couple of days to make myself accustomed to the laptop and to try and understand a few things.
First impressions:
  • it's light (although heavier than I thought I'd feel, and heavier than what FSC declares: 1.9kg instead of 1.7),
  • the display is good. I thought that a resolution of 1280x800 on a 12.1" screen would make everything soooo small, but it's actually perfectly usable.
  • the keyboard is ok. I'm not used to type on laptops' keyboards, but the feel is good. The only two drawbacks I could find so far are that the arrow keys are smaller than the other keys, and that there is no PgUp/PgDown/"Begin"/End keys. I mean, there are, but you have to press two keys (Fn key + an arrow) to use these functions.
  • Construction is good. The laptop looks well built, and there are no strange noises when one picks it up. Maybe it's because it's brand new. Anyway this was something I was worried about because before buying it I read all the reviews I could find, and a few pointed out that the materials the SI1520 is built of are not so good. Of course it's mainly plastic, but not so cheap as those reviews said.
  • The touchpad looks good. It has a nice feel and works well. The rightmost part of it works as a scroller, and influences the vertical scrollbar of your browser (or any other window that shows one). Nice touch.
  • Now on to the worse part. Of course this is a personal opinion! The hard drive (120Gb unformatted, 111Gb formatted) is divided in three partitions:
1. A 12Gb hidden partition, used as "recovery" partition
2. A 79Gb partition, on which Windows Vista Home Premium resides
3. A 20Gb partition, for "Data"

I found it was stupid to waste 12 Gb (more than 10% of the entire disk) for a recovery partition that would probably never be used. I mean, recovery might be needed one day or the other, but that can be easily done with the Recovery DVD found in the box. I was worried that the recovery DVD was just a "boot disk" that would recovery the installation by copying data from the hidden partition to Vista's one. But after a few experiments, I've found out that this DVD is an OEM version of the setup DVD for Windows Vista, so one can use it to install Vista from scratch.

Therefore I erased all the partitions and made them from zero. My hard drive is now divided into two partitions: a 37Gb partition for Windows Vista, and a 74Gb partition for Linux.
Reinstalling Vista took around half an hour, and all went smoothly. Only the built-in memory card reader wouldn't be recognized by the installation, but the Drivers Cd included in the package solved the problem easily.
I then proceeded to installing Linux. I chose the Kubuntu distribution, because I already am an Ubuntu user, and because this distribution works great with this laptop.
But I will get into the details of the Kubuntu installation in a future post.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's here!

Well, actually it's still not really here. It's at my girlfriend's, since we had it delivered here.
I'll probably go pick it up tonight, after work. I'm as impatient as a baby on Christmas' Eve! :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Coming Soon!

I've just received an update regarding the arrival of my Amilo SI1520: the vendor has delivered the package to the courier, so it should get here in the next 48 hours. Can't wait!

Friday, March 23, 2007



Welcome to the Amilo SI1520 Blog. On these pages I will list news, tricks, hints, tutorials, critics, impressions, reviews, problems, solutions and anything else I might come think of, regarding the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo SI1520 laptop computer.
Stay tuned!