It’s a sad fact of life that notebook battery life is never as good as we’d like it to be. Never more so on ultraportable machines. After all, such notebooks are designed to be carried around with you but the downside is, they have the smallest batteries around.
Which makes us all the more happy with the Amilo Pro V3205. It weighs in at 1.9kg, so is light enough to be with you all the time and considering we managed to regularly get over 4 hours from a single charge, it allowed us to get plenty of work done on the daily commute.
You may be thinking that as a downside, performance would be lacking but this is a Core Duo machine with 512MB of memory and 60GB hard drive. While it may not be the fastest notebook out there, it’s surprisingly quick and we found that it readily handled everything we had to run on it. Bear in mind, it runs a low voltage chip so isn’t intended to run highly complex tasks but it’s fine for multitasking standard office applications.
The final surprise, the Amilo Pro has on its side is the price. At less than £800 (inc. VAT) it’s affordable as well as portable. Compromises have been made, as you’d expect, as the case isn’t as strong and robust as we were hoping but it’s worth the asking price.
The screen is 12.1 inches, which keeps the size of the machine compact and small but the screen is clear and bright and comes with a widescreen Super-TFT coating, so even if you just want to sit back and watch a DVD when you’re travelling it’s more than up to the job. The DVD drive is a rewriter, and is also dual-layer, so you can back up files with ease.
Graphics are a different matter as they use the integrated Intel chipset. While this is fine for day-to-day stuff, you won’t be able to play games or run anything too labour intensive.
Due to the smaller than normal screen, the keyboard is compact and quite cramped but once you’re used to the size, it’s a good keyboard and we found it quite robust.
For connecting to digital projectors or monitors, a DVI-out port is in place. For using older analogue displays, a DVI-to-VGA adapter is also included. The addition of four USB ports is notable for such a small laptop and lets you add external peripherals. With 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi compatibility, you can connect to wireless hotspots in the UK and overseas. Fixed office networks can use the standard 10/100 Base-T connector.
If you’re looking for a machine that you can carry around with you all day and get the typical office work out of the way when you’re commuting, this is a great machine. It’s a good price too, making it a recommended machine.