Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile V5505 notebook review

3 out of 5
£450

For

Good price, decent specification, solid keyboard

Against

Washed-out screen, needs memory upgrade

Fujitsu Siemens has an ever increasing range of notebooks and while it pitches its Lifebook range at the more mobile-focused end of the market, those looking for a workhorse machine on a budget will be well served by the Esprimo range.

The design of Esprimo Mobile V5505 is rather boxy and plain and matt plastic is used throughout. We found the build quality to be more than acceptable, with plenty of protection behind the screen, as well as solid palm rests.

This is a typical business machine with a standard 15.4-inch TFT screen. With no glossy coating, images look good when you’re using this machine out and about. However, images tend to look a little flat. This is also true when running multimedia applications. The use of an integrated GPU means you won’t be able to play games either.

The V5505 is a budget model with a reasonable specification for the price. You’ll find an Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 chip, which runs at 1.5GHz, handles basic tasks reasonably well. With only 1024MB of memory, you’ll find that Windows Vista Business Edition loads rather sluggishly but once loaded runs well. That said, we’d suggest opting for a memory upgrade as and when your budget allows.

The same goes for the 80GB hard drive, which is fine for most occasions, but if you were looking at using this notebook long-term, then more space would be welcome.

This is a reasonably portable unit that weighs in at 2.7kg. The design is compact but it’s a deep-sided notebook that measures 45mm at its mid-point. When it comes to battery life, we managed to get well over 3 hours from a full charge. This isn’t ideal but is sufficient for most people’s needs.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this machine is the keyboard. It sits squarely in the middle of the case and the keys are of a good size. They are firmly attached and proved to have a comfortable typing action.

This is a rather basic notebook, so you won’t find any digital connections or even a webcam for making conference calls. Instead, there is a standard VGA-out port for connecting to analogue devices. There are four USB ports for connecting to peripherals, though.

When it comes to connectivity, Fujitsu Siemens hasn’t scrimped on parts. So, you’ll find Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n fitted as standard, which both offer the fastest rates possible for both wireless and wired connections. Backup comes in the form of a dual-format DVD rewriter, and Nero software is included for burning your files to blank DVDs and CDs.

Verdict

The Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile V5505 isn’t the most featured or cutting-edge of notebooks. However, if you’re on a tight budget and looking for a machine for work purposes, it has the build quality and reliable design to serve you well. Our only concern is that you may well outgrow what it offers, so it may be worth looking for a higher-spec version.