I'm also thoroughly disappointed not only in my Amilo M 1425 notebook itself, but FSC customer support.
I bought my notebook in January 2005, from Media Markt, while I was living in Berlin. Below is a summary of the problems I've experienced.
1. Keyboard was a bit loose, causing an annoying clack whenever I pressed keys in the top left region of the keyboard. I solved this by removing the keyboard and repositioning a "QC" sticker (ha!) to provide some padding.
2. While trying to play Half Life 2, it became apparent that the shipped graphics drivers and those on FSC website were way out of date. Since official ATI drivers wouldn't install, I resorted to using "Omega" unofficial ATI drivers, and still use them to this date.
3. When I returned to my home country, New Zealand, about 6 months later, I started to notice the integrated ethernet would occasionally just mysteriously stop receiving data. Putting it down to a hardware fault, I tried to arrange warranty repairs in NZ. Too bad, the warranty was not global (like some other companies, such as Hewlett Packard). I resorted to buying a D-Link PCMCIA network card as a workaround.
4. When burning CDs and DVDs, the system always ran very slowly. After closer inspection, I found that the drive was running in PIO mode, and apparently didn't want to run in UDMA mode. I eventually found third party unofficial firmware for the NEC drive, and after installing that, the drive was able to operate in UDMA mode. This made the system responsive enough that I could actually do other things while burning a CD.
5. CDs that I burn are not always compatible in other drives. Usually they get read errors close to the 350MB marker. Smaller amounts of data are fine. DVDROMs that I burn are also fine, regardless of size. To be fair, this may be related to #4 above, but I think it was a pre-existing problem.
6. This is the one that annoys me the most. After recently installing Ubuntu Linux 7.04, which includes kernel 2.6.20, the CPU frequency/voltage scaling stopped working. The Dothan core of my Pentium M 1.6GHz has never been officially supported by the speedstep-centrino driver in Linux, but it was working up to 2.6.17. Kernel developers deprecated some code in 2.6.18, but this was not supposed to cause any breakage, since it should have been possible to use ACPI to determine the supported P-states of the processor.... well, maybe if the ACPI support wasn't buggy. There is an out of tree patch available, that has freq/voltage tables for the Dothan cores, which I'm about to try out, but this got me thinking - what if Windows is not scaling the CPU frequency either? I downloaded a tool called NHC (Notebook Hardware Control) from http://www.pbus-167.com
, and enabled processor freq scaling. I ran a CPU intensive benchmark and noted the results. I then rebooted without NHC, ie, let Windows XP handle the freq scaling, and re-ran the benchmark. The results were about 33% of the previous run. Without NHC, the CPU would apparently never run faster than 600MHz, even though it was capable of bursting to 1.6GHz when under load.
So it appears that Windows XP can't figure out the P-states of the processor either, due to what I suspect is a buggy BIOS and/or ACPI implementation. I'm really angry to think that for nearly two years, this laptop has been running at about 1/3 the speed it's capable of. All because FSC won't get off their bum and update the BIOS.
My next laptop will certainly not be a Fujitsu Siemens.