Your approach is correct : go to forums and make your own opinion.
You'll obviously find people happy with their Fujitsu-Siemens computer and some unhappy.
I'm of these last category.
Getting nervous by -for the moment- small issues that FSC don't even acknowledge. Disappointed by their really poor responsiveness (I really DO NOT ACCEPT that a company just don't reply to emails).
When you browse the forums, you'll see that some problems looks like true design issues as they appear on more than one model (overheating is certainly n° 1, but also bad management of I/O, IRQ, memory, hence lagging issues or bad communication between components, inverters issue, power connector issues, ...).
Just two examples of poor design :
- my Pa1538 cannot work "by design" at full speed (the µp is limited to half speed) on battery
- I experienced a MAJOR issue when going to "suspend" mode : the notebook did not trully go suspend and some components were still working. By chance, the computer did not burn as I went back a few minutes after putting it on sleep but it is sure that it would have been damage otherwhise. It was more than hot ! And power cycling has been necessary to wake it up (the usual wake-up button did not work). I've never been able to reproduce this but for sure it happened once and I'll never use again the suspend to ram feature !
- on some other notebook with design issues, FSC proposed the following workaround : "decrease the graphic hardware acceleration and it will work fine". Is that serious ?
FSC know how to reach me so I'm still waiting for them to become customer oriented
I don't know about other manufacturers (except IBM, but this is not the same class) so the lesson I learned from this buy : never, never again a notebook. If you don't really
need a notebook, buy a desktop (or better : DIY). If you really need a notebook, spend your money nor for features but for reliability. They just cannot produce the same quality as the others with all these features they put in some products (DVI, express pci, card readers, 2GB ram, 4 USB, spidf, ...). Not possible !
PS : again, FSC know me, they have my problems in their files (well, I hope). I'm waiting ...