Fujitsu-Siemens Scenic S2

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  • Editors' rating
    7.5 Very good

Pros

  • Configurable for quiet operation
  • ports and connectors are easily accessible
  • compact and ergonomic design.

Cons

  • Light on features
  • little scope for expansion.

The most remarkable thing about the Scenic S2 is its case, which can be set up as a desktop or, with the addition of two supports, as a slimline tower unit. Despite its compact dimensions, the Scenic S2 provides all the important connections on the front panel. Inside the case the motherboard is fitted with a 2.2GHz Pentium 4 processor.

Among the functions supported by Fujitsu Siemens’ Pro Manageability software is Thermal Management, which can be adjusted either with a special application or in the BIOS. This allows the system to be set up for the quietest possible operation. If acoustic management of the hard disk is activated, the Scenic S2 becomes quieter still – but there’s a trade-off in the shape of reduced hard disk performance.

Because Fujitsu-Siemens’ D1332 motherboard with its 256MB of DDR RAM can be set up for high performance, low noise and many points in between, the Scenic S2's benchmark performance is something of a moveable feast. Using the default ‘middle’ setting, the system delivered a Business Winstone 2001 score of 44.6. That’s a long way off the fastest desktop PC scores we've recorded, but the Scenic S2 still runs mainstream productivity applications at good speed.

Performance when running high-end applications, as measured by Content Creation Winstone 2002, is also acceptable, the Scenic S2 returning a score of 29.2. The main bottleneck here is probably the system’s Radeon 7000 graphics card, which delivers a moderate score of 1,495 on 3D Mark 2001 (cutting-edge scores are around 8,000). The system, because of its compact dimensions, can take only ‘low-profile’ graphics cards, but is available with a Matrox Millennium G450 DVI, nVidia TNT2 or GeForce2 MX.

Any PCI card fitted in the motherboard’s single slot must also be in ‘low-profile’, half-height format. Access to the inside of the case is tool-free, via two hand screws. AGP and PCI cards, as well as the hard drive, are secured by a plastic clamp. There’s no room for further drives, but one memory slot remains free.

The installed 7,200rpm Maxtor hard drive offers 20GB of space and performs well. The only optical drive is a slimline 24-speed CD-ROM from Mitsumi, but a DVD-ROM drive is available an an option.

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Fujitsu-Siemens has been more generous with port expansion. On the front, there are two USB ports, as well as microphone and headphone jacks. Beside these is a slot for smart cards. With a smart card inserted, you can protect the system using an optional associated PIN. This is activated in the BIOS, but isn’t particularly complex to set up.

The rear panel carries two further USB ports, a game port plus audio input and output, one parallel and two serial ports, a VGA port and two PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse.

The Scenic S2 is available with a dual installation of Windows XP Professional/2000 and/or Windows 98/ME. Windows XP was pre-installed on our review system. In addition, the virus scanner F-Secure, with a one-year update, is bundled in the standard configuration. The Thermal Management utility is provided on CD, but not pre-installed.

Fujitsu-Siemens provides a three-year guarantee for the Scenic S2, with spare parts availability guaranteed for five years.

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