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Fusion5 T90-series review: is this budget ‘Amazon’s Choice’ laptop worth buying?

A new breed of small-brand laptops is making waves on Amazon, but can they possibly be good value?

You might not have heard of Fusion5, but its laptops and tablets are all over Amazon. They’re clearly aimed at the budget market and seem to have pretty good reviews, plus the Fusion5 ‘14.1″ Full HD Laptop Computer’, otherwise known as the T90-series, features an ‘Amazon’s Choice’ logo. Can it meet expectations?

To solve the mystery, we’ve put this model through our tough lab tests to see how it fares.

But what can we learn from the spec sheet and marketing material? We’ve reviewed enough budget laptops to get a good impression by looking at the manufacturer’s claims.

Click through to read the full Fusion5 T90 review.

Fusion5 claims vs Which? expectations

Screen: ‘Amazing 14.1-inch Full HD display… for the ultimate portable Windows notebook laptop experience.’

Those are lofty claims, but it is in fact rare for a laptop this cheap to come with a Full HD screen. Our tests have confirmed that this is indeed a Full HD panel, although given the price of this laptop it’s unlikely to be the best screen around.

As the data below shows, only a very small number of budget laptops reach our labs with a Full HD screen; this is only the third sub-£250 laptop to do so since 2014. Conversely, laptops launching with a price of more than £250 are far more likely to have a Full HD (or higher) screen, with 62% of the laptops we’ve tested in the last four years coming with one. In other words, this laptop is a rarity.

Sub-£250 laptops versus £250+ laptops with Full HD screens

Performance: “Brilliant and super fast… play your favorite games in full speed”

This laptop is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor. You can read more about Atom in our guide to Intel processors but, in short, Atom is right at the bottom of the tree. It’s not fast, and while our tests have found that these laptops are usable, they can only handle very basic tasks such as web browsing and document work. They rarely manage to handle more than one modest task at the same time.

Its gaming claims are likely to be unfulfilled unless you enjoy Solitaire or Minesweeper. Similarly, a question on the product listing page claims this laptop will be able to run Photoshop smoothly. We think this is very unlikely, especially if you’re editing high-resolution images shot on a proper camera. 

On average, laptops powered by Intel Atom processors score half a star less than other sub-£250 laptops in our performance assessment.

Storage: “Ample storage space… expand the memory up to 1256GB with a microSD card”

The model currently on sale on Amazon comes with 64GB of storage space. This is enough for anybody who stores most of their files in the cloud or has most of their photos and videos stored on an external hard disk. The model we tested only came with 32GB, which can cause problems when updating Windows 10, but 64GB should be enough as long as you leave around 20GB free for future updates.

The storage expansion claim is true, but only if you buy a separate 1TB (1,000GB) hard disk and a 256GB micro-SD card and install them yourself. The combined cost of these two items would be almost as much as buying another laptop, so it’s better to buy a laptop with the storage you require rather than upgrading later.

Is the Fusion5 T90+ any good?

We’ve seen plenty of great laptops for under £250 over the years, but there’s no doubt this is a difficult market to shop in since manufacturers need to compromise to keep the price down. Sub-£250 models have scored as low as 44% in our tough tests, but we’ve also seen models that get over 70%, so there are certainly bargains to be had.

While Amazon customers appear to be happy with this budget laptop, we’d still urge you to read our full review of the Fusion5 T90+ before shelling out.

If you’re in the market for a budget laptop, you can also check out our guide to the best laptops for under £300, or if your budget stretches a bit further, the best laptops for under £500.

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