Medion Akoya S5610 review

£486
Price when reviewed

At this price, it comes as little surprise that the S5610’s specification isn’t quite as exotic as its competitors, but it’s blessed with a solid assortment of hardware. The Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 processor runs at a relatively modest 2GHz, but Medion generously supplies 3GB of memory. As a result, it’s far from underpowered, as a score of 1.01 in our benchmarks testifies.

Medion Akoya S5610 review

Medion has even found room in the budget for dedicated graphics, courtesy of ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD3470 chipset. It still isn’t enough to cope with Crysis at anything more than Low settings – it managed just 8fps in the Medium benchmark – but it’s a few frames faster than the Nvidia 9300M GS found in rival machines.

With such a solid core specification it’s amazing that Medion has managed to build such a sturdy, good-looking laptop. The gentle curves and slim wedge design belie the modest price tag, and although the lid doesn’t give the display as much protection as we’d like, general build quality is stout.

The array of ports and connectors is comprehensive, too: HDMI, VGA, eSATA and ExpressCard/54 – the Medion has them all. There’s even a fingerprint reader nestling between the trackpad’s pleasantly clicky buttons.

The keyboard continues in this impressive vein. A numeric keypad nestles to the right, and each key has a good amount of travel plus a clean, positive action that makes light of long periods of typing. A bright, crisp 15.4in display rounds off the package nicely; only a slight lack of contrast gives away its budget origins.

The fly in the ointment is battery life, with the S5610 managing just over three hours under light use and 1hr 30 mins in intensive conditions – scores that place the Medion firmly in the bottom half of the table this month.

Were it not for the supremely stiff competition, and the disappointingly curt battery life, the Medion would have walked away with a Recommended award. As it stands, though, it’s still an impressive budget laptop that won’t disappoint if every pound counts.

Warranty

Warranty1 year(s) return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions362 x 268 x 32mm (WDH)
Weight2.7kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P7350
Motherboard chipsetIntel PM45 Express
RAM capacity3GB
Memory typeDDR2
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size15.4in
Resolution screen horizontal1,280
Resolution screen vertical800
Resolution1280 x 800
Graphics chipsetATi Mobility Radeon HD 3470
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Drives

Capacity320GB
Hard disk usable capacity295GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA 300
Hard diskWestern Digital WD3200BEVT
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveSamsung SN-SO83A
Battery capacity4,500mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT£50
Replacement battery price inc VAT£58

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
Modemno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots1
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)2
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks3
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
TPMyes
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use190
Battery life, heavy use90
Overall application benchmark score1.01
3D performance (crysis) low settings27fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodRecovery disc
Software suppliedNero Burning ROM 8 Essentials, Nero Recode 2 Essentials

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