With the Medion Akoya S5610 you get a lot of laptop for the money – a £599 2GHz Centrino 2 notebook with 15in glossy widescreen.

When not selling direct online, German company Medion normally sells through the Aldi chain in the UK. But its latest budget-friendly notebook, the Medion Akoya S5610, also sells in Sainsbury’s, for just £599.

We say ‘just’ because with the Medion Akoya S5610 you get a lot of laptop for the money – a 2GHz Centrino 2 machine with 15in glossy widescreen and all the trimmings.

Among those fittings is a dedicated graphics card, something not always seen at this price, enabling the Medion Akoya S5610 to be used for some 3D gaming. Also present is an eSATA port for high-speed data connection, an HDMI output for connecting to modern TVs and displays, and a fingerprint reader.

By Windows laptop standards the Medion Akoya S5610 is a relatively svelte 29mm thick and weighs 2.7kg, so it doesn’t entirely fit into the ‘desktop replacement’ camp, at least when the term is used as euphemisticaly for a laptop that’s too big to carry around daily.

And in performance terms the Medion Akoya S5610 is certainly no slouch, returning an impressive WorldBench 6 score of 88. To put that into context, Apple’s 2.4GHz MacBook Pro scores 86. And to demonstrate that the revised Centrino 2 chipset fulfils Intel’s claims for low power drain, we got 3 hours 12 minutes of unplugged life in our MobileMark 2007 productivity battery test.

The graphics card inside the Medion Akoya S5610 is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD3470, with which we were able to achieve a framerate of 12 frames per second using our usual FEAR graphics test at maximum quality settings. By dropping this to a ‘high’ setting we recorded a useful 26fps.

Build quality is quite good, with an all-plastic construction in textured black finish, and the Medion Akoya S5610’s large keyboard is easy to type on. Medion has even included a complete numeric keypad to the right. On the right of the chassis sits a dual-layer DVD burner, which can optionally be replaced with a second 320GB hard drive. The only quibble on our sample was a cooling fan that sounded clunkier than we’d like when it started up.

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Medion Akoya S5610: Specs

  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
  • 15.4 (1280x800) glossy display
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 3GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD3470 graphics card with 256MB VRAM
  • 8x dual-layer DVD±RW drive
  • 2 x USB
  • eSATA
  • HDMI
  • VGA out
  • ethernet
  • mic/line-in, line-out, S/PDIF optical digital out
  • 1.3Mp webcam
  • ExpressCard 54
  • multicard reader
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 26W power consumption
  • 363x268x29mm
  • 2.73kg
  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
  • 15.4 (1280x800) glossy display
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 3GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD3470 graphics card with 256MB VRAM
  • 8x dual-layer DVD±RW drive
  • 2 x USB
  • eSATA
  • HDMI
  • VGA out
  • ethernet
  • mic/line-in, line-out, S/PDIF optical digital out
  • 1.3Mp webcam
  • ExpressCard 54
  • multicard reader
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 26W power consumption
  • 363x268x29mm
  • 2.73kg

OUR VERDICT

In the Akoya S5610 Medion has assembled a powerful laptop that combines the virtues of reasonable size and weight with a raft of useful fitments such as dual-layer DVD burner, eSATA port, webcam and card readers. The Medion Akoya S5610 is a great value laptop that delivers high performance at low cost.

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