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Medion Akoya S5610 15.4in Notebook PC review

Ardjuna Seghers

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  • Recommended by TR
Medion Akoya S5610 15.4in Notebook PC

Summary

Our Score:

8

Medion might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of computer products here in the UK, but it's actually pretty big in Germany and is associated with a little supermarket you might have been to: Aldi. Those who have looked at the often amazing value-for-money technology deals the chain offers will have come across many Medion products, including Desktop PCs and Notebooks. One of the former is what we'll be taking a look at now, more specifically the 15.4in Akoya S5610, though this particular model isn't being sold through the chain but directly from Medion and Sainsbury's.

As ever, Medion seems to offer fantastic value, since you get a Centrino 2 laptop with a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive for £499. Of course, specifications alone do not a good notebook make, so we're here to see if corners have been cut or if this is one of the better deals you can get.

Taking the S5610 from its box, initial impressions are certainly positive. In some respects it is styled similarly to Sony's Ultra Portable VAIO range, in that it has a large, rounded 'hinge' at the back with the power button on its left side. Hinge has inverted commas because the machine's actual hinges are small ones on both sides, similar to what you'd find on most cheap notebooks.

Still, the design is very attractive, and personally I prefer the Akoya's blue glowing power button to Sony's green version. At this kind of price point, you can't expect much metal or carbon fibre in the construction like with the Sony, but Medion's machine nevertheless features relatively strong and quality feeling plastics, lending the machine a sturdy and reassuring feel.

The entire laptop is finished in graphite black, which is pleasantly discreet and doesn't suffer from fingerprints the way many competitors' glossy efforts do. The lid is subtly curved and is only marked by the Medion and Akoya names in small white lettering.

On the notebook's bottom half there is a transparent ridge towards the front, which in addition to further enhancing the Akoya S5610's visual charm also contains all the machine's status LEDs, making them easily visible even with the lid closed. This is quite a useful feature if, like me, you often leave the lid down while your notebook is downloading or working on a file.

Opening the Medion up, the good impressions continue. As mentioned, the finish is consistent throughout, lending this notebook a sense of cohesion and durability some notebooks lack. The only exceptions are a small silver ring around the inside of the webcam integrated above the display and a silver metal strip which runs just above the keyboard, though both enhance rather than detract from the overall look of the machine.

jingyeow

October 30, 2008, 4:40 am

Please review the Akoya P6612.


The best spec notebook for the money at the moment at 𧻻.99.





http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/...

DangerousQ

October 30, 2008, 11:47 pm

I don't think you've done the medion justice! Why the low scores on design when its only real flaw is a bad Fn key. I think this shouldve been a 9/10 overall based on the words in the review. Its got my attention though I was thinking about the Samsung Q310 but his looks much better.

Martin Daler

October 31, 2008, 1:54 am

further to darkspark88's comment, I would welcome reviews on Aldi's Medion PCs and laptops, and why not their satnavs, as often as they come. Aldi seem to do these great value tech products every now and then, they are on the shelves for a week, and by the time you've found someone who has got one to see if they are as good as they seem, well - they're gone.

Andy Vandervell

October 31, 2008, 1:58 am

@DangerousQ: It's a 7/10 for design because it's solid but unremarkable. That doesn't mean it's bad, but there's nothing particularly unusual or eye-catching, it's just tidy and simple.





@Martin Daler: As regards to other Medion products, specifically those sold at Aldi, what you mention is precisely why we can't review many of those products, including the one mentioned in comments above - most of those offers are just that and never last long enough to be reviewed at those super attractive prices.

Martin Daler

October 31, 2008, 2:14 am

Andy - I take your point that it's not easy to review Aldi's stuff, but hey, if it was easy what would we all need TR for? But I suppose if it's too difficult we could just go to places like this:


http://www.computeractive.co.u...


OK, just goading you a little, their review isn't a patch on yours, in fact there is almost nothing in their review to even suggest they did any more than turn the spec list into prose.

Andy Vandervell

October 31, 2008, 2:30 am

Well, I asked this morning and they said no - can't do much more than that.

jingyeow

October 31, 2008, 5:39 pm

@ Martin Daler and Andy: Tried the Totteham Aldi store on Friday morning, hoping they would have some left, but apparently the store was only allocated 5 and they were gone in the first 5 minutes of the store opening. (Akoya P6612)

TechPastor

November 30, 2008, 2:27 pm

Thanks Ardjuna for the reiew. I actually got to see in this review some close up photos of the laptop which medionshop have not even bothered to provide. It looks really good for the money. The problem is, after reading the review of the Samsung NC10 (The moment I saw the photos of the netbook months ago, I knew that it was going to b a quality above the rest)I am now seriously confused, whether I should go for a notebook (the Medion S5610) or take the jump, (or pluge depending how you look at it) and go for the NC10. Any further advice will be highly appreciated.

MrGodfrey

January 22, 2009, 7:41 am

Although I've just ordered the Samsung R560, I came extremely close to choosing the Medion instead. The one thing that really made the decision for me was that the Medion seemed to be better value... until I found that it's now 㿞 more expensive than when reviewed, presumably due to the currency fluctuations that are being blamed for the recent price hikes throughout the market? In any case, the Samsung has meanwhile got slightly cheaper since review, so the price difference between the models is now down to 䀆.





Having said that, it was still a very hard decision, since there are areas where the Medion seems better... I'd have preferred the less shiny finish of the Medion's casing and the same applies to the monitor, plus it has a larger hard drive. A shame the two machines couldn't have been somehow spliced together making the ideal 𧼐 laptop :)

jeffgrist

February 9, 2009, 3:40 pm

Had my eyes on this one since it came out. As it was such good value at 𧺫 imagine my surprise when i wandered into my local Sainsbury's to enquire about it and found it had been reduced to 𧷣!!! Needless to say, i snapped it up and even then with the VAT changes the final price was 𧷜. An absolute steal and a great laptop.

TechVegan

February 12, 2009, 5:42 pm

@ TechPastor: Sorry for the late reply. If you haven't already made the decision, they're really quite different machines for different purposes. If you want a something that will do everything a desktop can (with the exception of playing high-end games), the Medion Notebook's the one to go for. It will run Vista and other memory or CPU-hungry software without problems,has a DVD-rewriter, offers a bigger, higher resolution screen, etc.


The NC10 is a netbook, which for most people we'd only recommend as a secondary portable PC. If all you want it for is typing, surfing the net, sending emails and games like Peggle or Solitaire, it'll do just fine. But it won't cope with high-definition video (not even 720p), doesn't have an optical drive, digital monitor output, etc.





@jeffgrist: Thanks for that useful tip! At that price, I'd say you'd have to be mad NOT to buy one! In fact - {rushes off to Sainsbury's}

MichaelB

February 13, 2009, 11:04 pm

after reading this excellent article, i took jeffgrist's advice and phoned and ordered one from Sainsbury's Kiln Lane at 𧷣.99 (less the VAT change)which was reserved for me with my name on it AND CONFIRMED AT THAT PRICE..went in yesterday and PHIL WILMOTT refused to honour the price as it had now gone up to 𧼏.99, despite being 'discontinued stock'.''try something new today''well i tried to obtain a little customer service, but sadly failed..i hope your one is working well!

Luke 2

October 11, 2009, 6:19 pm

seems like a good computer and has it where it counts, but theres no getting past the terribly generic looks, despite a few defining features.

TechPastor

January 20, 2010, 4:45 pm

This has turned out to be the noisiest laptop I have ever had. Believe me, you can't use the inbuilt microphone to chat because the noise from cooling fan is so loud. It whistles and hums like a grinder. The problem was there right from the beginning. I thought I could cope with it, but it has got worse and worse. I finally decided to report it. My laptop is just 4 weeks out of the 1 yr warranty period and Medion are demanding £100 + VAT to fix the problem.

William Smith

February 17, 2010, 11:27 pm

Surely that's your fault then if you noticed the problem from the beginning but left it until outside the warranty period to do anything about it?! We've got one and its been fine, runs quickly and quietly and still very well speccd

TechPastor

April 19, 2010, 2:10 am

Sadly there are far too many in my position. I googled the other day and found out that the highest number of complaints about Medion laptops is the noise. Kind of reassuring to know that I am not the only one. I should have known it though. The reason ultra slim laptops from the likes of HP and Sony cost so much is because they have to use a sophisticated cooling mechanism which Medion appeared to have ignored judging by the amount of complaints online

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