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Advent Sienna 510 review

Budget Intel Core i5 power, but does it have strings attached?

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OK, let's get down to the nitty gritty. We're impressed by the Intel 2.26 GHz Core i5 430M processor that Advent has managed to implement while still keeping the price of the Sienna 510 so low.

Two main benefits of the Core i5 processor family are the hyper-threading and Turbo Boost technologies built into the chip.

Briefly surmised, hyper-threading enables you to carry out a much heavier workload than previous processing technologies, so you'll be able to multitask a greater number of applications than ever before.

Turbo Boost, meanwhile, effectively alters the clock speed of the processor automatically to suit how resource-intensive your workload becomes. So if you're simply typing out a word document, the processor will cruise along at 2.26GHz. But if it senses you running a resource-intensive program, it'll automatically boost its clock speed to 2.53GHz.

The processor is joined by 3GB of DDR3 memory – the latest, fastest and most resource-light memory technology available. The results are impressive.

Advent sienna 510  case view

While it will never produce the awesome power of Intel Core i7-powered machines, such as the Sony VAIO VPCZ12, the Sienna 510 carved its way through our benchmarking tests. It's suited for those looking to run everything from the lightest applications to basic multimedia-type programs.

Unfortunately, the Sienna 510's multimedia performance is somewhat limited due to the Sienna 510's integrated Intel graphics card. This means the latest games and HD video editing are off the menu, but if your needs are basic – such as editing your holiday snaps – there's plenty of power on offer.

If you're after more multimedia performance than the Sienna 510 can offer at a similar price, we recommend you check out the impressive Medion Akoya P6625.

The 320GB hard drive spins at the standard 5400rpm and, unless you own a large multimedia library, should provide plenty of storage for a good couple of years. There's also 802.11n Wi-Fi included for the fastest wireless networking currently available.

Advent sienna 510  battery

Another area where the Sienna 510 falls short is portability. True, its 2.5kg heft is light enough to carry around for extended periods of time without too many issues, but the 112 minute battery life is woeful, and drops to an embarrassing 85 minutes during DVD playback.

Also, as mentioned above, the Sienna 510 isn't really tough enough for arduous travel, and those after a machine for the road should check out Dell's M101z or the Samsung Q330.