Advent Sienna 710 £612
16th Feb 2011 | 10:00
Poor battery life and a generic chassis detract from this Core i7 laptop
Advent is PC World's in-house brand and the Advent Sienna 710 has one of the most powerful specifications in its portable range.
Unfortunately, the ugly chassis and poor battery life are ultimately what stand out.
This laptop features a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, yet the Advent performed worse in our benchmarking tests than the Core i3 and i5 machines. However, further tests proved the 710 can comfortably handle basic multi-tasking with intensive software.
This laptop comes with basic integrated graphics but we had no trouble watching HD video or indulging in some basic photo editing. However, anyone wishing to run recent games or edit video should check out the Samsung Q430-JS02UK or Dell XPS 15 with their dedicated graphics cards.
Battery life: 112 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 150
3DMark 2003: 3512
We generally expect at least three hours of battery life from modern laptops, but the Advent only managed a measly 112 minutes. When watching DVDs this plummets even further to just 76 minutes – not even enough to watch a full-length film.
They say that looks aren't everything, but this machine would also come last in a beauty contest. A generic plastic chassis has been used, which looks plain and rather cheap. However, at least it provides a solid build that should take some punishment at home or on the road.
Usability is respectable considering the generic build. A solid isolation-style keyboard has each key poking through an individual hole cut in the chassis, which results in a well-spaced board that is great for touch typing.
Spreadsheet fans will enjoy the separate numeric keypad, although the textured touchpad isn't as responsive as we would like.
A definite highlight is the 15.6-inch screen, which offers a decent level of brightness. Images are vibrant, although contrast levels aren't as strong. The laptop screen also features highly reflective Super-TFT coating, limiting their use outdoors.
The Advent is rather light on features compared to others at this price, but there's enough space on the 320GB hard drive to carry a huge selection of files and a 4-in-1 card reader to back it up.
Beyond that, there are the standard three USB ports and VGA and HDMI connections for attaching monitors. Wireless networking matches others with 802.11n Wi-Fi, although only the slower 10/100 Ethernet is available for wired networking.
The Advent Sienna 710 has a solid chassis, bright display and strong performance, but its flaws are too pronounced. There's greater value to be had elsewhere in this group.
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