Medion Erazer MD 97623 Gaming Laptop Review

Medion Erazer MD 97623 Gaming Laptop Review
Medion’s Erazer series of computers is designed for games-players, with a range of laptops and desktop computers available.

We’re not sure why it is that companies producing games computers decide they have to be outlandishly designed and named, but that’s certainly the case here.

Apart from the silly name, the Erazer X6811 we are reviewing has a tough-looking plastic case and, inside, an oddly shaped screen bezel that surrounds the good 15.6 inch display. It’s available exclusively from Medion direct.

There are several X6811 models available, and the one we’re looking at, model number MD 97623 has an Intel Core i5-460M processor with 4GB of memory. It has an Nvidia Geforce GTX460M graphics card which has 1,536MB of its own memory.

There’s a 640GB hard disk which is enough to store plenty of music, video and games, as well as a DVD drive that will read and create all CDs and DVDs but not newer Blu-ray discs.

The combination of the processor and graphics card are enough to justify Medion’s categorisation of this as a gaming laptop.

It scored very well in our games tests and although it did less impressively in the DVD copying test, which simulates a processor-intensive real-world task of copying and compressing a DVD movie, it did as well as we would expect from any laptop at this price. Some games will still need to have the detail settings turned down, but it’s enough for decent performance in most titles.

Medion describes the laptop’s keyboard as ‘gaming optimised’ which in practice means that the W, A, S and D keys have red and white arrows printed on them to remind the player that those keys are usually used for movement. Likewise for 2, 4, 6 and 8 on the numeric keypad.

Medion has done well to squeeze the keypad in, though, and it’s something that players of flight simulators, among others, will appreciate, as those keys are frequently used for in-game functions. The keyboard itself, though shallow (keys don’t travel far when pressed), was comfortable enough, and the keys were well-spaced to avoid hitting the wrong ones.

The touchpad could have been bigger. It’s described as being ‘multi-touch’ so you can use a pinching motion with two fingers to zoom out of a document, for instance, but we couldn’t get any such gestures to work, and nor was there an option to enable them.

Though the speakers mounted at the top of the keyboard are small, they produced good sound, capable of reaching reasonable volumes without distorting. However, as with all small speakers, the sound lacked depth in both low bass and mid-range, leading to a very slight tinniness.

It has connections for headphones, microphone and surround sound, as well as a memory card reader, VGA socket for attaching a monitor, HDMI for a flat-panel TV and an Express Card expansion slot.

There are two USB2 sockets and two that use the faster USB3 standard (though USB2 devices can be attached too), and it can connect to wired and wireless networks and Bluetooth devices. A webcam with microphone is mounted into the top of the screen.

The Erazer MD 97623 comes with the 64-bit edition of the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, along with Microsoft Office 2010 Starter. It’s not particularly portable at 3.3kg, has a battery life of under two hours in a fairly intensive test, and although the case looks tough it’s not actually shockproof.

There’s also an enormous power supply ‘brick’ which supplies the 150W required – quite a lot for a laptop. Cleverly, though, the case is large enough to include a spare hard disk slot so you can expand the storage capacity without replacing the existing disk.

This Erazer model combines good storage with impressive gaming power, making it good for players who don’t want a full desktop computer.

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