Not every prospective laptop owner wants fancy frills. Your laptop may not have to be the most swish-looking machine, as long as it performs well and preferably is reasonably priced. This is true of the Medion MD 96480 as, even though the 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5250 processor isn’t the most powerful, a WorldBench real-world speed benchmark of 67 is respectable for a sub-£600 laptop. And this sympathetically priced notebook also features 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive.

The Medion MD 96480 does not look that stylish, but we wouldn’t expect stunning design at this price. The glossy lid is dark grey and smudges easily, but its hinges feel strong and, although it's a hefty 2.8kg, the Medion MD 96480 seems hard-wearing.

The silver interior and black keyboard looks a little more attractive than the outer casing. Although its track pad and keys are quite small and have no scrollbar, this causes no problems in use. The spongy yet responsive keyboard is pleasing to type with. The Medion MD 96480's body is not particularly well designed for convenience, including no volume and media controls or quick access buttons, apart from a power-saving button.

You don't get much in the way og software, and the provided security software - BullGuard Internet Security - is only a 90-day trial. The Medion MD 96480's battery life of 1 hour 26 minutes doesn’t stand up well against other laptops we have tested, either. Despite this, the overall package is good, with a digital Freeview TV tuner, integrated webcam and high definition six-channel surround sound audio.

We found the 15.4in screen a little washed out, although visibility is satisfactory viewing angles are poor. Game play and viewing movies on the screen is also acceptable and, for a laptop of this price, the games test score of 19fps (frames per second), is about par for the course.

Medion MD 96480: Specs

  • 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5250
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB
  • 15.4in
  • 1680 x 1040 display (16:10 format)
  • nVidia GeForce 8600M GS (256MB GDDR2 RAM)
  • 802.11 b/g
  • 1-year pickup and return warranty
  • 359mm x 255mm x 25/36mm
  • 2.8kg
  • 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5250
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB
  • 15.4in
  • 1680 x 1040 display (16:10 format)
  • nVidia GeForce 8600M GS (256MB GDDR2 RAM)
  • 802.11 b/g
  • 1-year pickup and return warranty
  • 359mm x 255mm x 25/36mm
  • 2.8kg

OUR VERDICT

The Medion MD 96480 exceeded our expectations for a laptop priced at just £600. The hard drive capacity, memory and extras such as a TV tuner and integrated webcam make this a recommended laptop to buy for everyday use, entertainment and gaming. Provided, that is, you don’t mind the run-of-the-mill design and minimal software bundle.

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