Another heavyweight contender, the Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525 also boasts a whopping 18.4in screen. At 3.77kg it's not going to be something you'll chuck in your bag to stop you getting bored on the train to work, but that large screen and 2.1-channel speaker system pack a considerable multimedia punch.
With a rather industrial-looking grey-on-black design the Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525 is some way behind its nearest competitor, the Acer Aspire 8943G, in both looks and build quality although it will cost you a hundred pounds less.
You can feel the effects of the spending cuts throughout the Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525 system: missing are touches such as the wireless remote control and fancy illuminated control panels.
With the Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525 you also get a lower-resolution 1680x945-pixel display which falls short of the 1920x1080 available from full HD - but you don't get a Blu-ray drive either.
It does have by far the brightest screen of the group. Combine that with its matt surface and you get a display that's much easier to read than the high-gloss versions available elsewhere. Unfortunately, like the Sony VAIO, the Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525's display suffers from slightly muted colour reproduction.
Instead of the fancy 5.1 surround-sound system you get a more sensible 2.1 stereo speaker set. We actually found it did a better job of playing music than the more expensive Acer Aspire 8943G. The Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525 lacked some definition in the treble but provided a much richer and more satisfying bass response.
The 2.27GHz Intel Core i5-430M is the slowest processor of the group and the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5165 graphics chip is more like a souped-up HD 4650, and doesn't offer the Direct X11 support offered by the rest of the 5000-series GPUs.
Still, with 104 points in WorldBench 6 the Medion Akoya P8613 MD97525's just a single point behind the faster 2.53GHz HP model.
At almost 3.5 hours (207 minutes), battery life is average although not bad for a laptop of this size. It's helped by the large 70Wh Li-ion battery.
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