You can get passable gaming performance from a laptop for around £700 – as long as you don’t mind keeping down the resolution and graphical settings a bit. But if you really want to enjoy smooth graphics at a high resolution, you’ll currently have to pay around £1200 or more.
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However, Medion’s Erazer X7819 (MD98392) throws down an impressive-seeming gauntlet to its gaming rivals. It’s not the most powerful gaming laptop we’ve seen, but its performance could satisfy all but hardcore gamers while still coming in under £1000.
Like most gaming laptops the Medion Erazer X7819 is something of a beast in girth and mass, sporting a large 17.3in screen and a weight so great it broke our scales. Medion specifies it at 3.9kg, not including another kilo for the mains charger.
It looks impressive though, as the sturdy plastic chassis has a smart fake-metal finish, joining the gratuitous glowing lights that usually go with the shoot-’em-up territory
There are several models in the Erazer range, wielding either 15.6in or 17.3in displays, with prices going as far as £1400. We tested the entry-level model, which costs £899 and had a quad-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM processor, 16GB memory, and 750GB hard drive.
We noticed that the current model on sale lists only 8GB of memory though.
As well as the built-in Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics there’s a dedicated nVidia GeForce GTX 670MX processor with 1.5GB of video memory.
We were pleased to see that the Erazer’s screen has a non-reflective matt finish; but disappointed to find that it’s been downsized to 1600 x 900 pixel dimensions, where 1920 x 1080 is the natural fit for a screen this size. Model with an HD display are available, busting the £1000 barrier.
Medion Erazer X7819: Performance
The brightness and viewing angle aren’t good, with the image darkening noticeably if your head moves more than about 45 degrees to the side.
The Medion Erazer X7219 scored a downbeat 3375 points in the PCMark 7 benchmark test. The hard-disk drive also means this laptop boots sluggishly – around 45 seconds to get up enough steam to launch Windows programs (with no anti-virus installed).
But once the Erazer hits its stride it does provide very good gaming performance for a machine in this price range.
With Batman: Arkham City the Erazer managed a comfortable 40fps at 1600 x 900 resolution with DirectX 11 and High graphics settings.
Stalker: Call Of Pripyat ran similarly well, hitting 50fps with its High graphics settings. We were even able to nudge Batman up to 50fps using DX11 graphics after dropping down to Medium detail settings.
The cooling fan did hum noticeably, even with the graphics switched to integrated. You could always use the loud speakers to try drowning out the fan when playing games or watching films. You’ll also have to contend with their tinny sound though.
The keyboard and trackpad are large and firm enough to take a pounding during gaming sessions, and several keys – including the WASD gaming control combo – are highlighted in red to enhance visibility. The main mouse click buttons, left and right attached to one pivoted bar – proved too stiff for comfortable use.
Battery life is a mixed bag. We were able to get a little over four hours use, when streaming video with the Intel HD Graphics 4000; and just 90 minutes when gaming.