German manufacturer Medion has entered the gaming laptop market with the Erazer X6811, a powerful portable that comes in at under £1000.

With Intel Core i5 power and Nvidia graphics on board, this gamer offers excellent value for money.

Most gaming laptops feature a garish, eye-catching design, but Medion has opted for a more conservative look here. The brushed aluminium finish is smart and attractive and the chassis is firm, with only a hint of flex along the right edge.

It's quite chunky at 54mm, but the 3.3kg weight makes this one of the lightest gaming laptops we've seen.

The 213 minutes of battery power is average considering the high-powered components used here.

The Intel Core i5 460M processor is backed up by 4096MB of memory and we found performance excelled. The latest games run smoothly even on top detail levels, helped considerably by the dedicated Nvidia GPU featuring an impressive 1536MB of video memory. Multimedia tasks such as editing video are a breeze.

While the 15.6-inch display isn't as sharp as we would have liked, it still produces satisfying detail when gaming and is highly vibrant. The viewing angle is quite narrow, but the screen can easily be tilted far back to help you find the perfect position.

Usability is good, thanks to a well laid out isolation-style keyboard. Each key is separated from its neighbours by a gap, so you're less likely to hit the wrong key when touch-typing or playing games.

Decent usability

Most of the keys are a comfortable size, even with the addition of a separate numeric pad, although the Return key has been squashed to fit in a single row. There's also a little flex in the centre of the board, but the action isn't too spongy as a result.

We found the touchpad to be smooth and responsive, although hardcore gamers will want to plug in a mouse. Four USB ports allow plenty of space for attaching peripherals and two of them use the latest, high-speed USB 3.0 technology.

Medion has also packed in an ExpressCard port, an SD Card reader, an eSATA port and both VGA and HDMI connections for hooking up an external monitor. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi are on board for speedy wired and wireless networking.

The 640GB hard drive provides a generous amount of storage for your games and media collections, and there's even a second hard drive slot in place to easily upgrade if you run out of space.

Considering the low price, we were highly impressed by the power and quality offered by the Erazer X6811. Strong build quality, a subtle design and surprising portability round off a great gaming machine.

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