Medion erazer x6813

The Medion Erazer X6813 stands up very well against competition from Alienware and its M11XR3 and M18X notebooks, and also MSI's similarly specc'd GT680.

At the same price point, Alienware's M11XR3 falls behind in gaming performance but does offer superlative build quality and the Haile Gebrselassie of batteries. The M18X is a frankly ridiculous beast, priced at £2,318, but it's about as mobile as an OAP.

We liked

Medion has done a lot right with the Erazer X6813 gaming notebook. The crucial components are all top-notch. A Sandy Bridge CPU isn't to be sniffed at and will excel in multithreaded applications, thanks to its eight available threads.

The component that gamers really care about is the GPU, and again Medion is on the money by sticking an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M inside the Erazer X6813.

In mobile discrete GPU terms it's just been pushed out of the limelight by Nvidia's new Optimus cards, the GTX 570M and GTX 580M, but it still has more than enough clout to generate playable frame rates from demanding DX11 games, thanks to some solid Fermi architecture.

What the GPU gives the Medion Erazer X6813 in performance, the CPU and RAM add to with aplomb, and for just over a grand the gaming performance it offers looks almost bargainous.

We disliked

The problem is, the whole notion of mobile gaming doesn't stand up too well to scrutiny. For all the fancy mobile components, as soon as you factor in battery life, peripherals and integrated graphics, it seems a tiny bit pointless – the better a notebook performs in games, the heavier and more battery-draining it becomes, making it distinctly less 'mobile'.

The MSI GT680 is really close in performance terms to the Medion Erazer X6813, but costs around an extra £400, which makes the Medion's price tag look more and more appealing. Sadly there are compromises to keep that cost down but still include such quality CPU and GPUs. The Erazer X6813's screen is the worst of the MSI and the two Alienwares, suffering from some seriously washed-out blacks and whites.

Elsewhere, the track pad doesn't always recognise your taps, and the keyboard feels light and low budget. The aesthetic in general doesn't match the gaming notebook vibe and the high-end components inside.

Verdict

So can a gaming notebook with a mediocre screen and build quality be recommended on the grounds of gaming performance alone? It all depends on how you intend to use the Medion Erazer X6813. Its uses are limited by short battery life, but it does compare favourably to other manufacturer's offerings at this price.