There are pretty much two reasons why you're now reading this Medion Akoya E6300 D review. A) you're a regular reader of TechRadar and therefore fairly tech-savvy with a passing interest in a cheapo machine, or B) you've seen this rig in your local Aldi store and just googled the name to find out if it's any good.
Either way the conclusion is still going to be the same...
The problem is that it's actually quite hard not to be very cynical about this machine. It's being sold in a selection of Aldi supermarkets and so both Medion and Aldi are taking a cut. And so that means you're getting less for your money than if you bought direct from an etailer.
Somewhere along the line Medion has picked up a lot of old, mostly obsolete, slow Phenom X4 9650 chips and is bundling them with some other weak components and marketing the machine as an ideal student PC. Ideal it isn't.
GUTS: the barron insides of the Medion Akoya E6300 D reveal no redeeming qualities
The problem is that there are many alternative retailers out there offering far superior machines for around the same money.
We're aware that this Medion machine is not aimed at the tech-savvy audience - hence the positioning in Aldi - but quickly totting up a comparatively priced machine from www.scan.co.uk we were able to set up the more modern Phenom II X4 810 (running at a speedier 2.6GHz) with a 750GB HDD, 4GB RAM and an ATI HD4850. It's a much more powerful system and for only £20 more than the Akoya E6300 D.
Another problem with the marketing of this machine as an ideal student rig is that although it comes with a keyboard and mouse kit it doesn't actually come with a monitor.
For that you're going to have to spend at least another £150 odd for a decent screen, putting the costs dangerously close to the £600 mark. And for £600 you can get an awfully good laptop, and surely that's going to be of more use to your average student, isn't it?
But if you do want the security of having an upgradeable desktop PC then you can pick up some impressive bargains for less than the £600 price of the Akoya E6300 D plus screen. The CyberPower Infinity Yin is only £550 and comes complete with a 19" widescreen monitor, superior AMD processor and better ATI graphics.
PERIPHERALS: the PC comes with a typically low-end keyboard and mouse set
But as we said, this Medion machine isn't being targeted at the tech-savvy, and with good reason. The tech-savvy ultimately wouldn't give the Akoya E6300 D the time of day.
For all the marketing spiel about the HD 4550 offering 'a high performance visual experience' it's absolutely not a high performance part.
FRONT: the card reader at the front is one of the only welcome features
There's little hope of a decent gaming experience from the card, especially not compared with the HD 4830 that the CyberPower Yin is sporting. In our benchmarks it managed a less than impressive 14 frames per second in AMD-friendly racer GRID and a miserly 10 frames per second in World in Conflict, both running at a fairly limited 1280x1024 resolution.
BACK: Four USB ports are joined by onboard sound and ethernet. At least the graphics card has an HDMI out
But if all you're interested in is a little light productivity work and some web-browsing then buy one of the raft of £399 laptops that are blighting the market these days. Dropping over £400 on a base unit with a screenless, aging specification instead just seems like utter madness.
It's for these reasons that we couldn't possibly find a single reason to recommend the purchase of Medion's Akoya E6300 D, so it's probably best to stop looking for one.
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