If you are looking for an uber-powerful, competitively priced desktop replacement to double up as a Blu-ray home entertainment hub, then look no further than Medion's new £799 all-singing, all-dancing beast.
The Akoya 8610 is to be stocked at Tesco's and Blockbuster's online stores, having the honour of being the first laptops stocked by the DVD and Blu-ray rental giant, with talk from Medion reps this week of some interesting Blu-ray promotions on the way next year.
If Blockbuster offered this laptop for sale at £799 with 100 free Blu-ray rental vouchers, as one rep mooted last night, TechRadar would be first in the queue to buy one next week!
As it is, the £799 price tag is still at least £200 cheaper than other similarly specced machines from brands such as Acer. And, if comparing the price-point with the top-end laptop brands such as Sony or Apple, the value offered here is nothing short of amazing.
Rudimentary design, uber-powerful spec
Of course, if you are in the market for a top-end Sony or Apple laptop, you might be slightly turned off by the rudimentary design of the Medion Akoya.
But if you don't mind a machine that doesn't 'look' as nice as a MacBook Pro or a top-end Vaio, but packs a serious punch, then you need to check the Akoya out.
So what do you get for your £799? An 18.4-inch, 16:9, 1,680x945 pixel display, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, a 320GB hard drive... So far, so good.
But the killer USPs here are the Dolby Home Theatre technology, the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS offering 3D gaming-capable graphics and the Blu-ray player.
You can even shut the screen down and use the Akoya as an under-TV Blu-ray player, hooking it up to your telly and home cinema set-up with a HDMI lead. And, if all that doesn't whet your whistle, how about making use of the in-pack ExpressCard DVB-T tuner with bundled remote control.
Medion also assured TechRadar that the battery is good enough to play an entire Blu-ray movie away from a power source, though we will of course confirm that in our full review as soon as we manage to get hold of a test sample.
They are available next week from Tesco Direct, Blockbuster and Medion's online shop. Get one quick, because if Medion's past performance is anything to go by, they will sell out almost immediately.
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