Medion decided to make its 15.6-inch laptop entirely from plastic, but this doesn't prevent it from having an excellent finish and a sober look. You'll also note that Medion hasn't covered the MD 97762 with the usual panoply of coloured diodes and that those at the front can be turned off. It's always nice to see that a manufacturer has borne in mind that most gamers have actually grown out of using laptops that flash like a fruit machine.
The keyboard and the number pad use the chiclet (separated keys) design with well-proportioned and well-positioned keys. They make for supple, instinctive, agreeable keying and minimise errors.
Although the multi-touch touchpad has a nice, precise glide, it's clearly far too small: 8 cm wide when Medion had 40 cm of chassis to play with. To pull your cursor across the screen you need to run your finger over it four times.
The webcam (720p) gives a good image when the room is well lit. As soon as you're in a darker environment, you lose a lot of detail.
The connectivity covers all the bases. On the left, there are two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and a USB 2.0 port. On the other side you'll find the Blu-ray player, a USB 2.0 port and the audio connectivity (headphones, mic and aux ins/outs). The power in is at the back with the video outs (VGA and HDMI), the Ethernet port and an eSATA port.
The MD 97762 is a relatively noisy model during start-up and when running. It's only ever really quiet when you're displaying the desktop with nothing running in the background. When you see how high the temperature gets, you understand why the fan is running so much: underneath, the casing heats up to over 50°C. It's therefore not a model that you can really use on your lap, unless you like very high temperatures.
The X6813's temperature readings when you push the components hard
Readings taken using a Fluke Ti25 (Distrame) camera
Power socket, RJ45, VGA, eSATA port, HDMI
USB 3.0 port (x2), card reader, USB 2
Headphones socket, mic, audio in, audio out, USB 2.0 port and Blu-ray / DVD rewriter combo
Processor power: watch out, Core i7 inside!
The ERAZER X6813's CPU is a real workhorse. Medion has gone for a Core i7-2630M, which has four physical cores and can launch two threads at the same time on each. It will be about twice as efficient as a processor such as the Core i5-2410M with applications that are optimised for multithreading (sharing processing across all the different cores). It handles office work, file decompression, HD video encoding, 3D modelling and so on and does so rapidly.
You can also play HD 1080p (Blu-ray equivalent) videos without any issues on this machine, which is good news, as this 15.6-inch laptop has its own Blu-ray player.
Windows 7 Home Premium Edition (64-bit) takes 43 seconds to boot. You then have to wait another 10 to 15 seconds for the various pieces of software to load up and for connection to a wi-fi network. It takes under 10 seconds to turn off.
Gaming: excellent performance ... and then some!In addition to decoding HD video, the NVIDIA GTX 460M graphics card also offers excellent gaming performance. Recent video games are perfectly playable at high graphics settings. Even at 1920 x 1080 pixels, the native resolution here, only the most demanding titles such as Crysis require a slight adjustment of your settings.
The Z,S,Q and D keys are red but of course you don't look at your fingers when you're playing. Far more useful are the two gamer buttons Medion has placed beside the on/off switch. One of them turns off the blue diodes on the front and the other turns off the Windows key. Thanks to this second button, you won't find yourself accidentally returning to the Windows desktop, which can cost you dear when gaming online. Having experienced this issue more than once, we would certainly be willing to pay a premium for this feature.
Audio: well-balanced results
With decent connectivity (E/S line, mic, headphones with built-in optical S/P DIF), the X6813 gives well-balanced, good quality sound. All our tests came up smelling of roses.
Less than 1 dB between the lowest and highest: excellent
There is a sudden fall in level with both input ports just under 20,000 Hz. This is probably due to the low-pass filter and shouldn't affect recordings at all. As the above graph shows, the headphones out also works with no problems.
Heavyweight design but low battery lifeIn spite of the fact that the Optimus technology often used with NVIDIA graphics cards (turning the graphics card off when not needed to save battery life) has not been included here, the Medion ERAZER X6813 (MD 97762) gave three hours of video playback—a good score for such a well-equipped machine.
There's no point kidding ourselves, at something over 3.2 Kg, the last thing that you'll want to do with this machine is carry it around on your back all day. We see it more as a replacement for a desktop computer that's taking up too much space in your home.