It's like a reliable van or a family 7-seater. It might look unwieldy but it does the job incredibly well
Gaming laptops are rarely beautiful. Instead they tend to trade looks for functionality, feather-lightness for guts, and portability for pure power. There are exceptions of course: the Razer Blade laptop was a sleek machine that looked like something out of a Predator film, merged with the stealth of a panther. But sadly not all can be so sexy.
The new machine from Medion falls into the older class of laptop aesthetics. A time when engineers chose functionality over design. The idea of ‘portability’ merely meant that you could haul the equipment from the desk to the table to the library. It was a technicality; a bullet point on a specifications list.
Much like a games console or a television is arguably portable – you just have to be bothered to actually hoick the thing across whichever city you are based in – so too is this laptop. One could argue that the Erazer is more of a desktop replacement than a device designed for use on the go.
But saying that, the Erazer is kind of like a reliable van or a family 7-seater. It might look unwieldy but it does the job incredibly well. Underneath the faux-metal chassis the X7829 packs an Intel Core i7 processor, the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics and a whopping 16GB of RAM. Combined they create blistering graphics through a 17.3” matte HD screen.
It’s the kind of machine that laughs in the face of high intensity games. I was able to open Dishonoured as well as a cluster of programs including a film in the background. Admittedly the fan sounds like a light aircraft leaving Biggin Hill, but programs still jump in and out of the taskbar with ease. There’s even a boost mode for the fan, activated with a touch-sensitive button.
In terms of other games, it can run Titanfall and Wolfenstein and with DirectX 11 it will be future-proofed for a good while. It comes with a Blu-ray drive, so it’s great if you want to catch up on House of Cards in HD. The massive 1TB hard-drive can store most of your games while 128GB solid-state drive makes sure everything boots up quickly and smoothly.
The matte screen is both a boon and bust. It does mean you can play games wherever, without glare, but it means there’s quite a small angle of perfect sight and, at least for this reviewer, the blacks aren’t quite as dark as we would like and the screen can at times seem a little dull.
Underneath the hood, nestled somewhere, is Windows 8.1 – Microsoft’s latest operating system. Thankfully it’s a great improvement to Windows 8, although some casual users will still find it hard to find the certain programs they want.
Gaming laptops are curious things. You don’t necessarily buy them with the idea of popping down to a café to play Crysis 3. Instead they are more about possibility and potential. Why have a desktop computer – that unwieldy beast of a device – when you can have a laptop that can play most of the same games but can be dragged up to the parents’ house at Christmas? It’s a certain niche, then, the Erazer. It’s expensive – there’s no doubt about that – but it is powerful. It’s not beautiful, but it’s reliable – and when it comes to the gaming laptop market, people want a machine that won’t burn out rather than a pretty peacock that can slip into a snug little case to be taken away on the go.