Medion Akoya E7214

Product Review: Medion Akoya E7214

This is an unusual kind of product review, mainly because it’s for something you can’t buy! This is the official product info, and yes, I did buy it from Aldi, mainly as they offer a 3 year warranty on most electricals.

This is my personal laptop, and has been for four and a half years. That bit is important, because it’s what inspired me to write this review. I’ve just watched a 1hr45m film on my 17″ screen. From DVD, using the four and a half year old original battery. It still showed 19% charge remaining. Frankly I find that incredible! I use this machine an awful lot, all the website work I do is done on it, and I often pull bits of it apart to connect parts from other machines for testing.

It wasn’t a super cheap machine, but was very good value. It cost me £500 when new, but for that you got a mobile Core i3 processor (back when they were still very new), along with 3GB DDR3 RAM (ditto), along with 17.3″ LED 1600×900 screen and a USB DVB-T TV tuner. It also has a spare SATA hard drive bay, which for somebody like me who does a lot of data recovery from broken laptops, is an extremely useful feature.

I’ve replaced the standard DVD-RW drive with a Blu-Ray writer, as I’m a film geek, and watch a lot of movies when I’m away from home. I also replaced the standard 32bit Windows 7 installation for 64bit, mainly so I can add extra RAM if I feel the need. To be honest I haven’t yet, because this thing still feels perfectly quick enough in day to day use.

It is quite a big and heavy laptop, mostly due to the big screen, but that doesn’t bother me at all, especially as it means the keyboard is generously sized, and has a proper numerical keypad. There is also plenty of room for ports, with 3xUSB, E-Sata, Display Port AND HDMI, as well as ethernet, ExpressCard and a memory card reader, on top of the proper optical drive and dual HD capability.

I would definitely have no hesitation in buying another Medion laptop. In fact I did just that when asked by my mother-in-law to get her a new computer. In a way I want to have a reason to get a new one, because new toys are always fun, but at the same time I’m very happy with this one.

Surprisingly decent Acer laptop.

Tonight’s fix-up project has been an Acer Extensa 4220. My friend tried to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows XP, but in doing so he deleted the recovery partition as well as the OS one. He then tried to install from an XP installation CD, but couldn’t make that work either, as the hard drive was not recognised. I was able to realise that the problem was the SATA drive (Windows XP doesn’t have built in drivers). With no floppy drive and no real wish to cook up a custom installation with added drivers, I found a quick easy fix was to edit the BIOS settings to set the SATA controller to use IDE mode. Strictly speaking this isn’t as good as AHCI, which is the default, fully featured setting, but seeing as XP can’t take full advantage anyway it and a small price to pay for making the installation which and easy. It’s a surprisingly quick machine for a Celeron with 1GB of RAM, but then I suppose people used to count memory in megabytes when XP was new!