Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Medion Akoya E2025 D (MD 8356) desktop PC
Medion Akoya E2025 D (MD 8356) review: A tiny tower PC with USB 3.0, HDMI, Wi-Fi and a large 1.5TB hard drive
- Good value
- Good features
- Small size
- No DVI port
- Limited expansion
Costing $599, and equipped with a 2nd Gen Intel Core i3 CPU and other meaningful stats, the Akoya E2025 D, like most Medion products we've seen, is very good value for money. It's a small and neat PC that should appeal to home users and students.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
There isn't an overwhelming choice in the Australian retail market anymore when it comes to cheap tower PCs. Most vendors are seemingly happy enough to offer all-in-one models instead. Come 28 July though, ALDI will once again be stocking one of Medion's little tower PCs. This time, it's the $599 Akoya E2025 D (MD 8356). It's a well featured machine with good speed and it's perfect for students and home users who just want a basic desktop.
For $599 (without a monitor), the Akoya is one of the best value entry-level desktops on the Australian market — it's also one of the few, if not the only one, to feature a Second Generation Intel Core i3 CPU. It supplies plenty of convenient connectivity options, such as inbuilt 802.11n Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and HDMI. It's not perfect though: it has limited upgrade potential, it lacks a DVI port and it couldn't run our old external dual-USB-powered (5V, 1.5A) Maxtor hard drive. We can excuse these problems though as there is some room for expansion in the little case; an HDMI-to-DVI adapter can be used if you don't want to use VGA and your monitor only has DVI; not many people are likely to still be using external USB-powered hard drives as old and power-hungry as our Maxtor.
Specifications and performance
The Medion's Core i3-2105 CPU runs at 3.1GHz, and has two cores and Hyper-Threading. It's a zippy CPU that will provide you with a noticeable increase in speed if you're upgrading from a basic four or five-year-old PC, for example. You also get 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, Intel HD graphics are integrated in the CPU, and you get a 1.5TB Western Digital hard drive. It's the largest capacity we've seen in a PC with a $600 price point, with many vendors opting for 500GB, or 1TB at most.
With this configuration, the Akoya is quick enough to let you do just about anything, including video editing and video transcoding, and a tiny bit of gaming. In our tests, converting a DVD file to a 1.5GB Xvid file took 49min, which is a better result than the previous $599 Medion machine that we looked at: the AMD-based Akoya P5315 D (MD 8351). In our Belnder 3D rendering test, a time of 39sec was achieved; our iTunes MP3 encoding test took 52sec. The Blender result is a little low compared to the previous Akoya, which is understandable as that PC had four cores, but the new Akoya's MP3 encoding time is better.
In 3DMark, the Medion recorded a score of 3976, which isn't mind-blowing. We've seen Sandy Bridge-based notebooks with integrated graphics get a little more than this. Nevertheless, if you want to play games such WoW or StarCraft2, then you will be able to do so, but at relatively low resolution and detail levels. The motherboard in the Akoya doesn't have a DVI port, so you have to make do with HDMI and VGA as monitor connections. If you have a monitor that's a few years old, it might not have an HDMI port, so you'll have to use the analogue VGA connection, which isn't ideal.
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