Medion Akoya P2212T 2-in-1 Windows 8 tablet
Medion's hybrid tablet and laptop product offers great specifications at a competitive price, but that's something we've come to expect from the German brand
- Full HD screen
- Good amount of built-in ports
- Build quality is creaky
- The Enter and Shift keys that have a physical UK keyboard shape
Brace yourselves for another Medion product at Aldi on 26 March. This time it's an Akoya P2212T 2-in-1 device that can be used as a tablet and as a notebook. It has good specs for the price you pay, including a Full HD screen and extra storage, but don't expect a refined design and top-notch build quality.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Medion has now moved into the realm of 2-in-1 hybrid products, offering a new Akoya (P2212T) laptop that can act as both a Windows 8.1 tablet and as a notebook thanks to a removable keyboard base. It’s an 11.6in device with a familiar look and feel as far as Medion products go, which is to say the build quality isn’t premium, but it offers specifications that might make you do a double-take considering its $599 price tag. It will be available from Aldi supermarkets on 26 March.
Note: Our review of the newer Medion Akoya P2214T.
Using the Akoya as a tablet
Primarily, the Akoya P2212T offers a screen that has a Full HD resolution, and it’s not a bad screen to look at, at all. When you pull the screen off the base to use it as a tablet, it can be seen quite clearly from all angles, regardless of the way you are holding it. It has a decent brightness, its colours are good enough for viewing photos and movies, but, like most glossy touchscreens, it can produce a ton of reflections that could cause annoyance in well-lit environments.
All of the processing power is located within the 11.6in slate portion of the Akoya, and this includes an Intel Celeron N2920 CPU (1.86GHz, four cores), 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid state drive (good for about 86 megabyte per second reads and 41MBps writes in CrystalDiskMark). This configuration makes the Akoya P2212T feel quite zippy for everyday Web browsing and social media tasks, and you'll also have no problems watching up to 1080p content from YouTube. Other online video sources, such as NBA League Pass, dropped a few frames when we used the maximum image quality for that service, but was still watchable.
With an 11.6in size, it’s not as light as a typical tablet, tipping our digital scales at a noticeable 824g. This means that it can be a little tiring to hold for a prolonged period of time, meaning you will have to rest it in your lap or find other ways to use it during extended sessions of touchscreen usage. You can have a lot of good times with it if you use the touchscreen with the modern UI of Windows 8 and its news, sports and photo apps, and even apps like Twitter and Reddit can be fun to browse in this environment.
The tablet is quite easy to grip due to having a relatively wide bezel that’s 23mm at the sides, and the rear plastic lid has a brushed texture, rather than a glossy finish. A capacitive Windows key is located along the bottom of the tablet, but it wasn’t always immediately responsive during our test period, usually taking a couple of taps before it would work. You can tell when it has worked because apart from the screen switching, a blue LED flashes underneath it.
Around the edges of the tablet you get a good array of ports, including one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 (these are full-sized), a microSD card slot, a headset port, and Micro-HDMI. These give the Akoya good versatility for getting data on and off the tablet, expanding its storage, and also for hooking it up to a big-screen TV. There is a power button on the left, and this sits just above the volume controls. Other features that are useful in this tablet are dual-band, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
It’s a good unit to consider if you want a touch interface through which to stream music to a Bluetooth stereo or Bluetooth speakers. We used a Bluetooth receiver to stream music from Google Play Music to our stereo quite easily. But, there was a problem: when we held the tablet with our hand at the top right corner, the music stuttered and eventually stopped playing. It seemed as though the signal was blocked by our hands in that scenario.
Using the Akoya as a notebook
When the Akoya is sitting in its dock, not only do you get a keyboard with which to work on your opus, but also a couple more USB 2.0 ports, and a pass-through power port so that you can charge the unit like a laptop. That said, the tablet itself also has a charging port — you can't just charge it through a micro-USB port. When the charger is plugged in, a little blue LED comes on at the top of the tablet screen, facing you, which is annoying.
The other thing that the keyboard dock provides is extra storage. It has a built-in 500GB hard drive that can be used for storing large swathes of data, be they music, photos, videos, or anything else you may wish to cart around with you. It gives the Akoya a different dimension compared to other Windows tablets that have to rely on Cloud services, local network resources, or external drives for more storage.
The base weighs 874g, which means the overall weight of the 2-in-1 Akoya P2212T is a hefty 1.69kg. It’s the not the best built keyboard dock that we’ve seen, and its hinge, which doubles as the mount for the tablet screen, is a little crude. Unless you slide the screen in at the perfect angle, with the docking port and the two mounting slots all lined up correctly, it can be difficult to make the two parts connect. Furthermore, releasing the tablet from the keyboard dock requires you to manipulate a sliding lever that is placed too close to the screen and has barely any grip on it. As we mentioned early on, it’s not a refined product, but you soon learn to deal with these things to get the tablet in and out with a minimum of fuss.
We’re not fans of the keyboard on this laptop, which is a keyboard that (on our test unit, at least) has keys that have a physical shape similar to a UK-style keyboard, rather than a usual US-style keyboard. This means the Enter key is tall rather than wide, and the left Shift key is short and next to an extra slash (among other things). You might find yourself having to slightly modify the way you type in order to hit the correct keys.
We undertook our usual battery rundown test on this device, in which we disable Windows power management, enable and connect to Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness, and loop a video file in Windows Media Player. The Akoya’s battery lasted a very useful 7hr 23min in this test, purely as a video player. How much life you get out of the unit during regular usage will depend on the type of tasks that you run. If all you are doing is browsing the Web or reading ebooks while the screen brightness is low-to-medium, then you might get 8.5 hours of it. If you watch a lot of YouTube or visit Web sites with lots of Flash elements, then you might only get five or six hours out of it.
Considering the Full HD screen, the good amount of built-in ports, and the useful battery life for video playback, the $599 price point of the Akoya P2212T is appealing. Due to the low price, don’t expect a light and exceedingly well-built product — it’s no ASUS Transformer Book T100 in terms of the way it feels and functions, for example, but it does offer more specs.
The tablet on its own feels okay (though it can get warm at the bottom-left corner when the CPU has to put in lots of work), but the base is a little clunky and creaky. Other things that point to a less than great experience are the ease with which the Bluetooth signal from the tablet was blocked, and some of the design features, such as the power LED being right in your face when the charger is plugged in.
As with most things Medion, though, it’s worth taking a punt on this tablet, especially since its configuration is quite good and its screen is of the Full HD variety. The notebook functionality of the Akoya is a bonus, though the keyboard's UK-style keys are a drawback and some of you may find them awkward to use during serious typing sessions.
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