|Positive points about your laptop:
||Processor: Intel Pentium M 740 (1730 MHz) Ram:1gb DDR2 Graphics adapter: ATI Mobility Radeon X700 (128 MB)Display: 15.4 inch 16:10 (1280x800 pixels)HDD:100 gb Hitachi drive (sata)Weight: 2.9 kg
I/O ports:4 USB ports, DVI output, S video out ,gigabit lan,56k modem,7.1 audio out via Realtek high definition audio, spdif out,1394 port
Communication: Infrared, Bluetooth and wifi via Intel pro 2200BG adapter
Security: fingerprint scanner
Build and Design:
Aesthetically speaking, the laptop has an overall silver finish with neat corners and a dark grey finish for the keyboard and display. The ergonomics of the laptop are poor mainly because of its enormous size. The 15 inch screen is partly to blame for this but having it really makes life easier. The laptop is not too thick tipping in at around an inch. The keyboard is not too cramped and the keys have just the right amount of feedback. The touchpad on the other hand is a totally different issue and is not very smooth and responsive so it needs some getting used too.
Display,ports and features:
The 15” display is by far the best I have seen in any laptop. The high gloss Samsung lcd displays rich colors and textures look nice and crisp. The native resolution unfortunately is a peculiar 1280x800.Not a hindrance whilst working but it becomes a problem once you start playing games.
The machine has 4 USB ports which I feel is kinda selling itself short .Also the absence of an eSata or an HDMI port are annoying but tolerable.
The laptop scores a healthy 2700 is 3dmark03 .Since it does not have pixel/vertex shader 3.0 , there is no use running 3dmark06.The x700xl has 128 mb of dedicated DDR2 ram and it has 4 pipelines. Thus, older games like quake 3 give 100+ fps on the native resolution.
The laptop runs vista with ease and it shows an average of 4.3 using WEI which is commendable considering the fact that the laptop is over 2 years old. Also Applications such adobe audition ,ableton live ,Sony sound forge , Sony Vegas studio etc .run with no lag whatsoever on this machine.
The laptop is equipped with a realtek High definition audio chipset with the ability to drive a 7.1 speaker system. It also has an Spdif out so you can send the audio signal directly to an external decoder/Av receiver. For a laptop, the audio quality is above average and its compatibility with asio4all is an added bonus. Since I do a lot of audio recording via real time instruments, the low latency obtained using the asio drivers really makes the recording session that much more fun and easy to work with. But then again, the latency could be lower say in the range of 5-10 ms each way instead of the obtained 21 ms .
Heat, noise and battery life:
.The most annoying aspect of the laptop is the temperature control. Yes, this laptop does get really hot. The laptop overheats very quickly reaching in excess of 65 c in less than an hour of usage. Only if you enable speed step or control it through nhc can you operate the laptop at sane temperatures. These tools drop the clock speed to 800 MHz and thus maintain the full load temperature at around 55 c .But then again, you have the equilateral reduction in performance. So if your gaming, make sure you are in a cool environment. The noise levels on the other hand are very low .Even when operating under full load with the fan running full tilt, it is barely audible .Now coming to battery life, the battery lasted 124 mins using a battery drain test which is just about enough to watch a full DVD movie.
Overall, the medion 96500 has a great feature set and a brilliant display. It can handle previous generation games with ease and it is solidly built. The fingerprint scanner gives you an addition security feature which privacy fanatics will come to enjoy using. Medion’s after sales support has also been exceptional and I have solved a number of problems by sending them an email especially the overheating issue. It was solved through a fan firmware and bios update and runs at much better temperatures now. At the end of the day, it was money well spent.