This Aldi-special notebook is a good home workhorse
Correction: the review originally stated that this laptop's price was £480. It is actually £500.
The Aldi special Medion Akoya P6512 is a standard laptop with a 15.6in widescreen display. That gives plenty of room for its large keyboard, and although the keys are shallower than we would have liked, they were well spaced-out to avoid any butterfingers typing mistakes. There is even room for a numeric keypad.
The screen was bright and clear, with an anti-glare coating to avoid the distracting reflections that sometimes affect glossy computer screens under bright lights or sunshine.
The 300GB hard disk is reasonable but not large by modern standards, and there is a DVD writer on one side that will read and create all CDs and DVDs, though not newer Blu-ray discs.
An AMD Athlon II P320 dual-core processor provides the heart and brains of the computer, with 3GB of memory (again, a fair amount) and the 32-bit version of the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system installed.
The laptop also has a graphics card installed, an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470. This should give plenty of support to the computer when it’s working through tasks such as video editing and even some recent games, though you may have to turn down the quality settings a little. The graphics card has 512MB of its own memory to work with.
Some decent software is installed too. It includes Coreldraw Essentials 4, a cutdown version of the popular drawing and photo-editing package; Cyberlink software for playing DVDs, and Ashampoo programs for making them. It’s also the first computer we have seen that includes the new Starter edition of Microsoft Office 2010. This is a free version of the full-blown Microsoft Office suite, supported by advertising that appears in the corner of the screen.
There are three USB ports – although we would have preferred more – including HDMI and VGA sockets to attach screens, headphone and microphone sockets and a memory card reader. A webcam is fixed in the top of the screen and it can connect to wired and wireless networks as well as Bluetooth devices.
One oddity is that the large touchpad is surrounded, when the computer is on, by a distractingly bright thin blue light that we couldn’t figure out how to disable. It turned out there was a function-key combination (Fn and F7) to do so.
This Aldi special Medion Akoya P6512 laptop is going on sale on Sunday August 8. These deals tend to sell briskly, so if you are interested it’s worth calling to find out whether your local branch is likely to have any available.
Decent price, decent specifications, even if nothing stands out
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