Aldi and Medion have started 2010 with a bang as they launch a 17.3-inch notebook that is perfect for home offices. It can handle office applications without slowing down and can even entertain you with its large screen and loud speakers.The E7212 does not look like its predecessors, with the unit sporting a brushed grey lid and piano black interior (the older models sport a piano black lid with matte silver interior). While the interior looks great, it is very prone to fingerprint marks and smudges, putting off users who want a clean computer.

Various ports are located on the side of the computer including three USB ports, a microphone, headphone, and audio-in jack, an E-SATA, Ethernet, and Display Port, as well as a 4-in-1 card reader. The unit also has a 1.3-megapixel webcam, microphone, and Wi-Fi built-in. In terms of hardware, the E7212 has an Intel Pentium processor (T4500 @ 2.3Ghz), 4GB of RAM, 320GB of storage, and a DVD/CD drive with burning capabilities.

Medion has also pre-installed Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit), Microsoft Works 9.0, Windows Live Essentials, a trial version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, PowerDirector 8, PowerProducer 5, PowerDVD9, Media Show 4, Cyberlink Power2Go 6, CyberLink YouCam, CorelDraw Essentials 3 + MediaOne, and Bullguard Internet Security.


Click to enlarge
The 17.3-inch LED backlit display has a native resolution of 1600 x 900, giving users a wider view of documents. Movies were displayed in 16:9 widescreen and looked sharp and rich. Audio quality was good too, thanks to its speakers and subwoofer that are Dolby Home Theatre v3 certified.

Despite the good specifications, users must remember that it is not built for 3D extensive applications and high-end gaming. The E7212 does not have a dedicated graphics card and only uses an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator for mobile. The notebook scored 2494 on 3DMark 03 and received a rating of 3.4 on Windows Experience Index (it got a 3.4 on gaming graphics).

The E7212 lasted 145 minutes on our battery drain test (playing a movie with brightness and audio set to maximum), thanks to its 8-cell battery. This means that you can watch a movie and work on your documents for a couple of hours before charging the notebook.

For $799, this computer is worth every dollar. It will definitely not suit those who want to play games or run graphic-intensive applications, but can satisfy the needs of a home office worker. This notebook will be available starting next Thursday, 28 January 2010.