German consumer electronics company Medion have had mixed success in the mobile computing industry. The technology company remains immensely popular throughout Europe, though their attempts at breaking into the global laptop and netbook market have been largely unsuccessful.
But with an upgraded netbook lineup, this regional manufacturer could see their fortunes change overseas. The Akoya E1217 is Medion’s latest netbook computer – a compact and reasonably powerful mobile workstation aimed at international users.
Priced at just £300 and designed to provide a combination of mobile productivity and simple usability, the Akoya E1217 could end up becoming Medion’s most popular entry-level mobile workstation. We’ve been treated to a standard issue E1217 netbook, and walked away with mixed opinions of the first all-European netbook.
Beautifully designed and fantastically brittle, the Akoya E1217 is a mixed bag for frequent travellers and mobile workers. The keyboard and touchpad are styled similarly to those found on Apple’s Macbook Pro line and HP’s Envy series; each key is isolated and separate, giving typists greater accuracy and gamers a more comfortable control platform.
Durability is suspect. The Akoya E1217 sports a set of flimsy rear hinges, convincing us that this system is more appropriate for the occasional out-and-about browsing session than a round-the-world holiday. It’s worth noting that we’ve yet to experience any durability or design issues with the Akoya E1217 yet – the system has fared well, though we fear it may not in the wild.
Performance is also a mixed bag. The processor is not a new Intel mobile multi-core, instead an ageing Atom processor similar to those found in last generation’s netbook lineup. While enough for light browsing and word processing – which, we should add, is all that matters with a netbook – it’s certainly a disappointment when compared to new netbooks from other manufacturers.
Windows 7 comes as standard, giving the Akoya E1217 a familiar and disappointingly sluggish interface. The operating system is quite cosy when squeezed onto the 10.1-inch screen, though we found it large enough for basic web browsing and administrative tasks. Multimedia usage is very limited, as is the system’s development and design potential.
Medion have included a 250GB hard drive as standard, which also yields positive and negative effects. A distinctly brittle system already, serious travellers and mobile professionals may wish to opt for something more suited to their lifestyle. While the Akoya E1217 is unlikely to run into data loss or security issues, we feel that it may not perform suitably during a bumpy train ride or immediately after an accidental drop.
It’s easy to throw criticism at the Akoya E1217 – the system is sluggish, relatively weak, and sports a disappointing battery. But at £300 it’s equally difficult to fault it. The Medion Akoya E1217 is far from the performance monster some users might expect in a netbook, but it’s certainly a viable option for budget buyers and a worthwhile workstation for mobile professionals.
If durability, performance, and battery power are important to you, the E1217 is a system best left ignored. If not, it’s certainly an option worth considering.