Medion Erazer P7651
The Medion Erazer P7651 is a large 17.3-inch screen gaming laptop you can find online for under £1000/€1000. Like other Medion laptops, hitting the right price is important.
Most of its features are solid. Its screen is ultra-bright and colourful, and while the GTX 1050 graphics card won’t satisfy the hardcore crowd, it’s powerful enough to handle recent games.
General use is held back by the 1TB hard drive, though. It’s just not fast enough to make Windows 10 run well. We miss an SSD, a lot.
Price and availability
The exact spec and price of the Medion Erazer P7651 varies by country. In Medion’s homeland of Germany, for example, you’ll find it for €1,399, with 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD.
It’s a much more capable, but also more expensive, spec than we get in the UK. There you’ll find it sold for around £999.99 with a Core i7 CPU. It may squeeze in under an important price mark, but this version has just a 1TB hard drive for storage and 8GB RAM.
The Medion Erazer P7651 is a plastic gaming laptop, with no aluminum on show to risk driving up the price. Its lid and the area around the keyboard have a soft-touch finish, though, putting a more finger-friendly layer on all that plastic.
This is also one of the less aggressive-looking gaming laptops around. There are no angular gouges on the back, which often look like a deconstructed “tribal” tattoo, and no LEDs around the case.
“Erazer” written across the lid still gives the game away, but the Medion Erazer P7651 has a low-key look. Some will find it a relief, others will call it boring.
Inside, blue outlining of the keys and trackpad separates the Medion Erazer P7651 from a generic black laptop. However, it’s hardly the equivalent of broadcasting your Steam library to everyone within line of sight.
At 28mm thick and 2.8kg, the Medion Erazer P7651 is also roughly the same size and weight as a normal 17-inch laptop.
While the all-plastic build won’t immediately impress your eyes or fingers, its solidity is fine. The lid flexes a little but the keyboard base is fairly stiff and the hinge is solid. It’s a cut above the Erazer P6681 in this respect, even if it does look plainer.
The laptop’s connections are a strangely wide-ranging mix of old and new, which should keep those of you with old gear lying about happy. In the 'blast from the past' category, the Medion Erazer P7651 has an optical drive on the right side and a VGA video socket on the left.
We could do without the DVD drive at this point, but there are probably plenty of people who still have monitors with VGA ports in their homes.
Two of the three full-size USB ports are USB 2.0 standard rather than 3.0 too. We’d prefer to flip that ratio around.
Stepping back into 2018, there’s a USB-C port and an RJ45 Ethernet socket, handy if your router is nearby or if you use a wired Powerline to solve Wi-Fi range issues. Around the front there’s an SD slot too.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Medion Erazer P7651 has a conventional keyboard, not one with an especially pronounced action, as found in some top-end gaming laptops. It looks just like the one used in the 15.6-inch Erazer P6681 but, perhaps thanks to more solid construction, it avoids the rattly effect we felt in that model.
It’s fine, in other words. And in a lesser-lit room the blue outlines do help to highlight the keys a little. However, there’s no keyboard backlight so you’ll have to get used to it before being able to play in the dark. If that’s your thing.
The textured plastic trackpad that sits below is a little small, perhaps under the assumption most will plug in a mouse. It uses integrated buttons too, not the gamer’s favourite style.
Using the pad for work, though, we found it perfectly serviceable. And using that word tells you how exciting it really is.
The Erazer P7651 has a large 17.3-inch IPS LCD with a matt finish. It’s a solid display all-round.
Its main drawback is that at an angle its blacks become blue-ish, a fairly common effect among matt LCDs.
Colours look punchy and vivid, though, covering 85% of the sRGB standard. And front-on contrast of 1120:1 is very solid. We’d be happy watching a movie on the Erazer P7651, and it could act as a TV-replacement for students.
Brightness is almost alarmingly good too, maxing-out at a searing 385cd/m. This isn’t a laptop we’d use outdoors much as it’s just too big and heavy, but it can cope with ambient light much better than many.
Most gaming laptops at the time of review use one of Intel’s 7th generation quad-core processors. The Erazer P7651 has one of the newer 8th generation models, but it’s one primarily designed for slim and light laptops.
Intel’s engineers have now managed to fit four cores into its low voltage designs, though, so the Core i7-8550U seen here shouldn’t act as a bottleneck.
Not when the graphics card is an entry-level Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB, anyway. This is a “proper” gamer’s card, but just about as low-end as you can go while still claiming that title.
Outside of gaming, the Erazer P7651’s performance is defined by a weak link: the hard drive. There’s no SSD, and therefore storage speed is around a third of any gaming laptop with solid state storage.
You’ll feel the effects of this just about everywhere. Windows 10 feels slow, applications take a while to initialise and load screens in games hang around.
We’ve been spoilt, having reviewed countless laptops, but we can’t imagine many would be too happy with the Erazer P7651’s basic performance, having spent £1000. This is why the majority of rivals include at least a 128GB SSD, even if they still rely primarily on a slow hard drive for the rest of their storage.
Performance in games is better. Phew.
A GeForce GTX 1050 lets you play current games at native 1080p resolution, although most demanding titles will require careful balancing of settings in order to make the action appear smooth.
For example, Total War: Warhammer 2 runs at an average 19.9fps at Ultra settings, resulting in quite obvious judder. At Low settings it averages 44.7fps. You’re probably best sticking close to this visual level as the game’s performance varies depending on how many units are drawn on-screen. And in this game that can be an awful lot.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a little more consistent. An average of 28fps at Ultra settings is going to result in some clear frame rate dips in more hectic scenes, but as the Erazer P7651 averages 63fps at “Low” settings, you have some scope to apply/improve some of the more demanding effects.
The Erazer P7651 only has one main heat outlet, on its left edge. After some play it starts to act like a mini hairdryer, pumping out warm air. It’s not the ideal solution for a gaming laptop, but does seem relatively effective at dissipating heat away from the keyboard. That blank expanse above the keys comes in handy.
Meanwhile, as the Erazer P7651 uses a hard drive rather than an SSD, it’s never truly silent. It also makes some other hard-to-identify whirrs and clicks when doing virtually nothing. Think carefully if a bit of noise is going to get on your nerves.
The laptop’s speakers are poor too, even with Dolby processing on-board. There’s zero bass and the mids and treble sound thin and a little harsh. At maximum volume some distortion is evident as well.
Battery life is typical, fairly dismal, gaming laptop fare too, even with a U-series Intel processor on-board. The Erazer P7651 lasts 2 hours 53 minutes when running PC Mark 8’s mixed use battery test.
Playing a 1080p movie on loop at 50 per cent brightness it lasts 3 hours 20 minutes: better, but not the kind of stamina that’s particularly useful except in the odd emergency.
The Medion Erazer P7651 has a decent, very bright screen. It colour and contrast are both good, making the most of games and movies.
Some will also appreciate its relatively sober looks. Not everyone wants a gaming laptop that doubles as an LED light show.
Relying on a hard drive for storage is a no-no in 2018, particularly for a laptop this expensive. It has a serious effect on general performance, making the Erazer P7651 less fun to use than it should be.
You also need to be mindful of the abilities of the GTX 1050 graphics card. It won’t let you max-out the settings on recent games, and as Nvidia’s latest cards are now well-established you can often find great deals for older models with the better GTX 1060 GPU when shopping online.
The Medion Erazer P7651 is a decent gaming laptop for those who don’t demand the ability to max-out graphics settings in games.
However, its performance is also held back by a slow hard drive. Most rivals have an SSD, which makes Windows 10 run much better. The screen is good and the build solid, if prosaic, but for day-to-day use this laptop is slower than you might expect.
About: Review Junkies
You may also like...
Sorry - Comments are closed