In the realm of compact desktop PCs, we now have the nettop, a static version of the netbook. Like those popular mini laptops, they often forsake the optical drive for reason of space or price. The Medion Akoya E2005 D machine here, on the other hand, is a slightly larger affair with space for a dual-layer DVD writer.
As with similar offerings, the Medion Akoya E2005 D is based around the Intel Atom processor, so don't expect to be crunching video or rendering graphics with any haste. The advantage of this choice should be cool and quiet running, and a low power draw to keep running costs low.
So unlike some systems we've seen that can be mounted on the back of a monitor, the Medion Akoya E2005 D is closer in form to a traditional PC, albeit scaled down to the size of a hi-fi separates unit. In fact, laid down in landscape rather than portrait configuration, it closely resembles a CD or DVD player. A mounting patform is included so you can also erect it tower-like.
On the left of the Medion Akoya E2005 D is an LG CD/DVD±RW optical drive hidden away behind a sprung flap, and a smaller fold-down cover to the right conceals a pair of USB ports, audio sockets and a multi-format memory card slot.
On the back panel of the Medion Akoya E2005 D are four more USB ports, gigabit ethernet - and a 19V power-in socket, since the Medion Akoya E2005 D runs from an external power supply, laptop-style. There is available space in the PC's chassis, so we're not sure why Medion didn't make this a self-contained package with an on-board power supply.
And then there's the analogue-only VGA video output. Given the Medion Akoya E2005 D system's inclusion of seven-channel audio output on four 3.5mm audio jacks, suggesting some media centre pretensions, it's disappointing that Medion hasn't included any digital video out such as DVI or HDMI. In terms of picture quality, VGA is today a conspicuous backward step.
There are other clues that Medion hasn't really thought through any application beyond normal desktop PC duties. One would be the absence of a dedicated video card, so that modern 3D games are out of the question. The other is the fitting of an unnecessarily fast-running cooling fan that makes its presence whenever the Medion Akoya E2005 D is given any processor load.
Inside the Medion Akoya E2005 D box we find a desktop-class 3.5in hard drive, no doubt helping the system to perform at the upper end of what's possible from an Atom-based computer.
System memory is the typical 1GB of RAM, which occupies the only memory slot on the motherboard so any upgrade here will require discarding the existing card.
In our real-world WorldBench 6 benchmark test, it scored 40 points, so in netbook terms, it could almost be considered speedy. The Medion Akoya E2005 D was capable of playing some high-definition video, up to 720p resolution, but 1080p was beyond its power.
Power consumption of the Medion Akoya E2005 D, while low compared to a regular PC, was higher than most Atom systems, at around 28W when idle, and rising to 32W under load.
Also included in the Medion Akoya E2005 D packing box is a basic wired keyboard and mouse. And if you need a monitor, Medion sells the Medion Akoya E2005 D with a 19in widescreen LCD monitor for an extra £100.
If you’re looking for a very affordable and relatively compact desktop PC, the Medion Akoya E2005 D comes in as a high value, if still lowly powered, package. It’s worth investigating if money is tight, even if it's not quite equipped to make best use of its potential as a media centre. While it just misses the mark as a budget home hub, it should be well suited to an office environment.