While many new netbooks are taking the latest version of Intel's Atom processor, the Medion Akoya E1217 is using the original Atom N270. But don't let a two-year old chip put you off, as the choice has little impact on performance.

In practically every respect, the Medion Akoya E121 is a very ordinary netbook - although there are some points worth highlighting, which may make a difference in any purchasing decision.

The keyboard could be an opinion divider. While firm and positive to the touch, its baby Scrabble-tile keys feel small - even by netbook standards. If you have large fingers, this could prove just too cramped for comfort.

The touchpad below is small but a high-quality item, responsive in tracking if a little insensitive to tap-clicks. Lucky, then, that the single-bar click buttons are easy to use.

Unusually, Medion has used this left/right clicker to cover three LEDs below, indicating battery, wireless, and disk activity.

In fact it is the general build quality of the E1217 that subtly lifts this netbook from the crowd. The chassis is stiff and neatly finished, yet slim at only 23mm thick.

Casework and component fit and finish are all first class. And the Medion is also one of the lightest netbooks around at a touch over 1kg.

Unfortunately some of the weight savings have been made by fitting a small three-cell battery. This means a rather limited mobile lifespan of just over three hours (185 mins), when stretched by the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test.

General performance was in line for an Atom netbook running Windows 7, with a WorldBench 6 result of 32 points.

And like any netbook saddled with an Intel GMA 950 graphics processor, don't expect very immersive gameplay.

For the Medion Akoya E121 we saw just 2 frames per second in our FEAR graphics benchmark at Maximum quality settings. We pushed in all the stops for detail and rendering quality, which turned the slideshow into stuttering, low-resolution 22fps motion.

Other noteworthy features of the Medion Akoya E121 include the fast 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless networking, along with a larger than usual 250GB hard drive.


In a sea of me-too netbooks, the Medion E1217 can stand a little proud with its higher-than-usual build quality. At £300 it’s not cheap, though, when other well-made models can be found for around £50 less. And many if those will include superior six cell batteries that can double your lifetime away from the mains.