Connectivity on the Erazer X6813 is top-notch, if not quite best in class. Along the left you’ll find three USB ports, two of which are of the latest 3.0 variety. The SDHC memory card reader doesn’t support the newer SDXC format, however, which is a minor annoyance. The right side, meanwhile, houses four 3.5mm audio jacks for microphone and full analogue surround sound – handy for those with cheaper 5.1 speaker systems. There’s also a second USB 2.0 port and the tray-loading Blu-ray drive, a great addition that’s often missing from ‘affordable’ gaming laptops.
Around the back we have Gigabit Ethernet, VGA and HDMI 1.4 for video, and a dedicated eSATA port to hook up fast external storage that might lack USB 3.0 support. Bluetooth 3.0 is yet another rare inclusion on a sub-£1,000 mobile gaming PC, and it joins Wi-Fi N in completing the Erazer’s wireless credentials.
Keyboards haven’t been the strongest aspect of past Medion laptops we’ve looked at, and while that still holds true, the chiclet keyboard on the Erazer is perfectly usable. Layout is spot-on, with full volume and brightness controls on the cursor keys and a full number pad. Travel is somewhat shallow but the well-spaced keys still offer adequate feedback.
There’s no large Enter key as we’re used to on most UK keyboards, and there’s a bit of audible rattle from keys on the left side. There’s also some mild flex, and both of these issues affect the WASD area most specifically, where ideally it would be the area they would affect least - if they were present at all. One nice gaming-specific touch is a dedicated button to deactivate the Windows key.
Thankfully we have no complaints with the touchpad. It’s a tad on the small side but is clearly delineated, and its matt, lightly textured surface is pleasant to the touch. It’s also sensitive, doesn’t interfere with typing and, though its aggressively-shaped buttons are integrated into a single rocker switch, they offer a positive click with no noticeable stiffness.
We were hoping for good things from the Erazer’s audio, as there’s plenty of chassis to play with and the stereo speakers are supported by an integrated subwoofer. Unfortunately it was merely average, lacking in clarity and depth, with a little distortion creeping in at high volumes. The subwoofer punches with all the weight of a stick-figure, leaving bass muted and slightly muddy. Still, this failing is easy enough to circumvent with a decent set of headphones or speakers.