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Medion Erazer Crawler E10 review: An affordable gaming laptop

1 Dec 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

Not perfect but this is a power-packed gaming laptop at a very tempting price

Pros 
Cheap
Decent gaming performance
Impressive keyboard
Cons 
Drab 59Hz display
Poor speakers
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Specifications

Most gaming laptops, even models at the more affordable end of the spectrum, tend to cost £1,000 or more, but not the Medion Erazer Crawler E10.

At £700 this is, by some margin, the cheapest machine I’ve tested recently, undercutting even the cheapest Asus TUF Dash F15 by £300. And, yet, it’s a laptop that delivers surprisingly solid gaming performance.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best budget gaming laptops right now

Medion Erazer Crawler E10 review: What do you get for the money?

For your hard-earned you get a 15.6-inch Full HD display, a 10th-gen Intel Core-i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti GPU with 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. That doesn’t look too bad on paper.

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For such a cheap machine the Erazer is rather well made, too. Granted, it is an all-plastic affair but it feels every bit as solid as the substantially more expensive Acer Nitro 5 and HP Omen 15.

At 360 x 240 x 22.7mm and 2.2Kg it’s not unduly big or heavy either. I can’t say much about the looks other than it is black and angular but, aesthetically speaking, you can't ask much more of a cheap notebook than that it doesn't look cheap, and the Erazer doesn't. Job done.

The Erazer certainly does not want for connections. On the left-hand side, you will find one USB 3.0 Type-A and one USB 2.0 Type-A port, along with separate 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks and a Kensington lock slot. On the right is a second USB 3.0 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a drop-jaw Gigabit Ethernet connector and an SD card reader.

Around the back, and dead centre lurks the power input jack, accompanied by Mini DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 video outputs. If you plan on using your laptop in a permanent position hooked up to an external monitor then having the power and video connectors around the back makes a great deal of sense. Wireless comms are handled by an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 card, which also offers Bluetooth 5.1.

Undo fifteen Philips screws and you can remove the base of the Medion. That gives you access to two SO-DIMM memory slots only one of which is in use and a free 2.5in SATA 3 drive bay, which sits next to the (occupied) main system 2280 M.2 SSD.

Incidentally, the manufacturer code on the SSD suggests the latter is a 512GB model but it only offers 256GB of space. I can't explain that. Capacity to one side, the NVMe SSD performed well, registering read and write speeds of 2,104MB/sec and 1063MB/sec respectively. That's good for a budget machine.

The Erazer's keyboard is excellent, too. Spacious, solid and perfectly damped and graced by a proper numeric keypad to the right, the only real downside is that it offers nothing unique to the gaming fraternity. It even lacks a way to distinguish the WASD keys. Medion has included a two-stage RGB backlight but it applies itself uniformly across the keyboard. The offset trackpad is a thoroughly nice example of the breed, though.

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Medion Erazer Crawler E10 review: How good are the display and speakers?

The first thing to mention about the display is that it has a maximum refresh rate of 59Hz so you are not going to see more than 59fps from your games.

At 264cd/m2 it’s bright enough and the contrast ratio isn’t too bad at 997:1 but the sRGB Gamut coverage of a measly 55% – not quite the worst I’ve seen in recent times but perilously close to it – and the uncalibrated Delta E colour accuracy of 4.89 are both very poor.

The speakers are also pretty miserable affairs. Brittle and raucous, they can't begin to compete with the competition here in terms of sound quality even if they don’t lack absolute volume. This is where the £300 price difference with the likes of the Acer Nitro and HP Omen machines becomes all too obvious.

Medion Erazer Crawler E10 review: How well does it perform?

When you are spending this sort of money you can’t expect the latest or most powerful silicon and, in this case, you have to make do with a 10th-gen Intel Core i5-10300H. That's a quad-core CPU with HyperThreading and a turbo boost speed of 4.50GHz.

It’s good enough for basic productivity but, as you can see from our bespoke 4K media benchmark and the Geekbench 5 scores, the E10 is no powerhouse.

Thanks to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti GPU, however, most of the games that we tested on the Erazer, including Doom and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, topped out at an indicated 60fps, although the best it could do with Hitman 2 was 53.2fps with supersampling turned down to the minimum.

Less graphically demanding titles such as DiRT Showdown and Metro Last Light Redux gave better results – 122fps (at 1080p) and 102fps (at 720p) respectively – but, remember, 59fps is the best you will actually “see” thanks to the screen’s maximum supported refresh rate.

The Erazer may not have the loudest fans in the group but it does run its fans at full speed for more of the time than the competition. There is no bespoke control panel to manage the cooling and performance parameters so you are at the mercy of the system settings.

The Erazer’s 49Wh (3,175mAh) battery proved to be a fairly decent performer, too, lasting 7hrs 45mins in our video rundown test. Granted, that's not hugely impressive compared with laptops with more modern CPUs but it isn’t a terrible result for a hulking gamer like this.

Medion Erazer Crawler E10 Verdict

The Medion Erazer Crawler E10 is a £700 laptop that can play most AAA games at or near 60fps in Full HD. What more do you expect for that sort of money?

Yes, the display is rather drab and the speakers are pretty dismal but the keyboard is good and the laptop is easy to upgrade after you’ve got it home. It's not a bad looker either.

Overall, there’s very little to dislike about this laptop given the specification on offer.

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