It is now rather accepted that with a budget of only 500 euros in their pocket, most consumers should mainly turn to devices such as tablets or Chromebooks. But here’s the thing: however powerful and well-built these products may be, they can’t necessarily replace the true appeal of a portable PC. And at this price, it’s more than difficult to find a laptop that isn’t extremely frustrating to use. The Medion E15303 comes into play, the simplest device from a manufacturer rather accustomed to offering us high-performance and innovative gaming PCs.
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Technical sheet
|Model||Medion E15303 (MD62516)|
1920 x 1080 pixels
Ryzen 5 4500U
|Graphics chip (GPU)||
AMD Radeon Graphics
|Operating system (OS)||
Microsoft Windows 11
The unit tested here was lent to us by Medion for the duration of the test.
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Design
At such a low price, you shouldn’t expect to be treated like the king returning from his hunt. The Medion E15303 can be described in one word: spartan. So surprisingly thin (2 cm) and light (1.78 kg) it is for a computer of its category, its design takes us back to another era of the computer world… And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Yes, the Medion E15303 is all plastic. Yes, as soon as you open it, you can guess all the points where the various components of its shell clip into place. But that’s the point of it all; on this type of device at this price, we are generally on the same level of plastic finishes, but with unibody shells which by nature guarantee that the slightest repair is almost impossible. The E15303 manages to keep a basic design, but current, while offering the level of repairability of products of the old days. For some consumers, this will definitely be an advantage, if at least Medion provides the parts to easily repair the machine. At a minimum, access to storage is facilitated by a small hatch housed below the device.
And for other consumers, that will be the downside of having a computer that looks good for its low price. But why dwell on people’s eyes if the price-quality ratio is there?
Keyboard and touchpad
This segment is again a good surprise. Where most manufacturers would opt for the most plastic and crumbly switches in the world, the Medion E15303 incorporates a keyboard of astonishing quality. We’re still on plastic of course, but the keys are large, well-spaced, and their bounce is rewarding. What’s more, the Medion E15303 doesn’t make a lot of noise when typing, and the integrated numeric keypad is disconcertingly easy to use, since it’s still full-size.
What sins in this vision is the touchpad. Its diagonal is excellent for a 16-inch format computer, but its very low quality plastic construction makes it uncomfortable to slide on the finger. Here, the manufacturer has clearly focused on the pragmatic side of use.
On the left of the device, there is a classic power socket, a full-format HDMI port, a USB-C 3.2 port, and a micro SD card reader. On the right is a combo jack and a USB-A 2.0 port.
The presence of a USB 2.0 port can be somewhat disappointing, but you have to find ways to save somewhere. And on this point, we can’t help but be a little impressed by the variety of connections offered.
webcam and audio
The built-in 720p webcam will be just fine for video conferencing, but still does surprisingly well considering how often this point is sacrificed.
The same can’t be said for the speakers, though. While their placement is absolutely perfect, above the keyboard so that their sound isn’t obstructed when the laptop is on your lap, the sound they produce is simply… disastrous. Even a $200 phone does better. Even 20 euro speakers direct from Shenzhen do better. The maximum volume does not go very high, when the sound is whatever happens sizzling and lacks absolutely everything. Damage.
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Screen
On paper, all is well for the Medion E15303. We are faced with an IPS LCD panel supporting a maximum definition of 1920 x 1080 pixels, i.e. in Full HD, with a matte coating and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. manufacturers are making their biggest savings, in particular by occasionally repurchasing 720p screens and TN panels, we don’t want to complain…
Until we put a probe on this computer and analyze the rendering with DisplayCal. First, the positive: the contrast ratio of 1354:1 confirms a first impression to the eye where the colors do not seem washed out on the screen. We can even highlight the color temperature, measured at 6326K, which is very close to the NTSC standard sought at 6500K.
So much for the positive. The negative? From best to worst. The average Delta E00 is raised to 11.47, the worst score we have seen in a very long time, for a coverage of the sRGB space at only 61.7% (45.4% of the DCI P3). No wonder that being: at this price, it’s what we expect. Or rather, we do not expect machines at this price to calibrate successfully. We can’t imagine an image professional investing in a PC for 500 euros to work.
The surprise comes mainly from the maximum brightness rate raised to 94.7 cd / m². It’s very simple: it’s abyssal. Fortunately, the matte treatment is there, where the simple lights of a room could interfere with the reading of the screen. Don’t even imagine for one second using this computer outside, even while squinting. Despite everything, 94.7 cd / m² remains usable indoors without having the sun directly in the screen.
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Software
There isn’t really any software processing to analyze for the Medion E15303, which only applies to its name as a kind of brochure referring to web links. To manage the performance of the computer, you will have to go through Windows 10… and dodge the huge pop-ups from McAfee, which will not hesitate to push you to spend your money on an antivirus as effective as the one included free of charge in Windows.
Don’t be fooled: uninstall all that very quickly.
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Performance
This is a real point of interest for the Medion E15303, again on paper. The computer indeed integrates an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U SoC, a 6-core CPU engraved in 7nm that can increase its turbo frequency up to 4 GHz. In this price category, it’s above the lot while 4-core and under-rev chips are still very present.
It’s paired here with 8GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, which is… a problem. No doubt this extremely slow RAM, slower by the way than competitors like the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3, represents a small bottleneck for the CPU. Especially since the AMD architecture is very dependent on the speed of the RAM to express its performance. Finally, on our test model, we have 256 GB of storage.
Benchmarks and heating
Our tests show that the Ryzen 5 4500U does not offer all the performance that we have the right to expect for this SoC. At 3730 points in multi-core for 1001 points in single-core under Cinebench R23, it’s obvious. The chip should rather offer around 1100 in single-core and especially 5500 in multi-core. However, this does not prevent the computer from being very fluid in use, even if it is better not to pile up too many Chrome tabs. PCMark 10 also confirms this with a score of 3255 points which is barely “ok”.
The good surprise, however, comes from storage. Marked as simple “SSD” by the manufacturer, we are also used to seeing this part of the PC take a slap to reduce costs. But with 3469 MB/s of sequential read and 1337 MB/s of sequential write, we are more or less in the shackles of a PCIe 3.0 SSD. No eMMC in sight then, and that’s more than reassuring.
On the heating side, however, we are above average with a maximum point raised to 47.7°C at the bottom of the device and above all a good 39.5°C located just below the left keys of the keyboard. At least the active fans of the Medion E15303 don’t make a lot of noise, even when the PC is pushed to its limits thanks to our synthetic tests.
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Autonomy
The Medion E15303 incorporates a fairly standard 3-cell Li-Polymer battery, which can be recharged using the supplied 60W power supply or using the Power Delivery compatible USB-C port. A very good choice from the manufacturer.
In our tests, the Medion E15303 held up well for 10 to 11 hours of office use, making it a real companion for the day. But we must also consider that this is done on a screen that does not exceed 95 cd / m², the part of these laptops that tends to devour watts. Is it really surprising, if so?
Medion E15303 (MD62516) Price and availability
The Medion E15303 in the configuration we tested is available at 450 euros from many French retailers, including Cdiscount.
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