Zepto Znote 2215W review

£539
Price when reviewed

Zepto is a Danish firm, and has recently expanded into the UK. Like Dell, it sells direct and only builds to order.

The Znote 2215W uses the popular 15.4in widescreen format. Weighing 3kg, it’s one of the heavier notebooks here, but still makes an acceptable travelling companion with a battery life of 4hrs 33mins under light use, and a shade over two hours when working flat out.

CPU power isn’t overly impressive from the 1.7GHz Celeron M 390, although it’s fast enough for most users. With 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, it’s similar in speed to the HP with 0.73 overall in our 2D application benchmarks.

The keyboard divided the opinions of our panel of judges more than any other. If you’re a fan of rock-solid keyboards, you’ll love it; but those who type forcefully will prefer more cushioning. The layout is sensible, while the touchpad could be more responsive.

Overall build quality was more unanimously applauded by our judges, with a solid base augmented by better-than-average screen protection. The non-glossy TFT has sufficient vertical viewing angles to ensure even brightness. Along the front of the case are media control buttons, and the 2215W ships with IOMP (Instant-On Media Player). However, Zepto leaves this up to the customer to install on the grounds that some people may not want the Linux partition required. Whether you use it or not, you’ll find the speakers are more powerful than most, and second only to those in the HP.

We’ve no complaints on the storage front thanks to an 80GB hard disk and a dual-layer DVD burner. Wi-Fi is courtesy of an Intel 802.11b/g adapter and there’s Gigabit Ethernet too. In a chassis this size, it’s a shame there isn’t a fourth USB 2 port, and the mini-FireWire is inconveniently tucked away on the rear along with the Ethernet port.

We were disappointed by the one-year return-to-base warranty, but students might still be tempted. Zepto offers the lowest price here of £80 for Microsoft Office (Student & Teacher Edition), and it’s strong in three areas that should appeal to college-goers – entertainment, storage and battery life.

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