PC Nextday is a small laptop company that offers a range of competitively priced machines, keeping costs down through the use of generic parts. If the Zoostorm 4-4743 (£673 inc. VAT) looks familiar, it's because other manufacturers such as Rock also use the same chassis.

Aimed at home users, it's a desktop replacement machine. The 17-inch display is an ideal size for those wanting to watch movies or edit photographs. It features a Super-TFT coating to help add vibrancy to colours, but darker hues appeared slightly washed out.

As with other such panels, the glossy finish highlights reflections and fingerprints more than a standard TFT panel would, but it never caused us any major problems.

The Zoostorm uses a mid-range nVidia GeForce 8600M graphics card, but it's the slightly less powerful GS version here. The results are still impressive, with the ability to run the latest games and 3D applications.

The big screen creates plenty of space for the interface, with a comfortable and responsive touchpad and a large keyboard in place. The keys move with an excellent action, proving both accurate and firmly attached. There's also a dedicated numeric pad, although we would have liked to have seen it moved a little further away from the main board.

Sturdy build

Despite the budget price tag of the PC Nextday, build quality is impressive. The plastic chassis proved particularly sturdy to the touch, withstanding pressure with ease. The screen surround didn't prove quite so robust, but still offers a fair degree of protection.

Our largest complaint with the construction of this machine lies with the heat it produces - the chassis is relatively thin and the powerful graphics card could be cooled more efficiently. As such, the palm rests get warmer on this machine than those of its rivals, making longer periods of use unpleasant - therefore an external keyboard is worth considering.

In addition to its impressive multimedia credentials, the Zoostorm also impressed during everyday use. The system started rapidly and we noticed little lag, even when running several applications. The 160GB hard drive is also generous, offering plenty of space for all your photographs, files and applications.

If you fill the hard drive with movie files, you'll also be able to output them to an external display using the DVI port.

The PC Nextday Zoostorm 4-4743 is a great machine, offering a very impressive specification for the price. It's also well made and comfortable, and only the overly warm chassis lets it down.