The PC Nextday Zoostorm 4-5713 (£795 inc. VAT) has a 17-inch screen and provides an excellent multimedia performance. It is well suited to desktop use and delivers strong media editing power, but the real surprise is its impressive battery.
Weighing 3.3kg, it is too heavy for frequent mobility, but the 190-minute battery life lets you work on the move when necessary. This increased to an impressive 223 minutes using Power Saver settings. With its large chassis, a full-size keyboard has been used. All keys are responsive, but the typing action may be too hard for some users. A numeric keypad is included for fast data input and gaming use, and also allows easy access to directional keys.
The large 17-inch screen is big enough to comfortably view photos and movies at a distance. It also suits busy multi-tasking, as there's ample space for viewing several windows at once. Unfortunately, brightness and colour are below average, so images tend to look fairly flat.
3D performance is more impressive and is one to rival most of its peers. The dedicated graphics card from nVidia makes it easy to quickly edit digital photos and videos. While there isn't enough power for high-performance gaming, most games will run at a playable speed.
The Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2048MB of memory provide strong office performance. Applications started quickly and ran reliably, even when multi-tasking, making this a great choice when workhorse performance is a necessity.
Storage options are a mixed bag. The 250GB hard drive and dual-layer DVD rewriter make it easy to store large quantities of data and create your own discs. However, there is no support for any media card formats, which is unusual.
Similarly, there is no free software included as standard, even though most other laptops provide the basic tools for home office use or defence against internet threats. Buyers will need to factor this into their budget, unless they already own their own software.
Warranty protection is equally limited. One year of cover is provided - which is common at this price - but it only covers parts and labour costs. You'll need to pay delivery charges in the event of a fault. There is also no option to upgrade to more comprehensive cover.
As an affordable and powerful desktop replacement, the PC Nextday Zoostorm 4-5713 fulfils its aims. The lack of software and the limited warranty may deter first-time buyers but, as a media laptop, there's still plenty to recommend here.