The PC Nextday Zoostorm 4-5719 (£821 inc. VAT) may look like the underdog, but give it a chance and you'll find it has a lot to offer.

Its biggest selling point is speed, its Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor runs at 2.5GHz and, backed by 2048MB ofmemory, the results were impressive. Windows Vista booted quickly and applications responded within seconds.

Speedy laptop

Unfortunately, a battery life of just 79 minutes stopped our MobileMark 2007 benchmark software from recording a result, but the PC Nextday's Cinebench 10 score of 4950 is one of the highest we've seen. The 250GB hard drive is spacious, and provides plenty of room for thousands of files and applications.

The 17-inch Super-TFT screen provides bright and detailed images, but we found it also highlighted reflections more than its rivals, which was occasionally problematic when watching movies.

Graphics come courtesy of an nVidia GeForce 8400M series GPU, but in this case it's the bottom of the range 8400M G card. 3D performance was lower than many of its peers, but you'll still be able to carry out daily tasks. Those wanting a games machine should, however, look elsewhere.

The large screen creates plenty of width for a full-sized keyboard. It's large and firmly attached, and we found the keys moved with a well-judged action. It's a comfortable machine to use, and the dedicated numeric keyboard is also a useful addition.

Good build quality

The Zoostorm can't match some other laptops for quality, but it's still a robust laptop. The screen surround provides the display with plenty of protection, and there were no creaks or rattles. The lid itself is covered in textured plastic, which is both tactile and distinctive.

We found the bottom of the laptop got particularly warm under use. This isn't likely to be a problem though, as the Zoostorm is intended to be used on a desk and the palm rests remained cool to the touch throughout.

Wireless networking is limited to 802.11g. Fixed connections are slower than most too, with a 10/100 adapter used in place of Gigabit Ethernet.

The PC Nextday is also a bad machine for those wanting to hook up a TV or monitor, with support limited to an analogue-only VGA port.

Cut corners

The Zoostorm 4-5719 is certainly not outclassed by much of the competition, but the pursuit of the fastest parts has led to costs being cut in other areas. If you're seeking a powerful machine and don't mind the lack of connectivity, it's worth a look.