PC Nextday Zoostorm 52-4601 review

An unassuming machine that offers plenty of power affordably

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Our Verdict

A great bargain buy that will perform well

For

  • Easy to carry around

    Good price

Against

  • Doesn't run very quickly

PC Nextday is primarily an online shop that sells computer components, but it has branched out to offer laptops under the brand name of Zoostorm. The PC Nextday Zoostorm 52- 4601 is highly promising.

The look is uniform grey and black with a broad keyboard that fills the middle of the main casing. The keys are well mounted and we found them solid to the touch, making for a comfortable experience. The touchpad and mouse buttons are small, but they are more than responsive.

The overall build quality is sturdy, with plenty of protection supporting the screen and the plastic used in the casing is solid to the touch.

At this price point you can't expect cutting-edge components, but it does use an Intel Core Duo, albeit the 1.6GHz variant of the T2050. This is a budget chip with a 533MHz Front Side Bus, so isn't as quick as most dual-core chips that have a 667MHz FSB.

Due to the addition of 1024MB of DDR2 memory, there is plenty of performance to be had. This was highlighted by the MobileMark 2005 score of 221.

Weighing in at 2.8kg, this is a semi- portable machine that can be carried on a semi-regular basis. This is quite impressive given the inclusion of a 15.4- inch widescreen display. It comes with a Super-TFT coating, so images are sharp and bright. The other half of the mobile equation, namely battery life, wasn't as impressive, as we found the machine lasted a mere two hours under normal test conditions, which is less than we expect from a modern portable.

The graphics are mainstream, but great value at this price, being the ATi Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of dedicated memory. With this card you can play games and run video editing without too much trouble.

It's not all good news as the chassis did grow quite warm on the right-hand side, which is due to the processor and the graphics card being fitted into quite a compact design. The result is a fan that constantly runs, even when running something as untaxing as a DVD movie.

The PC Nextday Zoostorm 52-4601 may come across as a little understated, but we were more than impressed with its capabilities. True, there is a degree of heat build-up, but nothing that will be detrimental to its long-term efficiency. On the whole, this is a highly recommended bargain machine.