PC Nextday is a UK manufacturer known for its well-specified yet affordable laptops. The Zoostorm Versa 83-6701 has an impressive specification but fails to deliver in performance.

The chassis is quite chunky and weighs 3kg. Along with its poor 130-minute battery life, this makes it solely suited to working around the home. The plastics used feel lightweight and lack resilience, unlike the high-quality build of the HP Pavilion dv7-1107ea and Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E.

Strong usability compensates somewhat. The large keyboard spans 337mm, so even typists with large hands will find it easy to use. All of the keys move with a reassuringly firm yet smooth action, so are consistently accurate and comfortable to work with over long periods of time.

Dim screen

The quality of the 17-inch Super-TFT screen is mixed, as images are sharp and vibrant, but lack brightness. It also has a limited viewing angle, so is best viewed straight on. It also fails to feature an integrated webcam.

Graphics power is better than average. The dedicated Nvidia GPU is a mainstream consumer chip and is one of the most powerful available in a laptop. Basic gaming is possible, and you can edit photos and even high-definition (HD) video smoothly.

Home and office performance falls below expectations. Despite using one of the most powerful Intel processors for a laptop, and an impressive 4096MB of memory, the laptop's internal design completely fails to maximise the potential of the technology.

System lag

We found it more than capable for basic use, but when multi-tasking we noticed more system lag than we'd expected. It still manages to outperform both the HP and Sony, but falls far behind the high-powered usability of the Dell and Samsung machines.

Storage is far more impressive. The 320GB hard drive is bettered only by the Sony and easily holds an entire family's data. The DVD rewriter supports every current CD and DVD format, and the 7-in-1 card reader provides equally comprehensive support for storage cards.

The Versa sadly doesn't allow connections to external digital screens, as only an analogue VGA port is included. There is also no Bluetooth for accessing other digital devices wirelessly.

While the Zoostorm Versa 83-6701 looks great on paper, it unfortunately fails to deliver in too many areas. It succeeds as an affordable, entry-level media centre, but its low performance and limited extras mean there are many better options on the market.