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Zepto Nox A15 review

The ultimate mid-range gaming laptop?

Zepto Nox A15
Zepto Nox A15 is quite possibly the best looking and feeling laptop we've ever had in the office

TechRadar Verdict

A sexy finish, great layout and lush screen almost sugars the pill in terms of gaming performance


  • +

    Nice design

  • +

    Solid specs

  • +

    Reasonable price


  • -

    Performance could be better

What's this? A £900 laptop capable of running games decently?

And the it doesn't look like something you'd use to control the landspeeder in Star Wars? I call shenanigans!

But, here it is, the Zepto Nox A15 in the flesh, open on my desk like a clam of PC gaming potential, the oyster being the copy of Far Cry 2 running on it quite respectably.

Best looking laptop

A Danish company started in 2002, Zepto specialises in providing pre-customised PCs in much the same way as smaller desktop retailers do in the UK.

And there's no arguing with the quality feel of the product - it puts even a Mac to shame. Minimalist aesthetics, a lovely rubberised rough texture and a solid build make this quite possibly the best looking and feeling laptop we've had in the office. Ever.

The innards match its luxuriant chassis too - although this is marketed as a 'performance' laptop rather than a gaming one. A Core 2 Duo processor and a 9600M GT graphics card make this the equivalent of a modern mid-range desktop, and 4GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM is enough to keep the 64-bit version of Vista happy.

Large screen

We found that the six-cell battery supplied will give about two hours of low-power usage, or an hour's worth of high-end gaming. It's not great, but on full charge you've got enough juice to watch a film.

But Zepto have slipped up slightly by slapping an all-too-big screen into the chassis. The 1680x1050 WSXGA+ resolution screen may look sharper than a razor blade in a pinstripe suit, but the laptop simply doesn't have the computing beef to keep those framerates up.

Both Race Driver: GRID and World in Conflict were playable, but they never managed to break through the 20fps barrier.

Impressive gaming abilities

That said, I managed to play Far Cry 2 on high settings and maximum resolution with very little lag. And one of the great things about modern PC games is their scalability – sure, we all bitched about Crysis' system requirements this time last year, but now playing in medium settings is attainable on a budget. And the slew of major releases this year – Far Cry 2, Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead – are all eminently scalable.

It's a well-made laptop that disappoints slightly on the benchmarks. But the fact is that you're getting a very nice bit of kit which will chow down on most games, provided you keep the settings in the mid-range.

Yes, it's a little under a grand, but the Nox A15 will function admirably as a desktop replacement. And being able to play games like GRID on the train is just plain awesome, If a little nauseating.