Zepto is the largest Scandinavian laptop manufacturer, and is looking to branch out into the rest of Europe. Its feature-packed Znote 2425 (£699 inc. VAT) offers an excellent battery life and affordable pricing. It's also a great choice if you have multimedia use in mind.
The 15.4-inch display is ideal for watching DVDs and playing games. Thanks to its faithful colour reproduction and good contrast, images look vivid and lifelike. There are reflections from the glossy Super-TFT coating, but we found it only caused problems in the brightest conditions, where fingerprints were also prone to showing up.
The Znote features a powerful mid-range graphics card - Nvidia's GeForce Go 7600, which is surprising at this price. It gives the machine enough performance to run the latest games and 3D applications. Unfortunately, the downside to shoehorning a powerful GPU into a relatively compact chassis is the extra heat generated, and the palm rests become very warm, making prolonged periods of use unpleasant.
The Znote boasts unusual styling, with copper-coloured inserts around the keyboard, and brushed aluminium panels. We found the keyboard large and accomodating, making it easy to type at speed. However, the keys could be more firmly attached, and are not as quiet as those found on rivals. The aluminium touchpad is both tactile and responsive.
The chassis is sturdy and the display firmly attached, although the area in front of the screen flexes slightly. A curved bezel around the display also helps to prevent things falling between the screen and keyboard in transit. The Zepto's 3.3kg weight means you'll only want to carry this machine occasionally when on the road. A fingerprint scanner between the touchpad buttons adds biometric security.
The Znote also comes with a 12-cell extended battery as standard. Although bulky and heavy, it helps the Zepto to last 135 minutes without a power point. Zepto has included a number of features to make the Znote more appealing, such as a multi-format DVD rewriter. This lets you copy your files on to blank discs, and make backups of important files. There's also a card reader, compatible with SD, MMC and Memory Stick cards.
On paper, the Znote 2425 has it all, with a specification to shame its rivals. Only the overly warm chassis stops it from really shining. However, if you're buying this machine for use in the home, we'd recommend using an external hard drive.