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The configuration of the laptop that was provided to techradar is as follows:
- Processor: Intel Celeron 1037U 1.8GHz
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Hard disk drive: 500GB HDD
- Display: 11.6-inch HD+ multi-touch
- Connectors: 3 x USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, Card reader
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi
The first surprise was the processor used. We were expecting an Intel Celeron or an Atom CPU at this price – and yes, we did get a Celeron, but it's the 1037U, which is based on the old-but-still-very-capable Ivy Bridge architecture.
Compared to the Z3735x or the ubiquitous N2840, it should be much faster despite sporting only two cores. Clocked at 1.8GHz, it has 2MB cache and dissipates up to 17W.
Its integrated graphics subsystem (HD Graphics clocked at 350MHz) however is likely to be its Achilles' heel in the benchmarks – more on that later.
The second surprise is the 4GB RAM bundled, rather than 2GB usually found on laptops of this price. There's only one DIMM socket, one which supports up to 8GB modules – so you will have to swap the memory modules to upgrade.
Then there's the hard disk drive, a 500GB, 2.5-inch hard drive spinning at 5400RPM, again, far bigger than what is usually presented to us at the low-end of the market.
But that's not all: the Zoostorm's Ethernet port is a GbE affair, instead of the usual 10/100Mbps found on most entry-level models.
Users will notice the large air vent at the back of the laptop; it's there for a good reason. The laptop is fairly noisy when under load – that is partly because the CPU powering it is built on an older, "thicker" manufacturing process (22nm rather than 14nm) and doesn't have the same advanced power management techniques as Broadwell-based processors.
The laptop comes with Windows 8.1 but we upgraded it to Windows 10 for the purpose of the review.
Here are the benchmarks this machine achieved:
- 3DMark: Ice Storm: 23290; Skydiver: 802; Cloudgate: 2013; Fire Strike: 253
- PCMark 8 Home: 1704
- PCMark 8 Work: 2029
- PCMark 8 Creative: 1238
- PCMark 8 Battery: 3 hours 21 minutes
- Cinebench 15: CPU: 121; GPU: 9.09 fps
- Geekbench 3 64-bit: Single-core: 1597; Multi-core: 2786
The Zoostorm 7270 turned out to be a pretty capable laptop and one that produced some of the best benchmark figures we've seen at this price (remember, it costs £200).
The Core M that powers the PC Specialist laptop we reviewed a few weeks ago managed to outclass it by about 32% on average, which is actually pretty good given the price difference.
The battery life is average at best in our test, but you need to bear in mind that it is an extreme case scenario and you will likely get more than that in real life.
Graphics was another bright spot for the Zoostorm 7270 compared to similarly priced laptops, with far higher numbers compared to say, the Lenovo B40 or the Ideapad S20.
All in all, a pretty decent performance.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.