Zepto Znote 6214W

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Zepto Znote 6214W
  • Zepto Znote 6214W
  • Zepto Znote 6214W
  • Zepto Znote 6214W

Pros

  • Portable, Speedy all-round performance, Mid-range graphics chip is suitable for gaming, Solid build quality

Cons

  • Screen's casing could be stronger, Doesn't have a built-in Webcam, Short battery life

Bottom Line

Despite its short battery life, the Znote 6214W is a decent choice for any type of user. It's portable enough to take on the road, yet its screen-size and features make it suitable for use as a desktop computer. Similarly, the notebook's 7600GT graphics chip makes it a suitable machine for playing games, as well as a more-than-decent machine for productivity applications and photo editing.

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A 14.1in widescreen and a feature-packed chassis make the Zepto Znote 6214W suitable for either work or play. Similarly, its size makes it suitable for either a desktop user or mobile warrior, although its battery life wasn't too good in our tests. Perhaps the only necessary feature that this notebook lacks is a built-in Web cam, but apart from that, it's got almost all connectivity and optical disc bases covered.

Zepto is a new entrant in the Australian notebook space and hails from Scandinavia. The company's offerings appear to be well-built and well-priced and the 6214W, in particular, is a solid mid-sized notebook with good speed. It comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 CPU, which runs at 2GHz, as well as 1GB of DDR2 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT graphics chip and a 100GB hard drive (which has a 93.1GB formatted capacity).

Running Windows XP, these components propelled the system to a score of 105 in our WorldBench 5 benchmark, which is a speedy result, and the system showed prowess in the media encoding tests. In our Cdex MP3 encoding test, where we encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files, the system took only 121 seconds. For gaming, the 7600GT-based graphics chip is well-suited and its score of 2172 in 3DMark06 reflects this.

The notebook's construction is sturdy for the most part and our evaluation the unit, which weighs 2.4kg on its own, showed little flex when tested for structural rigidity. The hinges hold the 14.1in screen (which has a resolution of 1280x800) securely in place, yet they are loose enough to allow the screen to be easily adjusted. The glossy coating on the screen is prone to reflections, but it possesses good brightness and it reproduces text and images clearly, without over-sharpening. The screen's casing could be more solid, as "fingerprints" and distortion of the LCD panel were very visible when we applied any pressure to the back of the screen's housing.

Connectivity on the unit is modern, apart from a modem jack. It has four USB 2.0 ports, located either side and at the rear of the unit, and it also has a mini-FireWire port. A single ExpressCard slot on the left-hand side of the unit facilitates the use of expansion cards such as mobile data cards and digital TV tuners, but the unit lacks an older-style PC Card slot. Directly underneath the ExpressCard slot is an SD/MMC card slot, which is perfect for transferring photos off a digital camera, for example.

Built-in connectivity includes 802.11a/b/g wireless networking, which had no problems detecting and connecting to our WPA-secured wireless network, and it also has a gigabit Ethernet port, which can realistically achieve double the data transfer rate of 10/100 networking when it's connected to a gigabit-capable router. The wireless networking can be switched off via a dedicated slider on the left-hand side of the unit in order to save battery power when it's not needed.

Other connectivity options on the unit include Bluetooth and infrared, which are useful for connecting to mobile phones, VGA, for connecting an external monitor and S-Video out for connecting to a TV. Headphone and microphone jacks are located on the right-hand side of the unit and a red light emitting from the headphone jack makes it easy to find the hole in the dark (the headphone jack doubles as an S/PDIF jack).

A separate microphone will be needed for teleconferencing, as the built-in microphone wasn't able to pick up a normal speaking voice when the notebook was positioned on a desk. The unit's built-in speakers are located on the screen and are surprisingly decent; they can definitely fill a small room with sound. Unfortunately, a Web cam isn't built into the unit, so one will have to be plugged if video conferencing via MSN, for example, is a usage requirement.

Storage is handled by the aforementioned 100GB hard drive, but a DVD burner is also built in to the unit. It supports write-once and re-writeable DVD-/+R/RW formats, and it can also write to DVD+R DL (double-layer) media. The burner is located on the inner part of notebook, rather than on the corner underneath the palm-rest, which we feel is a good, solid design choice.

Typing on the Znote's full-size keys is a pleasure, as they provide nice travel and responsiveness. A Synaptic touchpad is fitted for navigation, but it doesn't feel good to the touch and it sits flush with the rest of the chassis, rather than being slightly sunken. For quick-access to regularly used applications, the unit has four dedicated shortcut buttons, two of which are pre-programmed to launch Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.

While using the notebook over long periods, the bottom of the unit got only slightly warm - meaning it's lap-safe - and there was only a little warmth generated near the palm-rest area. Vents on the left-hand side and underneath the unit do a good job of dissipating the heat from the CPU, memory, hard drive and graphics card.

As for its battery life, the Znote lasted only 95min in the MobileMark 2005 Productivity test, which runs down the battery by simulating a typical user session (it runs office applications and videos and includes idle states, too). This is a low result compared to other notebooks we've reviewed.

Despite its short battery life, the Znote 6214W is a decent choice for any type of user. It's portable enough to take on the road, yet its screen-size and features make it suitable for use as a desktop computer. Similarly, the notebook's 7600GT graphics chip makes it a suitable machine for playing games, as well as a more-than-decent machine for productivity applications and photo editing.

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