Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Zepto Znote 6625WD
- Top quality screen, good performance
- Battery life is sub-standard, only supports SD memory cards
Once again we are happy with Zepto's design and performance and are particularly impressed by the screen. There's nothing fancy to scream from the hills about, but the Znote 6625WD is a solid and powerful machine that will suit many needs.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
Zepto's Znote notebooks have been solid contenders since their first sojourn in our test labs, and the 6625WD is no exception. The clean design and simple exterior harbour some serious hardware inside, and while the 6625WD has no particularly new or ground breaking technology it does offer an unusually nice screen and is a powerful little machine overall.
Although Zepto has announced, and is offering, its notebook range with Intel's newest 45nm (nanometre) CPUs, codenamed Penryn, this model still uses the current 65nm generation; in this instance an Intel T7700 2.4GHz CPU with an 800MHz front side bus and a 4MB L2 cache has been installed. There is 3GB of DDR2 RAM installed and a GeForce 8600M GT graphics chip, and for a little extra kick Zepto has installed 1GB of TurboMemory. TurboMemory is a form of flash memory used by the operating system to cache temporary files, in particular those that are used on a regular basis, theoretically speeding up the system's performance.
It's difficult to really judge the benefits of TurboMemory, but we did see some good results in our benchmarks, showing the system as a whole can hold its own under a heavy workload. Another high point of this notebook is the top quality screen. With good brightness, good contrast, a native resolution of 1680x1050 and an uncommonly good viewing angle it's a pleasure to use. The internal speakers aren't phenomenal, but they are capable of producing quite a loud volume level. They will certainly suffice for watching a movie or playing some background music while you work.
On the front edge of the notebook are the media controls, including play/pause, skip forward and back, and a shortcut to Windows Media Player. Above the keyboard there are a number of other shortcuts to mail, the Web, webcam and a pair of programmable shortcuts. On the right-hand side of the the notebook are some volume controls, a simple but very useful feature.
Zepto will provide the notebook without an operating system if requested, but ours was installed with Windows Vista Home Premium, so we ran it through our usual benchmarks, including WorldBench 6, in which it scored a very healthy 91. At the time of writing only a handful of notebooks have achieved scores over 90, making this one of the more powerful notebooks around. In our MP3 encoding test it took 75sec to convert 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files in iTunes, then 113sec using Cdex (a single threaded application). Both are fairly impressive scores that compare favourably to some desktop systems.
It also achieved a fair score of 3007 in 3DMark 2006 and an excellent score of 22,253 in 3DMark 2001 SE, suggesting it will handle some newer games albeit at medium settings and lower resolutions, and older games should run with ease. The only test that was sub-par was the DVD run-down battery test, in which the Znote 6625WD lasted just 74min, about 15min short of the average for notebooks of this size. This, of course, is a worst-case scenario test and the system should last longer under normal working conditions.
Our only real complaint about this notebook is with the media card reader, which only supports SD cards, rather than covering a few other popular memory card types.
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