When I first saw the chassis, its matt finish and lack of distinctive features did little to spark my imagination. But the more I’ve used this machine, the more it has grown on me with its unassuming yet sleek style. There is no denying though, it’s nothing particularly special to look at – but on the whole it's well designed.
On the left hand side is the modem jack, wireless switch, a single USB 2.0 port, a four-pin FireWire port, 3-in-1 card reader and an Express Card slot. On the right hand side is another USB port, audio connections and the slot loading DVD drive. On the back we have D-SUB, S-Video, Ethernet and another two USB 2.0 ports. This means that there is a USB port on every side of the notebook. This is a real time saver, as 95 per cent of the time when you are looking for a USB port, the first side you reach for is the side that doesn’t have one. Good thinking Zepto.
The keyboard has a lot of travel in the keys, so you need to press them down quite far. At first I found I kept missing keystrokes out, so I had to learn to type a bit harder in order to get a decent speed going. But there is ample room to rest my wrist. I didn’t get on very well with the touch pad, but I rarely find a touch-pad that I can get on with. However, in this case Riyad also agreed that it wasn’t the best as the surface had a bit too much friction - plus the touchpad didn't mirrow the widescreen aspect ratio of the screen.
Just looking around the Zepto website, little things like the inclusion of graphics clock speeds in the specification tables and the multiple machine configurations for different users and the benchmark results to give an idea of relative performance just give you a clue as to how switched on Zepto really is.
Obviously the machine is fully configurable, and I would probably change some of the default options – such as the extra £35 for the 1.83GHz processor and the extra £72 for 2GB of memory. It is worth noting that Windows is not included as standard and a copy of Windows XP Home is an extra £50.
At 2.35kg including the battery, this is a pretty light device. It’s hard to tell exactly where this notebook lies. Is it a budget gamers notebook, or just a good value work machine? The big question is, how does it perform?