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Zepto Znote 6214W
Unless you happen to be from the Nordic region, where Zepto is apparently the biggest OEM notebook producer, the chances of you having heard of Zepto are incredibly slim. Although initially sounding like a completely made up word, it’s actually a prefix that means one sextillionth, or ten to the power of -21. So one zepto-second would be a very small amount of time, or indeed something very fast. But then we all knew that – right?
Clever naming and geek humour aside, Zepto products have recently been launched into the UK market starting with this notebook – the Znote 6214W.
On the inside things are fairly well specced. There is an Intel Core Duo T2300, which is a dual core “Yonah” processor, operating at 1.66GHz. The chipset is 945PM, which is of course necessary for dual core operation. There is a single 1024MB DDR-II SODIMM installed, leaving room for an upgrade to 2GB (for an extra £72). This does mean the memory is running in single instead of dual channel configuration, but this can almost be forgiven as we’d prefer to be able to upgrade to 2GB later without having to first throw away two 512MB modules.
The hard drive is an 80GB SATA Hitachi Travelstar spinning at a 5,400rpm. 80GB is enough for storing a decent selection of games and MP3’s but you’d struggle if you like to store films or TV rips. If you find you need a little bit more, then the dual layer DVD burner will come in handy. This particular drive is slot loading, as preferred by car stereos and Apple Macs around the world. I also have a bit of a soft spot for them too and I don’t see them often enough. The only real downside to them is that they can be a pain when it comes to non-standard sized discs – but you encounter discs like that fairly rarely these days.
The screen is a widescreen 14.1in at a native 1,280 x 768 resolution. I find this is a good size for desktop work and it is the perfect resolution to accompany the integrated GeForce GO 7600 graphics chipset. Since the Go 7600 is a mid-range card, 1,280 x 768 should be a comfortable resolution for it to handle. Possibly more important is that 1,024 x 768 fits perfectly on the screen, rendered as a 4:3 square in the centre of the display. This means a lower resolution is available for when newer games come along while staying at a pixel native resolution. This means you have black bars on either side, but it also means picture quality stays optimal as there is no scaling.
The graphics chip is almost identical to the desktop 7600 GS I previously reviewed but with a slightly faster 450MHz core (compared to the 400MHz of the 7600 GS) and slightly slower 700MHz memory when compared to the 800MHz of the 7600 GS. A certain amount of marketing leverage has been put on the fact that there is a 512MB frame buffer, but all this is really going to do is consume more power. The 7600 GS is a capable mid-range desktop card, so I’m expecting good gaming performance from this notebook.
Naturally, audio plays a big part in gaming and this is taken care of by a Realtek High Definition audio chipset. This supports 7.1 when using the optical output, but for analogue users there is only a headphone jack. There is an integrated microphone should you need it, as well as a jack for plugging in your own.
As well as the standard Intel 11/54Mbit wireless adapter, there is a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet connection, running on the PCI Express bus for optimal performance. Bluetooth is also included, running the popular IVT BlueSoleil chipset.