For all its faults, though, one thing that can’t be doubted about the Znote 3415W is its raw speed. As was already outlined in our Inside Mobile Penryn feature it compares very favourably to even the fastest notebooks we’ve tested over the last six months, while it also eclipses them in several scenarios.
One such scenario is batch image editing, as demonstrated by our in-house Photoshop Elements test that simulates processing and resizing a large number of images. Here the extra L2 Cache of the T9300 really comes into play, with the Zepto even beating the likes of the Rock X770 T7800-8800 – probably the fastest notebook we’ve ever tested.
In all our other tests the Zepto also performed very well. In PCMark Vantage it competes well with the slightly higher specified Rock, even coming out on top in some of the more CPU intensive tasks. Moreover, the Zepto runs noticeably cooler than some notebooks we’ve used in the past; another benefit of utilising the 45nm T9300 instead of any of its 65nm predecessors.
Regrettably, though raw performance is very strong, Zepto once again fails to impress when it comes to battery life. Utilising a 4800mAh six-cell battery the Znote 3415W doesn’t compare well to previous systems we’ve reviewed, despite the fact that the new CPU should offer some benefits when it comes to power usage.
As such, when compared to the Dell XPS M1530, another 15.4in notebook that used a six-cell battery and broadly similar components, with the exception of the CPU, the Zepto trails considerably. In all tests and conspicuously so in the Productivity benchmark, it managed just over two and a half hours, compared to the Dell’s two hours and 55 minutes. Purchasing a larger nine-cell battery would obviously offset this gap, but it will of course add extra weight and expense.
Bearing in mind this and the other smaller issues already discussed it is clear the Znote 3415W isn’t the perfect laptop, not by a long chalk. But what it does do well is address a particular need for a bleeding edge machine at a price and flexibility few can match. Fine, it may not have the look or feel of a Dell, HP or Sony machine, but it doesn’t have the price either. And when it comes to the flexibility of available options, Zepto even trumps Dell.
What it lacks in style and panache the Zepto Znote 3415W makes up for in raw performance and value, with few able to match Zepto both on price or options available. Its rough edges mean it’s not a bona fide recommendation, but if it matches your needs it’s worth a look.