Specifications and thoughts
|Zepto Nox A15 (Performance)|
|Processor||Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P8400 (2.26GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1,066MHz FSB, dual-core)|
|Memory||4GB (2x 2GB) PC2-6400 - 5-5-5-18|
|Hard disk(s)||Toshiba 320GB, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache|
|Display/TFT||15.4in WSXGA+ ZBD (1,680x1050)|
|Graphics hardware||NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT 512MB|
|Optical drive||TSST SN-S083A DVD, including dual-layer support|
|Sound||Realtek HD audio|
|Networking hardware||1x 10/100/1000, Realtek RTL8168C PCIe Ethernet
Realtek RTL8187B 802.11 b/g WiFi
|Ports and connectors||3x USB2.0, VGA, ExpressCard34, RJ45
Mic-in, headphone-out, S/PDIF-out. HDMI
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Ultimate SP1, 64-bit|
|Notable extras||Built-in card-reader (SD, MMC, MS, MSPro, xD)
Sirius 2.0MP webcam
|Weight||2.83kg with supplied battery.|
|Dimensions||352mm x 253mm x 36mm (W x D x H))
|Warranty||One year as standard.|
|Price||~£999, including VAT and delivery|
The Zepto Nox is ostensibly aimed at the power-user who also wants to play games. CPU grunt is provided by a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo processor (Penryn core) that sits on top of a 45-series motherboard, bereft of integrated graphics in this case.
4GB of RAM is the minimum that a £500+ notebook should ship with, but we're a little miffed that a Blu-ray drive isn't included for the asking price which is just shy of £1,000 - this is a multimedia-focused notebook, after all. If no Blu-ray drive then a smaller-capacity SSD would have done the trick, because high-priced notebooks need to have a trick or two to separate them from run-of-the-mill models from larger OEMs.
The 15.4in screen has a tasty 1,680x1,050 resolution, which is just about perfect, and Zepto guarantees a zero-bright-dot (ZBD) policy. The GeForce 9600M card should just about be able to render respectable framerates at the screen's native resolution if used with medium-quality settings.
Connectivity is pretty standard and the weight, too, is about average for a high-end 15.4in model. Zepto provides a pretty cool configurator that lists easy-to-understand upgrades at the time of purchase, but bear in mind that the majority of laptops are price-configured without an OS, and adding Windows Vista Premium increases the basic cost by around £85 whilst specifying Ultimate - as shipped with the sample laptop - increases the cost by a whopping £178.
Delivery and warranty
A one-year warranty (six months for batteries, however) is based around a collect-and-return service, but this requires the machine be shipped back to Demark for examination, so a total turnaround time could run into weeks. Further, as each notebook is custom-built via a modular approach, non-standard machines may require a build time of between 2-3 weeks, whereas fixed-specification (special offers) are likely to be dispatched sooner.
Zepto has a live-chat feature on its site that works well enough. The company also has a local-rate number, 0845, that connects to a dual-language (Danish/English) switchboard, and we were told the 'line is busy' on the four occasions that we phoned in.
One cool aspect is that you can track the status of an RMA, once initiated, through an online page.
Initial thoughts are that the Zepto Nox A15 has a decent feature-set that's compromised by a higher-than-expected etail price, but let's have a closer look.