15.4 in 1,280×800 display, 2.7kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
PC Nextday’s Zoostorm 84-5200 is almost identical to the 82-4200 in our £500 group.
It shares the same case and includes the same components and ports. The only differences are a faster 2.4GHz P8600 processor and an Nvidia GeForce G 105M graphics chipset with 512MB of dedicated memory.
Despite this, its gaming performance wasn’t very good, and the laptop managed only 8.9fps in Call of Duty 4. While this rules out the latest first-person shooters, the chipset should cope with less demanding strategy games.
Windows performance was considerably better, and the 84-5200 achieved the highest benchmark results in this group. Its score of 4,084 was second overall, making this laptop faster than models costing twice as much.
The 15.4in widescreen display has a resolution of 1,280×800. Its glossy finish helps to improve contrast and colour vibrancy, but reflections can be a problem under bright lights. Image quality was very good, although we found that whites had a slightly blue tint, giving the image a colder appearance.
The 84-5200 has a generous 320GB hard disk, as well as HDMI, S/PDIF and eSATA ports, but only three USB ports. It has no FireWire ports, Bluetooth or Draft-N WiFi.
The black-and-white design may appear tacky to some, and for £650 we’d expect something a little more refined. There’s nothing wrong with the case, though, and it’s well built. The keyboard is firm, and we liked the moulded keys with their standard layout. The touchpad is large and smooth but the buttons are too stiff, and the all-in-one design makes it hard to distinguish the buttons from the surround.
In a group test dominated at the budget end by a £500 Blu-ray laptop, the 84-5200 still offers decent value thanks to its great performance, even if the lack of a Blu-ray drive is slightly disappointing. If you don’t want Blu-ray, but you need a powerful laptop for video or photo editing, the 84-5200 is a great option. Otherwise Acer’s 6920G is better.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8600|
|Processor clock speed||2.4GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Realtek High Definition Audio|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption idle||29W|
|Power consumption active||45W|
|Viewable size||15.4 in|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce G 105M|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||320GB|
|Optical drive model||TSSTcorp SN-S083A|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11b/g|
|PC Card slots||1x ExpressCard/54|
|Supported memory cards||SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro|
|Other ports||eSATA, minijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Operating system restore option||restore partition|
|Warranty||one year RTB|