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Zepto 6625WD Review


Blackbird

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Overview and Introduction

Zepto is a Danish company and a reletivly new commer to UK shores which produces laptops mainly for those in Europe. The Znote 6625WD is a high end gaming and desktop replacement laptop which incorporates the latest technologies available such as the Santa Rosa platform from Intel and DirectX 10 from Microsoft in a 15.4” size, thus remaining portable.

Specifications

• Znote 6625WD

• 2.00 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 800MHz

• 15.4" WSXGA+ 1680x1050 - 6625WD

• NVIDIA Geforce 8600M GT 512 MB

• 2048MB (2x1024) DDR2 667/PC5300 SODIMM. Zepto

• 160GB 7200rpm SATA Harddisk Samsung

• 6 Cell Battery

• Intel Pro/Wireless 4965AGN

• SAMSUNG COMBO 6xx4w/6xx5WD/2xx5W

• Keyboard Znote 6x15W Black UK

• 1.3 Mega Pixel Camera

• Realtek HD Sound with support for 7.1 surround sound

• Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (not purchased from Zepto)

Input and Output Ports

• 4 x USB 2.0

• 1 x Firewire

• 1 x Card Reader

• 1 x VGA Out

• Ethernet

• Modem

Pictures

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Reasons for Buying

I was in search for a laptop that would get me through university, would provide the latest technologies, great gaming performance and be affordable for a student. Other laptops that I looked at prior to making my choice include the Asus G1s and the Dell Inspiron 9400. I turned down the Asus G1s due to its price and gaming look, turned down the 9400 since it did not have Santa Rosa nor DirectX 10.

Where and How Purchased

Customized and Purchased the laptop from uk.zepto.com. Price including everything came to around £950, I think this is the best deal available for someone in the UK looking for a great gaming laptop since the Rock P670, Asus G1s and Dell 9400 all cost about £150 - £200 above the Zepto.

Build and Design

The Design of the Znote 6625WD is simple yet stylish, I thank Zepto for not giving the notebook flashing lights and other features that give a hardcore gaming feel which I personally dislike. The build quality of the laptop is good, it feels like a properly built laptop. The laptop’s weight is standard for a 15.4” and is easy to carry around. Pushing on the lcd display does not produce ripples. The hinges of the screen should have been a bit better though as it does shake when I tap on it.

Screen

The screen of this laptop is a 15.4" Glossy WSXGA+ with a resolution of 1680 x 1050. These specs for the screen make it a joy to look at, it is very sharp there is no leakage, no dead pixels and at this resolution everything from movies to word documents look absolutely fantastic. At first I was a bit worried the glossy screen would be like those on the Sony Vaoi notebooks (they have a lot of reflection) but am glad it is not that glossy, it is almost in between a glossy and a matte but slightly leaning more towards glossy. The brightness is great too however I think Zepto should have added a bit more brightness levels so that I can turn the brightness a bit more down at night then the default low settings.

Speakers

The speakers offer clear and loud audio quality thanks to Realtek HD Audio support, they also provide the posibility of hooking up 7.1 surround speakers to the laptop.

Processor and Performance

The Processor that I have is the Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.00 Ghz and 800 Mhz fsb, this equipped with 2GB of ram and Nvidia 8600M GT graphics card provides a beast of a laptop. Everything opens right away with no delay, encoding videos is very fast ~ 40 min to encode a 700MB avi file into highest quality Ipod Video format, gaming performance is also great.

Cpu-Z Information

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Gaming Performance and Screenshots

For best gaming performance I recommend that you use drivers from "www.laptopvideo2go.com". Now I will let the pictures speak for themselves

Oblivion

1280 x 800

Vsync On

Everything max except medium textures, HDR instead of bloom and no AA

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Counter Strike Source

1680 x 1050, everything max except no AA and trilinear filtering.

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Battlefield 2142

1024 x 768, since I cant select any other resolution, and If I force wide screen image gets squashed. Everything max, no AA

fps on the top left corner in red

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Halflife 2

1680 x 1050 Everything max, 6 x AA, trilinear filtering

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Battlefield 2

1024 x 768

Everything max, 8 x AA in first screenshot, no AA in the rest

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Bioshock

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NFS PRO STREET (fps in top right corner)

All Settings MAX @ 1280 x 720, NO AA

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Crysis - Settings 1024 x 768 All High except shadows, physics, shaders, water, sound on Medium

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Very smooth, a bit of slowdown during massive nukes and only if up close

World In Conflict demo

1280 x 800 and 1440 x 900, mix of high and medium settings and DX 10 rendering

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Call of Duty 4 - 1680 x 1050 / 0 x AA / 0 x AF / Everything max with specular map set to OFF (turning spec map on gives a 3-5 fps drop)

Click thumbnail, then click on magnifying glass, then click on picture to get ful size

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Benchmarks

3D Mark06

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I ran the test at 1280 x 800 to see how my results compare against those advertised by Zepto at that resolution. Zepto did not provide results for the default 3dmark06 res and thus I did not do the test at the default resolution.

I got 3394 marks with my configuration, the advertised ones are 3486 marks which are obtained using a better processor than mine, the t7700 instead of my t7300 so the slight difference is justified.

Windows Experience Index

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Wprime – 32M speed test

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Super pi

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Heat and Noise

The laptop like any other notebook does get hot during intensive tasks such as encoding video’s and gaming but it feels reletivly cool compared to other laptops, the palm rest is cool during intensive tasks and so is the bottom of the laptop, this is an indication of a properly built heat dissipation system. The noise however is very loud, I can hear my notebook even when I am next to an open window with cars rushing by and the phone rining. Other users claim to have this problem too whilst some say their Znote 6625WD is silent. The Noise problem used to be a problem with other Zepto notebooks but due to extensive Bios fixes it has been fixed, Zepto support team memeber Rene assures me they are working on getting the same done to the 6625WD.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The laptop is great however one aspect of the it that lets all the high end hardware underneath the laptop down is the keyboard, they keyboard feels like its made out of cheap plastic and the quicklaunch launch keys should have been better decorated, in other words the keyboard should have been made so that it fits with the sleek exterior look of the laptop. The touchpad feels looks like its been made out of the same material as the palm rest which I do not like, the right and left click buttons should have been flat,made of the same color as the touchpad and should not make a heavy click sound like the mouse when pressed I think. One thing I do like about the touchpad is the tap to click function.

Wireless

The wireless card is the new Intel Pro/Wireless 4965AGN offering 300Mbit wireless over the previous 54Mbit, I have not seen the 300Mbit performance since my wireless modems signal is only of 54Mbit. However the internet performance is very fast, as fast as if I connect it to the net directly thorugh ethernet cable.

Battery

At the time of purchase the only option was the 6 Cell Battery. I am quite dissapointed with the advertised battery life on Zepto’s site, they are inaccurate. My system lasts for about 1h:50min on powersaver plan in vista whilst doing activities such as surfing the web, whilst advertised battery life for such activities is above 2 hours and 20 minutues.

Operating System and Software

I chose the No Os option from Zepto and according got No Os with ny notebook, other than that the laptop came with only a driver dvd.

Customer Support

The customer support from Zepto UK has been exceptionelly incredible for me, a quite notable person from UK Zepto is Iann. He has answered to my emails within minitues, provided information that I need when I need it, answered every question that I have whilst mantaining a very friendly attitude. There were complications in my order such as I asked to remove the OS and refund me the OS price which was taken care of by Iann.

Only negative aspect about Zepto support is the technical support takes ages to answer, they put me on hold for 30 minitues before picking up.

Conclusion

Pros

• Beast of a laptop

• Simple yet stylish looks, thank god it doesnt have those retarded flashy lights on gaming laptops such as the dell xps and asus g series.

• Excellent screen

• Great gaming performance for this size

• Excellent customer support for me atleast from UK branch, especially Iann.

• Priced very well

Cons

• Fans are just too loud, its day I am sitting near my window with cars passing by, phone rining and stil I can hear the noise of the laptop, although many other users report the contrary so this could be a fault with my unit.

• Keyboard should have been of better quality

• Bugs which you may or may not encounter such as dvd drive not showing up in vista which took ages for me to fix

• Batterly life is not as advertised on their website, stated 2h:45min on 6 cell with minimum use, I get about 1h:55min, and about 2h:05min with undervolting

• Microphone is poorly placed, have to speak loudly to get it to recognize my voice

I am quite happy with my notebook, it has everything I was looking for and works just like I want it to. There are a few flaws as mentioned in the review but some will be taken care of as a result of the bios update and as for the others, the positives are enough to overshadow them and after all nothing is perfect.

Hope you enjoyed the review and thanks for your time

Cheers

BB

Edited by Blackbird
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Hey, thanks for the comment.

For Crysis I was using 169.04

For Call of Duty 4 I was using 169.21

For the rest I was using 163.75

I had encounterd some problems so I went back to 158.22 for quite some time, had no negative experiences with it except that world in conflict was slower and bioshock wouldnt run.

Just updated to 169.21 and have no problems, everything is working perfect.

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I also have the same video card as you, and I hate to say it, but I am not impressed with its performance. I can't run my games nearly as well as yours. I have Vista Ultimate and I reformatted the other day, but I still receive poorer performance than I expect. I play TF2 on max settings, but there are many dips in FPS and many frame drops. I have looked around and found that this seems to be a common problem for this card... I found a forum here:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=172717

However, I tried all of those remedies, but to no avail. I still have instances where my FPS drop like crazy, but if I revert back to later drivers, the problem still exists. Quite frustrating. In about three days I'm going to scrap Vista in hopes of better performance in XP... I'll let you know if I see a difference. The games would be playable if I did not have that strange stuttering fps dip issue.

Thanks for the review though, I rather enjoyed seeing the settings that you could crank up on that card.

Cheers :)

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If the problem your having is that when you start up the game the fps is great, after a few min of play or just a few min of standing at the same point the fps drops down to unplayable rates, then after a longer period of time comes back up and this process repeats itself in numerous cycles, then I have had this issue as well.

If I remeber correctly a fresh install of XP Pro SP2 32bit, no extra updates from Microsoft, performing the win xp dual core fix from NBR, installing chipset drivers using intel inf utility, installing audio drivers from website, installing graphic drivers from this site, installing latest direct x version did the trick.

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Yes sir, that is the exact problem. Quite horrendous eh? I'm currently finishing up my finals in college, and my XP SP2 CD is at my home back in Nor Cal, so I must wait until Saturday before I can reformat and reinstall XP. Thanks for the advice though, I will be doing that ASAP. AH I can't wait to have my computer running well...... Although I will miss Vista, just not its ability to game.

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One last thing you can try though, I was just wondering if your method of installing drivers is the one that I use.

Go to device manager and right click on unistall on 8600M GT OR uninstall nvidia divers from control panel, both are fine.

Uninstall RivaTuner (rivatuner causes some serious trouble for me if i keep it during a driver install)

Reboot into safe mode

Run DriverCleaner/Sweeper or whatever its called, select all nvidia related entries and run the proggy then start and run CCleaner, do both files and registry

Run regedit in safe mode and search and delete all hits for "nvidia" and "RivaTuner"

Boot into windows, install the drivers using the setup.exe as the have disk method seems dodgy to me as I dont know what to select either reinstall driver or update driver. (I have had problems installing using have disk method so I always use the setup.exe)

Try this with the 169.21 or 158.22

If same prob make sure system is set to high performance, power cord plugged in, set powermiser to do nothing in nvidia control panel.

If still same prob, just go to nvidia control panel again and select the display mode to be single display performance, not multiple display performance.

If still same prob, then hopefully it will get sorted out be a fresh XP install.

Cheers and good luck with the finals

BB

Edited by ®®®
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Thanks for the speedy response. I currently do not run CCleaner or regedit to clear out nvidia and rivatuner. Also, I don't uninstall rivatuner. I'll try a fresh install of 169.21 now. I'll write back soon.

Thanks again.

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Ah, was just playing TF2 for a bit and it was working much better, but I still got the stutter/frame drop, although it did take much longer to appear than normally. So, it did help (I think especially setting it to single display mode), but I guess I will still install XP. Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted on how XP works.

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Hey installed XP SP2 and the stuttering is gone. Thanks again for your help man. I think this review gives a great idea of what you can expect from a laptop with this kind of hardware.

Take it easy.

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