Zepto Nox A15
Solid, speedy and stylish
- Solidly constructed, looks stylish, fast performance, can be used for gaming, 1680x1050 resolution
- Tends to get noticeably hot after prolonged use, no FireWire
A big screen resolution, fast performance and a stylish design make this notebook a fine choice for home and business use — and even for some gaming.
Price$ 2,500.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
With a stack of processing power and an unusual body, Zepto's Nox A15 is a stylish laptop that's been designed for demanding users. It has a glossy 15.4in screen with a native resolution of 1680x1050, so you can easily get two documents lined up side by side, and its matte black body is finished in a rubber-like material that makes it soft and 'grippy' to touch.
A 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P9500 CPU resides in the engine room, and it's flanked by 3GB of DDR2, 800MHz RAM, a 250GB, 7200rpm hard drive, and a GeForce 9600M GT graphics adapter. As you might have guessed already, it's no slouch. It recorded 102 in the WorldBench 6 test suite, which is a swift result that means that it won't be troubled when running the majority of office applications, photo editing and even video editing applications. It's a smooth ride when multitasking, too. Its times of 1min 7sec in our MP3 encoding test and 1min 11sec in the Blender 3D rendering test indicate that it's also a decent machine for designers and video editors who want a portable machine on which to compress files and render work or school projects.
Good for gaming
Gamers also get a look in, as the GeForce 9600M GT card can be used to run old and new games adequately, and its score of 4952 in 3DMark06 indicates as much. But it won't run them smoothly at the native resolution of the screen; you'll have to bump down the resolution two or three notches, especially when playing some of the latest DirectX 10 games, in order to achieve playable frame rates.
It's not a complete entertainment solution, though, as it doesn't ship with a Blu-ray-capable optical drive, but it does have an HDMI port and an integrated digital TV tuner. This is ideal for when you want to use your high-definition TV as your monitor.
For when you want to watch a DVD or downloaded video in the dark, Zepto has included a utility that can switch off the unit's indicator lights. Invoked by pressing the Function and F12 keys, it will switch off the majority of the unit's status lights (except for the hard drive light) so they won't be a distraction or pain to your eyes while you watch the screen. It's a feature that's missing from many of the dedicated entertainment notebooks on the market, and it's welcome on the Zepto. The screen itself is very bright and has good contrast, but its vertical viewing angles are narrow, and the picture loses contrast as you move past 160 degrees left or right.
Physically, the notebook's chassis has clean lines. There isn't a smorgasbord of ports cluttering the left and right edges, and ports from the old days have been retired. You won't find a D-Sub port, nor will you get a built-in 56Kbps modem. Disappointingly, you also don't get FireWire, but this isn't essential unless you want to transfer data from a digital video camera.
Fast, but hot
With a dedicated graphics card, an almost full complement of RAM, and a 7200rpm hard drive (which recorded an expected data transfer rate of 26.5MBps in our tests), the chassis does get warm. All of these components are located on the left side of the laptop, and if you actually do use the unit on your lap, the heat will get uncomfortable. The palmrests also tend to get a little warm. A cooling fan is present, but as the unit's intake vents are on the bottom, it won't get any cool air unless it's sitting on a hard, flat surface.
Away from an outlet, the Nox A15's 6-cell battery won't last very long. It ran out of puff one hour and 16 minutes into our DVD rundown test, which used maximum screen brightness and CPU power, so the optional 9-cell battery should definitely be considered when purchasing this unit.
Navigation is by way of a touchpad, which has the same surface material as the rest of the body, and it is always accurate. The keyboard, too, is very comfortable to type on, with roomy keys providing sharp bounce-back. Our test model had a UK keyboard layout, but the retail units will ship with a US-style keyboard.
The unit's sturdy build and fast performance get a thumbs-up from us, as does its ease of use. It's also one of the most stylish notebooks on the market. The only problem with its rubbery finish is that oily hands will leave a visible mark.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft's pricey Surface Book is getting stomped by the ancient Surface Pro 3
- Alienware's tiny Alpha gaming PC gets bigger muscles... in the US
- Why Apple's new MacBook Pro needs more than just one USB-C port
- Asus ROG teases a massive gaming notebook that outperforms Titan X
- Chromebooks beat Mac notebooks 1.4-to-1 in U.S.
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCWindows 2003-2012 R2 Active Directory Consultant/ManagerNSW
- FTMobility Developer x 2 - iOS and Android positions available!NSW
- FTContent Manager - Migration projectNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - Healthcare industryVIC
- CCSalesforce Project ManagerQLD
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/JAVA/SQL) 160621/AP/082Asia
- CCBiztalk developerNSW
- FTStorage ConsultantACT
- FTIT Support Analyst (Renewal Contract)Asia
- CCIT Finance Systems Process AnalystNSW
- CCServiceNow DeveloperVIC
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA / SQL) 160621/JP/224Asia
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer | Canberra | NV1 NV2 clearance | Defence projectsNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCProgram CoordinatorNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - TravelNSW
- CCTechnology and Security ArchitectACT
- CCAnalyst Programmer (System Backup Operation/UNIX) 160615/AP/791Asia
- FTSystems application support analystNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- FTTechnical Services ManagerACT
- CCAEM Backend DeveloperVIC
- CCProject/ Program AnalystVIC
- FTSoftware Services Team LeaderNSW