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Zoostorm One review

Verdict

An unfussy desktop system, and decent value if media and gaming aren't a priority.

Review Date: 17 Jun 2009

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £660 (£759 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

Do not adjust your set: the Zoostorm One is indeed another rebadged Eurocom L390T Uno, just like the Novatech Solo. While the two offerings are based on the same chassis, they're far from identical - for a start, you'll notice the Zoostorm's price is rather lower. The L390T isn't without its limitations, but they're easier to forgive for £100 cheaper.

Zoostorm has improved the specs too: the Zoostorm One has double the Solo's 160GB hard disk, and the RAM is increased to 2GB. That latter change gives Vista a significant boost: in our 2D benchmarks, where the 1GB Novatech languished with a score of 0.82, the Zoostorm One scored 1.05.

More RAM also improved gaming performance, with the One achieving almost twice the frame rate of the Novatech in our 3D benchmarks. Of course, with Intel GMA X4500 graphics that's a rise from 0.9fps to a still-pathetic 1.8fps in our medium Crysis test.

Where Novatech opts for a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse, Zoostorm sticks with a wired set, leaving you with more cables to deal with and one fewer free USB port. The aluminium Hiper keyboard has a pleasing coldness and solidity to it, but with a spongy action.

The One also comes with a slightly less advanced Realtek wireless chipset, which only supports protocols up to 802.11g,while the Novatech's Intel chipset is fully draft-n capable. And, lastly, Zoostorm ships its systems with a 64-bit edition of Vista.

Beyond which the Zoostorm One is practically the same as the Novatech. That means it too has an array of connectors, a low 49W power drain, a usable if hardly stunning 19in screen and rather underwhelming speakers. The One's extra RAM certainly doesn't magically transform it into a stupendous media PC.

But as a compact desktop system it's a lot more flexible than the Atom-based PCs, more powerful than the Novatech, and more affordable than the likes of the Dell or Sony. It isn't a master of any trade, but as a simple all-in-one PC it's not bad for the price.

Author: Darien Graham-Smith

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