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Review Zepto Znote 3414W Notebook

14 inch Notebook

More compact and lighter than a 15.4 inch notebook, this 14.1 inch notebook by the Danish manufacturer Zepto has not only a handy in-between size but is also potent multimedia computer. We reviewed this handy notebook with Core 2 Duo T7250, Geforce 8400M GS, and 250 GB hard disk. This review covers how it rates.

Review Zepto Znote 3414W Notebook

Looking for a portable office notebook? If the Eee-PC and similar notebooks aren't ideal, because their performance does not satisfy your needs, the MacBook Air by Apple and the X300 by Lenovo are simply too expensive, and 15.4 inch middle class notebook not handy enough, it's about time to consider a notebook with portable 14.1 inch display.

Although there are also some 13.3 inch notebooks with a great price, e.g., Apple's MacBook, Asus' F6S and W7S, FSC's Lifebook S6410, and Toshiba's Satellite U300 and Pro U400, to mention some of them, a wider range of notebooks are still offered in the 14.1 inch notebook  category.

Furthermore, the diagonal of the screen of 14.1 inch notebooks is 35.81 centimetre, which is about 5.7 percent bigger, than the one of 13.3 inch notebooks, whose diagonal is 33.78 centimetre big. However, the smaller subnotebooks are usually clearly lighter and their performance is in the meanwhile also comparable to bigger notebooks. It's agonizing to have to choose between DTR notebooks and subnotebooks: We scrutinised the nice looking Znote 3414W by Zepto and the following paragraphs cover what we found out.

Case

The 14.1 inch Znote 3414W by Zepto is 33.7 cm x 24.4 cm x 4.3 cm big and therewith about 8 to 10 percent smaller than wide-spread 15.4 inch notebooks. Weighing 2.5 kilogramme in total, it is still handy, although other notebooks of the same size, e.g., the Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile M9400 and the Samsung X22-Pro, which weight about 2.2. kilogramme, are still lighter and top regarding weight.

Due to a silver and black metallic finish at the lid, the Znote 3414W looks modern and elegant. The inside is less ostentatious than the noble lid, because it is less luxuriously decorated. Only the blue illuminated power connector, die big web cam in the display frame, and the fingerprint reader at the right palm rest area, attract some attention.

The workmanship of this Danish notebook is in general 'good'. The plastic parts fit precisely together whereas the quality of the materials meet the usual good quality of this price category. Also the base construction of the Zepto Znote 3414W appears to be solid. If you lift it up, the case only slightly deflects and hardly creaks. However, the lid is unfortunately less robust. Applying force results in clearly visible changes on the screen.

Interface Equipment

The interface equipment includes various possibilities to connect to peripherals, i.e., four fast USB-2.0 ports, a fast Firewire port (i.LINK, IEEE1394), the usual audio ports, S-Video out and VGA out. The up-to-date ExpressCard/54 slot can be utilized for popular expansion cards, e.g., TV tuner cards. The built-in 3-in-1 card reader supports MultiMediaCard (MMC), Memory Stick Standard (MS) and Secure Digital (SD). However, a DVI or a HDMI port aren't available.

But, a fingerprint reader is available at the right upper shell - a features which is not yet provided by every multimedia notebooks. But, the web cam inside the display frame is. Due to a resolution of 2 megapixel the picture quality is good compared to competitors. Therefore, it gives you the possibility of sending images and video via the net when chatting on Skype or on Windows Live Messenger.

Data communication on the local area net, e.g., at home is supported by fast Gigabit-LAN. For slow dial-up connections a 56K modem is available. Wireless data communication is possible via WLAN chip, whereas the Zepto Znote 3414W is either equipped with Intel's PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (54 MBit/s) or with Intel's PRO/Wireless, which is faster and supports transfer rates of up to 300 MBit/s, or via Zepto's Wpro-WLAN-Modul (AzurWave/Ralink). At a surcharge of 28 Euro also Bluetooth is an option. However, the Zepto Znote 3414W is not ready for UMTS/HSDPA.

Depending on your demands you can choose the operating system. You can either opt for Microsofts Windows XP or Vista , but Zepto does not provide drive support for XP on its support site.

Front side: indicator LEDs, WLAN switch, transport hook release
Front side: indicator LEDs, WLAN switch, transport hook release
Back side: Kensington lock, battery, vent holes
Back side: Kensington lock, battery, vent holes
Left side: VGA, Gigabit-LAN, modem, S-Video out, 2x USB-2.0, Firewire, ExpressCard/54, 3-in-1 card reader, microphone, headphones
Left side: VGA, Gigabit-LAN, modem, S-Video out, 2x USB-2.0, Firewire, ExpressCard/54, 3-in-1 card reader, microphone, headphones
Right side: DVD drive, 2x USB-2.0, power connector
Right side: DVD drive, 2x USB-2.0, power connector

Input Devices

As already mentioned before, the design of the Znote 3414W is decent and simple, yet ergonomic. E.g., five hot keys, little sensors in front of the screen, improve the user-friendliness. If needed, frequently used system functions, the default Internet browser and the default e-mail program can be launched at your fingertips. Also the sound can be easily switched on and off.

The Znote 3414W by Zepto is equippped with a matte black keyboard with 87 keys. At the beginning, some typing mistakes are likely, because the 'Fn' and the 'Strg' are reversely located, and also the 'Del' and the 'Pause' key are not at their usual location. Anyway, you'll get used to this modified layout soon. The keys, which are 1.2 cm x 1.5 cm in size, are attached tightly to the base construction. The firm and easily sensible feedback makes typing easy. Also the tapping is rather silent. The whole area of the keyboard appears to be rather solid. Only at the '9' and the 'F10' keys the keyboards slightly sags, but, this is only a local problem.

A big touchpad, 7.0 cm x 3.7 cm in size, helps controlling the mouse pointer. It's touch-sensitive surface is slightly roughened and regardless of wet or dry fingers user-friendly. Also the precision of the touchpad by Synaptics is good. However, an optically marked scroll area is missing. Even the touchpad buttons are all right. Their travel is short and their noise emissions low.

Tastatur
Zepto Znote 3414W Tastatur
Touchpad
Zepto Znote 3414W Touchpad

Display

Farbraum Netzbetrieb
Zepto Znote 3414W: Farbraum Netzbetrieb

The display of the reviewed notebook is  a 14.1 inch reflecting WXGA wide screen. The resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels of this clear-type panel conforms to the standard of this notebook category. According to the specifications it is made by CMO (Chi Mei Optoelectronics). However, the reviewed notebook was actually equipped with a QD14TL026 by QDI (Quanta Display Inc., AUO).

Its average brightness is nearly 185 cd/m². Compared to competitor notebooks, this is good. Despite heavily reflecting bright sources of light, the panel of the Znote 3414W stays still legible outdoors, if operated in the shade. But, in the bright sunshine, you can of course hardly recognize anything on this screen.

The illumination of 71.6 percent is not that good. The brightest area (top middle) with 217,2 cd/m² and the darkest area (bottom middle) with 155,5 cd/m²  differ by 28.4 percent. This also conforms to our personal impression, which is that uniformly bright backgrounds appear to be clearly darker at the top than at the bottom. Due to a black value of 1.0 cd/m² the contrast ratio of 217:1 is average. Overall the display of the Znote 3414W is average to good.

195.6
cd/m²
217.2
cd/m²
195.9
cd/m²
188.3
cd/m²
198.3
cd/m²
189.9
cd/m²
163.0
cd/m²
155.5
cd/m²
160.6
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 217.2 cd/m²
Average: 184.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %
Black: 1.0 cd/m²
Contrast: 198:1

In contrast our reference pictures look in general good on this screen, whereas we liked the quality of the picture in general and also the brilliance of the colours. The colours look bold and vivid. However, directly compared to our 20 inch reference screen, a Viewsonic VP2030b the pictures seem to have a blue tint. Horizontally the viewing angles are all right, however, it's more difficult to adjust the opening angle to an ideal one vertically, because the contrast quickly diminishes. The reviewed notebook had a hot pixel (a defective pixel that is always on) in the right bottom corner.

Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 3414W Viewing Angles

Performance

The reviewed Znote 3414W was equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo Mobilprozessor T7250. The T7250 is alike the T7300 operated with a maximum clock rate of 2.0 GHz. But, the cheaper T7250 is only equipped with 2 instead of 4 MB second-level cache (L2). In practice the performance difference is that minor that the user will hardly recognize any. Two DDRII-667 RAM modules of 1.024MB capacity each give a total RAM capacity of 2 GB. Furthermore, the customer is free to choose other parts at configuration time.

CPU-Z-Information of the  Zepto Znote 3414W
CPU-Z-Information of the  Zepto Znote 3414W
CPU-Z-Information of the  Zepto Znote 3414W
CPU-Z-Information of the  Zepto Znote 3414W
CPU-Z-Information of the  Zepto Znote 3414W

CPU-Z-Information of the  Zepto Znote 3414W

The Znote 3414W reaches 4,630 points in the application benchmark PCMark05 by Futuremark, which is a good result. Also 3.803 points (Rendering Multiple CPUs) at the Cinebench R10 by Maxon is all right for this notebook category. So, there is no doubt that the Znote 3414W is indeed powerful enough for the daily office work and multimedia applications.

GPU-Z
Zepto Znote 3414W: GPU-Z
Cinebench R10
Zepto Znote 3414W: Cinebench R10
Vista Performance Index
Zepto Znote 3414W: Vista Performance Index

The video card of the Znote 3414W is a lower middle class model by Nvidia, in detail a GeForce 8400M GS, which is still based on the G86M-Core (8600M xx at G84M (!)). It can use up to 256 MB dedicated GDDR2 memory (400 MHz). Its performance is all right for older games, but not sufficient for today's 3D-demanding games. Basically the strength of the GeForce 8400M GS is due to its PureVideo processor, decoding of HD video sequences, where it can support the CPU.

Disk Management Console
Zepto Znote 3414W: Disk Management Console
HD Tune
Zepto Znote 3414W: HD Tune
DVD Info
Zepto Znote 3414W: DVD Info

Inside the Znote 3414W there is a big hard disk, a 250GB MK2546GSX by Toshiba. This 5.400 rpm hard disk is equipped with 8MB Cache, which is standard for 2.5 inch drives. The average transferrate rate of 44,8 MB/s measured by HDTune is good. However, the access time of 17.6 ms seems to be rather low. The second mass storage device is an optical drive, a SN-S082H by TSST (Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation). However, its operating noise is rather loud.

Cinebench R10
 SettingsValue
 Rendering Single 32Bit2076 Points
 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit3803 Points
 Shading 32Bit2108 Points
Windows Vista Experience Index
 SettingsValue
 Processor4.9 Points
 Memory4.8 Points
 Graphics3.1 Points
 Gaming graphics4.3 Points
 Primary hard disk5.2 Points
PC Mark
PCMark 054630 points
Help
250 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 27.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 55.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 44.8 MB/s
Access Time: 17.6 ms
Burst Rate: 87.6 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.3 %

Gaming Performance

When measuring the gaming performance we used the pre-installed ForceWar  7.15.11.0112 (101.12) driver for Vista. In the Futuremark 3DMark06 benchmark the GeForce 8400M GS combined with T7250-CPU and 2 MB PC2-5300 RAM reaches 1,527 points. If everything else stays the same, a GeForce 8600M GT or GeForce 9500M GS can easily double the points. Nevertheless, the GeForce 8400M GS, is according to our recors still faster than a Mobility Radeon HD 2400 by ATI.

Summarizing all 3DMark benchmarks, the GeForce 8400M GS inside the Znote 3414W rates average regarding gaming performance. The Geforce 8400M GS is just sufficient for playing Doom 3 smoothly up to a resolution of 1.024 x 768 pixels and quality level 'ultra' : 33 fps. However, Crysis even does not always run smoothly at a resolution 800 x 600 and low detail level. The average frame rate when playing World in Conflict is 43 (DX9, 800 x 600, 'low') respectively 27 (DX9, 1.280 x 800, 'Low') frames per second.

3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE11561 points
3DMark 034416 points
3DMark 052615 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
1527 points
Help
Doom 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768Ultra, 0xAA, 0xAF32.8 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF57 fps
 640x480Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF63 fps
 640x480Low, 0xAA, 0xAF87 fps
Crysis - CPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1280x800High, 0xAA, 0xAF2.68 fps
 1280x800Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF5.54 fps
 1280x800Low, 0xAA, 0xAF15.04 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF4.82 fps
 800x600Med, 0xAA, 0xAF9.55 fps
 800x600Low, 0xAA, 0xAF25.91 fps
Crysis - GPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1280x800High2.52 fps
 1280x800Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF7.38 fps
 1280x800Low, 0xAA, 0xAF17.12 fps
 800x600High4.51 fps
 800x600Med, 0xAA, 0xAF12.32 fps
 800x600Low, 0xAA, 0xAF28.98 fps
World in Conflict - Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1280x800High, 2xAA, 2xAF4 fps
 800x600High, 2xAA, 2xAF7 fps
 1280x800Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF6 fps
 800x600Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF13 fps

Emissions

Loudness

The noise level in idle mode and with usual office work load is low. We measured 33.3 dB(A). Also under average load (e.g., Cinebench R10, one CPU-Kern) the noise level is only 38.2 dB(A), which is all right. However, under full load the 14.1 inch notebook gets really loud: A maximum of 40.2 dB(A) make us quickly wear headsets. Furthermore, the DVD burner, a SN-S082H  by TSST reaches a noise level of up to 47.1 dB(A) when watching DVD films.

Noise Level

Idle 32.1 / 33.3 / 34.5 dB(A)
HDD 33.1 dB(A)
DVD 47.1 / 51.1 dB(A)
Load 38.2 / 40.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Due to the fan control and the compact 14.1 case, the  temperature increases much. At the top side the most  recognizable heatings are at and close to the touchpad (38.3°C) and at the left side (41.5°C), The right top side stays rather cool. The maximum temperature at the bottom side is clearly above 40°C. So, we recommend not to operate this notebook lap top on hot summer-days.

Max. Load
 41.5 °C33.6 °C27.8 °C 
 31.5 °C33.8 °C27.7 °C 
 34.8 °C38.3 °C23.8 °C 
Maximum: 41.5 °C
Average: 32.5 °C
33.3 °C43.5 °C42.5 °C
27.3 °C42.0 °C40.7 °C
25.6 °C43.5 °C33.2 °C
Maximum: 43.5 °C
Average: 36.8 °C
Room Temperature 20.5 °C

Speakers

The maximum volume of the integrated speakers is not high. In return there are hardly any distortions.  Alike other notebooks of this category, the sound is thin, middle tones are moderate, and basses are missing. The analogue headphone port could not be checked with our reference head phones, Bose in-ear headphones. The port simply did not work.

Battery Runtime

Idling under Vista, we measure an energy demand of 17.6 up to 27.2 Watt. This is about usual for notebooks with this equipment. The energy demand is much higher with average load (50.6 Watt) and as high as 75.6 Watt under full load.

The 6 cells 53Wh battery has a runtime of up to 3.5h with the Battery Eater Reader's test. It drops down to about one hour with the Classic test. Overall this is satisfying. A pro is that a 9 cells 80 Wh (11,1 Volt, 7.200 mAh)battery is also available for only 21.53 Euro. Its runtime is 5 hours with the Battery Eater Reader's test, and 1.5 hours with the Classic test. However, it projects over the back side of the notebook and weighs 162 gramme more.

BatteryEater Reader's 53 Wh
Zepto Znote 3414W: BatteryEater Reader's 53 Wh
BatteryEater Classic 53 Wh
Zepto Znote 3414W: BatteryEater Classic 53 Wh
BatteryEater Reader's 80 Wh
Zepto Znote 3414W: BatteryEater Reader's 80 Wh
BatteryEater Classic 80 Wh
Zepto Znote 3414W: BatteryEater Classic 80 Wh

Power Consumption

Idle 17.6 / 26.6 / 27.2 Watt
Load 50.6 / 75.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 25min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 04min

Verdict

The Znote 3414W by Zepto is all right. This solid 14.1 inch notebook weighs only  nearly 2.5 kg, its workmanship is good and its input devices are user-friendly. Compared to other 14.1 inch notebooks its equipment is also good. So is the application performance, whereas the noise emissions are low in office mode. To summarize, the Zepto Znote 3414W rates good.

Disadvantages of the Zepto Znote 3414W are the uneven illumination of its screen, the low gaming performance, and the temperature emissions. Although the 14.1 inch WXGA wide screen with 16:10 aspect ratio is comparably bright, the brightness differs vertically too much. Despite the gaming performance in low, you have to consider that this compact multimedia notebook was not designed for intensive game sessions. To consider the last issue: Although the heating could be lower, the average temperatures are still harmless.

The Znote 3414W is advertised by Zepto. At their web site the Znote 3214W is still available.  According to Zepto it is equipped with an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator  X3100 instead of a GeForce 8400M GS. Besides the different video chip these two notebooks should be the same except of some smaller optical differences (no touch-sensitive hot keys) and the 2.0 MP web cam not , which is not provided by the 3214W.

Zepto Znote 3414W
Zepto Znote 3414W
Reviewed: Zepto Znote 3414W
Reviewed: Zepto Znote 3414W Notebook
Test Zepto Znote 3414W Notebook: Gesamtnote „Gut“

Specifications

Zepto Znote 3414W

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel PM965
:: Memory
2048 MB, A-Data DOPE1A16332, PC2-5300, (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) 5-5-5-15, 2x 1024 MB built-in, second RAM slot occupied
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS - 256 MB, Core: 400 MHz, Memory: 400 MHz, GDDR2, GPU clock rate (Shader Domain) 800 MHz, ForceWare 101.12, 7.15.11.0112
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, Quanta QD14TL026, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
250 GB - 5400 rpm, 250 GB 5400 rpm Toshiba MK2546GSX, SATA, 8 MB Cache
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC268 HD Audio
:: Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 S-Video, 1 Modem, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphones, microphone, Card Reader: 3-in-1 (MMC, MS, SD), fingerprint reader 2,0-MP web cam
:: Networking
Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (a b g n ), optional Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SN-S082H ATA
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 4,3 x 337 x 244
:: Weight
2.5 kg Power Supply: 0.346 kg
:: Battery
53.28 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1V 4800mAh
:: Price
938 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Business 32 Bit
:: Additional features
Nero Express 7, 24 Months Warranty, Carry-in Germany and EU, Notebook individually configureable at order time, optional operating system, price: 938.38 Euro with Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 (1,66 GHz), T7250: no choices, 9 cells battery (80 Wh): only 21.53 Euro surcharge, 14.05.2008

 

[+] compare
Usual accessories: Operating System and optionally a burning software.
Usual accessories: Operating System and optionally a burning software.
The fan is not note-worthily loud under office load, but, clearly audible under full load.
The fan is not note-worthily loud under office load, but, clearly audible under full load.
There are big maintenance covers at the bottom side,...
There are big maintenance covers at the bottom side,...
...which make it possible to easily access the core components.
...which make it possible to easily access the core components.
The reviewed notebook was equipped with 2GB RAM, but, both slots are occupied, so you have to replace at least one of them, if you consider to upgrade the RAM capacity.
The reviewed notebook was equipped with 2GB RAM, but, both slots are occupied, so you have to replace at least one of them, if you consider to upgrade the RAM capacity.
Highspeed-WLAN: Intels PRO/Wireless 4965AGN for up to 300 MBit/s.
Highspeed-WLAN: Intels PRO/Wireless 4965AGN for up to 300 MBit/s.
The 3414W is equipped with a huge and fast 250 GB hard disk.
The 3414W is equipped with a huge and fast 250 GB hard disk.
The 3414W comes with a standard power adapter, which is also used by a lot of other notebooks.
The 3414W comes with a standard power adapter, which is also used by a lot of other notebooks.
The optional, but powerful 9 cells battery is cheap, but a reasonable option.
The optional, but powerful 9 cells battery is cheap, but a reasonable option.
However, it projects over the back side of the notebook...
However, it projects over the back side of the notebook...
The 3414W comes with a 2 MP web cam, the 3214W not.
The 3414W comes with a 2 MP web cam, the 3214W not.
...however, a digital video out is (DVI/HDMI) missing.
...however, a digital video out is (DVI/HDMI) missing.
The lid is decorated with a metallic logo.
The lid is decorated with a metallic logo.
It is also finished with a dark gray, silver, and black metallic finish.
It is also finished with a dark gray, silver, and black metallic finish.
Although the 14.1 inch Znote 3414W is compact and handy, 13.3 inch notebooks are clearly lighter.
Although the 14.1 inch Znote 3414W is compact and handy, 13.3 inch notebooks are clearly lighter.
The look of the Znote 3414W is simple, yet elegant.
The look of the Znote 3414W is simple, yet elegant.
The touch sensitive hot keys are user-friendly.
The touch sensitive hot keys are user-friendly.
The bright indicator LEDs are always easily legible.
The bright indicator LEDs are always easily legible.
The touchpad of the 3414W works precise and is user-friendly. Its buttons have a short travel and are silent.
The touchpad of the 3414W works precise and is user-friendly. Its buttons have a short travel and are silent.
This multimedia notebook also provides a fingerprint reader. But, usual for multimedia notebooks, it is not equipped with a TPM chip.
This multimedia notebook also provides a fingerprint reader. But, usual for multimedia notebooks, it is not equipped with a TPM chip.
It is equipped with a modern ExpressCard/54 slot,...
It is equipped with a modern ExpressCard/54 slot,...
...and weighs 162 gramme more than the standard battery.
...and weighs 162 gramme more than the standard battery.

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Price Comparison

Amazon.com

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Compact size
+Moderate weight
+Solid Case
+Good workmanship
+Solid input devices
+Fingerprint reader
+2.0 MP web cam
+Bright display
+Good Office performance
+Big hard disk capacity
 

Cons

-Lid sensitive to force
-Keyboard layout not standard
-No DVI or HDMI
-Loud TSST DVD burner
-Uneven illumination
-Bottom side gets clearly warmer

Rating

Zepto Znote 3414W
05/13/2008
Ronald Tiefenthäler

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
88%
Weight
80%
Battery
76%
Display
76%
Games Performance
73%
Application Performance
84%
Temperature
82%
Noise
86%
Add Points
91%
Average
82%
82%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Zepto Znote 3414W Notebook
Author: Ronald Tiefenthäler, 2008-05-23 (Update: 2013-06- 6)