Review Zepto Znote 6324W Notebook

Compact Gaming by Zepto

Some manufactures consider a Geforce 8600M GT video card only for notebooks which are at least 17 inch big. Zepto is completely different. Inside the 14 inch 6324W notebook there is a powerful 8600M GT video card by nVIDIA and also a brand new 2.5 GHz Penryn CPU by Intel.

Test Zepto Znote 6324W Logo

 

Note: Regarding case and input devices the Zepto Znote 6324W is nearly identical to the already reviewed Zepto Znote 6224W. Here is the complete review of the Znote 6224W.

Case

While its direct predecessor the 6224W was mainly black and tried to attract attention by silver and partly glossy surfaces, the Znote 6324W has a  white case and looks elegant with this. Although the look clearly does not reach the clear design of MacBooks, which are also frequently bought in white, the case still looks good.

Using the notebook it turned out that the white coated surfaces are clearly less sensible than those of its predecessor. Thereby it does not mind that the surfaces are no longer glossy. The easy to clean, slightly rough surface make this 14 inch notebook even more user-friendly and emphasises its mobility aspect.

The used forms and the design of the case is, alike its predecessor, rather decent without highlights. The relatively broad moulding below the display, which also includes the two speakers, does not absolutely convince by its look. It was obviously necessary to make the 14'' display fit onto the somewhat bigger base unit.

The workmanship of the case, with is mostly made of plastics, is overall alright. It's in vain to look for clattering parts and the Zepto Znote 6324W's case hardly yields when applying force. Despite you can sometimes hear creaking noises when handling with this notebook, considering the price class you can neglect them. 

Noticeable Gaps
Noticeable Gaps of the Znote 6324W

Only the lid has some noticeable flaws. There are, e.g., some uneven gaps where parts join at the left and the right outer display edge. Whilst this is just a matter of look, the low stability of the lid is more crucial. If you carry the notebook, you should, therefore, use a proper wrapping in order to protect the display.

The hinges are able to support any position of the compact display with hardly any see-saw. The transport hook is a double hook system, which can be easily opened by a switch at the upper display edge.

The Zepto Znote 6324W is equipped with all interfaces typical for its price category. There are besides four USB 2.0 ports, whereas one is at the left, one is at the right, and two are at the back side, also a  modem port and a LAN port (Broadcom NetLink BCM5787M PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet controller).

Furthermore, there are a VGA port for connection of an external screen, and a S-Video port. Unfortunately digital video outs (DVI, HDMI), which would provide a completely digital video transmission to an external screen and, so, make excellent picture quality and high resolutions possible, are missing.

However, the Znote 6324W is equipped with a digital sound out. Besides the standard microphone and headphone ports at the right side near the front, there is also a combined S/PDIF - Headphone port which makes a digital transmissions of audio signals  to, e.g., a hi-fi system via appropriate jack and fibre optic cable possible.

Furthermore, the reviewed notebook was equipped with a  Wireless-LAN module by Intel (4965AGN), which can be directly controlled by a hardware switch at the left side of the case. In addition the Znote 6324W provides built-in Bluetooth and an infrared port.

Front Side: No Ports
Front Side: No Ports
Left Side: Power Connector, Fan, USB, Firewire, ExpressCard, Cardreader
Left Side: Power Connector, Fan, USB, Firewire, ExpressCard, Cardreader
Back Side: 2xUSB, VGA, S-Video, LAN
Back Side: 2xUSB, VGA, S-Video, LAN
Right Side: Audio (Microphone, Headphone / S/PDIF), USB, Slot-In DVD, Kensington Lock
Right Side: Audio (Microphone, Headphone / S/PDIF), USB, Slot-In DVD, Kensington Lock

Input Devices

The keyboard, coloured totally in white with some fawn elements, matches well to the design of the case. So, it looks nice at the first glance, but, at a closer look an unusual keyboard layout gets obvious.

Let's start with the enter key, which extends only over one row. This might be a matter of taste and many users won't mind. The next difference to a standard layout is the location of the [#] key, which is not in between [ä] and enter key, but above the one-row enter key.
But, that's still not all. The Ins-key is not next to the Del-key, but right beside the space bar  in front of the AltGr key. Due to a somewhat small space bar, typing mistakes are likely at the beginning.

After you got used to the unusual keyboard layout of the Zepto Znote 6324W, you'll realize that it is rather user-friendly. The keyboard seats completely solidly on the case and typing feels nice.

The built-in touch pad has a user-friendly surface. Furthermore, there are no anomalies when using it. Both of its buttons are user-friendly, but, there clicking noise is clearly audible. If you'd like to deactivate the touch pad in order to prevent an unintended mouse pointer control, you can easily and quickly do this by simply striking the key combination Fn+F6.

Touch pad
Zepto Znote 6324W Touch pad
Keyboard
Zepto Znote 6324W Keyboard

Display

The Zepto Znote 6324W is equipped with a 14.1 inch WXGA+ display with a maximum resolution of 1440x900 pixels. So, the desktop size of this panel is clearly bigger compared to the wide-spread WXGA displays. The user especially profits, if he works with many open applications or if he works with software that supports a number of tool boxes.

Another pro of this display is a non-reflecting surface. It nearly completely prevents disturbing reflections. The maximum  brightness was measured in the centre of the display and amounts to good 196.0 cd/m². Although the brightness diminishes to the edges, which results in a below-average illumination of 71.9%, the average brightness of 162.1 cd/m² is still acceptable.

157.7
cd/m²
181.4
cd/m²
158.8
cd/m²
163.4
cd/m²
196.0
cd/m²
162.7
cd/m²
143.2
cd/m²
154.8
cd/m²
141.0
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 196.0 cd/m²
Average: 162.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %
Black: 1.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 163:1
Distribution of brightness

The black value, i.e., the representable minimum brightness of the display of the reviewed notebook was comparably rather high. We measured 1.2 cd/m². This gives together with a maximum brightness of 196.0 cd/m² a possible maximum contrast of 163:1, which is rather moderate. Subjectively, the diplayed picture is alright, but, the colours could be vivider.

Outdoor Operation
Zepto 6324W in Outdoor Operation

The most important advantage of this 14.1 inch display is definitely that it is fit for outdoor usage, because it has a sufficient brightness and a matte display surface. In practice the displayed picture stayed always legible, even in bright environments. In battery mode the brightness is lower at first, but, if you reduce the brightness even more via the key combination Fn+F4 and increase it afterwards, you are able to use the maximum brightness also in battery mode. So, working outdoors is possible without problems.

The viewing angles of the Zepto Znote 6324W's display were not convincing. Horizontally, you'll face a loss of contrast at acuter angles.
Vertically, a deviation of the ideal viewing angle to the top leads to whitening and, if you continue even more, negative pictures, whilst looking from bottom up the display gets much darker.
If you use this notebook permanently at the same place, the viewing angles are sufficient. However, if you use the notebook in a mobile way, you'll need to adapt the opening angles time and again for an acceptable picture quality.

Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles
Zepto Znote 6324W Viewing Angles



Video of Display's Viewing Angles

Performance

Zepto promises first-class performance inside a compact 14 inch format with its 6324W 'gamer' series. Rightly, the Znote is equipped with a powerful nVIDIA Geforce 8600M GT video card with 512MB GDDR2 video RAM and an up-to-date Intel Core 2 Duo „Penryn“ CPU with 2.5 GHz. Even inside a 15 inch notebook this would be an equipment of the upper middle class. Inside a 14 inch notebook it is in a class of its own.

Of course Zepto offers a variety of options if you order a notebook. Currently four Penryn processors are possible (T8100, T8300, T9300 und T9500 - here is our comprehensive review) with a clock rate of 2.1 to 2.6 GHz. Also regarding RAM there are some options: They start with 2x1024MB PC5300, the reviewed notebook was equipped with, up to  a maximum of 4096MB. You can also select 800 MHz DDR2 memory modules.

Also regarding hard disk there are a number of options available. 120 to 320GB, alternatively with 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm. Furthermore, also a 32GB Solid State disk is available for 300,- Euro surcharge. This version is nearly completely quiet, has excellent access times and a high data security. Cons are the comparably high price an the low capacity.

Compared to competitor notebooks of the multimedia class the 3DMark 2005 and 2006 benchmark results are very good. The top notebook is still the Dell XPS M1530, which is also equipped with a Geforce 8600M GT video card, but, in contrary to the 6324W with GDDR3 video memory. The results are about equal to the results of the already reviewed Zepto Znote 6224W, which is similarly equipped, but comes with T7300 Merom CPU.

3DMark 2005 Benchmark
3DMark 2005 Benchmark
3DMark 2006 Benchmark
3DMark 2006 Benchmark

First the performance increase due to the 2.5 GHz Penryn CPU gets obvious in the PCMark 2005 benchmark, whereas it reaches a total of 5450 points, which is  a first-class result.
Also the result of the Cinebench R10 benchmark is good. The Znote 6324W is compared to other notebooks one of the bests.
In both aspects the performance increase of the new Intel CPUs gets obvious. Even though the price is the same, running office applications, which demand CPU power, the performance increase is about 10% compared to equally clocked Merom processors.

PCMark 2005 Benchmark
PCMark 2005 Benchmark
Cinebench R10 Benchmark
Cinebench R10 Benchmark

Whilst the F.E.A.R. performance test of the Zepto Znote 6324W is not outstanding at all, it clearly wins the Doom 3 benchmark with low and medium details. But, with high or ultra details it is again clearly outperformed by the Dell XPS 1530. Looking at the diagram you can clearly recognize that the advantages of the Penryn CPU is the lower, the higher the demand on video performance.

F.E.A.R. Performance
F.E.A.R. Performance
Doom 3 Performance
Doom 3 Performance
Crysis Performance
Crysis Performance

The results of a test of the current ego shooter Crysis are similar.
The frame-rates are with low details clearly above the ones of the Znote 6224W with 2.0 GHz Merom CPU. However, starting with medium details the results are the same, and the advantage due to Penryn CPU diminishes. The Dell XPS M1530 is still the winner, but, the difference to the Zepto 6324W is only small. In general all compared notebooks can run Crysis smoothly only with low details, so the gaming fun with Crysis maps, which are rich in details, is rather limited.

Systeminfo CPU
Systeminfo CPU
Systeminfo CPU
Systeminfo GPU
Systeminfo HDD
System Information Zepto Znote 6324W
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE22643 points
3DMark 055724 points
3DMark 06
 1280x800
3263 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Asus N10E (min)
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
91
   ...
Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z.G4
 T8300, GeForce 8600M GS
2830
Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Xi2428
 T7700, GeForce 8600M GS
2878
Zepto Znote 6324W
 T9300, GeForce 8600M GT
3263
Dell Studio 17
 T8300, Mobility Radeon HD 3650
3302
Zepto Znote 6224W
 T7300, GeForce 8600M GT
3310
   ...
Samsung Serie 7 700Z3C-S01 (max)
 3210M, GeForce GT 630M
9346
PC Mark
PCMark 055450 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Dell Latitude E4300
 SP9400, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
5414
HP Pavilion HDX9320EG
 T8100, GeForce 8800M GTS
5417
Zepto Znote 6324W
 T9300, GeForce 8600M GT
5450
Samsung SF510-S02DE
 370M, GeForce 310M
5496
Asus M51SN
 T8300, GeForce 9500M GS
5501
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
Doom 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768Ultra, 0xAA, 0xAF76.1 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF114.7 fps
 640x480Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF150.5 fps
 640x480Low, 0xAA, 0xAF151.8 fps
F.E.A.R.
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768GPU: max, CPU: max, 0xAA, 0xAF30 fps
 800x600GPU medium, CPU medium, 0xAA, 0xAF98 fps
 640x480GPU min, CPU min, 0xAA, 0xAF291 fps
120 GB - 7200 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 12.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 57.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 41.8 MB/s
Access Time: 14.3 ms
Burst Rate: 88.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 5.6 %

Emissions

Loudness

Regarding noise emissions the Zepto Znote 6324W is very similar to the already reviewed 6224W. If the windows 'energy saving mode' is activated, the fan stays deactivated most of the time. A noise level of 30.5 dB is reached. So, the notebook is very quiet and hardly audible.

If the performance demand is increased and you switch to the energy profile 'balanced', the fan runs all the time and causes a noise level of 35.7 dB. Our subjective impression was that the loudness is still alright.
Under load a maximum noise level of 41.6 dB is reached. Running games, this no problem, because the noise decreases and gets close to the noise level in idle mode as soon as the performance demand is decreased.

The DVD drive is regarding noise emissions also alright. The noise level of the  SN-T082A was 36.6 dB, when watching DVDs.

Noise Level

Idle 30.5 / 35.7 / 35.7 dB(A)
HDD 31.4 dB(A)
DVD 36.6 / dB(A)
Load 39.0 / 41.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The surface temperatures at the top side of the 6324W are generally alright. The maximum of  38.7°C at the left part of the keyboard (fan) is not too high.
At the bottom side the maximum is 47.6°C, measured at the left side near the front. This is maybe already a little bit too high for working lap top, which could be uncomfortable. Without high load the temperatures stay always below 40°C. So, a mobile use, e.g., browsing the Internet via WLAN, should be possible without problems.

Max. Load
 38.1 °C29.7 °C29.9 °C 
 39.7 °C32.9 °C31.1 °C 
 36.8 °C36.7 °C33.9 °C 
 
39.2 °C47.4 °C47.6 °C
34.7 °C44.6 °C46.0 °C
32.8 °C38.2 °C43.3 °C
Maximum: 39.7 °C
Average: 34.3 °C
 Maximum: 47.6 °C
Average: 41.5 °C

Speakers

Although the location of the two speakers at the bottom edge of the display with sound direct to the user sitting in front of the laptop seems to contribute to a good sound at first, the speakers finally cannot completely convince.

Despite a satisfying maximum volume, the sound of high tones is not completely clear when the volume is increased. Basses are more or less missing.

Although you can enjoy music at moderate volume, you should definitely utilize the digital sound out and connect to a Hi-Fi system, if you demand more.

Battery Runtime

Readers Test
BatteryEater Readers Test (Maximum Runtime)
Classic Test
BatteryEater Classic Test (Minimum Runtime)

The 6 cells standard battery with a capacity of 5200 mAh respectively 56 Wh has a runtime of 67 minutes in the worst case, i.e., under full load with maximum brightness, active WLAN, and Bluetooth. Optimized for energy saving the maximum runtime of the Znote 6324W is 164 minutes.

So, this notebook is not highly mobile, but the runtime is sufficient for a short WLAN work in the garden.  If your demands on mobility is higher, you can buy an optionally available 12 cells high-performance battery for a surcharge of nearly 150,- Euro. Depending on the capacity the runtime should clearly increase. However, these batteries protrude the case by some centimetres.

Power consumption

Idle 38.0 / 42.0 / 49.0 Watt
Load 65.0 / 71.0 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 44min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 07min

Verdict

The Znote 6324W is indeed one of those notebooks which are close to ideal. It provides first-class performance inside a compact mobile 14 inch case, whereas the display is even fit for outdoor operation and an optionally available 12-inch battery increases the mobility.

Although coated in white, the design is rather decent, yet elegant. The haptics of the surfaces is average and hint on the lower price category. Despite some uneven gaps next to the display, the workmanship is nonetheless good.

The input devices are proper for the daily office routine and for occasional mobile work. Whatever, you'd finally like to do with the Znote 6324W, you'll need some time to adapt to the unusual keyboard layout.

The display scores points by a good resolution (WXGA+ 1440x900 pixels) and a matte surface. The brightness of this panel is also alright. However, the viewing angles and the contrast could be better.

Regarding performance the reviewed Znote 6324W, which was equipped with a Geforce 8600M GT video card and Core 2 Duo T9300 CPU with 2.5 GHz, has sufficient reserve capacities. So, it is well equipped for simple office applications, calculation demanding renderings up to computer games.

Depending on the use the noise and the temperature emissions are alright. Only the built-in speakers did not really convince us. But, considering the size of this compact notebook this was no surprise.

The battery runtime of the standard 6-cells battery is definitely not one of the Znote 6324W's strengths. But, the optional 12-cell battery increases the mobility of this notebook.

The Zepto Znote 6324W costs at the time of writing at least 890.- Euro. The reviewed version costs without discounts nearly 1300.- Euro. Considering the provided performance this is still an interesting bundle.

Zepto Znote 6324W
Zepto Znote 6324W
Reviewed: Zepto Znote 6324W
Zepto Znote 6324W

Specifications

Zepto Znote 6324W

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel PM965
:: Memory
2048 MB, DDR2 PC5300 667MHz, 2x1024MB, max. 4096MB
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT - 512 MB, Core: 475 MHz, Memory: 400 MHz, GDDR2
:: Display
14.1 inch 16:10, 1440x900 pixel, WXGA+ UltraCrisp TFT, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
120 GB - 7200 rpm, 120 GB 7200 rpm ST9120823AS ATA
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC268 HD Audio
:: Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 S-Video, 56K Modem, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphones (S/PDIF), microphone, Card Reader: 3in1,
:: Networking
Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (a b g n ), 2.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SN-T082A ATA
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 27 x 247 x 341
:: Weight
2.44 kg Power Supply: 0.54 kg
:: Battery
56 Wh , 5200mAh 10.8V
:: Price
1300 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic 32 Bit
:: Additional features
Recovery CD, Zepto driver CD, 24 Months Warranty

 

In general the case of the Znote 6324W stayed unchanged, but, the colour is different.
In general the case of the Znote 6324W stayed unchanged, but, the colour is different.
The Znote 6324W is white, so, it imitates the look of the elegant MacBooks.
The Znote 6324W is white, so, it imitates the look of the elegant MacBooks.
But, it's only the choice of colour. Regarding design and haptics the Znote 6324W cannot be compared with Apple notebooks.
But, it's only the choice of colour. Regarding design and haptics the Znote 6324W cannot be compared with Apple notebooks.
Design and choice of forms of the case is very decent. It's in vain to look for design highlights.
Design and choice of forms of the case is very decent. It's in vain to look for design highlights.
Nonetheless, the white coating looks good and is easier to clean than the glossy black coating of its predecessor.
Nonetheless, the white coating looks good and is easier to clean than the glossy black coating of its predecessor.
The stability of the Znote 6324W, especially of its base unit, is passable.
The stability of the Znote 6324W, especially of its base unit, is passable.
However, the stability of the display is below-average. It clearly yields when applying force.
However, the stability of the display is below-average. It clearly yields when applying force.
So, you should carefully protect the Zepto Znote 6324W if you carry it around.
So, you should carefully protect the Zepto Znote 6324W if you carry it around.
Overall the workmanship is good.
Overall the workmanship is good.
Some joints of parts are not even. However, this has only an impact on the look.
Some joints of parts are not even. However, this has only an impact on the look.
The interface equipment is typical for this notebook category.
The interface equipment is typical for this notebook category.
There is no digital video out, like DVI or HDMI, but, at least there is an optical sound out (S/PDIF) available.
There is no digital video out, like DVI or HDMI, but, at least there is an optical sound out (S/PDIF) available.
Furthermore, the reviewed notebook came with a slot-in DVD burner.
Furthermore, the reviewed notebook came with a slot-in DVD burner.
The keyboard matches well to the white case.
The keyboard matches well to the white case.
At a closer look you immediately recognize a non-standard keyboard layout.
At a closer look you immediately recognize a non-standard keyboard layout.
E.g., the # key is above the enter key, which extends only over one row. Also the ins key was moved away from its standard location next to the del key.
E.g., the # key is above the enter key, which extends only over one row. Also the ins key was moved away from its standard location next to the del key.
So, you'll need some time to adapt to this unusual layout. Besides this, the keyboard is still in general user-friendly.
So, you'll need some time to adapt to this unusual layout. Besides this, the keyboard is still in general user-friendly.
The display is a 14 inch WXGA+ panel, whose desktop size is clearly bigger than those of standard WXGA panels.
The display is a 14 inch WXGA+ panel, whose desktop size is clearly bigger than those of standard WXGA panels.
Moderate viewing angles and a below-average contrast are weaknesses of this display.
Moderate viewing angles and a below-average contrast are weaknesses of this display.
The transport hook of the Zepto 6324W is a double hook system. So, the notebook is fit for mobile use.
The transport hook of the Zepto 6324W is  a double hook system. So, the notebook is fit for mobile use.
The transport hook can be user-friendly unlocked by a switch at the upper display edge.
The transport hook can be user-friendly unlocked by a switch at the upper display edge.
The Zepto Znote 6324W is worth mentioning.
The Zepto Znote 6324W is worth mentioning.
A Core 2 Duo CPU with 2.5 GHz and a Geforce 8600M GT video card by nVIDIA provide good performance.
A Core 2 Duo CPU with 2.5 GHz and a Geforce 8600M GT video card by nVIDIA provide good performance.
There are some options available regarding hard disk, processor, and RAM.
There are some options available regarding hard disk, processor, and RAM.
Despite first-class performance the noise of the fan is always alright.
Despite first-class performance the noise of the fan is always alright.
The same is true for the surface temperatures, besides that the bottom side can get clearly hotter under load.
The same is true for the surface temperatures, besides that the bottom side can get clearly hotter under load.
The sound of the built-in speakers is sufficient for listening to music.
The sound of the built-in speakers is sufficient for listening to music.
The standard battery has a runtime of slightly above 2.5 hours. Furthermore, there is also a 12 cell battery available.
The standard battery has a runtime of slightly above 2.5 hours. Furthermore, there is also a 12 cell battery available.
After the review of the predecessor, the Zepto Znote 6224W, we now reviewed the Znote 6324W.
After the review of the predecessor, the Zepto Znote 6224W, we now reviewed the Znote 6324W.

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Pro

+Compact size
+Robust case
+Bluetooth and Gigabit LAN
+Good performance for applications and games
+A lot of different configurations available
+Non-reflecting display with WXGA+ resolution
+Working outdoors is possible
+Acceptable emissions
 

Contra

-Digital video out is missing (DVI, HDMI)
-Keyboard layout need getting used to
-Display with moderate contrast and viewing angles

Rating

Zepto Znote 6324W
02/11/2008
J. Simon Leitner

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
85%
Weight
82%
Battery
65%
Display
83%
Games Performance
91%
Application Performance
98%
Temperature
80%
Noise
83%
Add Points
94%
Average
84%
85%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Zepto Znote 6324W Notebook
Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2008-02-17 (Update: 2012-05-26)