An updated version of the Zoostorm 52-4201, the 15.4in Zoostorm 52-4203 combines value with an increased processor speed and improved performance.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

For your £480 you now get a 2GHz Intel Core 2 T2750 (replacing the 1.6GHz T7100 in its predecessor). The Zoostorm 52-4203's 1GB RAM remains unaltered, however.

While in terms of pure performance the Zoostorm 52-4203 was beaten by quite a margin by the Acer TravelMate 5720, it turned in a highly creditable 70 WorldBench points. All in all, this Intel Santa Rosa laptop is worth a look.

The Zoostorm 52-4203 isn't much of a headturner, being the same metallic silver as many other laptops, but it's not as bland as some and seems sturdy without being bulky. The Zoostorm 52-4203 tips the scales at 2.7kg and has a nicely slim case.

Zoostorm has fitted out the Zoostorm 52-4203 with a good-sized laptop that provides good tactile feedback, but the trackpad is less responsive than we'd have liked. There's no scrolling panel, but if you prefer to zip around the screen using a scrollwheel, a scrollable USB mouse will set you back only a few pounds (you'll still have change from £500).

The Zoostorm 52-4203 offers wireless a, b and g connectivity, so you should have no problem logging on to any sort of Wi-Fi network. Zoostorm also includes Bluetooth connectivity.

You won't want to use the budget Zoostorm 52-4203 for multimedia playback as the speakers are on the tinny side and you need to rely on onscreen buttons in Windows Media Player or another media manager to control things – no dedicated hardware buttons are included. There's no webcam either, but you can import photos directly using the three-in-one card reader. These will look great when displayed on the Zoostorm 52-4203's crisp 15.4in screen. A 120GB hard drive handles storage and, overall, there's little to complain about in this well-specified budget model.

Zoostorm 52-4203: Specs

  • 15.4in 1,280x800 screen
  • 2kg
  • 365x252x37mm
  • battery life under extreme testing: 2hrs 56 mins
  • WorldBench speed test score: 70
  • games test result: 11fps
  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 T2750
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • DVD-R/-R/+RW/-RW/+R DL/-RAM
  • SD
  • MMC
  • Memory Stick
  • 4x USB
  • 1x FireWire
  • Express Card 54
  • 256MB Intel GMA X3100
  • 22/42/67W
  • 15.4in 1,280x800 screen
  • 2kg
  • 365x252x37mm
  • battery life under extreme testing: 2hrs 56 mins
  • WorldBench speed test score: 70
  • games test result: 11fps
  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 T2750
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • DVD-R/-R/+RW/-RW/+R DL/-RAM
  • SD
  • MMC
  • Memory Stick
  • 4x USB
  • 1x FireWire
  • Express Card 54
  • 256MB Intel GMA X3100
  • 22/42/67W

OUR VERDICT

An excellent value laptop that enjoys decent build-quality, the Zoostorm 52-4203 is a solid choice.

Find the best price