This review appears as part of the comprehensive roundup of Vista PCs in the April 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents. Click here to read our general Vista PC buying advice.

Zoostorm's 4-5404 is a very good Windows Vista PC, although its flat-panel lacks the crisp image quality enjoyed by some of the other early Vista PCs we've tested. Unfortunately this is less of a problem than it might be, because only Vista Home Basic is included, making the best possible screen less of a priority.

The Versatile establishes a strong advantage with its fiercely competitive base specifications. There's a healthy 2GB of high-calibre DDR RAM and, when combined with the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, this produces a devastating turn of speed, ripping through our WorldBench speed tests with the fastest score of all the £750 Vista PCs we've seen yet.

Mind you, for gaming alone it's not the best system. The Arbico CD7950XL earns that particular accolade, thanks to its superior graphics chip. The Zoostorm's 7900 GS is proficient, but it lacks the raw edge of the Arbico's 7950 GT. The BenQ DVD writer isn't particularly impressive given the tough competition but, otherwise, the Zoostorm's components match those of its opponents. The sound system is on a par with other £750 Vista PCs, while the capacious 320GB hard drive and flash memory reader are welcome.

However, the decision to bundle only the Basic edition of Vista Home is perplexing. It's not as though this PC couldn't cope comfortably with the demands of Aero, and its general Vista performance is fine.

Zoostorm 4-5404 Versatile PC: Specs

  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 320GB serial ATA
  • 17in AOC LM765 flat-panel
  • nVidia GeForce 7900 GS
  • 16x/16x/16x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R) 4x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x/5x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • Windows Vista Home Basic, CyberLink PowerDVD 7.0, Ahead Nero Express 7.0, flash memory drive
  • 1-year onsite warranty
  • WorldBench 5 score 127
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 320GB serial ATA
  • 17in AOC LM765 flat-panel
  • nVidia GeForce 7900 GS
  • 16x/16x/16x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R) 4x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x/5x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • Windows Vista Home Basic, CyberLink PowerDVD 7.0, Ahead Nero Express 7.0, flash memory drive
  • 1-year onsite warranty
  • WorldBench 5 score 127

OUR VERDICT

The inclusion of a low-end version of Vista and the inferior flat-panel makes this a second-choice £750 PC - and that's only if you don't hanker after the Arbico's superior gaming speed.

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