At first glance, the specifications included by Evesham make this PC look a snip at £899. However, there are one or two areas where the Quest is lacking – and the most important shortcoming of all is the screen.
The 15.4in widescreen on the Quest simply isn't up to scratch. Although it uses technology similar to Sony's X-black to reduce reflection and keep colours vibrant, it fails on both counts. You're left with a screen that's difficult to see in all but the most helpful of lighting conditions.
Add to this the fact that it doesn't stretch past a resolution of 1,280x800 and it seems a waste of a decent graphics card – the 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon. The Radeon helped the Quest to achieve a rapid frame rate of 67.2fps (frames per second) at a resolution of 1,024x768 in our Halo tests. It got a similar score in Doom3.
The AMD Turion MT-37 running at 2GHz does a reasonable job. The WorldBench 5 processing-speed score of 86 is no better or worse than you'd expect for a system at this price. But the battery life, gauged by our MobileMark 2002 tests at just 126 minutes, is poor. At 2.9kg the A420 is reasonably light, but with this battery it wouldn't be especially good for working on the move.
Wireless facilities and Bluetooth are all included. The DVD writer, 80GB hard drive and 1GB of DDR (double data rate) RAM round off a solid set of specifications. Other than an antivirus package, however, there's a distinct lack of software.