Zoostorm's 4-5404 is a very good Windowa Vista PC, although its flat-panel lacks the crisp image quality enjoyed by some of the other early Vista PCs. And 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. It will be available soon, for £750 inc VAT from www.pcnextday.co.uk.
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, it produces a devastating turn of speed, ripping through our WorldBench speed tests with the fastest score of all the £750 PCs we tested.
Mind you, for gaming alone it's not the best. The Arbico 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. Given this and the inferior flat-panel, this has to rank as a second choice – and that’s only if you don’t hanker after the Arbico’s superior gaming speed.