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Evesham Zieo N500-HD 17in laptop

Evesham tempts us with Intel's 'Santa Rosa' notebook technology

You also get an infra-red Philips Media Centre remote control, which looks a trifle odd as it is long and slim with a waisted middle. However, it feels great in your hand and does an admirable job. The remote carries a Philips logo with no sign of any Evesham branding, which is something of an annoyance as most of us have a fair few remotes scattered around and we need all the help we can get to pick up the correct one at any moment.

Evesham Zieo N500-HD laptop

From a marketing point of view, this is a weird move as you can't imagine the likes of Sony or Apple mixing their message with someone else's logo.

The size of the MSI Megabook GX-700 chassis used by Evesham means that the ports and connectors are spaced out. On the back you'll find the modem and Ethernet, on the left is the TV aerial connector, the dual-layer DVD writer and two USB ports.

On the right side there's another USB, a VGA output and an HDMI connector plus an ExpressCard 54 slot. On the front of the chassis there are three audio mini jacks, an SD/MMC/Memory Stick card reader and a mini Firewire port. We've no problem with any of that - however, the MSI chassis looks incredibly bland and isn't of the finest quality. The screen for instance is merely adequate while the keyboard has an annoying layout with the Function key at the bottom left and both Enter keys in the wrong position.

Evesham Zieo N500-HD
Evesham's Zieo N500-HD: the right side...

The touchpad is offset to the left, which is a touch uncomfortable to use, and the two mouse buttons lack precision and feel. We're happy with the specification of the Zeio N500-HD, but none too impressed by the look and feel of the chassis. And we also came across something a bit strange during our testing.

Evesham Zieo N500-HD
...and the left

We received the Evesham with the power scheme set on the middle, Balanced option. This gave impressive performance on mains power while the 4400mAh six-cell Li-Ion battery delivered an acceptable life of 94 minutes. That's continuous, intensive use, which is pretty much what we'd expect from a powerful laptop with a large screen.

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