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Hi-Grade Notino W5900 review

Alan Lu
7 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
495
inc VAT

A gaudy lid design doesn't hide the budget features of this laptop, but it's well built with a great keyboard.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5850, 2.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

We aren't usually impressed by the design of Hi-Grade's laptops, as they tend to be off-the-shelf designs with acres of cheap-looking black plastic.

The W5900 bucks this trend with its glossy black lid with an unusual design on it - the silhouettes of four women on an abstract pattern. Unfortunately for Hi-Grade, we can't see this appealing to its target audience of women, and it's certain to be a show-stopper for men.

Opening the lid reveals a rather smart silver keyboard panel, with square white keys with flat tops separated from each other by a small gap.

Keyboards are usually the weak point of budget laptops, but Hi-Grade has done well with the Notino W5900. Despite a bit of rattling, the keys are firm in their moorings, have a light action and adequate feedback. There's even a numberpad that doesn't mess up the layout. The touchpad is nice and big, too, but the buttons are flat and have little travel. Overall build quality follows the lead set by the keyboard; we found the lid to be rigid and the case sturdy.

Performance is nothing special, partly due to only 2GB of RAM, but it's still much faster than some netbooks on test here. The SiS Mirage 3+ graphics chipset couldn't handle our 3D benchmarks, so the W5900 isn't a gaming laptop. Battery life isn't great, either, at two hours and 30 minutes.

Hi-Grade has opted for a 1,366x768 widescreen display, which has vibrant colours and decent contrast, but a slightly uneven backlight. There's a shortcut button to turn off the backlight, which helps extend battery life while you're listening to music, for example. Like other budget models here, there's evidence of skimping on features to reduce costs, such as the blanks filling the slots where HDMI and eSATA ports should be.

We applaud Hi-Grade's excellent keyboard, but performance and features are no better than other budget laptops here, despite the much higher price. There's no reason to choose the Notino W5900 over cheaper laptops here.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T5850
Processor clock speed2.16GHz
Memory2.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size39x374x255mm
Weight2.7kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle23W
Power consumption active51W

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorSiS Mirage 3+
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelTSSTcorp SN-S083B
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
ModemYes
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedNero 7 Essentials, Microsoft Works 9
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£495
Detailswww.higrade.com
Supplierhttp://www.higrade.com

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