The Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRL (£699 inc. VAT) combines impressive performance, features and battery life.

Its powerful specification is particularly notable at this low price, making it easy to recommend for home or business use.

The Hi-Grade uses one of Intel's latest Penryn processors. The 2.4GHz chip is backed by 2048MB of memory for fast and reliable performance. All our test software ran flawlessly, making this an ideal choice for high-powered multi-tasking.

Speedy performance

3D performance is less capable, so this isn't the best choice for multimedia use. The integrated Intel graphics card provides enough power for home photo and video editing, as well as DVD playback. Basic gaming is also possible, but don't expect to play the latest releases.

The glossy 15.4-inch Super-TFT screen is both bright and sharp. However, colours are less accurate than we'd like, and appear slightly flat. The integrated camera above the screen lets you stay in contact with friends and colleagues via online video messaging software.

While the 2.8kg chassis is too heavy for constant mobility, the 238 minute battery life is excellent. Usability is also strong. However, while the keyboard is responsive, its hard typing action can be uncomfortable during long periods of use.

Data security

The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner is an unusual but welcome choice for this consumer laptop. Fitted between the mouse buttons, you and your family can protect access to your accounts with a swipe of your finger, rather than have to remember complex passwords.

The 160GB hard drive is bettered by some of the competition, but is nevertheless ideal for family use. It also carries a dual-layer DVD rewriter for saving as much as 8.5GB of files to compatible DVD discs, making it ideal for easy data backups.

Home and office users on a budget will appreciate the pre-installed OpenOffice software. Providing tools for word processing and spreadsheet creation, it is compatible with Microsoft Office.

A thoroughly modern laptop

Although the one-year warranty is common at this price, Hi-Grade makes it easy and affordable to upgrade. Increasing the warranty to three-years costs £59 (inc. VAT) and includes cover against accidental damage.

With its high-performance and long battery life, the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRL has everything you'd want from a modern laptop.

Its strong extra features and the latest Intel technology make this a bargain at this price and a fantastic laptop for the home or office.