Hi-Grade has been in operation for over 20 years and in that time has built up a reputation for producing well-specified machines at aggressive prices. The Hi-Grade Notino W5600 is a good case in point.
While its specification is very much in line with what you can expect from a £500 laptop, there are a number of little touches that make this great value for money. For instance, you'll find a 100GB hard drive and, while the screen uses a standard TFT panel, it's a 15.4-inch widescreen that offers plenty of brightness and contrast.
The Notino uses an Intel Celeron chip. The 1.6GHz version is a mid-range chip and while you can't expect the same performance you'd get from a Core Duo chip, you're not paying a premium for it. With 512MB of memory, this is a machine that will handle standard applications, such as surfing the internet or word processing, comfortably. If you're looking for something that will handle more intense tasks, you'll need to look elsewhere.
The same low performance was also reported by the graphics sub-system, which is a VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro IGP. This is an ageing integrated solution that is fine for standard tasks, such as watching DVDs but it's not intended for use with multimedia tasks, such as editing video. The optical drive is a DVD rewriter, so you can backup files with ease.
Space is used well on the main body of the machine. The keyboard is of a good size, with the keys being firmly mounted, making for a comfortable typing action. The touchpad and mouse buttons are small, but they are well built and proved accurate.
The overall build quality is to be commended, as it felt sturdier than we were expecting for a machine at this price. There was a noticeable build-up of heat on the left side of the machine, but this was nothing to be concerned about.
Weighing in at 2.7kg, this is a semi-portable machine, but we found this was hampered by a less than ideal battery life. With a little over two hours of use, on average, you won't want to rely on this machine for long periods. However, it's fine if you simply want to sit on the sofa and use the Notino for surfing the internet.
The Hi-Grade Notino W5600 is a pleasing laptop to use. While high-end users will find its specification slow, if you're running simple tasks, it has more than enough to meet your needs. What Laptop Staff