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Hi-Grade Notino W5800 review

Comfortable to use, but lacking in features and sporting an old design


  • OpenOffice software included in package
  • Bright screen


  • Distinctive design won't appeal to everyone
  • Lacklustre performance
  • Ageing spec

Hi-Grade's Notino W5800 (£599 inc. VAT) uses a generic chassis that we've seen on several of the company's laptops in the past. It's a semi-portable machine, weighing in at 2.7kg.

The 15.4-inch display features a standard TFT finish, meaning reflections are nearly non-existent and fingerprints are also reduced.

This makes it a lot more suitable for work away from the home. Unlike many such panels, it's bright and vibrant, making movie playback a pleasure.

Low graphics performance

Keeping costs down, it's also uses an integrated SiS GPU. We found performance noticeably down on Intel-based rivals and this machine really is for basic use only. Even older games failed to run, although you'll still be able to watch DVDs, edit photographs or browse the web without trouble.

The vivid pink finish on the chassis and lid definitely won't suit all tastes, but at least it's distinctive. It clashes with the bright white keyboard, however, which also picks up dirt easily.

Solid build

Quality is good; the plastics are thick and resist pressure well, and the keyboard also moves with a solid typing action. The keyboard itself offers large and comfortable keys, but it's a noisy machine to type on. The touchpad proved responsive, with precise and large mouse buttons below.

It's evident where costs have been cut, but this enables money to be spent on one of the quickest processors in the group – a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 chip.

Unfortunately, the 2048MB of memory is less than several of its rivals, and the Hi-Grade returned the worst results in our benchmark tests. That said, we found it much better in day-to-day use, where it made light work of photo editing tasks and word processing applications.

Poor value spec

A free OpenOffice software suite is provided as standard, which is handy for office use straight out of the box, but features lag behind those of the other laptops. Wireless and fixed networking adapters are both previous-generation solutions with slower connection speeds, and it's one of the few machines among its peers to omit a webcam.

Ports are also limited, with a single VGA connection for an external display, and a trio of USB ports. With two of these located right next to each other, you'll struggle to connect more than one peripheral simultaneously.

Although there's nothing inherently wrong with the Hi-Grade W5800, the chassis design is old and times have moved on. The components in this machine are also past their best, making this laptop pretty poor value.