Hi-Grade's Notino W5700 (£499 inc. VAT) targets the home user, and offers features that set it apart from its rivals. Available in black, silver or bright pink, it can be one of the most conservative or outlandish machines, depending on your taste.
The 15.4-inch screen is excellent. A glossy Super-TFT coating helps colours and photographs appear vibrant, and the Hi-Grade offers a decent 1440 x 900-pixel (WXGA) resolution. With the display made up of more pixels, images are sharper than they are on rival panels. There is also more space onscreen, making it the ideal choice for those wanting to edit photographs or work with spreadsheets.
This is a laptop for basic use only, and is fitted with a budget integrated VIA graphics chip. This card offers noticeably less performance than the Intel GMA 950 card. It's suitable for everyday tasks, and you'll have no trouble watching DVDs, but even older games are out of reach.
With a standard-sized screen and chassis, the Hi-Grade has a good keyboard. It's easy to type at speed, thanks to large keys that feature a useful amount of travel. The touchpad is responsive and accurate, and we found the mouse buttons large enough to use comfortably.
Build quality is impressive, with sturdy materials used throughout. The thick plastics behind the display help to protect the panel, and this chassis is one of the strongest we've seen from Hi-Grade. A sturdy clasp is in place to keep the display closed in transit and rubber inserts at the top of the screen help to protect it from scratches when closed. When used on the move, the semi-portable 2.8kg weight is reasonable, and we managed to get over three hours of use between charges.
The Hi-Grade uses Intel's Core 2 Duo T2250 processor, and you'll be able to run several programs at the same time without the system slowing down. It comes with 1024MB of memory, and we found it ran Windows Vista Home Basic smoothly, with little in the way of lag. With 120GB of storage on offer, even those with large multimedia collections will be satisfied.
A dual-format DVD rewriter is provided for backing up your files and watching movies. If you require an integrated webcam, card reader or Bluetooth, then the Hi-Grade isn't the laptop for you. However, if you're willing to make compromises, you will find a well-specified machine with strong performance, impressive build quality and an excellent screen.