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Hi-Grade Notino W5900 review

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.


15.6 in 1,366×768 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 1,366×768 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 ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T5850
Processor clock speed 2.16GHz
Memory 2.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 39x374x255mm
Weight 2.7kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 23W
Power consumption active 51W


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor SiS Mirage 3+
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 128MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive model TSSTcorp SN-S083B
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth no
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/54
Modem Yes
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Nero 7 Essentials, Microsoft Works 9
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £495

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