Let's deal with the obvious first: yes, the Hi-Grade Notino D2200 is a pink ultraportable laptop, and yes, there's every chance Hi-Grade sent us this version to review since we're female.

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From the outside, the dusky pink isn't too bad, but open it up to reveal the full-on candyfloss lipgloss effect and you'll recoil every bit as much as we did. Of the entire PC Advisor| family, only our receptionist liked the Hi-Grade Notino D2200.

The next most obvious thing is the price: £640 inc VAT for a 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo laptop with 1GB of RAM and a WorldBench score of 67 knocks the socks off the dreadful performance of the Samsung Q40, for instance. We also liked the fact that the 12.1in Hi-Grade weighs 1.8kg – well within the realm of everyday portability even for us weaklings.

The Hi-Grade Notino D2200's keyboard is nice and large and we were taken with the tactile surround and clickable keys next to the D2200's touchpad.

The overall design of the Hi-Grade Notino D2200 Vista Home Premium laptop gets a nod of approval too. Useful blue and green status lights glow warmly from the front of the unit's base and a catch secures the lid when the Hi-Grade Notino D2200 is not in use. The speakers are discreet and this laptop didn't seem to get half as hot as some of the other small laptops we've looked at.

As with other ultraportables, we'd steer you away from using this model for gaming, but we've heard music sound worse than from the functional rather than entertainment-focused Hi-Grade Notino D2200.

We were surprised to find a poor result for the Hi-Grade Notino D2200's battery life. In the top power consumption mode we used for our endurance tests, we managed to eke out only an hour and five minutes use.

Hi-Grade Notino D2200: Specs

  • 12.1in, 1,280x800 screen
  • 1.95kg
  • 303x225x28mm
  • battery life under intensive testing: 1hr 5 mins
  • WorldBench speed score: 67
  • games test framerate: 5fps
  • 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T2350
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 802.11 a, b, g
  • Bluetooth
  • Ethernet
  • 3x USB
  • 1x FireWire
  • 128MB Intel GMA 945
  • 1.3Mp camera
  • 26/49/65W
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • OpenOffice
  • Bullguard
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD
  • 1-year warranty
  • 12.1in, 1,280x800 screen
  • 1.95kg
  • 303x225x28mm
  • battery life under intensive testing: 1hr 5 mins
  • WorldBench speed score: 67
  • games test framerate: 5fps
  • 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T2350
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 802.11 a, b, g
  • Bluetooth
  • Ethernet
  • 3x USB
  • 1x FireWire
  • 128MB Intel GMA 945
  • 1.3Mp camera
  • 26/49/65W
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • OpenOffice
  • Bullguard
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD
  • 1-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

This is one of the better-specced ultraportables and its price and practically are certainly not to be sniffed at. However, the Hi-Grade Notino D2200's abysmal battery life and its garish livery (even the microphone socket is pink) are real shockers. The upside is that you can choose a plain silver version of the D2200. You’d be hard pushed to beat this model for value and portability, but the lack of staying power is a real concern.

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