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Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Hi-Grade Notino A9700-3400

£1,174 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Hi-Grade

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

You get a lot of laptop for your money with the Notino A9700-3400 from Hi-Grade – we just hope you don't want to play games on it.

You get a lot of laptop for your money with the Notino A9700-3400 from Hi-Grade – we just hope you don't want to play games on it.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

First, the bad. Hi-Grade has opted to stick with an onboard graphics chip, the 64MB Radeon Xpress 200M from ATI. And it's slow – our Doom3 and Halo tests suggest the A9700 wouldn't be much good for anything more complicated than solitaire.

But if gaming isn't your thing, this is irrelevant. The WorldBench 5 score of 88 is decent for the price tag, there's a 64bit processor running at 2.2GHz and a full 1GB of DDR RAM. You get dual-layer facilities on the DVD writer, so burning large amounts of data is a cinch, though you won't want to try DVD authoring – the graphics chip just won't be up to it. Watching DVD movies will be fine, though, as there's a decent 17in widescreen with a resolution of 1,440x900.

There were two things we really appreciated. First: Windows Media Centre for XP, which gives you all the functionality of Media Center 2005 Edition. Second: included in the bundle is the Hauppauge USB 2.0 DVBT card – a digital TV tuner. This is a great inclusion, considering the price. Connectivity options are good. There's an unusually high six USB 2.0 ports, a mini-FireWire port, 802.11b/g wireless facilities and Bluetooth as well.

The rest of the software bundle isn't bad, either. You get OpenOffice and an all-important antivirus package. With two years of cover on the warranty, this package will give you just about everything you want from a sub-£1,200 laptop – besides a half-decent graphics card.

Hi-Grade Notino A9700-3400 Expert Verdict »

2.2GHz AMD Mobile Athlon 64 3400+ processor
Windows XP Home
100GB hard drive
17in 1,440x900 TFT display
64MB ATI Radeon Xpress 200M graphics chip
24x/24x/16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 8x/8x/8x/4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW) drive
802.11b/g facilities
Media Center 2005 Edition
Bullguard Antivirus
2-year collect-and-return warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

You can't overlook the fact that the graphics chip on the Hi-Grade is poor, but the extent to which that actually matters depends on the user. If it's not a concern then this is an excellent laptop, narrowly missing out on one of PC Advisor's coveted Gold awards.

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