The Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA-03 is a real powerhouse of a laptop. At £799 its inclusion of Windows Ultimate makes it a bargain.
The Notino D7000SRA is powered by the same 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T8300 processor as the much more expensive Rock Pegasus 680 T8300, and it also matches it for screen size, if not resolution with a 15.4in screen capable of 1280x800. The hard drive is a whopping 250GB, though it packs in only 1GB of DDR2 RAM.
The bargain price is even more remarkable when you consider that the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA comes preloaded with Windows Vista Ultimate, which must gobble up much of the budget for extras.
As a result you don't get any flashy add-ons with the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA. The chassis is not the most desirable we’ve seen, but the keyboard and surrounding area is smartly laid out, even if the wrist band and the plastic on the lid are liable to pick up smudges. Plus, the only software you get with the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA-03 is OpenOffice.
Nonetheless, all the hardware basics are included - from a DVD writer, to Bluetooth and 802.11a/b/g support and three USB 2.0 ports. The widescreen display is crisp and bright and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA's speakers, which really weren't bad for a laptop. Sound was powerful and clear, and nothing like as tinny as you might expect.
While its specifications may only cover the basics, the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA's performance was anything but basic. In our Worldbench 6 speed tests it scored 99. This puts it in the same league as much more expensive £1,000+ laptops, indeed it beats many of them. This is no mean feat given that the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA's processor isn't backed by stacks of RAM to help it speed through tasks.
When it comes to graphics, things aren't quite as stellar, and using its ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400 card with 256MB of memory the Hi-Grade Notino D7000SRA-03 only managed 23 frames per second (fps) at a resolution of 1024x768 in our Company of Heroes test, falling to 16.8fps at 1200x800. While in the Fear test it clocked up an average of 19fps, 37fps less than the Rock Pegasus 680 T8300. So perhaps this isn't the top choice for gamers or anyone who relies on demanding graphics applications.