We liked the slimline design of the 17in Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR laptop but it isn't the prettiest of models. Despite its low price tag, the Ultinote is far from the poor relation of this price category.

The Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR turned in a rapid WorldBench real-world speed test, notching up 92 points – enough to beat even the capable HP Pavilion dv9595ea into second place.

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The 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 processor and 2GB of DDR RAM clearly make a good partnership, if the Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR is anything to go by.

Not everything about the Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR is as impressive, however. In common with some other laptops, its screen has a native resolution of 1,440x900 pixels. This means the Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR can't take full advantage of the high-definition display capabilities of the 256MB ATI Radeon 2400 XT graphics card installed in it.

The Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR has a glossy finish to the screen but we found items displayed clearly and crisply.

Not everyone will find the Hi-Grade Ultinote SA9900SR's 160GB hard disk sufficient for their needs, although archiving can be done using the combo DVD+/-RW drive. The DVD tray is rather flimsy, however.

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