This powerful British laptop could handle lots of programs running at once
A powerful laptop needn't cost an eye-watering amount of money, as British manufacturer Novatech proves with the Nspire Pro 2540.
It has an impressive combination of new, fast components, which meant it performed very well in our tests. The Intel Core i5-2540M processor is the fastest mobile-computing model in Intel's latest ‘Sandy Bridge' line, and it meant the computer breezed through most tasks and was easily able to handle lots of programs running at once.
The computer has a hard disk unlike any we've seen before. The 500GB Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid model is a mix between a conventional hard disk and a newer solid-state drive (SSD). It has 500GB of standard, slower hard disk storage and 4GB of fast SSD storage in one unit. The SSD enables quicker starting and program loading, and the hard disk part keeps the cost down and allows for a larger capacity.
For the user, this means the laptop runs very quickly. General internet and office tasks were a breeze, and more intensive projects such as video editing didn't trouble it much. It completed our processor-intensive DVD copying test in 29 minutes, faster than all but the most expensive laptops we've reviewed.
It is also capable of handling fairly demanding games; the Nvidia GT520M graphics card was more than capable of displaying the latest PC gaming titles.
All this high performance is great news, especially considering the price. For £600 you can get this laptop without an operating system, which means you can install a version of Linux on it to keep the cost down. Novatech will also install Windows 7 on it before sending it out, however – we reviewed the version with Windows 7 Home Premium on it, which costs £690.
While the laptop looked smart, it felt plasticky. At some points, the joins in the casing are quite sharp and not enormously well-finished. Again, the brushed-silver finish on the casing might appear stylish, but it also felt quite cheap.
The laptop's keyboard was excellent, with ample room for a full numeric keypad. Unlike on a lot of smaller notebooks, the keys were well spaced and comfortable for periods of typing. We found the touchpad was a bit too small and cramped, though. There are also buttons above the keyboard for turning the wireless network connection on and off, and for controlling the sound and DVD playback.
Speaker quality was also better than on most laptops, which made watching videos quite pleasant. The quality of the screen is also worth noting. At 15.6in it's not the biggest around but it was very good for catching up with internet TV or watching films from DVD (it doesn't come with a drive that can read high-definition Blu-ray discs – you can customise it to add one, but it costs a rather steep £150 extra).
Many laptops with this kind of specification fall into the ‘desktop replacement' category, meaning they have very large screens, weigh a lot and aren't designed to be moved. At 2.6kg the Nspire Pro 2540 manages to combine good specifications with portability, so it is perfectly practical to use it for playing games or working on the go without getting a sore back from lugging it around.
The Novatech nSpire Pro 2540 is a really impressive laptop that makes use of some of the best mobile computing technology around.
The hybrid hard disk and new processor make it very fast and, while it might have felt a bit cheap in places, given its price, we recommend it very highly for users who want to do more with their laptops.
Read more reviews
This high-spec laptop is great for gaming on the go, and has an excellent screen and good keyboard
Excellent specifications; good value; comfortable keyboard
Finish felt a bit cheap
Phone 023 92 322 500
Updating your subscription status