Philips may be a household name in terms of domestic appliances but it has never been really known for its notebooks.
To this end, it doesn’t really have a presence in this country other than to be sold directly through PC World stores.
This means that if you want to physically check out the Philips 15NB5800, you can do so but you’ll also have to be quick as we’ve been informed they only have limited numbers on offer.
The look of the Philips 15NB5800 is simple and understated and won’t win any design awards; the black and silver casing may come with a glossy black lid but it’s matt finish is rather run-of-the-mill.
When it comes to build quality, we were impressed, as we weren’t expecting a notebook at this price to feel quite so robust. Sure, it’s made from plastic throughout but Philips hasn’t cut corners to keep the cost down.
Weighing in at 2.8kg, this is a fairly portable machine, especially considering it packs in a 15.4-inch Super-TFT panel. At this price, you won’t find anything other than an integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics card, so you can’t play games on this machine but we found the screen was sharp and bright enough for watching DVDs with a fair degree of clarity.
The only problem we had with the screen was when it came to running on battery power. All notebook screens dim in order to save power but we found we had to turn the brightness back up to full to get a good picture on this machine.
If you don’t use your notebook on battery power too often this won’t be a problem. That said, we were impressed with the battery life this machine delivered. Even when running on full power we found it could regularly last 4 hours between charges, which is something you won’t find on most budget notebooks.
We were also impressed with the base specification of this notebook. You’ll find an Intel 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo T5250 processor, which is an entry-level dual-core processor but as its backed with 2048MB of memory, we found the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system loaded quickly and ran applications without too much trouble.
The system is rounded off with a 160GB hard drive – more than enough to store your work as well as multimedia files. A DVD rewriter comes as standard, as do four USB ports spread around the body an ExpressCard slot and card reader. For connecting to an external monitor or projector you'll find VGA-out and S-video ports.
The Philips 15NB5800 may not have a distinct or individual style, coming across as just another reasonably priced notebook.
However, we were impressed with the specification for the price and the better than average battery life certainly makes it stand out from its peers.
Overall, this is a good machine for the home user who it looking to use his/her notebook for a variety of everyday tasks.