With a conservative, but functional design, standard TFT display and Windows XP Professional, NEC's Versa P570 (£784 inc. VAT) is aimed firmly at the corporate market.

It's a semi-portable machine, weighing in at 2.9kg. Although it's possible to take on short journeys, it's a little heavy for the daily commute.

Standard TFT display

The 15.4-inch display is not as vivid as its rivals but, because it's a standard TFT panel, you'll be able to use it on a train or outside in sunny conditions, with reflections kept to a minimum.

It's also a sharp screen, offering the most space for your documents. It's great for working with spreadsheets, although the high resolution can make text and icons look
a little small.

You'll be able to carry out multimedia tasks - from presentations to basic gaming - thanks to the mid-range nVidia GeForce 8400M GS graphics card. Although not the most powerful adapter, it boasts reasonable 3D capabilities.

Sturdy laptop

The screen creates plenty of space for a wide chassis, and NEC has used every inch of it to cram in a dedicated numeric keypad alongside the main board. Its inclusion means some of the keys - such as the enter or shift buttons - are cramped. This makes it easier to make mistakes when typing.

The keys move with a solid action, although we did notice some flex from the centre of the keyboard. Touch-typing is a comfortable experience thanks to a well-judged amount of travel. The touchpad is quite large, making it easy to place the cursor.

The chassis is tough enough for daily use, but lacks the build quality of some of its peers, and you'll also find the screen flexes under pressure.

Excellent performance

You'll find a powerful 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 processor at the heart of the P750, along with 2048MB of memory.

Running Windows XP Professional rather than the more resource-intensive Windows Vista, everyday performance was stunning. The NEC was quick on startup, and applications ran smoothly at all times.

A webcam built into the top of the screen surround makes it easy to set up video-conferences. An 802.11b/g Wi-Fi adapter lets you connect to wireless networks and Gigabit Ethernet provides fast fixed connections.

The NEC Versa P570 makes an excellent tool for corporate users, with a sharp screen, comfortable interface and outstanding everyday performance. It lacks quality, however, and smaller-than-average secondary keys can cause occasional typing mistakes.