In the past couple of months we've seen the first laptops emerge featuring Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processing technology. Packard Bell's EasyNote TS13-HR-035 is the latest and it offers an impressive level of performance for such an affordable machine.

Although Intel's Sandy Bridge processors had a shaky start, the teething problems have now been fixed and the resulting boost in performance is excellent.

This laptop features an updated version of the Core i3 2310M CPU, which offers considerable power on a budget. With 4096MB of DDR3 memory also on board, you can comfortably multi-task with applications.

Integrated graphics

This laptop uses the processor's integrated graphics for rendering images and, although graphical performance can't beat the latest dedicated GPUs, the results of our benchmark tests were encouraging. You can comfortably watch HD movies and even indulge in some light video editing, although the latest games are a push too far.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 294 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 248
3DMark 2003: 9997

A built-in DVD drive allows you to enjoy movies on the go, which look good on the bright and vibrant 15.6-inch display. We would have preferred a sharper screen, but viewing angles are strong and the screen tips back to near horizontal.

Build quality is impressively strong too, considering this laptop's price. We did notice a little flex in the chassis, especially near the DVD drive, but the lid is quite tough and protects the screen while you're travelling. We also liked the bright-red patterned design.

The 2.7kg weight means you can transport the laptop when needed and a battery life of almost five hours will keep you going for a good chunk of the day.

Packard Bell has used an isolation-style keyboard with each key poking through individual holes in the chassis. This prevents dirt from infiltrating the insides, while keeping keys separated. It's a comfortable board with a dedicated numeric keypad and we also liked the touchpad, which has a separate scrollbar for quickly navigating through websites.

You get some good features too, including 750GB of storage. Networking is speedy, thanks to 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, and one of the three USB ports uses USB 3.0 for transferring data at twice the normal speed.

Packard Bell's social networking app can be accessed by pressing a button and allows you to stream content from the likes of Facebook.

The EasyNote TS13-HR-035 is a great and cheap way of enjoying and editing your media on the move. Performance is strong and the display is satisfyingly vibrant, while usability and a range of useful features are additional highlights.

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