The looks are stunning, that's for sure. The X725 is available in red, black, silver or white, boasts a beautiful stainless steel casing and makes you wonder just how much thinner compact cameras can get.

BenQ claims that this device measures just a tiny 12.5mm at its thinnest point, which would make it the world's slimmest seven-megapixel camera.

We don't want to be pedantic, but strictly speaking this is slightly exaggerated. To arrive at this figure, BenQ cheekily must have measured from the tapered edge, which is cheating somewhat. Still, it remains as one of the slimmest digicams we've ever seen.

Slim pickings

Obviously, you have to live with a few compromises, as you simply can't pack that much power into such a slim casing. The overall specs therefore are pretty basic. Summarised, you only get a 3x optical zoom (from a Pentax lens) and just 12MB of onboard memory. You'll have no choice but to shell out for a decent SD memory card.

There's also a big 2.5-inch LCD display that's bright and crisp, MPEG4 video capability and a whopping 29 scene modes.

The so-called Shake-Free system reduces image blur caused by shaky hands and moving images, but really it's standard stuff that you'd expect from a budget point and shooter. We advise you to not to rely too much on the automatic modes, however, because the picture quality won't be the best.

And that's our main complaint. The X725 is pretty and extremely portable, but despite the decent shutter speed you'll have to tweak the settings quite a bit to achieve satisfying images. Often pictures turn out to be affected by image noise and below average colour.

Pictures can be disappointing, particularly in low light conditions, because the camera seems to find it difficult to focus. In the end, it's a classic case of style over substance. Yes, it's slim and you can slide it into your pocket, but there are many far better compact cameras with more fancy features out there, most notably from Casio and Canon.