Acer has built a successful business supplying the latest technology at affordable prices. The Aspire 4920G-302G25Mi (£670 inc. VAT) provides high-performance and a unique design at a low price, but poor mobility limits travel use.

Designed by BMW Designworks, the black and grey chassis stands out from its rivals. The glossy lid adds style and is more resilient than similar panels we've seen.The user interface is equally well designed and the Acer is a pleasure to work on.

Home usability is enhanced by quick launch keys around the keyboard. Music and video playback can be easily controlled, and you can gain instant access to your favourite software at the touch of a button.

Under test conditions, the battery ran for 150 minutes. This is fine for working on the daily commute, but won't suit longer journeys. The 2.7kg weight also makes it quite heavy. Bear this in mind if you plan to travel a lot.

This weight is compensated for by strong desktop performance. An Intel Core 2 Duo processor and an impressive 2048MB of memory allow all software to run quickly and reliably. Even photo and video editing is made easy, making the Acer well suited to home and family use.

Stunning screen

The 14.1-inch screen is bright and provides vibrant colours. Movies and photos look stunning. As with all Super-TFT screens, the glossy coating increases reflections. Visibility isn't hugely impacted, but it is worth bearing in mind if you plan to frequently work outdoors.

Graphics power is strong and makes basic gaming possible. The ATi graphics card is High Definition (HD) compatible for smooth playback of HD videos. Unfortunately, there is no HDMI-out port for connecting to external HD screens.

The dual-format DVD rewriter is not HD-compatible and high-definition videos must be played from the hard drive. Its 250GB capacity provides ample storage for your videos and all other data. A 5-in-1 media card reader is also included for transferring files from your digital camera.

A comprehensive software package helps new users get straight to work. Tools for office use, internet security and CD/DVD creation are all included. A range of proprietary Acer applications are also installed for performing complex system setup and maintenance tasks.

With its impressive power and stunning screen the Acer Aspire 4920G-302G25Mi makes a great choice for a home office or family laptop. The software package and strong usability particularly suit it to the first-time buyer and it's hard to argue with the price.