Although the Asus Eee PC 904 HD (£269 inc. VAT) is one of the larger Netbooks, it actually features a small 8.9-inch screen in a bid to keep the price down.

You can also get the same chassis with a bigger 10-inch screen (Eee PC 1000 ), but it's inevitably more expensive.

The display features a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. It's not the sharpest screen, but copes well with the Windows XP operating system, and is more than clear enough for editing documents or browsing the web. It does look a little lost in the surrounding plastic, however, with bulky speakers on each side.

Accurate keyboard

The big chassis allows for one of the larger keyboard among the Netbooks we've seen, although it does tend to rattle under pressure. Unlike some of its rivals, the Eee PC features a conventional touchpad, and we found it accurate and easy to use.

At 1.4kg, the chassis is one of the heavier Netbooks, but some of that weight comes from the use of a six-cell battery.

This helps to make it ideal for regular travellers, with a great battery life of 250 minutes.

Windows XP

At present, the 904 HD is only available in the UK with Windows XP – and not the excellent and highly usable Asus-tweaked Xandros Linux operating system found on other Eee PCs. However, it still runs without trouble. Although it lacks the full office suite found on Linux models, Microsoft Works is provided as standard, offering basic functionality.

As the HD in the name suggests, this model sports a standard mechanical hard drive, offering 80GB of storage. Other features include three USB ports, a media card reader and a VGA-out port for connecting an external display.

Although the Asus Eee PC 904 HD lacks the style of some of its smaller rivals, and doesn't particularly excel in any one area, as an all-rounder it's an affordable and comfortable choice, and continues the Eee PC's respected reputation.