The Asus F7S (£769 inc. VAT) is a big machine, and offers enough performance to suit both home and business users alike.

Open the 17-inch display and the most striking aspect of this laptop is the textured plastics used for the palm rests. Along with brushed aluminium highlights, it helps to create a distinctive style.

The screen is impressive, offering deep and accurate colours and more than enough space for opening multiple windows. It has a glossy Super-TFT coating, which adds vibrancy, but can also prove problematic in brighter conditions, where reflections can be intrusive.

A comfortable machine

Graphics come courtesy of an ATi chip, but it's a low-end Mobility Radeon HD 2400 in this case. It provides noticeably more performance than an integrated GPU, so you'll be able to run presentations or perform basic video editing, but 3D capabilities are limited.

As a desktop replacement machine, there's plenty of space for the large keyboard, and the keys are responsive and offer a good amount of travel. The touchpad is big and accurate, with brushed aluminium mouse buttons below.

With such a responsive user interface, the Asus proved a comfortable laptop on test. Build quality is good, and the chassis is robust and hardwearing.

The screen surround offers plenty of protection for the display and the machine remained cool to the touch during long, intensive use.

Powerful laptop

There's a lot to impress within the chassis, starting with the 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It helps to provide plenty of power and we found multiple applications ran with ease.

The Asus also has an impressive amount of memory - at 3072MB - and was very quick when it came to boot times.

The hard drive is 250GB, and provides all the space most users will need for documents, music and video files.

Packed with features

The F7S is a fully featured machine, offering great networking capabilities as standard. Wireless connections are provided by an 802.11n adapter - offering the fastest wireless transfer speeds currently available.

Gigabit Ethernet is in place to offer fast fixed connections. You'll find Bluetooth, letting you connect peripherals without having to use wires, and an eSATA port lets you back up files to an external device at high speeds.

Its large size means you should look elsewhere if you're after a portable machine, but if not, the Asus F7S is an impressive laptop.

It's not the most stylish system, but it offers great usability, power and is packed with features.