The Belinea s.book 1 (£419 inc. VAT) uses a design reference from VIA chips, allowing them to bring the machine to market quicker than otherwise possible.

Made from solid plastic, this laptop feels great to the touch and rugged in the hand. It has a 7-inch screen that sits on long arms, so a larger battery pack can be fitted without it interfering with the overall design.

This raised screen also means you get a more ergonomic line of sight, making it easier to use.

Built-in Skype phone

The laptop's screen isn't flush with the design, but sits in a large bezel. Belinea has integrated a Skype phone that can be detached and used as you would a normal phone.

This is a great design touch for the mobile traveller and certainly adds to the appeal of the laptop. The benefit of a larger design is that the keyboard isn't as cramped as it would be with a standard 7-inch screen.

The keys run the width of the chassis and, while they are still small, with a little practice you'll find the keyboard easy to get to grips with.

Less appealing are the mouse buttons and touchpad, which are incredibly small and fitted on the front lip of the body.

Powerful laptop

As it's based on a VIA concept design, it's not surprising to find a VIA processor inside. The 1.2GHZ C7-M chip has enough processing power to handle Windows XP with ease.

This is largely due to the inclusion of 1024MB of memory. The 80GB hard drive is an impressive capacity for this size of laptop.

When it came to using the s.book 1 out and about, we found it a great machine to use for meetings, as well as writing notes on the move. However, the size and position of the touchpad is easier to use when sat at a desk than when on the move.

There is a slight haze to the screen due to the technology behind touchscreen, but we found it more than acceptable. Weighing just 1kg, this is an ideal choice for the regular mobile traveller.

Basic features

Alongside a usable keyboard, most users will be looking for a reliable battery life. While the battery cell is a good size, it managed to last for 234 minutes, which is acceptable.

Features are kept to a minimum, but you'll find a DVI connector for outsourcing to larger panels and there are two USB ports and a multi-card reader.

The Belinea s.book 1 is a good all-round machine for use on the commute. It isn't intended to replace your normal laptop, but for basic use it has a lot to offer.