CyberPower is a UK-based PC company and makes systems for the high-end user at highly aggressive prices.

The CyberPower Xplorer X5-C90 (£999 inc. VAT) is one such machine and mixes mid-level graphics with a semi-portable chassis, and can be used for gaming as well as everyday purposes.

A tough laptop

The case is made from extremely thick and solid plastic. The 3.2kg weight isn't ideal for carrying around on a daily basis, but when you do need to take it on the road, you can feel confident it won't fail you.

Protruding from the back of the machine is a large module that makes the CyberPower awkward to stow away easily. This module has four fans inside it, which are needed to keep the system cool, as it has been designed for use with Intel's Extreme mobile GPU, and therefore needs to be able to handle over-clocking and the increased thermals of such a process.

The laptop's lid has a black glossy coating, which adds a hint of style. Open it and you'll find a 2-Megapixel webcam, which can be positioned for better angles, sitting above a 15.4-inch Super-TFT panel.

We found it incredibly bright, even on battery power, making it ideal for watching movies or viewing documents.

Future proof

The chassis is a standard Asus C90 and comes with a larger than normal hatch at the back. This makes it easy for the user to upgrade the system, and helps to future-proof the laptop.

The keyboard sits squarely in the middle of the chassis and while it's comfortable to use, there is a great deal of space around it that could have allowed for better use of secondary function keys. Individually mounted, the keys have a good deal of travel and we found them comfortable to use.

The touchpad is made from the same plastic as the main chassis and proved responsive. Between the mouse buttons is a biometric fingerprint scanner that sits in a small dip, so is neatly out of the way.

Reliable performance

When it comes to performance, you won't find any drop in quality, as the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 delivers 2.4GHz of performance, so you'll find it can handle most tasks with relative ease. Supported by 2048MB of memory, we found performance was quick and reliable.

When it comes to extras, you'll find eSATA for connecting external devices as well as a HDMI port for connecting to high-definition televisions and external panels.

The CyberPower Xplorer X5-C90 is a great all-round machine. We were impressed with the build and performance, and while you won't want to use it on the move, as a compact desktop replacement, this is a great choice.