There some of the other Netbooks feature a tiny toy-like design, the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Mini UI 3520 (£280 inc. VAT) looks like a scaled-down laptop.

Interchangeable coloured lids set it apart from the other Netbooks. You can even buy a clear one – letting you insert your favourite photographs or stickers for a truly distinctive look.

It's a shame the lid simply clips over the existing cover, however, as it feels slightly cheap.

Smaller screen

With an 8.9-inch display, it's one of the smaller Netbooks, but it doesn't feel it. The chassis is bulky in the hand, in stark contrast to the 10.2-inch Eee PC S101, and the 1.2kg weight is more than some of its rivals.

We found the display itself bright in everyday use, with an average 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. It's powered by Intel's GMA 950 chipset – so you'll find adequate performance for playing back films.

The Amilo Mini's design falls apart slightly when it comes to the keyboard. It's not a bad board – proving responsive and firmly attached – but it does take some getting used to. The keys don't stretch to the very edge of the chassis, so are not as large as they could have been.

Standard spec

Unfortunately, we were unable to test battery life on our review machine, as we had a pre-production sample. However, with an Intel Atom processor and a similar specification to its rivals, it's realistic to expect a battery life of around three hours from the standard battery.

Storage space comes in the form of a 60GB hard drive, so there's plenty of room for most files, photographs and applications. The extra space over SSD-based rivals is welcome, however, as this system runs Windows XP Home, rather than the simpler Linux operating system found on many Netbooks.

Overall, the Amilo Mini UI 3520 proved a usable and likeable device. However, at this price, it simply lacks anything that makes it stand clearly out from the opposition, bar the coloured lid.