Fujitsu Siemens has placed a little too much emphasis on entry-level laptops of late, but the Amilo Si 2636 (£699 inc. VAT), while having an affordable price tag, is anything but cheap.

This 13.3-inch laptop has a stylish look with an air of gaming about it. Sadly, this isn't the case as the graphics are an integrated solution, but this doesn't stop it looking great.

The lid is slim as befits the use of a LED panel and there proved little flex in the build. Open the lid and you'll find the body is matt black with a red trim and an angled edge to the lid.

When it comes to build, it's equally impressive with a tough design.

Cutting-edge design

Around the edges of the machine you'll find the latest in technology, with access for eSATA and HDMI devices, as well as a full-sized ExpressCard slot.

A slot-loading DVD rewriter is fitted and Wi-Fi can be switched on and off as required. If you're looking for a fully featured machine, this is as state-of-the-art as it currently gets.

The keyboard fills the main body of the laptop and the keys are of a good size. Individually mounted, we found them to be rather stiff, requiring a solid strike to fully register the stroke.

The touchpad is oval (as are the mouse buttons), and is on the small side, so navigation can feel a little awkward at times.

A very portable laptop

Stereo speakers can be found on the underside of the palm rests, but they proved rather tinny, offering minimal bass sound. Media player control buttons on the front of the case run alongside a card reader slot and an S/PDIF-out socket.

Weighing in at 2.3kg, this is a portable machine and with a battery life in excess of four hours in High Performance mode, you'll easily be able to extend this to five hours in Power Saver mode.

Not that this machine has been specifically designed for battery life and not power-users. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 and backed by 2048MB of memory, we found this machine was great for daily use, being powerful enough to handle most tasks with ease.

The 250GB hard drive is a nice addition and rounds out the main specification in style.

A powerhouse machine

All this processing power in a compact body does result in a fair degree of heat build-up though, and we found the system quickly grew warm to the touch after only a short period of use.

Fujitsu Siemens has put a great machine together with the Amilo Si 2636. It's a powerhouse portable that delivers in terms of power as well as battery life, making this the ideal choice for the regular traveller looking for extra processing power from their laptop.