Fujitsu's first netbook – the Amilo Mini UI 3520 – was a usable and likeable device, but struggled to stand out from the crowd. Its successor – the M2010 – certainly seems more successful, but the jury's still out.

The early model we got our hands on showed real promise. Its glossy red chassis and curved hinge add style, but the bulky design means this isn't the sleekest model around.

Even in its pre-production stage, build quality is excellent. The thick lid provides ample protection for the 10.1-inch screen and the sturdy hinge is equally strong. The glossy plastic inevitably attracts scratches and smudges, however.

The keyboard isn't particularly stylish, but is comfortable to use. The keys aren't as small as on some rival devices, so typing mistakes are infrequent. The keys move with a responsive action, but the board tends to rattle slightly at times.

The key feature is the stunning screen. It is one of the brightest netbook panels we've seen and colours jump from the screen, so photos and videos look great. Its glossy coating is very reflective, however, so it can be slightly tricky to find the ideal viewing angle.

Due to our review unit being a preproduction sample, we were unable to benchmark performance or battery life, but Fujitsu assures us that retail models will sport an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1024MB of memory and a 160GB HDD.

Three USB ports let you connect peripherals and an SD card reader lets you access fl ash storage cards. An integrated camera above the screen is also in place for taking snapshots, recording video, and using online video-conferencing software.

While we can't make a final decision on how the M2010 fits into the bustling netbook market at this early stage, first impressions are very positive. As long as performance and battery life match the impressive build and usability, Fujitsu may have a winner on its hands.

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