The HP Compaq 2710p (£1938 inc. VAT) is an ultraportable Tablet PC that impressed us last time we tested it.

Despite not being the most powerful of machines, its strong battery life, eye-catching design and great usability continue to impress.

A striking laptop

The look is striking, but still manages to feel like a business machine. The brushed aluminium chassis is both strong and stylish. It weighs just 1.8kg and fits easily into the smallest luggage.

The 245-minute battery life, under test, is impressive and easily kept us working away from the office. Usability is outstanding. The keyboard is of a high quality and is a pleasure to work on.

Function keys at the top of the keyboard are fairly small, but remain accessible. A pointing stick controls movement and responds well.

Or a tablet if you prefer?

The 12.1-inch screen rotates 180 degrees and folds down for full tablet functionality. The included stylus is accurate for taking notes and drawing onscreen.

The screen is bright, but has a hazy quality due to the digitised technology necessary for tablet use.

A SIM card is fitted beneath the battery for wireless broadband access. A wizard-driven software set-up utility makes it easy to get connected and troubleshoot any problems.

A pop-up aerial is built into the screen panel to improve reception.

HP offers limited storage

An area where the HP falls short is its storage options. The 100GB hard drive is excellent, but bettered by some of its rivals. There is no optical drive, so you have no access to CDs or DVDs.

Media card support is also restricted to the SD format. More pleasing are the data security features. Being a corporate machine, these can be centrally configured by your IT manager.

The hard drive is shock-mounted and protects against damage from drops. A fingerprint scanner lets you restrict data access to authorised users only and can be easily set up using HP ProtectTools software.

Disappointing performance

Performance is low due to the use of an ultra-low voltage Intel processor and integrated graphics card. Business and home office tasks run smoothly, but there's not enough power for complex multi-tasking or high-performance 3D applications.

A comprehensive warranty adds strong support for business users. Three-years of cover is provided as standard and covers all delivery and repair fees. This can be upgraded to on-site, next-business-day cover for £89 (inc. VAT).

If you're seeking a Tablet PC with as much style as substance, you'd be hard pressed to beat the HP Compaq 2710p. This is a great laptop and only its low performance stopped it from winning us over completely.