HP is one of the most prominent laptop manufacturers in the world, operating in more than 170 countries. While its Pavilion range marks the consumer arm of the company, its Compaq range is aimed at corporate users, as shown by the HP Compaq nx6325 (£704 inc. VAT).

The HP has a standard 4:3 screen. Although suitable for most tasks, many manufacturers are seeing the benefit of designing business laptop screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio, so the HP is showing its age.

However, this allows the chassis to stay compact. With dimensions of 329 x 268 x 41mm, strong mobility is provided. Its 2.8kg weight isn't as light as we would have hoped, but is far from heavy. A battery life of 263 minutes ensures you can easily work while out on the road.

A regular feature of HP Compaq laptops is impressive usability. The keyboard and touchpad of the nx6325 don't disappoint as both are exceptional to use. By recessing the keyboard and forming the mouse buttons of soft rubber, the screen is protected from damage in transit.

A rarity in corporate laptops, HP has opted for an AMD chipset rather than the usual Intel option. Powered by AMD's Turion 64 X2 TL-52 chip, dual-core and 64-bit performance are provided. Unfortunately, test results weren't as effective as we hoped from this chip.

Despite 512MB of DDR2 memory and a 5400rpm hard drive rotational speed, the HP scored just 165 points from MobileMark tests. Day-to-day ability is certainly competent enough for most business use, but could be vastly improved.

Predictably for a business laptop, graphics are equally average. Using an integrated ATi Radeon Xpress 1150 chip, 3DMark 2003 tests produced a score of 1348 points; fine for DVDs and multimedia presentations, but nothing more.

Business usability is supported by strong connectivity and compatibility, with 802.11a/b/g Wi-fi and Gigabit Ethernet onboard for networking. The built-in optical drive supports DVD /-RW and dual-layer discs.

Adding biometric security, a fingerprint reader sits on the right of the chassis. Controlled via a simple software interface, users can choose to avoid having to remember passwords by simply swiping their finger to access data.

Despite low performance results, the design and combined dual-core/64-bit chipset of the HP Compaq nx6325 makes it an impressive business laptop. For compatibility on a budget, this may be your ideal system.