HP splits its laptop business between the consumer-focused Pavilion range and the corporate-based Compaq line. The HP Compaq nx7300 continues this line.

There's a standard TFT screen in place. This is to minimise reflections and fingerprints when out in bright conditions, and even in direct sunlight on the train we found it easy to see. Although it's not as vibrant as rivals with a Super-TFT coating, images are bright and crisp. At 15.4-inches, and with a widescreen aspect ratio, we found it more than adequate in size for opening several documents at the same time.

Graphics come courtesy of Intel's GMA 950 chip - an integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). This helps to maximise battery life, and we routinely managed to get more than two hours of use between charges - more if used purely for text editing applications. You won't be able to run complex 3D applications on this machine, but PowerPoint presentations or watching the odd DVD didn't cause us any trouble.

As befitting a machine intended for everyday use, the HP offers excellent build quality. The display is protected by sturdy casing, and the chassis is equally strong, resisting flex even under pressure. Attention to detail is good, with rubber stops and mouse buttons to protect the screen when in transit, helping to make this an ideal machine for the commuter. To this end, weight is kept down to 2.7kg.

The keyboard offers large keys with the firmly attached feel we've come to expect from HP's business machines. We found the touchpad responsive, and there's a scrollbar to the right that helps to make onscreen navigation a pleasure.

When it comes to processing power, we found the HP ran applications smoothly and without lag. The nx7300 is in its element running everyday office tasks. You'll find 1024MB of memory helping to give performance a boost. Storage space, at 80GB, is adequate for all your documents and files, but if you intend to download large movie files, you may be better off looking at machines that offer up to 160GB of storage.

For backup, you'll find a multi-format dual-layer DVD rewriter. This allows you to save your files to all current formats of writable DVD discs, with up to 8.5GB of space on offer from dual-layer discs.

The Compaq nx7300 does very little wrong. Build quality is great and performance also lived up to expectations. If you're after a business machine, the HP is worth a look.