Kobalt is a UK computer manufacturer that makes gaming and performance machines.

The Kobalt Nexus (£1490 inc. VAT) is a powerful laptop that combines performance and portability.

This machine features a 15.4-inch screen. With a smaller bezel around the display, it is a highly portable machine. The 2.9kg weight also makes it a comfortable laptop to take on the road with you.

Strong performer

Despite its semi-portable size, the Nexus can easily rival even bigger gaming laptops, and is one of the most powerful machines we've seen to date.

The nVidia GeForce 9800M GTS graphics card is a cutting-edge chip, and provides enough performance to play the latest games with ease.

The 15.4-inch screen is sharp and easy on the eye. In default settings, we found it had a slightly blue tinge, although it's possible to change colour settings manually to improve this.

Responsive keyboard

The keyboard is a comfortable size, with large and responsive keys. Although easy to type quickly on, they do rattle as you type, letting the quality down slightly. The touchpad proved responsive and accurate, and you'll find a fingerprint scanner between the buttons.

The rear of the screen and palm rests are created from brushed aluminium, with hotkeys also finished in the same material. It's tactile and also adds a premium feel.

Impressive specification

In addition to its powerful GPU, the Kobalt has one of the most powerful processors – Intel's 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo P9500 chip – and 4096MB of memory.

We found everyday performance to be reasonable, with little sign of lag when running processor-intensive applications, although it wasn't quite as quick as its rivals.

At 320GB, there's less storage space than many similarly-priced rivals, which is worth considering if you intend to download and store high-definition (HD) movies.

Connectivity strengths

Networking features are good, with Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n as standard, making it easy to play multi-player games over the internet.

All-round connectivity is also impressive. You'll be able to hook up external displays using HDMI or DVI ports, and there are four USB ports for connecting peripherals. Bluetooth is built in, so you'll be able to connect devices wirelessly.

The Kobalt Nexus is an impressive compromise between power and portability. It offers performance to rival much larger machines, yet you'll still be able to take it around with you.