While many other corporate-aimed laptops use compact 12.1-inch displays, the Dell Latitude D630 (£999 inc. VAT) offers a larger and more practical 14.1-inch panel. It's slightly less portable, but working with spreadsheets and images was easier on the eye.

The display is a matt TFT panel. Without a glossy finish, colours look slightly less vibrant, but it's a much better choice for use on the move. Even in direct sunlight, it remained viewable, and reflections were kept to a minimum.

Integrated GPU

Graphics are handled by an integrated GPU, which helped to extend battery life. We managed to get around three-and-a-half hours between charges. The integrated adapter restricts multimedia use, however, and isn't an ideal choice for intense 3D applications. Regular tasks, such as creating documents or browsing the internet, caused no problems.

The most impressive aspect of this machine is its build quality. The use of magnesium alloy helps to make the chassis robust, and it provides plenty of protection for the components. The casing on the rear of the display is satisfyingly strong, and a curved edge to the bezel prevents items from falling between the display and keyboard when closed.

The keyboard is also well made, the keys moving near silently and with a good amount of travel. It's not the biggest board we've seen, however, and some of the peripheral keys are slightly cramped. Navigation can be achieved either with a large touchpad or a responsive pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard.

Despite the D630's size, the 2.5kg weight is reasonable for daily use. The thin chassis also helps it to slip easily into bags.

Intel's high-end Core 2 Duo T7700 processor sits at the heart of the machine. This boosted the Dell's everyday performance, as did 2048MB of memory. And considering it runs the less resource-hungry Windows XP, it's one of the quickest laptops we've seen to date. Running multiple programs had no impact on the speed of this machine.

As expected of such a single-minded business tool, networking features are to the fore. An 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi adapter is fitted, and a slot on the left-hand side of the chassis takes a full-sized data card. This lets you use 3G/HSDPA technology to connect to the internet virtually anywhere.

It may not be the most portable laptop, but rest assured this is the only compromise you'll have to make with Dell's Latitude D630.