Acquired by Lenovo in 2005, IBM's ThinkPad range comprises some of the best business laptops around. The ThinkPad R61 is no exception, providing solid usability in a small and compact package. The sombre black chassis is one of the sturdiest you can buy, and perfect for the rigours of frequent travel use. However, the 188-minute battery life is merely average.

For freedom of usability, both a touchpad and pointing stick are fitted. The keyboard is also one of the best we've used on any laptop and a pleasure to work with at all times. Using a dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo processor, performance goes beyond mere business use. All software ran efficiently, as did the Windows Vista Business operating system.

Comprehensive access to settings and features is provided by a range of proprietary Lenovo software. Hardware hot keys make them easy to use and usability is flawless. Security is also easy to manage with a fingerprint scanner that lets you protect essential data without the need for passwords. A light above the screen can be used to illuminate the keyboard in dark conditions.

The most obvious flaw arises in supplied third-party software. No office software is included, even for basic tasks, which will immediately restrict business users. However, the installed Lenovo tools are excellent. Despite this minor flaw, even for home use, the stability and build quality alone make it hard to beat.