Lenovo has a strong reputation for its high-quality and reliable business laptops.
While its ThinkPad range has previously been seen as an expensive high-end brand, the Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 (£549 inc. VAT) gives it a more affordable price, aimed at the smaller business.
The 2.3kg chassis is almost ultraportable and ideal for long-term mobility. Its 332-minute battery life is equally suited to travel use, and easily keeps you working for most of the day. Build quality is also fantastic, although the glossy lid attracts fingerprints.
Lenovo keyboards are arguably the best in the business, and this is no exception. The typing action is firm, smooth and accurate, and you can comfortably work for long periods. Both a touchpad and pointing stick are included.
While most business laptops opt for standard matt-TFT screens, the 13.3-inch SL300 uses a Super-TFT coating. Images are incredibly bright, and colour and contrast are both excellent. The glossy screen increases reflections, however, so bear this in mind before buying.
A key selling-point is the integrated HSDPA module, for high-speed wireless internet access wherever you travel. A free 30-day Vodafone trial is provided. Tariff fees thereafter start at £15 per month for a 3GB monthly download limit, with a minimum 18-month contract.
Performance is lower than we'd have liked, but suits general mobile use. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor runs at 1.8GHz and is backed by 2048MB of memory. This provides ample power for office tasks and even basic photo editing.
3D performance is impressive for such a small laptop. Intel's integrated graphics chip doesn't suit modern gaming, but has enough power for basic video editing and running multimedia presentations.
An HDMI-out port is also included for high-definition (HD) connections to an HDTV.
Storage is basic, but suits business use. The 160GB hard drive will hold work files and music, but will be quickly filled with large photo and video collections. The tri-format optical drive lets you easily back up data to DVD or CD, however.
A fingerprint scanner is included below the keyboard and Lenovo's proprietary ThinkVantage software suite also makes it easy for all users to perform complex system and maintenance tasks.
By bringing the excellent build, usability and connectivity of the ThinkPad brand into a more affordable price bracket, Lenovo has excelled itself. The ThinkPad SL300 is a fantastic business laptop, and the great price makes it an even more essential purchase.