While most people's eyes and desires are drawn to the diminutive and curvaceous lines of the Sony Vaio, power-hungry users are more likely to gravitate here to the MSI. Despite its corporate styling and less than subtle MSI logo, the technical aspects should win many hearts and minds.

Based around a 12.1in widescreen display it weighs in at 1.95kg. Besides the size, the star of the show is the 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo T7400 processor, enabling it to devour our encoding test in two minutes 17 seconds.

It decoded 1,080p video with an average CPU usage of only 60 per cent, giving many desktops a run for their money.

Considering the power, a battery life of three and half hours isn't to be sniffed at and it makes the most of the rather averagely sized 4400mAh battery. Battery life is largely down to the conservative 20W idle power drain of the processor, but keep in mind that when the Core 2 ramps up for encoding tasks the power jumps to a whopping 50W.

So your mileage will vary depending on how much you open up those processing pipes. All said, clearly with the most punch of any ultra mobile, that low price makes it highly attractive.