Unlike some of the larger manufacturers, PC Nextday uses a generic chassis on its laptops in order to cut costs, allowing more money to be spent on components such as the processor and memory. As such, you'll find the Zoostorm 83-5200 offers a pretty fast processor, making it an ideal choice for busy corporate users needing to multi-task.

The 15.4-inch screen is a pleasure to use. Its 1280 x 800-pixel resolution isn't any higher than the other laptops here, but images are sharp and colours are vibrant. As with the other Super-TFT screens, it can be reflective in direct sunlight, but we never found it too intrusive in use.

An integrated Intel GMA 4500M GPU handles the graphics, as with most of the other laptops at this price point. Reasonable office performance is provided, and we were able to edit photographs, run regular office applications and watch movies with ease. You'll have to opt for a laptop with a dedicated GPU if you want to play the latest games, however.

The design of this laptop is a lot plainer than many other systems, but the plastics used are tough and there's little sign of flex. At 2.7kg, it's also light enough to carry around on a regular basis.

There's plenty of space on the chassis for the keyboard and touchpad. The former proves robust and, unlike some other laptops, it doesn't flex under pressure. The keys are large, well-spaced and comfortable to type on. It is quite noisy when typing, however.

The touchpad is incredibly smooth, making it easy to glide your finger over it for onscreen navigation. The large mouse buttons aid comfort, and the chassis remains cool for long periods of time, making it ideal for long-term use.

High-end processor

It's inside the chassis that this laptop really impresses. The processor is a high-end Intel Core 2 Duo chip, running at 2.53GHz. Backed by 4096MB of memory, we found it was one of the quickest to start, and it handled multiple tasks with ease.

The 320GB hard drive is generous, offering loads of space for all your media files. A tri-format DVD rewriter lets you easily back up your files, with a 3-in-1 memory card reader making it easy to transfer data between other digital devices.

Unlike some other machines, which feature 802.11n Wi-Fi, wireless networking is limited to the older and slightly slower 802.11g standard.

Those looking for features or style won't like the Zoostorm 83-5200, but if you take a purely pragmatic approach to your computing, this fast and comfortable machine is worth a look.