Samsung is better known for its consumer range of laptops and the basic design of the Samsung P200 (£599 inc. VAT) can be found in its Q Series.

However, this model has been tailored for the business user on a budget, hence the use of Windows XP Professional instead of Windows Vista.

The design is simple, with thick plastic used throughout. It has a matt finish with silver flecks in the plastic and while it's definitely understated, we liked the look and feel of the machine.

Bright and portable laptop

Open the lid and you'll find a 12.1-inch standard TFT display that is widescreen and offers good contrast and brightness.

The use of standard TFT isn't to keep the price down, but is often a preferred technology for business travellers, as it doesn't cast as many reflections when used in an office or on the road. Displayed images were impressively sharp.

The size of the screen often dictates the overall weight of the machine and with the P200 weighing in at 2kg, this is a great machine for taking on the road with you.

When it comes to battery life, we found this system could easily last three hours before needing a recharge.

Multimedia machine

Samsung has opted to use a different chipset from the standard Intel X3100, which results in the use of the ATi Radeon Express 1250M graphics chip.

While still an integrated solution, it offers almost twice the performance you'll find from an Intel chip and is a nice addition.

Showing that this machine was originally designed for the consumer and not the business user is a hotkey that loads AV Station Now for watching DVDs and listening to music.

You'll also find a number of software tools pre-installed, including Samsung Easy Network Manager and Samsung Update Plus, which will make setting this machine up a good deal easier for the small-business user.

Comfortable keyboard

The keyboard fills most of the main body of the machine and with individually mounted keys, is extremely comfortable to use. The touchpad is of a good size, as are the mouse buttons, and we found general navigation good.

Unfortunately, you won't find a great deal in terms of extras. There is a webcam that works well and the DVD rewriter supports LightScribe technology, but the other key components are all fairly standard.

Wi-Fi and Ethernet are current entry-level standards and the media card reader supports SD, MemoryStick and xD photo cards.

The Samsung P200 proved a highly practical and likeable machine. With its mix of impressive performance and quality screen and keyboard, this is a great choice for anyone looking for a powerhouse portable to take on the road.