The Samsung Q45 (£560 inc. VAT) is part of the company's Aura range of machines.

With the introduction of Intel's Centrino 2 platform it has been superseded by the Q210, but at this price point, it remains a great entry-level ultraportable option. This model weighs a mere 1.9kg.

Originally available with a high-gloss finish, this latest version has now been toned down with matt-black palm rests that create a business-like appearance.

The chassis is made from plastic that we found tough and sturdy. While we would have liked a little more padding to the lid, this is definitely a machine that can handle being carried around on a daily basis.

Widescreen panel

To hit the lightweight design, Samsung has fitted the Q45 with a 12.1-inch Super-TFT display.

The screen may be small, but the widescreen format means you can view websites and even DVD movies in reasonable detail.

Graphics are provided by an integrated solution, making this more a business tool than a multimedia laptop. However, if you just need a machine to have around the house for simple tasks, this is a great option.

Powerful laptop

If you were expecting such a small machine to skimp on performance, you'll be surprised at what's on offer for the price. Powered by an Intel 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo T5550, it delivers more than sufficient power for daily tasks.

Backed by 3072MB of memory, the Q45 loads Windows Vista Home Premium smoothly and we found the system solid and reliable. The 320GB hard drive is a great touch, as you'll be able to store plenty of files and hours of video content.

The only potential problem with this degree of power is that the system tends to quickly grow warm to the touch.

Samsung's portable performer

The portable nature of the machine is enhanced by the great battery life. The battery protrudes from the back of the case, which makes it prone to damage. However, under test we found this system lasted for 323 minutes, which is excellent for using out and about.

The keyboard is of a good size and the keys near full-size. They have a simple design and a fair degree of travel. The secondary buttons are small and cramped around the edges of the machine. But, overall, we found this an incredibly pleasing machine to type on.

When it comes to extras, you'll find a 1.3-megapixel webcam positioned above the screen and, while ports are kept to a minimum, Samsung has managed to fit a DVD rewriter.

The Samsung Q45 is a great laptop for those who need a portable machine that offers a great battery life, but doesn't cut corners on performance. It won't suit all users, as the screen is small, but for the price, this is a great laptop.