Using Intel's latest Centrino Duo technology, the Samsung R70 (£699 inc. VAT) has a power advantage over its rivals. With impressive graphics, design and Super-TFT screen, it provides great value for money.

The matt-black finish provides an elegant touch of style. While the chassis is sturdy and resilient throughout, its glossy lid scratches easily, so you'll need to ensure suitable protection when travelling.

Weighing 2.7kg, frequent travel use is possible and its 186-minute battery life, under test, kept us working for most of the morning. With its high-quality keyboard and touchpad, usability is impressive.

Latest technology

Using a processor from Intel's latest dual-core range, the R70 is impressively powerful given its price. In our tests, resource-consuming video and photo editing tasks ran swiftly. When multi-tasking with as many as five applications, there was no noticeable drop in performance.

3D power is equally proficient. A DirectX 10 compatible graphics chip from nVidia's new 8400M range is used and provides gaming power and multimedia usability.

Image quality is stunning on the 15.4-inch screen. The Super-TFT coating provides natural colour and contrast for viewing and editing images. Movies and games look just as good, although the glossy screen increases reflections.

Ample storage is provided by a 120GB hard drive. A dual-layer DVD rewriter lets you save as much as 8.5GB of data to compatible discs. For sharing files between peripherals, including digital cameras and smartphones, a 6-in-1 media card reader is fitted.

For one-stop playback of your media files, Windows Media Center is installed. For taking basic photos and adding video to online messaging services, a 1.3-megapixel camera is built in to the top of the screen panel.

Third-party software is restricted

to McAfee VirusScan for removing infections. However, a comprehensive package of proprietary Samsung programs is also included for tasks such as basic maintenance and network configuration.

Wireless networks can be accessed using the built-in 802.11a/g Wi-Fi card.

As part of the new Intel chipset, Draft-802.11n Wi-Fi will also be offered as standard in a future configuration of this system.

Combining a strong design with outstanding performance from the latest technology, the icing on the cake is the low price of the Samsung R70. This system truly shows how powerful and affordable laptop technology has become in recent months.