Released as part of Samsung's Aura laptop range, the R70 (£699 inc. VAT) provides comprehensive power and performance. Despite an easily tarnished chassis, its style, strong battery life and impressive usability make it well suited to mobile workers.

With its stylish black chassis, it stands out from the crowd. A battery life of 186 minutes, under test, ensures you can enjoy reliable use on the move. However, the rear of the screen panel has a glossy finish that scratches easily, so ample protection is needed during travel use.

Usability is particularly strong. The keyboard is large with full-size keys that have a consistently comfortable typing action. A button above the keyboard launches Samsung's AV Station Now media centre software, for easy access to multimedia miles.

Strong performer

Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 1024MB of memory, performance is impressive. While bettered by a couple of rival laptops, there's ample power for any home or office task, and all our test software ran with speed and ease.

Unusual at this price, 3D performance is equally strong. While you won't be able to play the latest games at full resolution, a dedicated Nvidia graphics card is fitted and provides power for basic gaming and running home media editing applications.

Whether for office work or viewing photos and DVDs, the 15.4-inch screen is bright and colourful. Image quality is stunning, but as with all glossy Super-TFT coatings, reflections are increased, so it isn't ideal for frequent outdoor use.

For business use and staying in touch with friends and family, a camera is built into the top of the screen panel. Photos can be taken and saved directly to the hard drive and live video can be added to instant messaging software at the touch of a button.

With so much scope for both office and multimedia use, the 120GB hard drive is essential and provides plenty of space for storing your files. For backing up files to CD and DVD, a dual-layer rewritable DVD drive lets you save up to 8.5GB of data to compatible discs.

Added storage compatibility is provided by a 6-in-1 media card reader at the front of the chassis. Impressively, the R70 also support 802.11n Wi-Fi for the fastest wireless connectivity, whether at home in the UK or travelling abroad.

Combining high-performance with its impressive usability and strong battery life, the Samsung R70 delivers everything you could want from a laptop at this price. While its fragile screen panel may deter frequent travellers, there's plenty to recommend to all other users.