Samsung's Aura laptop range has consistently impressed us, but its easily scratched casing has proved disappointing in the past. The X22 (£880 inc. VAT) removes this flaw and provides impressive power, features and usability at a reasonable price.

The glossy chassis of previous laptops has been replaced by a durable matt finish that is tough enough for home and mobile use. Unfortunately, mobility is let down by a poor battery life of just 123 minutes.

The 2.2kg chassis is almost ultraportable. Despite the compact design, the user interface is large and suits long-term use. The near full-size keyboard is sturdy and responsive. Typing is always accurate and the touchpad and mouse buttons are equally reliable.

The 14.1-inch screen is bright and sharp. Colours aren't as vibrant as we'd like, but suit most home use, as well as basic photo editing. An integrated camera above the screen lets you take snapshots and add live video to online messaging services.

The dedicated ATi graphics card provides excellent 3D performance. Basic gaming is possible, as well as smooth video editing. This also carries an HDMI-out port for connecting to external high-definition screens.

Home office performance is also impressive. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2048MB of memory make light work of intensive software tasks. Multi-tasking is made easy, and we were able to run applications side-by-side with no noticeable drop in speed.

Ample storage

Storage options are average compared to its rivals, but ample for most users. The 160GB hard drive can store all your family's music, photos and work files. For saving and sharing data with peripherals, a dual-format DVD rewriter and 5-in-1 media card reader are included.

A unique feature is the LightScribe compatibility of the DVD drive. It allows you to design your own disc labels and then burn them directly on to the surface of compatible CDs and DVDs, and makes a great tool for burning your own discs.

The X22 provides impressive connectivity. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi allow the fastest current wired and wireless transfer speeds, and make it quick and easy to access and share data at home or on the move.

With its combination of impressive power, design and features, the Samsung X22 is hard to fault. Its poor battery life certainly won't suit the frequent traveller, but for home use and working around town, this is a great laptop at a reasonable price.