Samsung produces many highly portable laptops in the sub-£799 category. The X460 is a departure from this, and is a halo product looking to take the brand upmarket.

The most striking aspect is just how thin the front of the wedge-shaped chassis is. Along with the ultraportable 1.9kg weight, it's the ideal laptop for a life on the road, its 14.1-inch screen proving equally practical and offering great usability.

The 1280 x 800-pixel resolution may not be the sharpest we've seen, but it's more than good enough for viewing a couple of windows simultaneously. Colour reproduction is excellent, making this a great choice for photo and video editing.

Nvidia powered

Despite the slimline chassis, 3D performance is equally capable. There's a mid-range Nvidia graphics card in place, which puts this laptop on a par with far larger machines. It's not powerful enough for the latest games, but we found it coped fine with older titles.

Build quality is slightly mixed. The outside of the machine exudes quality, helped by a brushed aluminium insert. Unfortunately, this doesn't carry through to the inside, where you'll find the same glossy black plastics used in far cheaper Samsung models. Although attractive, it picks up fingerprints too easily and lacks the high-end feel of rival products.

The keyboard is a completely new design for Samsung, with a similar style to that found on the latest Sony and Apple laptops. You'll find the keys protrude through individual holes in the chassis, making it easy to type at speed without hitting the surrounding keys accidentally. Quality is excellent, with a quiet but responsive typing action.

Impressive performer

Within the chassis is a mid-range Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor. Along with 3072MB of memory, it equips the X460 to dispatch multiple tasks with ease. The system runs smoothly at all times, with very little lag. The battery life proved even more impressive, lasting for 285 minutes.

Corporate users will be happy to see the latest networking features, comprising 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet. Bluetooth is in place for wireless data transfers, but 3G/HSDPA connectivity is omitted. Rapid log-ins are made possible by an integrated fingerprint reader, with a webcam built in for video-conferencing. A full complement of ports are included, with three USB ports for adding peripherals, and both VGA and HDMI interfaces.

If you don't mind the cost, the Samsung X460 is a highly impressive machine. It may lack the premium feel of other high-end laptops, but its excellent abilities and amazing portability make it one of the best 14.1-inch machines we've seen.