We admire Toshiba for finding a design hook, hanging itself off it, and resolutely staying there no matter how loudly the world shouts: the look of the NB200 we recieved is best summed up as 'diagonal stripes and plastic'.

Stripes on the lid, stripes on the monitor bezel, even stripes on the trackpad. And although admittedly most netbooks and laptops are made of plastic, we rarely sit there thinking about it. In our time with the NB200 we could think of nothing but.

Credit where it's due, Toshiba has at least tried to push the style envelope a little bit. There's a disinctive silvery chiclet keyboard (small, flat, spaced out keys rather than the traditional interlocking dimpled variety) but we can't say it feels particularly nice, and chiclet keyboards inevitably mean trouble when you spill something.

It looks innovative, but looks only go so far if you're not going to want to type on it. There's a neat 'hidden' power button, which turns from silvery plastic to translucent white when your machine is switched on. Not revolutionary, but sort of cute.

And now we remove our nit-picking hat and don one of adoration. The NB200 has an absolutely enormous 9-cell battery, which is almost unheard of in the netbook market. We're not sure why it is so rare, though.

Surely a larger battery makes sense on a low powered computer, since the components can drag its trickle of power out further; we measured the NB200 at 7 hours life, and other reports suggest it comes tantalisingly close to lasting a full 8-hour working day. It does carry a bit of extra weight -- and an inch-long protrusion at the back -- thanks to the extra cells on board.

There's a drop sensor inside which aims to shut off the hard drive if the NB200 takes a tumble, along with the mildly-improved N280 processor, which means this machine has a fairly slick feel to it in use.

There's even a fancypants USB port featuring Toshiba's Sleep and Charge technology, meaning you can charge your devices from it even when the computer is switched off.

Although we maintain our reservations about its styling, it's absolutely clear that the N200 is a very high end take on the now widespread netbook platform. It can happily manage HD video, and has a high quality screen, although it slicngs on to the standard low netbook resolution and has a bit of a restricted viewing angle.

If you can find the black version we'd say the NB200 is a fantastic choice poking its head out above a busy crowd. Steer clear of the silver one, though.

Follow TechRadar reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview