If you're after an affordable desktop replacement system, Toshiba's Satellite P100-160 (£699 inc. VAT) may be worth a look. It has a bright and vibrant 17-inch screen, featuring a glossy Super-TFT coating. This makes it ideal for watching DVDs.
Toshiba has fitted a bank of multimedia buttons above the keyboard to make this easier - letting you skip scenes at the touch of a button, and there are also speakers by audio manufacturer Harman Kardon. Toshiba has kept costs down by using an integrated GPU - Intel's GMA 950. This may not affect corporate laptops, but it makes a big difference to the Satellite's multimedia abilities.
It's still capable of running everyday applications; creating documents and watching movies causes this machine no problems. However, games and 3D applications are out of reach, and if you want to do video editing, you'd be better off with something more heavy duty.
The large screen creates enough room for a good-sized keyboard and a dedicated numeric keypad. Unfortunately, the number pad has been fitted by compromising the size of some of the minor keys. While this isn't a big problem, important keys such as the Shift function have also been made smaller, which makes typing more difficult than it should be.
The keyboard is firmly attached, although the keys need to be struck solidly to register. The touchpad has a square aspect ratio, which sadly doesn't match the widescreen display. With a scrollbar at the side, there's simply not enough space to move the cursor precisely.
Build quality is solid, with a strong chassis and lots of protection for the screen. A curved bezel at the top of the display helps to prevent items falling between the keyboard and display. At 3.3kg, this isn't a laptop we'd want to take with us everywhere we go, but it's a reasonable weight for a machine this size.
Processing power comes from Intel's entry-level dual-core processor - the 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo T5200 chip. With 1024MB of memory holding data ready for it, we found it to be a quick machine, running programs with little or no lag. The 100GB hard drive offers ample storage space for your media files.
As expected, there's a multi-format DVD rewriter built in. There's also a 3-in-1 card reader, making it quick and easy to transfer your files from other digital products. The Toshiba is a good machine, with a better-than-average screen and excellent build quality.