The Toshiba Satellite P200-1K9 (£899 inc. VAT) is a capable multimedia laptop.

It may not be particularly portable, but has improved gaming power.

Fantastic usability

The 3.5kg chassis is the large and heavy, due to its 17-inch screen. The 131-minute battery life provides basic mobility for short journeys and use around the home.

The glossy design adds style, but is more prone to damage than tougher matt finishes.

Usability is outstanding, as the large chassis allows an equally spacious keyboard. All keys have a smooth typing action and long-term use is comfortable.

A separate pad of numeric keys is also included for gaming and data input.

Great HD video playback

The screen is bright and vibrant. Photos, videos and games look stunning and the extra screen space is ideal for watching DVDs from your sofa. An infrared remote control is included to improve accessibility.

While many laptops provide poor audio quality, Toshiba has fitted a set of stereo speakers from audio specialist Harman Kardon.

Sound quality is certainly improved over its rivals, but still fails to match the use of dedicated external speakers.

Where the Toshiba excels is its gaming performance. The high-definition (HD) compatible ATi graphics card provides smooth playback of HD videos and the latest games run with ease.

Photo and video-editing power is also flawless.

Impressive memory

Home and office performance is also. The Intel Core 2 Duo is backed by an impressive 3072MB of memory.

This lets you smoothly and effortlessly run multiple high-performance applications side-by-side without a drop in performance.

Storage space is capacious. The 240GB hard drive will easily hold a whole family's files and the built-in DVD rewriter lets you create your own CDs and DVDs. There is also a 6-in-1 card reader.

Well-connected

Connectivity is equally comprehensive. While most rivals have four USB ports or less, the Toshiba has six.

This makes it easy to have a range of peripherals simultaneously connected. An HDMI-out port is also fitted for connecting the laptop to external HDTVs.

While its weight and battery mean it isn't the best choice for travellers, it's hard to fault the Toshiba for home gaming and multimedia use.

Its style, usability and high performance are impressive for such a low price and the Satellite P200-1K9 is easy to recommend.