Toshiba has a wide range of laptops and its Satellite Pro series is aimed at those users who are likely to want to use their machine either to run a small business or for the home.

The Toshiba Satellite Pro A200 (£420 inc. VAT) is the entry-level model, but you'll find this chassis used by a number of far more expensive models too.

With this in mind, Toshiba has had to design a high-quality casing and one look at the A200 confirms this. Made from plastic over a magnesium-alloy skeleton, this machine is solid and robust.

However, weighing 2.7kg, it isn't the most portable machine. When it comes to battery life, it's not the most effective machine, as the Satellite only managed to last 129 minutes when running our performance tests. This didn't even increase when using Power Saver settings.

Integrated graphics

The screen is a 15.4-inch Super-TFT panel and, while it suffers from a fair degree of reflection, it proved a bright and appealing display. With an even tone across the width of the panel, images look bright and clear. Graphics are provided by an integrated chipset, so you won't be able to work on anything too taxing, but it's fine for day-to-day use.

The screen is held in place by one large hinge, which drops down at the back when you open the lid. This means there is no room on the back for ports, so you'll find all the ports and slots on the side and front of the machine.

Options are kept to a minimum, but with two USB ports on either side, connecting peripherals is easy. You'll also find a DVD rewriter comes as standard and is located on the right-hand side.

You won't find a dual-core processor, but instead Intel's budget chip, the Celeron M. This is backed by 1024MB of memory and as this machine ships with Windows XP, you won't find the OS taking up most of the system resources. In day-to-day use, we found it quick and responsive and a great machine for the internet and general tasks.

The main reason for the A200's ease of use is the great keyboard it has. Sitting in the middle of the main body, the keys are well spaced and of a good size. They are also firmly mounted and have a comfortable amount of pressure when you press individual keys. The quality of the A200 certainly belies its entry-level price, making it great value for money.

The Toshiba Satellite Pro A200 is a great all-round machine. While it may not have the latest cutting-edge technologies inside, if your needs are basic, this machine will more than meet your requirements.