Toshiba's Satellite range is aimed at consumers rather than corporate users. With impressive power and mobility, the Toshiba Satellite U200-115 (£900 inc. VAT) is an affordable ultra-portable notebook ideal for corporate use as much as for the home office.
Weighing 1.9kg, the Toshiba can be carried in small hand-luggage with ease. The chassis is thicker than some of its rivals, but the trade-off is the extra strength it provides. One of the tougher ultraportables on the market, damage on the move is unlikely.
With an impressive battery life, the Toshiba is a great road-warrior. Running for 317 minutes, you can get five hours of use from a single charge. To double your uptime, a spare battery costs £69 (inc. VAT).
Recognising the importance of data protection, the Toshiba's 80GB hard drive is shock-protected, to prevent data damage if the laptop is knocked. A fingerprint reader is also fitted, preventing unauthorised access.
Using Intel's Core 2 Duo technology, the Toshiba provides strong performance. Bettered only by its Acer and Sony peers, applications open quickly and the system runs smoothly, even when multiple programs are run simultaneously.
Comfortable to use, the keyboard spans the whole width of the laptop and is firm and responsive. All keys are near full-size, so it's rare to make mistakes when typing at speed. A spill-resistant layer beneath the keyboard protects the laptop from such accidents.
For improved image quality, the 12.1- inch screen uses a glossy Super-TFT screen coating. Common on consumer laptops, colours are made more vibrant. The downside is that the screen reflects far more light than non-glossy rivals and can restrict visibility in bright conditions.
As with all Intel Core 2 Duo-powered laptops, wireless networks can be accessed around the world via 802.11a/b/ g Wi-Fi. Wired home or office networks can only be used at 10/100 Base-T speeds and not the faster Gigabit speed, but this is fast enough for most users.
For safeguarding data by backing up to external media, a dual-format DVD compatible optical drive is fitted. Users can write to single layer DVD/-RW discs, as well as recordable CDs. A range of media keys below the screen allow easy access when playing back media files.
With a competitive price tag, as well as powerful performance and battery life, the Toshiba Satellite U200-115 provides an affordable entry to the ultraportable market. Slimmer and lighter laptops are available, but the U200-115 is impressive on many levels.