NEC Computers is known as a trusted manufacturer of corporate laptops. Providing dual-core performance at an affordable price is the NEC Versa M360 (£765 inc. VAT).

The understated silver/black chassis immediately suits the corporate market. Strength is good throughout, and will take the knocks of life on the road. For easy viewing on planes and trains, the screen allows a full 180 degrees of movement. Measuring 360 x 257 x 41mm, this isn't the smallest business laptop, but compensates with its price. At 2.9kg, decent mobility is provided, backed up by an impressive battery life of 344 minutes, under test conditions.

Fitted with an Intel Core Duo T2300, 1024MB of DDR2 memory feeds data to the CPU. Power is ample for number crunching and business use, with a MobileMark score of 213.

Common for a corporate system, multimedia performance is non-existent. Using its integrated Intel 945GM chipset, just 1327 points was gleaned from our 3DMark 2003 benchmark. Presentations and DVDs will still run with ease. Built for business Familiar for a business laptop, the 15.4-inch screen uses standard TFT technology, rather than a Super-TFT coating. Brightness is low, but sufficient for most conditions. Colour reproduction lacks vibrancy.

The widescreen aspect ratio of the screen is unique, and adds strong usability for spreadsheets and multi-tasking. A high WSXGA resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels provides comprehensive screen space for those working with multiple windows.

Recognising the importance of usability, the keyboard of the M360 is wide and comfortable. Spanning 337mm of the chassis, a number-pad is in place for data input, without sacrificing usability on the main keyboard.

Improving security, a fingerprint reader is fitted below the touchpad. Providing strong biometric protection, users need not use passwords. Consistently accurate, this is an extremely valuable tool. Essential for optimum connectivity, high-speed networks can be configured with ease. Gigabit Ethernet allows for fast data transfers in the office. Built-in 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi connectivity keeps users wirelessly connected to hotspots, both in the UK and abroad.

With compatibility, power and usability, the NEC is well suited to mobile business use. Add its affordable price and foolproof biometric security features, and the Versa M360 capably asserts itself as a powerful choice for any corporate IT department.

Securing its data, the Versa M360 uses MySafe software in conjunction with the built-in fingerprint reader. Creating an encrypted area of the hard drive, data stored in MySafe is protected by biometric authorization, making it unattainable and often invisible to prying eyes.