The PC Nextday LogiQ M720SR-B (£649 inc. VAT) stands out amongst its peers.

It is highly affordable and the most powerful ultraportable we've seen, but is also annoyingly loud. As a result, it succeeds and fails in almost equal measures.

A glossy ultraportable

It's a heavy laptop and weighs 1.9kg, but is still highly portable. Its glossy blue design marks it out as a consumer system, and is more than tough enough for travel use. The disappointing 106-minute battery life is far less pleasing, however, and greatly limits mobility.

Usability is average. The keyboard isn't as firmly fixed as we'd like and bounces slightly during use. The keys are also small and have a sharp typing action that restricts long-term comfort. For short-term use, however, usability is strong.

The 320GB hard drive provides comprehensive storage for such a small laptop and is double the capacity of all rivals in this group. The built-in DVD rewriter lets you create your own discs and the 3-in-1 card reader supports the most common card formats.

Bright display

The screen is a bright and glossy Super-TFT screen delivers impressive colour and contrast. 3D performance using the integrated SiS672 graphics card is very low, however, and struggles with even the most basic tasks.

Performance for all other tasks is outstanding. A Core 2 Duo processor from Intel's latest Penryn range is used, and more than doubles the power of its rivals. Even when using up to four programs at once, it runs smoothly and quickly.

With so much power in such a small chassis, however, the cooling fan is forced to run constantly to prevent overheating. It starts running loudly as soon as you switch the laptop on and doesn't stop until you power off, which quickly becomes irritating to the user.

Lacking features

Where new consumers are sure to be disappointed is the lack of extra features. It has neither an integrated camera nor fingerprint scanner, and there is no software installed as standard.

Similarly, the warranty is equally limited. Only one year of parts and labour cover is provided, so all delivery costs must be paid for out of your own pocket. There is also no option to extend the warranty, which may deter more cautious consumers.

If you need the most powerful ultraportable at a low price, then the PC Nextday LogiQ M720SR-B could be your ideal laptop. However, its limited features, noisy performance, poor battery life and general lack of build quality make it hard to recommend.