Marketing for the Samsung X360 has been to pitch it directly against the Apple MacBook Air, but this is a far more versatile laptop, largely due to its full complement of ports and a battery life that won't leave you disappointed on the road.

In fact, Samsung has much stiffer competition in tempting users away from Sony, or to a lesser extent Toshiba, who produce ultraportables that can really be used on the move, for business and pleasure.

With four USB ports, VGA-out, ExpressCard and SD slots, you'll be able to add an array of peripherals. You'll also find fixed Gigabit Ethernet as well as the latest wireless LAN connections.

Small and compact

Based around a 13.3-inch screen, this laptop has a footprint of just 311 x 225 x 34mm, which means it can be slipped into your carry case without it making a serious impact.

What really makes this a machine worth considering is the battery life which, at over eight hours from a single charge, makes it an impressive machine.

Weighing 1.4kg, it's a lightweight and highly portable machine. It still can't compete with the sub-1kg weight of the Toshiba Portégé R600, even though it shaves weight off by using an external optical drive and using a Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of a heavier and bulkier mechanical drive. That said, carrying this machine around is a simple pleasure, as it's a thin but tough machine.

Business laptop

The 13.3-inch Super-TFT panel uses LED technology to be not only bright, but also power-saving. Colours look bright and sharp and we found a strong contrast between the blacks and whites, making it a great machine for word processing or giving presentations on the go.

This is the trick with the Samsung X360. It's clearly a business machine, but with its attractive styling, it's bound to be popular with consumers and businessmen alike.

The keyboard uses an approach we've seen on Sony laptops, with the keys punched through the body. This gives each key plenty of space and makes them far more rigid in their mountings. The spacing takes a little time to grow accustomed to, but once you get the hang of this laptop, it's a pleasure to use.

The touchpad is a good size, but we were disappointed with the mouse buttons, as they feel rather small and less rigid in their mountings.

It's easy to be impressed with the Samsung X360, as it's clearly a laptop designed to make a statement. It also delivers both in terms of usability and battery life, making it one of the most appealing ultraportables around.