The Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M isn't a full-scale desktop replacement, but then it's also not exactly something you'd want to cart around with you everywhere you go.

However, if you want something to use around the home or office and pack up at the end of the day then the Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M is perfectly adequate.

The Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M's large frame means Sony has managed to squeeze in a 15.4in display that's a joy to use. It has a standard 1,280x800 widescreen resolution and it's a glossy X-black model that offers great colour reproduction, although it is quite reflective.

Although the Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M is equipped only with a 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor it still managed to rack up an impressive WorldBench real world speed score of 70, no doubt helped by the generous 2GB of RAM.

Nothing could help the integrated Intel X3100 graphics chip take on our intensive FEAR test, however, and the Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M limped home with a result of just 4 frames per second (fps).

The Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M is a stylish looking model, with pleasantly curved edges and a distinctive uniform dimpled finish to the lid and keyboard surround. The extra size allows for a generous keyboard that's pleasant to type on and although the touchpad is very slightly off centre its increased surface area makes this less of an issue.

You're unlikely to run out of space for some time thanks to the Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M's large 200GB hard drive and there's a DVD writer should you need to make backups. You'll find a generous four USB ports - two on each side - plus Firewire as well. You only get VGA out though, with no DVI (digital visual interface) or HDMI (high definition multimedia interface).

And with the Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M you get not one, but two card readers - one for Memory Stick and the other for SD - so you won't need to keep swapping cards in and out if you frequently need to access different media.

OUR VERDICT

The Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M is a stylish machine with decent performance, provided you're not looking for something to play games on. It's a bit big to carry around with you everywhere, but it makes good use of its additional size. Perhaps the most surprising thing about it, however, is its £650 price tag which is very reasonable for what you get.