You'll want a cloth to hand, however, as the Toshiba Satellite U300-113's lovely dark blue exterior smudges easily. We were also concerned about the amount of heat this Toshiba laptop seems to generate.

Even so, the 13.3in Toshiba Satellite U300-113 feels sturdily built with a hard-wearing chassis and hinge and it comes in a few grammes short of the 2kg mark.

The Toshiba Satellite U300-113 is not the most powerful of laptops. Its 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor is supported by only 1GB of DDR2 RAM and turned in a middling WorldBench speed benchmark score of 66.

You get a generous 120GB hard disk and we were especially pleased to note that the Toshiba Satellite U300-113 offers provision for draft-n wireless as well as 802.11a, b and g.

The £699 Toshiba Satellite U300-113's 13.3in screen is one of its main selling points, with high levels of visibility, crisp detail, bright colour and little reflection.

Atop the Toshiba Satellite U300-113's 1,280x800-pixel display is a 1.3Mp webcam and Toshiba has equipped the U300 with Bluetooth should you want to be able to chatter away via a wireless microphone.

The Toshiba Satellite U300-113's speakers reside behind the keyboard and produce a good, bassy sound. Nearby are buttons to invoke music and video playback and for quick access to commonly-used items.

The keyboard is an attractive silver, but we feel that the keys do not depress enough when tapped.

OUR VERDICT

While we have no hesitation in recommending the Toshiba Satellite U300-113, if you prize value over eye-catching design, you'll get more for your money with the similarly priced Acer TravelMate 5720 laptop.