Toshiba's Satellite T110 is liable to split opinion right down the middle. A strip of chrome chases round the sides of the chassis, ostentatiously surrounding the status lights on the front edge. It's an eyeful.
Although our review system had a maroon finish, the model on sale with this specification will be finished in a slightly more sensible black check, and the build quality is more substantial than the outlandish looks suggest.
There's little flex in evidence in either the base or the T110's lid, and it feels sturdy enough to survive a life on the road. At 1.55kg it's also 50g lighter than this month's Labs Winner, and with its more compact frame and 8hrs 42mins of light use battery life, it's perfectly suited to a mobile existence.
The 11.6in display catches the eye for all the right reasons too, boasting good contrast, even-handed colour reproduction and ample brightness. And, while Toshiba has left a centimetre or so fallow on each side of the keyboard, it's easy enough to get acclimatised to the general layout.
The presence of 802.11n wireless networking is a welcome sight too, with 3 USB ports and a useful card reader ranged around the T110's edges.
There are weaknesses: the single-core processor leaves the Toshiba trailing most CULV laptops here, with 0.51 in our benchmarks, and its speakers sound truly dreadful.
But these limitations will be easy to swallow once you lay eyes on the price tag - a very tempting $902 - which puts it at almost same level as the considerably less-powerful netbooks on test.
Toshiba's Satellite T110 isn't perfect, but it's a refreshingly practical alternative to any of the netbooks here. A combination of solid ergonomics and a good quality display with sensible resolution and great battery life will be enough to win it many friends. Well worth a look.