The Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M/S is a stylish laptop that sits in the middle ground between super-small ultraportables and space hogging desktop replacements. You wouldn't want to cart it around everywhere you go, but it won't require too much physical exertion to transport. With an asking price of £649 from PC World, this addition to the NR series is affordable, too.
The NR21M has a distinctive finish on its lid and keyboard surround, with a pattern of small, uniform indentations covering it entirely like little tiny thumbprints. It certainly stands out from the competition. The edges have been pleasantly rounded off, so there are no sharp corners, making it a very stylish machine.
When it comes to performance, it's got enough power for general office applications. Unless you're planning to do anything extreme on it, you should find it sufficient. Its 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and generous 2GB of RAM managed to achieve a passable PCMark05 result of 3,567.
It's also pretty good for battery life too -- it managed to keep going for nearly a full 2 hours while running the intensive Battery Eater test and carried on for a total of 3 hours 20 minutes when faced with the less strenuous Reader test.
The 15.4-inch screen is a decent size to work on and as it's a glossy X-black model, it offers great colours and contrast. Unfortunately, it's more reflective than a normal model, so outside use will be difficult. There's plenty of space for a good-sized keyboard and it's pleasant to type on, if a little springy.
It's well-equipped when it comes to ports and connectors, with four USB ports and one for FireWire. The USB ports are sensibly split with two on each side, providing flexibility when it comes to positioning your peripherals.