We present a slave laser highly suitable for the preparation and detection of 87Rb Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC). A highly anti-reflection coated laser diode serves as an optical amplifier, which requires neither active temperature stabilization nor dedicated equipment monitoring the spectral purity of the amplified light. The laser power can be controlled with a precision of 10 μW in 70 mW with relative fluctuations down to 2 × 10−4. Due to its simplicity and reliability, this slave laser will be a useful tool for laboratory, mobile, or even space-based cold-atom experiments. By the way of demonstration this slave laser was used as the sole 780 nm light-source in the production of 3 × 104 BECs in a hybrid magnetic/dipole trap.