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Laptops are getting cheaper all the time, but are they
so cheap that you think the manufacturer is cutting corners. Advent
hopes that with a Dual Core Intel chip and two gig of Ram under the bonnet, this thought
would be the furthest from your mind.

The
Advent 5301 laptop boasts a 15.4-inch widescreen display, which is a
must for any consumer who wishes to use the device to watch movies on.
It also has a copy of Windows Home Premium installed as well.

Under the hood, it sports a 120GB hard drive, 2GB of DDR 2 memory and
an Intel Dual Core Processor T2370 (1.73 GHz, 533 MHz FSB, 1 MB Cache).
Starting up was quick and easy. Although it has to be said that Vista
really needs to sort itself out as out of the box, this operating
system still has trouble connecting to a BT Home Hub. We know the
problem exists with the OS and not the laptop as we discovered a
similar problem with a Compaq laptop we reviewed the other month.
That said, once we managed to sort out getting online, we downloaded
updated drivers to fix the problem. Perhaps, vendors and Microsoft can
work together a bit better in making sure that computers leave
factories with the latest software on them.

The laptop is wireless enabled, but to use the wireless it appears that
you have to manually switch it on every time you boot up. It would be
better if this on by default and you could turn it off later. That
said, the range is quite good and we were able to work quite happily in
the shade at the bottom of the garden.

Using the thing in day to day tasks was reasonable. Although it was a
bit odd using the mouse pad as this is flush with the surface. It has a
page scroll function to the side of the mouse pad which kind of works.
(Maybe we haven’t quite mastered using this yet as we have had problems
with this technology on other unrelated laptops). The mouse buttons
seems to be very loud in operation, so when the missus was testing the
laptop on one side of the office, we could hear the mouse clicks fairly
clearly. Not really a problem, just a slight annoyance.

The vendor has also managed to pack in a Supermulti ReWriter Drive and
4 USB 2.0 ports. There is also a video-out portso the thing can be
connected up to a projector for that all-important sales presentation. All this in a 2.9kg package.

Overall, we liked the laptop, but loved the price even more. So with
that in mind we can forgive the little annoying things that the laptop
has when it is just so cheap for what you get. The laptop is available
from PC World for £349, but we managed to find a refurbished example from Dixons for £249.00 – what a bargain!

Rating: 8/10

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