Verily, Advent decideth to nameth their new laptop the Advent Verona (perhapeth after the Shakespearian play the Two Gentlemen of Verona or Romeo and Juliet). Betwixt a netbook and a normal laptop, doth Advent’s new device suffer the slings and bows of outrageouse fortune. We thinketh yea!
Well that’s enough eth-ing around, back to the review proper. This is probably the cheapest of the new Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) laptops to grace the notebook theatre. At £330, it should be low enough to tempt most people and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it offered for free as part of a mobile broadband package.
While the lower priced model sports an Intel Celeron 743 chip, for £400 you can get a higher-powered model with an Intel Pentium SU2700 processor.
The laptop boasts a 13.3-inch display and profile that tapers from a very thin and crispy front end to a 32mm rear. It also weighs only 1.6kg. The styling is reminiscent of the MacBook Air but there are more than a few subtle difference to set it apart from that Apple device. The outside and keyboard surround are elegant with the light grey body interspersed with dark swirls.
The keyboard itself is low-profile with full-size keys. While easy enough to use, the travel of the keys was a tad excessive and could benefit from a better keyboard. It flexes a great deal on the right-hand side, which is worrying. Hopefully this is just this particular unit and not something that is seen throughout the model.
There is a multitouch trackpad moulded into the wrist rest and while it works well as a multitouch, it can become a bit sticky after long periods of use. Also the buttons below are hellish to use and most difficult, prompting us to get quite irate with mouse work.
As this laptop is powered by a single-core Celeron, we wasn’t expecting this to blow as away with multimedia whistles and bells. OK so it is better than most netbooks for video, you should expect to do any hardcore gaming on this. However, high-definition playback seemed to be a no-no, struggling as it did with HD movies from YouTube.
Battery life also proved sticking point. The machine managed to last about a couple of hours when disconnected from the mains. We would expect a lot more than this from something held up as a low power user.
For £330 you cannot complain about the laptop that much, but it is barely better than a lot of netbooks we have tried out. If Advent improved battery life and the mouse, this would score more highly than it did.
Specifications on next page
- Intel Celeron processor 743
- (1.2Ghz, 800Mhz, 1MB Cache)
- Windows 7 Home Premium
- 3GB Memory
- 250GB Hard drive
- Weight 1.6 kg
- 1.3 megapixel webcam
- Bluetooth connectivity