Advent 4213 review
The Advent carries the unfortunate title of heaviest netbook in this group, but in reality this is far from disastrous.
At 1.4kg it's still about half the weight of a regular laptop, and very easily portable; we found it hard to tell any difference between this and lighter models when carried in a bag.In any case, it has plenty of features to justify its extra mass.
The Advent is one of four models on test that have a screen measuring ten inches or more across the diagonal. You don't get any more pixels than on the smaller displays, but the greater physical space means everything's slightly scaled up, helping to avoid having to squint at small text and icons. The catch is that the larger screen demands a slightly larger chassis. Some netbooks make a virtue of this necessity by squeezing in a bigger keyboard, but Advent hasn't quite managed to take advantage. The case looks and feels decent enough, with its clean lines and end-mounted hinges, but the keyboard is rather cramped, even compared to those of smaller netbooks. This makes working for long periods a bit uncomfortable.
One important redeeming feature is that 3G mobile broadband support is built in, and not tied to any one particular supplier's service. Instead of having to buy a separate dongle and leave it dangling from a USB port, all you need to get access to the Internet in most parts of the country is to slot in a SIM card from the network of your choice, with an appropriate monthly or pay as you go data plan. The inclusion of 3G is matched only by the Dell here, and the Dell deal ties you to one network, leaving the Advent at a clear advantage.
On the other hand, at nearly £300 this is one of the priciest of these eight netbooks to buy. This is partly justified by a good specification, including Windows XP and a 160GB hard disk, capacious by netbook standards. Battery life is fine, at just under four hours in our tests. But bargain hunters will have to look elsewhere.
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