Advent 4214 review
10.1 in 1,024x600 display, 1.3kg, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.00GB RAM, 160GB disk, Windows XP Home Edition
Unlike the other Advent netbooks here, the 4214 isn't a rebranded version of MSI's Wind.
The computer generally feels sturdy, although the lid flexes under pressure more than we'd like. There's also a single whiny fan that can be distracting in a quiet room. Decreasing the fan speed using the quiet mode short cut on the keyboard made little audible difference.
Disappointingly, this netbook doesn't have a built-in 3G modem like its predecessor, the 4213, so you'll have to plug in a USB modem if you want mobile broadband.
In any case, its short battery life means it's not well suited to working on the go. Its battery lasted only two hours and 18 minutes, the shortest time here.
The 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor and 1GB of RAM are good for a couple of programs running simultaneously or playing standard-definition video files. The speakers are surprisingly loud, so you don't necessarily need to plug in headphones. However, as sound is slightly muddy, you may want to use headphones or external speakers if possible.
The 10in display has a resolution of 1,024x600 pixels and has a glossy finish, but it's gloomy, especially compared to the bright displays of Mesh's Neo and Acer's Aspire One D250. The 160GB hard disk should provide plenty of space for most people.
Unfortunately, the keyboard isn't very comfortable to use. The keys are small and springy, making touch-typing frustrating. The layout is also cramped and doesn't make use of all the available space. Thankfully, the touchpad is large and responsive, while the buttons give a satisfying amount of feedback when pressed.
Advent's 4214 is cheap for a 10in netbook, but its poor battery life and uncomfortable keyboard are disappointing. If you're on a budget, the same company's 4211c is a much better-designed netbook. If you need a model with long battery life, MSI's Wind is a good choice but Samsung's N120 is even better if you're willing to spend £100 more.