Advent Vega review
10.1 in 1,024x600 display, 700g, 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250, 512MB RAM, 5GB disk, Android 2.2
Just looking at the price, an Android Tablet for just £250 has got to be pretty rubbish hasn't it? After all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is almost double that price. Fortunately, this is a misconception and the Advent Vega proves that a decent tablet doesn't have to cost the earth.
It's made of plastic, so doesn't have the build quality of the Apple iPad, but Advent's done a really nice job and the Vega feels tough and doesn't exhibit the creakiness we experienced from the Toshiba Folio 100. It also keeps the weight down, with the Vega weighing a spritely 700g. This makes it comfortable to hold for long periods, although the 10.1in screen means that it's better suited to resting on your lap than holding in the hand - unlike 7in tablets.
We were looking for places where Advent has cut corners to keep the cost down, but aside from the plastic casing there's very little evidence of this. The 10.1in capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1,024x600 (the same as a netbook). It's a pretty decent screen, too. Horizontal and vertical viewing angles are good, although at extreme angles colour accuracy starts to diminish. Still, for personal use it's more than adequate, with a bright image and vivid colours.
We felt sure that Advent must have cut costs by installing a slow processor, but the 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250 proves this isn't the case. As well as providing plenty of processing power for the Android 2.2 operating system, the Tegra 250 can play Full HD video without juddering. The Vega felt very responsive in every task, such as pinching to zoom on a web page. Sound is pretty reasonable, producing loud and clear audio, although bass is a little lacking. For personal listening there's also a headphone port, or you can output everything to an HD TV via HDMI.
Thanks to Android 2.2 there's support for Flash, which is pre-installed. It's good to see that Advent sets the browser to use plug-ins on demand, so you have to tap a Flash element to activate it, rather than having it start automatically and drain battery power.
This shouldn't be too much of a problem, though, as the battery life of this tablet is actually very good. It should last around eight hours (roughly a couple of days of normal use) for standard tasks, such as web browsing and email, while video will reduce the battery life to around five hours.