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Advent Verona review

Alan Lu
16 Jan 2010
Advent Verona ultra-portable laptop
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

Advent's Verona is very cheap for an ultra-portable laptop, but it's also one to avoid for its poor-quality keyboard and short battery life.

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Advent's Verona ultra-portable laptop costs just £350, but it looks far more expensive thanks to its slenderness and the attractive swirly brown pattern on its lid and wrist rest. The 250GB hard disk isn't the largest we've seen in a laptop of this calibre, but it's easily forgivable at this price. Unfortunately, almost everything else about the Verona isn't.

We're used to seeing less than perfect keyboards and touchpads, but the input devices on the Verona are particularly poor. The keyboard is spongy and the keys don't give nearly enough feedback when pressed. It's too easy to apply more pressure than needed, leading to less accurate, slower typing.

The touchpad is reasonably large and feels accurate, but the incredibly stiff buttons require a lot of force to register a click. This makes certain actions, such as dragging windows, more difficult to accomplish than they should be.

The Verona is lightweight at 1.7kg, although it doesn't have an optical drive. The base feels rigid and sturdy, but the lid flexes under pressure more than we'd like. The cooling fan is noticeably - and irritatingly - loud. It can be silenced, but this leads to the underside becoming uncomfortably warm.

Unfortunately the battery lasted just three hours and 10 minutes in our tests. This is disappointingly short for an ultra-portable laptop with a CULV processor, limiting its usefulness for working on the move.

Unlike many other laptops with these low-voltage Intel processors, the Verona has a single-core Celeron instead of a dual-core model. Although this is more than quick enough for basic office tasks and browsing the web, it's ill-suited for more demanding work such as editing video and photos as its very low overall benchmark score of 29 shows. As you'd expect, the integrated graphics chip isn't powerful enough for 3D gaming.

The 13.3in screen has a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels and has a glossy finish. It’s bright, so on-screen text isn't difficult to read even when the screen is dimmed to conserve battery life. Viewing angles are very tight though, so colour accuracy suffers if you're not sitting directly in front of it.

Advent's Verona may be cheap, but the poor keyboard, mouse and battery life mean it's worth spending a little more on a higher quality ultra-portable laptop.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorIntel Celeron M 743
Processor clock speed1.3GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size27x333x215mm
Weight1.7kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby10W
Power consumption idle17W
Power consumption active24W

Display

Viewable size13.3 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory32MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelnone
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9SE
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return or customer carry-in
Price£350
Detailswww.advent.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.currys.co.uk